Wed, Aug 16, 9:51am by Staff Writer
With three rounds to go in the NRL season, Melbourne are within touching distance of their second Minor Premiership in as many years, while the Dragons and Raiders remain a chance of qualifying for the finals after big wins last week.
Brisbane Broncos v St George Illawarra Dragons, Suncorp Stadium, Friday August 18, 7:50pm AEST
When the Broncos take on the Dragons, it will be two sides whose fortunes in recent weeks have been vastly different. Whilst Brisbane have soared up the ladder to now sit second, St George-Illawarra have plummeted out of the top eight.
The Dragons are in a real battle to keep their Finals hopes alive this weekend. They got back to winning ways last weekend against the Titans but will face a much tougher task against their Queensland compatriots.
Brisbane have won their last two in a row including an impressive victory over the Sharks in Round 23. They stand as favourites with William Hill priced at $1.30 compared to St George at $3.60. This is a do or die match for the Dragons and the Broncos will be looking to maintain their momentum heading into Finals.
Bet of the Match: Brisbane to Win by 1-12 points at $2.85
Sydney Roosters v Wests Tigers, Allianz Stadium, Saturday August 19, 5:30pm AEST
Wests Tigers shocked Manly Sea Eagles last weekend with a last-minute try giving them hope heading into Round 24. This weekend they face a Sydney Roosters side who have lost their 2nd place on the ladder to the Broncos after defeat at the hands of the Storm in Round 23.
That was a second loss in a row for the Roosters, that will have set alarm bells ringing as they get to the business end of the year. Whilst their place in the Finals is assured, their place in the top four is now under threat. Something they will not want to miss out on after being there for most of the year.
The Roosters are heavy favourites with William Hill priced at $1.22. Wests are at the opposite end of the ladder and are battling to not been crowned with the wooden spoon. Last week’s win against Manly was vital, especially after the Knights dramatic resurgence recently. They will need another massive effort from their players if they are to overturn a price of $4.40.
Bet of the Match: Sydney to Win by 13+ points at $1.91
North Queensland Cowboys v Cronulla Sharks, 1300Smiles Stadium, Saturday August 19, 7:30pm AEST
Three straight losses have seen the North Queensland Cowboys drop down into the battle to stay in the top eight. They now sit only two points above the 9th placed Dragons and face a huge test this weekend against Cronulla. A side who themselves have seen a slide in recent form having lost their last two.
The Sharks in turn sit only two points ahead of the Cowboys on the ladder, in a very congested top eight. Cronulla need to bounce back from their dismal performance against the Broncos and are favourites to do with William Hill priced at $1.60.
The Cowboys stand at $2.37 and are more than capable of springing a surprise on home turf in Townsville. With the Dragons perilously close, the Cowboys need to win or hope their fellow Queenslanders, the Broncos, do them a favour.
Bet of the Match: North Queensland to Win by 1-12 points at $3.60
NRL Round 24 Odds: (William Hill)
Parramatta Eels $1.22 v Gold Coast Titans $4.40 Line: 12
South Sydney Rabbitohs $1.30 v New Zealand Warriors $3.60 Line: 10
Brisbane Broncos $1.30 v St George Illawarra Dragons $3.60 Line: 10
Newcastle Knights $4.65 v Melbourne Storm $1.20 Line: 12.5
Sydney Roosters $1.22 v Wests Tigers $4.40 Line: 12.5
Nth Queensland Cowboys $2.37 v Cronulla Sharks $1.60 Line: 4
Canberra Raiders $1.56 v Penrith Panthers $2.45 Line: 4.5
Canterbury Bulldogs $3.75 v Manly Sea Eagles $1.28 Line: 10.5
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