Wed, Jul 5, 3:52pm by Staff Writer
With the deciding game of the State of Origin series to be played in Brisbane on Wednesday, eight of the 16 NRL clubs have been given the bye. There’s no need to worry though, we’ve found you a few specials over Round 18 of the NRL season.
Sydney Roosters v South Sydney Rabbitohs, Allianz Stadium, Friday July 7, 7:50pm AEST
South Sydney and Sydney had vastly different experiences in Round 17 ahead of their meeting this weekend. The Roosters were overwhelmed and completely out played by Cronulla in their 44-12 loss. Whilst the Rabbitohs came from behind early on in their match against Penrith to record an emphatic 42-14 win.
That victory kept alive their slim hopes of making the top eight and Finals footy. Despite their position on the ladder they will be fired up to beat the Roosters and are favourites priced at $1.60.
With Origin 3 teams having been named Sydney will be without several of their key men, Mitchell Pearce, Boyd Cordner, Blake Ferguson and Dylan Napa. They sit 4th on the ladder with plenty left to play for and a surprise win here with a depleted squad would go a long way to showing what they are capable of this year. The Roosters stand at $2.37 with William Hill.
Bet of the Match: South Sydney to Win by 1-12 points at $3
WATCH: Our Preview of Round 18 of the NRL
Penrith Panthers v Manly Sea Eagles, Pepper Stadium, Saturday July 8, 5:30pm AEST
Manly are currently in the midst of the longest current winning streak in the NRL. Having won their last five games straight, the Sea Eagles are certainly in fine form heading into their Round 18 match up with Penrith. Having only been marginally affected by Origin with only Jake Trbojevic selected, after Daly Cherry-Evans perceived snub, they will be relatively settled for this match.
Despite their form, William Hill are unable to separate Manly from Penrith with both sides priced at $1.91 to claim the win. Penrith desperately need a win to get their season back on track and keep their top eight hopes alive.
Their demoralising loss to the Rabbitohs in Round 17 will have hurt and they will need a huge performance this week to put that behind them. The Panthers have been unaffected by Origin 3 and will need to start taking their chances if they are to make the Finals this season.
Bet of the Match: Manly to Win by 1-12 points at $3.10
Melbourne Storm v Parramatta Eels, AAMI Park, Saturday July 8, 7:30pm AEST
With six players on Origin duty, this weekend will certainly be a test for the strength in depth of the Melbourne Storm. Meanwhile their opponents, Parramatta, will be arriving in Melbourne at full strength as they were unaffected by Origin call ups.
The Storm are riding high at the top of the ladder four points clear of their nearest rival and could be forgiven for writing this match off as a loss. That, however, is not the attitude for the Storm, even with a young side they will believe they are capable of upsetting a price of $2.40.
The Eels stand at $1.58 and will look to take their chance to cement 8th spot on the ladder and the last Finals position. Two straight victories for the Eels over the Bulldogs and the Dragons have set up the remainder of the season perfectly for Parramatta.
Bet of the Match: Parramatta to Win by 1-12 points at $2.90
NRL Round 18 Odds: (William Hill)
Sydney Roosters $2.37 v South Sydney Rabbitohs $1.60 Line: 4
Penrith Panthers $1.91 v Manly Sea Eagles $1.91 Line: 0.5
Melbourne Storm $2.40 v Parramatta Eels $1.58 Line: 4.5
Canterbury Bulldogs $1.42 v Newcastle Knights $2.90 Line: 7.5
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