Brisbane Broncos v South Sydney Rabbitohs

Thursday 17/6/2021

While the Broncos shock win over the Roosters remains fresh in mind, it’s hard to envisage them pulling another surprise here against the Rabbitohs. The Broncos have home ground advantage here, but since their win over the Roosters, have lost their next three by an average of 43 points. The Rabbitohs have seemingly steadied the ship after their thrashing to Penrith three weeks ago and should prove far too good for the Broncos’ impotent attack. The Broncos have a similarly flimsy defence that will likely be exploited by the Rabbitohs star-studded left edge. Xavier Coates does return for the Broncos, but the inclusions are more impressive for the Rabbitohs with Origin representatives Damien Cook, Cameron Murray, Dane Gagai and Jai Arrow returning to the starting line-up.

Suggested bet – 1u Rabbitohs -17.5 at $1.85

North Queensland Cowboys v Cronulla Sharks

Friday 18/6/2021

The Sharks head north with renewed enthusiasm after three straight wins – including last week’s stirring victory over Penrith. While the Cowboys’ good mid-season form came crashing back to earth with a 50-18 loss to Manly, they have a 5-2 record here at home. Countering that is the Sharks’ good record against North Queensland, winning the past five encounters. That includes a 48-10 smashing last time they met back in April. For the Cowboys, Kyle Feldt returns, while the Sharks are expected to welcome back Wage Graham and Siosifa Talakai, but Braden Hamlin-Uele (ankle) and winger Sione Katoa (knee) will miss.

Suggested bet – 1u Sharks win at $2.10

Penrith Panthers Sydney Roosters

Friday 18/6/2021

After losing two on the trot without their Origin players, key duo Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai will be back in the halves to help lift the Panthers back to winning form. Put simply, the Panthers will not want to make it three losses in a row after previously winning 12 straight to start the season. An improved effort will be needed in defence, with the Panthers only conceding on average eight points per match, before dropping to 19 and 26 in their past two losses. The Roosters remain far from full-strength but come of two wins – admittedly only to the Raiders and Titans. This will be a much sterner test for the Roosters and I’ve got big doubts on whether they can stop a hungry Penrith side.

Suggested bet – 1.5u Penrith -11.5 at $1.85

Newcastle Knights v New Zealand Warriors

Saturday 19/6/2021

An important clash for two sides fast losing sight of a finals berth. Both sides have now lost four of their past five after coming off tough stretches. The Warriors are now also down playmaker Chanel Harris-Tavita, while the Knights will sweat on the fitness of Kalyn Ponga. Young gun Reece Walsh returns from suspension for the Warriors, but it will be their defence that needs to lift after having 169 points piled on them in the past five outings. The Knights are clear favourites for this clash, but if the Warriors turn up, it’s likely to a much closer content. At the price must have something on the Warriors.

Suggested bet – 1.5u Warriors win at $2.30

St George Illawarra Dragons v Canberra Raiders

Saturday 19/6/2021

If the Dragons want to play finals, then they must respond to last Monday’s dismal loss to the Bulldogs. They’ve now lost seven of their past nine and come up against a Canberra side which has won each of its last three night games against the Dragons, and four of their past five between the two sides. However, the more recent form of Canberra is almost as bad, if not worse, than the Dragons, despite beating Brisbane last weekend. The Raiders are expected to go in unchanged and it will be interesting to see if they have their mojo back after last weekend’s return to the winners’ circle.

No suggested bet

Melbourne Storm v Wests Tigers

Saturday 19/6/2021

The high-rolling Storm continue on their merry way, winning the irpast 10 matches and rarely looking like they’ll get beaten. They face the Tigers who were denied a rare three game winning streak by the Eels last week. Melbourne have won seven from seven at Sunshine Coast Stadium and are further strengthened by Christian Welch and Nelson Asofa-Solomona returning to the side. Interestingly, the Tigers have a very competitive record against the Storm if you ignore the most recent 50-22 drubbing. It makes the large head start of nearly four converted tries very tempting.

Suggested bet – 1u Tigers +23.5 at $2

Parramatta Eels v Canterbury Bulldogs

Sunday 20/6/2021

The Bulldogs re-entered the winners’ stall for the second time this year by beating the hapless Dragons last Monday, but the high-flying Eels will pose a much sterner test. Sitting in third spot, the Eels have won seven of their past nine, but two of three losses have been suffered here at home. Still, it’s hard to see the Bulldogs being able to score another upset here. The Eels have won nine of their past 11 games against the Bulldogs, however recent clashes outside the most recent 32-10 drubbing have been closer than many would expect. I doubt the Dogs could spring an upset but the hefty plus line is worth a small bet.

Suggested bet – 0.5u Bulldogs +20.5 at $1.85

Gold Coast Titans v Manly Sea Eagles

Sunday 20/6/2021

The Titans finals hopes are quickly fading away and now sit with a 5-9 record after three straight losses. It doesn’t get any easier for them as they take on a Manly side which put on 36 unanswered points the last time they met earlier this year. The Sea Eagles have won the past four against the Titans – and also won the past four against them at this Gold Coast venue. The stats don’t read well for the Titans but they are likely to gain some key players with AJ Brimson, David Fifita and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui returning from Origin duties. Given these inclusions, the Titans are a decent price despite their damning recent stats when facing the Sea Eagles.

Suggested bet – 1u Titans +7.5 at $1.85