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NRL Round 21 Best Bets: Crunch time for aspiring finalists

Wed, Jul 26, 8:50am by Staff Writer

With just six points separating third and ninth, things are getting tight in the race to the NRL finals. This week, the Eels host the Broncos and the Roosters play the cowboys in crucial top-eight clashes,

Penrith Panthers v Canterbury Bulldogs, Pepper Stadium, Thursday July 27, 7:30pm AEST

Penrith have continued to stake a claim for a place in the top eight after three impressive victories in a row. The most recent, last weekend’s win over the Titans, maintained the pressure on the eighth-placed St George Illawarra Dragons. Two points separate them on the ladder and the Panthers must keep racking up those wins. In Round 21 they host the 13th placed Bulldogs. Penrith are substantial favourites with William Hill priced at $1.42, while Canterbury stand at $2.90 after they were comprehensively beaten last week by the Broncos, 42-12. They will need a huge performance against the Panthers if they aren’t to suffer the same fate again. The Bulldogs are almost certainly out of Finals contention but they will need to be looking to rebuild looking towards 2018.

Bet of the Match: Penrith to Win by 13+ points at $2.60

WATCH: Our Preview of Round 21 of the NRL season

Parramatta Eels v Brisbane Broncos, ANZ Stadium, Friday July 28, 7:50pm AEST  

The Parramatta Eels are one of the form sides in the competition at the moment. Four straight victories have them sitting a little more comfortably inside the top eight. This weekend they face a tough challenge to continue their winning streak as they welcome the Broncos to ANZ Stadium after they battled past the Tigers in Round 20 edging them out by one point.

That brutal encounter may well have taken a toll on the Parramatta players and combined with a short turnaround ahead of this game. They are priced as underdogs with William Hill at $2.62. The Broncos as always are coming into form at the right end of the season and their improved performances have handily come at the same time as the sides around them have begun to waiver. The Broncos now sit third on the ladder, albeit joint with Cronulla and North Queensland and are priced at $1.50 for the win with William Hill for this match against the Eels.

Bet of the Match: Brisbane to Win by 1-12 points at $2.90

Sydney Roosters v North Queensland, Allianz Stadium, Saturday July 29, 7:30pm AEST

North Queensland’s trip to take on the Sydney Roosters has the potential to be the clash of the round. The second-placed Roosters will be aiming to keep pressure on the Storm above them while the fifth-placed Cowboys will have eyes on a top four finish. Despite having recorded four wins in their last four games, it is the Cowboys who are priced behind the Roosters at $2.36. Even without Johnathan Thurston, North Queensland have been impressive this year and could cause an upset in Sydney. The Roosters, meanwhile, have won their last two including last week’s 38-4 thrashing of the lowly Newcastle Knights. While that is no real indicator of their form, it certainly sets the Roosters side up perfectly heading into an extremely tough clash with the Cowboys. Sydney currently stand at $1.60 with William Hill.

Bet of the Match: Sydney to Win by 1-12 points at $2.90

NRL Round 21 Odds: (William Hill)

Penrith Panthers $1.42 v Canterbury Bulldogs $2.90 Line: 6.5

New Zealand Warriors $2.26 v Cronulla Sharks $1.65 Line: 3.5

Parramatta Eels $2.62 v Brisbane Broncos $1.50 Line: 6.5

Newcastle Knights $4.05 v St George Illawarra Dragons $1.25 Line: 10.5

South Sydney Rabbitohs $2.50 v Canberra Raiders $1.54 Line: 4.5

Sydney Roosters $1.60 v Nth Queensland Cowboys $2.36 Line: 4

Melbourne Storm $1.65 v Manly Sea Eagles $2.26 Line: 3.5

Gold Coast Titans $1.26 v Wests Tigers $3.95 Line: 10.5

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