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NRL Round 18: Preview, Odds and Best Bets

Wed, Jul 11, 2:07pm by Staff Writer

With Origin over for another year all attentions will now return to the NRL as the fight for places in the top eight and top four intensify.

Penrith Panthers v Cronulla Sharks, Friday 13th July, 6pm, Panthers Stadium

Just two competition points separates these sides on the ladder, with the Panthers holding the upper hand sitting 4th. A win last week after back to back losses as rejuvenated Penrith’s hopes of a top four finish, although they will face a stiff challenge against the Sharks this week. Jarome Luai was the star in the victory over the Warriors and he has again been entrusted to lead his side. If he can replicate his performance, then they have a chance of overturning a price of $2.03.

Prior to the bye in Round 17, the Sharks achieved an impressive three point victory over the Warriors in Auckland that has kept their own top four finish hopes alive. The return of Wade Graham in the pack will only add more firepower to their already dominant forwards as they head into the game as slight favourites at $1.79.

Bet of the Match – Penrith to Win by 1-12 points at $3.20

Canterbury Bulldogs v South Sydney Rabbitohs, Saturday 14th July, 3pm, ANZ Stadium

South Sydney are the proud owners of the best current form in the NRL, after notching up 8 consecutive victories. Wins that have seen them catapult to the top of the ladder and take control their season after indifferent form in the opening rounds. A bye in the last round will have freshened up the squad as they go in search of win number 9 priced at $1.25.

The Bulldogs are stuck in a fight they certainly would have wanted no part of, the battle for the wooden spoon. With only four wins this season they are sitting in 15th just above the Eels. After throwing away a commanding lead against the Raiders last week they will be looking to make amends. That appears a longshot though as they stand at $4.

Bet of the Match – Dane Gagai to Score a Try and South Sydney to Win at $3.10

Brisbane Broncos v New Zealand Warriors, Sunday 15th July, 2pm, Suncorp Stadium

Form has begun to elude the Warriors at a critical stage of the season. Two losses in a row have made this an almost must win match as they try to arrest their slide down the ladder. They have slipped to 8th on the ladder, although they are on equal points as 5th place. Yet they will be feeling the pressure from below. The one thing in their favour is their fine form away from home this season which they will be looking to as they stand at $2.25.

For the Broncos, they head into this match on the back of one of their best performances of the season. Last weekend they cruised past the Gold Coast Titans, holding them scoreless whilst running in 34 points. A win for Brisbane will set up a late season surge for a place in the top four as they go in search of an elusive Premiership. They are priced at $1.65.

Bet of the Match – Brisbane to Win by 13+ points at $3.50

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