Thu, Aug 25, 10:24pm by Kevin Pitstock
Sportsbet.com.au presents “Golden Pointers”………an early bird look at the weekend’s NRL.
It’s the penultimate round of the home and away season and the interest focus is on who will slot into the top 4, who may fall into the 8 and who will win the Wooden Spoon. The crowd pullers this week will most certainly include the top of the table clash when the Manly Sea Eagles host the competition leaders the Melbourne Storm. The Warriors leap frogged the free falling Dragons last week, but Bennett’s men will get the chance to return serve on Sunday when they welcome the New Zealanders to their Wollongong home and in Brisbane a blockbuster awaits with the ‘Bunnies’ trying to keep the fairytale going when they front the Broncos.
Parramatta Eels v Sydney Roosters Sports Betting Market, Odds & Tips
The round kicks off with the Eels hosting the Roosters at Parramatta Stadium. The game has significantly more importance for the home side than the visiting Roosters, as a win will lift the luckless Eels off the bottom of the table. Oddly, it can be the only reason the Eels are favourites as the Roosters have shown improved form winning their last two.
A big game is required from Jarryd Hayne if the Eels are to win, however since his move to 5/8th they have looked more dangerous in attack. They seem to be a happy outfit despite an unfavourable couple of months. The word is they are training as hard as ever and are hell bent on finishing the season on a high.
It’s time for the Eels to play with their head as well as their heart and a little more patience in attack would help their cause. Not a betting game however.
Parramatta – 1.82 – 1.92 (-1.5)
Sydney – 2.02 – 1.92 (+1.5)
Manly Sea Eagloes v Melbourne Storm Sports Betting Market, Odds & Tips
The game of the round has the Sea Eagles hosting the Storm at ‘Brooky’. The Storm are hunting for their 13th win on the trot and their challengers this week the Sea Eagles have a decent stat in their corner too, still undefeated at Brookvale this year. Both sides remain unchanged from last week.This has been a fierce rivalry over the last four seasons and its sure to bring the fireworks to a crescendo.
The Storm got away with a win in Melbourne back in round one, however the Sea Eagles have been a consistent unit since, and the home crowd are sure to get behind them. No Cooper Cronk again for the Storm this week leaves them a little vulnerable against Foran and Cherry-Evans who have carried all before them this season. There are no weaknesses to either team here and we just believe the home advantage and no Cronk will tip the scales in the Sea Eagles’ favour.
The traders suggest backing them at the minus giving away a try.
Manly – 1.60 – 1.92 (-4.0)
Melbourne – 2.40 – 1.92 (+4.0)
Cantebury Bulldogs v Newcastle Knights Sports Betting Market, Odds & Tips
The early Saturday game has the Bulldogs hosting the Knights at ANZ Stadium. It’s a crunch game for both clubs. A win to the Bulldogs keeps their faint hope of a finals appearance alive, while a win to the Knights will sew up 8th spot, if the Rabbitohs don’t beat the Broncos at Suncorp. The Knights without doubt have the bones of a good footy team, but you get the sense injuries are going to beat them this year.
Junior Sau and Matt Hilder add to that toll and our spies tell us despite him being named Jarrod Mullen is more than a 50/50 chance of not playing due to a back problem. This is a tough one to call and it will be tough for Rick Stone’s men to back up from Monday night’s disappointment. The market looks spot on here and it’s hard to tip either club with any confidence so save the pennies for a more attractive betting option.
Canterbury – 1.75 – 1.92 (-2.0)
Newcastle – 2.12 – 1.92 (+2.0)
North Queensland Cowboys v Cronulla Sharks Sports Betting Market, Odds & Tips
One of the later games on Saturday night has the Cowboys hosting the Sharks at Dairy Farmers. The Cowboys have it all to play for with their mind still well and truly on obtaining a top 4 birth and a home semi-final and they will still be seething for letting last week’s game slip from their collective clutches. They will win, make no bones about that, and our traders believe a close to fully fit Thurston will turn it on for club and patrons.
