NRL Rd 17 Rugby League Preview & Betting Tips
We see some talented players return to the fold this weekend.
Storm v Dragons
It’s the Origin affected split round that sees both sides missing a handful of key players to Origin duty.
The Storm recorded a one-point victory over the Roosters thanks to a piece of a field goal brilliance by Cameron Smith. For just the fourth time in their history, the Storm recorded a win by scoring less than 10 points. It was a game that Craig Bellamy summed up perfectly when he said, “I think both teams did their best to lose it and perhaps the Roosters did a little bit better job at that than we did”.
The win gave them their fourth consecutive victory for the first time this season.
Dragons fans were given more than a few anxious moments in a 20-18 win over Parramatta last week when they scored two tries in five minutes to win the game. It was their 12th win of the season and the past four teams to start their season with that many wins at this point of the campaign have gone on to make the Grand Final.
Stgeorge Illawarra won this clash back in Round 9 by 20 points, however, Melbourne have the better record with four wins in their past six encounters. AAMI Park is also not a favoured venue for the Dragons who are yet to record a win there in four attempts.
The past two games between these sides has been decided by double figure margins and with the match total going over 40 points.
Best Bet: Melbourne 13+ (margin)
Value Bet: Melbourne 13+/Under 40.5
Panthers v Warriors
An important game for both sides with each failing to get the two points last week.
After their 18-10 loss to Manly, the Panthers have now recorded back-to-back losses for the first time this season. The NRL Premiership market has reacted as a result with Penrith drifting from $5.50 equal favourites, before their loss to the Roosters, to now sit on the fifth line of betting at $9.
The Warriors recorded their third straight loss at Mt Smart Stadium when they went down 18-15 to the Sharks. The Warriors were leading 15-14 before losing in the final five minutes, thanks to a contentious forward pass.
Penrith will be without a number of key players such as James Moloney, Nathan Cleary and Tyrone Peachy due to Origin duty. Whilst the Panthers have won the past two and five of the past six matches over the Warriors, expect a near full strength Warriors to make the most of a depleted Panthers outfit.
For players of Total Match Points, these games tend to be high scoring affairs. Three of the past four matches have totalled over 45 points which includes two games over 50 points.
Best Bet: Warriors -4.5
Value Bet: Warriors 13+/Over 38.5 points
Bulldogs v Raiders
Belmore Sports Ground
Saturday night goes to the sacred Belmore Sports Ground where the Bulldogs have only tasted victory once in the last six matches at the venue.
The Bulldogs come into this clash off the back of a 20-point win over the Knights, recording just their fourth win of the season. Dean Pay’s men overcame a controversial week where Aaron Woods and Moses Mbye departed the club, to go and record their most points in a game since 2016.
Canberra went to Suncorp and blew a 16-point lead – the second time they’ve done that in 2018. The concerning stat for Ricky Stuart’s side is in seven of their nine losses they were level or ahead at the 65th minute. Since his return from an ACL injury two weeks ago, Josh Hodgson hasn’t missed a beat. Last week he scored a try and made 43 tackles. The Raiders won this clash by 16 points back in Round 5 this season. This is a must win clash for the Raiders who need to win their remaining nine games if they are any chance of playing finals football.
This season, Jarrod Croker has scored six tries. Croker has scored three tries in his past two games against the Bulldogs which includes a double last time they met.
Best Bet: Raiders 1-12 (margin)
Value Bet: Jarrod Croker to score 1+ Try
Titans v Broncos
Cbus Super Stadium
It’s the ‘Big Brother’ versus ‘Little Brother’ on Sunday afternoon. The little brother (Gold Coast) got the victory back in Round 4 by 16 points, but the Broncos had won seven straight before that. The Titans will be without Jai Arrow, Jarrod Wallace and Ryan James due to Origin duty, while the Broncos will be without four players.
The Titans come into this clash off the back of a 30-12 victory over the Tigers at Leichhardt Oval, giving them back-to-back wins for the first time since rounds 4 & 5. Ash Taylor was impressive last weekend and currently leads the NRL on 16 try assists and was a big firmer in the Dally M Market.
Brisbane got out of jail last week, recovering from 16 points down to snatch the 26-22 victory over the Raiders. All nine of Brisbane’s wins this season have been by nine points or less. The Broncos have won five of the past six matches at Cbus, including the last clash by 54 points.
Anthony Don has scored eight tries this season, including a try last time these teams met. He has also scored four tries in his past five games, so keep an eye on him to cross the line today.
Best Bet: Brisbane (Win)Value Bet: Anthony Don To Score (Player Performance)