Wed, Jul 4, 11:46am by Staff Writer
The impending Game 3 of State of Origin means that there is once again a reduced round of NRL action.
Melbourne Storm v St George Illawarra Dragons, Thursday 5th July, 7.50pm, AAMI Park
A run of four consecutive victories has seen the Storm surge into the top four. As ever Melbourne have shown that they are capable of winning games even with players missing on representative duty. An essential trait for a club to be successful. They face a huge challenge though as they welcome the league leaders to AAMI Park. With confidence high after their narrow win over the Roosters last week they look solid at $1.52.
St George managed a win in testing conditions in Round 16, although they had to battle past bottom placed side, Parramatta. They struggled throughout that game to match the high standards they have set this season and will need to be back to their best if they are to challenge the Storm. The loss of their rep players could be a telling blow as they stand at $2.55.
Bet of the Match – Melbourne to Win by 13+ points at $3.50
Penrith Panthers v New Zealand Warriors, Friday 6th July, 7.55pm, Panthers Stadium
Back to back losses has seen Penrith slip down the ladder in recent weeks. The shock loss to Manly in the last round will have severely dented the Panthers pride and they will look to come out firing against the Warriors. They will have to do it, however, without their Origin players with Tyrone Peachey, Nathan Cleary and James Maloney all missing. This could have a massive impact on them as they are priced at $2.35 for the win.
The Warriors on the other hand will have virtually a full-strength side to choose from when they travel to Penrith. They continue to defy expectations as they remain in contention for the top four. Indeed, they sit level on points with Melbourne and Penrith, only an inferior points difference keeps them out of the top four. They stand as favourites for this match at $1.60.
Bet of the Match – New Zealand to Win by 1-12 points at $3.10
Gold Coast Titans v Brisbane Broncos, Sunday 8th July, 4.10pm, Cbus Super Stadium
Origin call ups have had a huge impact on the team selections for this clash. The Titans will be going in search of a season double over the Broncos after they caused an upset in Round 4 at Suncorp. Despite being in form with two wins in their last games, the Gold Coast stand as underdogs at $2.25. Another upset is potentially on the cards though.
Brisbane may have lost a lot of fire power to Origin, but they still have plenty of experience in the side. Veterans Sam Thaiday and Darius Boyd will need to be at their best if they are to lead their side to victory. The Broncos are priced at $1.65.
Bet of the Match – Gold Coast to Win by 1-12 points at $3.60
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