The Sharks will lose some bite in attack without Nathan Gardiner and if Paul Gallen decides to rest his troublesome calf then this could be a blow out. The ‘Cows’ are a good option to be the banker in your multi’s.
North Queensland – 1.13 – 1.92 (-16.5)
Cronulla – 6.25 – 1.92 (+16.5)
Penrith Panthers v Canberra Raiders Sports Betting Market, Odds & Tips
The final game Saturday will see the two most injury riddled cubs for the year do battle as the Raiders host the Panthers. Names like Dugan, Campese, Orford, Learoyd-Lars, Jennings, Gordon and Lewis, to name a few, are some of the stars who will be missing from this uninspiring clash.
Lachlan Coote returns from an ankle injury for the Panthers and promising youngster Blake Austin is set to make his debut in the halves for the ‘men in black’. Internal troubles at the foot of the mountains and the need for the Raiders to win to avoid the wooden spoon tip the scales in favour of the home side; mind you backing them will require more trust than Hillary Clinton with Bill. A hard game to get inspired about putting your hard earned on.
Canberra – 1.60 – 1.92 (-4.0)
Penrith – 2.40 -1.92 (+4.0)
Parramatta Eels v Sydney Roosters Sports Betting Market, Odds & Tips
Sunday the Dragons host the Warriors in another game worthy of a semi-final. The visitors have lost big Manu Vatuvei while the Dragons get back in form centre Mark Gasnier. It’s a must win if either club hopes to finish in the top four so expect this to be a battle of wills.
The Warriors have won 6 of the last 7, reside in the top four, are in great form, but they have never won at Win Stadium. The Dragons returned to some defensive form against the Storm and the Warriors will have trouble cracking their line.
There can be no excuses this week for the Dragons, they are at home and are back to a full strength line up and our traders are confident that a converted try is value, so suggest punters take the minus here.
St George – 1.48 – 1.92 (-6.0)
Penrith – 2.70 -1.92 (+6.0)
Brisbane Broncos v South Sydney Rabittohs Sports Betting Market, Odds & Tips
Another top game Sunday has the Broncos hosting the Rabbitohs in a do or die clash for the ‘Bunnies”. Five wins on the trot has given South supporters hope that the season was not a waste and it gets down to this all important affair. Inglis and Merritt have been given the all clear, however, one must question exactly how fit they are.
The Broncos are playing disciplined football which is accompanied with the flair of Hoffman and Yow-Yeh, however Justin Hodges won’t play due to a hamstring complaint. A possible top two finish for the Broncos if the Sea Eagles lose to the Storm will be enough incentive for the home team to get the chocolates here.
Brisbane – 1.50 – 1.92 (-5.5)
South Sydney – 2.60 – 1.92 (+5.5)
Wests Tigers v Gold Coast Titans Sports Betting Market, Odds & Tips
The final game sees the Tigers on the verge of their 7th Straight win as they prepare for the struggling Titans at Campbelltown Stadium on Monday night. They will be pleased to see internationals Gareth Ellis and Lote Tuquiri return to their side. Further good news for the Tigers is their star playmaker Benji Marshall, who after two long days in court had his assault charges dismissed and he can now get on with his job, which he described when leaving the court is“to make the outside backs look good”. After a long season for the Tigers the dice seems to finally be falling their way now which could spell a long night at the office for the Titans.
Gold Coast Skipper Luke Bailey returns from injury, but they do lose young Dominic Peyroux for this one who was one of their best in their win over the Raiders on Saturday night. Our traders cannot see the Tigers dropping this one however the Titans have visited twice to Campbelltown and both times there has been no more than 2 points in it. Tigers win, but the Titans at the +18½ is some value.
Wests – 1.08 – 1.92 (-20.0)
Gold Coast – 8.50 -1.92 (+20.0)
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