Canberra Raiders v South Sydney Rabbitohs
Josh Papalii and Jarrod Croker on the sidelines is a further blow for a Raiders side with its backs against the wall after three straight losses. The best way to respond would be beating an in-form Rabbitohs side, undefeated in their past six outings. The Raiders have won the past six of eight against the Rabbits, but to continue the dominance they’ll need to patch up a leaky defence and find some cohesion in attack. Now is the time for the Raiders to step up.
Suggested bet – 0.5u Raiders win at $2.85.
Melbourne Storm v Cronulla Sharks
The Sharks have lost seven of their past eight games away from home and will be looking to avenge handing the Bulldogs the club’s first win of the season last week. While I’ve been a fan of the Sharks early on this season, off-field drama has cooled my confidence going forward. They might be a write-off for season 2021 if last week’s performance is an indication. In contrast, the ever-reliable Storm continue to get the job done and that should continue here. I’m not willing to completely put the pen through the Sharks just yet, so while I like the Storm to win, they are at prohibitive odds and the minus (around three converted tries) might be excessive.
No suggested bet
Brisbane Broncos v Gold Coast Titans
The Titans are becoming a frustrating side to back, but an entertaining outfit to watch when on song. They were scintillating in patches last week against the Rabbits (and have been so all season), before being picked apart by a quality side in the latter stages. The Broncos have the wood over the Titans in recent times, but I’m tipping that’ll come to an end here. If the Titans can be within striking distance at half time, the Broncos have been poor in second halves and haven’t scored a point in their past four matches in the final 40 minutes.
Suggested bet – 1u Titans -12 at $1.95
Penrith Panthers v Manly Sea Eagles
Api Koroisau adds further spice to a Penrith side still without a loss in season 2021, while the Sea Eagles have transformed from wooden spoon contenders to possible finals contenders on the back of two massive wins since Tom Trbojevic returned. He simply is the side’s barometer. However, the Panthers have won 10 of their past 12 games against the Sea Eagles and should have too much class.
Suggested bet – 1u Penrith -14.5 at $1.90
Canterbury Bulldogs v Parramatta Eels
The Canterbury Bulldogs defied most experts and won a match in season 2021 much earlier than most expected by beating the Sharks last week. They face an Eels side returning from the heat of Darwin where they demolished a second-rate Broncos. The Eels have won eight of their past 10 games against the Bulldogs and while they should take care of the Bulldogs, I’m cautious of taking such a big minus line (around -19.5) for a side returning from a clash in gruelling conditions.
No suggested bet
Newcastle Knights v Sydney Roosters
This is a much-anticipated clash with a big test for a Knights side with a 3-5 record. The Roosters have won 12 of their past 14 games against the Knights and this should continue, even with a cloud over whether James Tedesco will line up for Sydney. The Knights have shown glimpses of form throughout the early parts of the season, and the Roosters are very much struggling to have their best players on the field. Despite that, Sam Walker is ably filling the void of Luke Keary. If the Roosters are still genuine top four contenders, this is a game they should be winning easily.
Suggested bet – 2u Roosters -6 at $1.85
New Zealand Warriors v North Queensland Cowboys
The Warriors should get Tohu Harris, Adam Pompey and David Fusitu’a back from injury as they look to snap the three-game winning streak of the Cowboys. Last week’s come-from-behind win by the Cowboys to get the points over Canberra showed real grit. It’s a different test away from home, and one which will reveal if the Cowboys have seriously turned the corner long-term. The Warriors have won three of their past four games against the Cowboys, and while they are a hit-and-miss side, and have lost three of their past games this season, if they show up here I’m confident they’ll topple the Cowboys.
Suggested bet – 2u Warriors -3.5 at $1.85
St George Illawarra Dragons v Wests Tigers
These two sides are looking to snap losing streaks, with the Dragons failing at their past two after a strong start to the season, and the Tigers amidst a four-game winless run. Ben Hunt is a key inclusion for the Dragons and will be looking to put the gloss back on the side’s promising early form. While the Tigers are potentially a better side than their record suggests, the Dragons should enjoy home ground advantage. Having said that, they look a little short in the market.
No suggested bet