Fri, Sep 4, 3:32pm by Kevin Pitstock
Final round of the NRL, the top 8 is basically set, with only the Panthers a chance of making it in at the expense of the Knights. The minor premiership and wooden spoon are still up for grabs. Here are the best bets around the grounds.
Dragons v Eels – WIN Jubillee 7:30pm
Team news: The Dragons have dropped Jarrod Saffy from their bench and kept Jason Nightingale. Parramatta have lost Nathan Hindmarsh to a toe injury and his replacement is Broderick Wright.
Game news: The Eels are now looking at setting a season record 8 straight wins. They are scoring freely every week and are conceding hardly anything. The Dragons on the other hand have been on the slide which culminated in last week’s embarrassing loss to the lowly Rabbitohs. They have now lost 3 in a row and have probably cost themselves the minor premiership. They need to get back on track and fast with the finals starting next week. The loss of Hindmarsh is a big blow, but not insurmountable. The Dragons should put in a better effort this week but I still think Eels in a close one.
Tip: Eels by 4
Odds: Dragons – $1.67, Eels – $2.15
Footy TAB: Eels +2.
Best bets: Safety – Eels +12.5 @ $1.28, Either team under 6.5 – @ $3.00
Tigers v Bulldogs – SFS 7:30pm
Team news: Chris Lawrence is in doubt with Rhys Pritchard on standby.
The Bulldogs have no injury concerns, with Daniel Holdsworth coming in to replace Brett Kimmorley.
Game news: The Tigers cannot make the 8 and have some players carrying injuries. They are also missing at least 4 regular first graders through injury. The Bulldogs have a chance to make history by winning tonight and finishing as minor premiers. The loss of Kimmorley is a big blow but not a knock out punch. They have a capable replacement and should comfortably account for the Tigers.
Tip: Bulldogs by 10
Odds: Tigers – $2.65, Bulldogs – $1.45
Footy TAB: Tigers +6.5
Best bets: Safety – Bulldogs @ $1.45, Value bet – Goodwin more tries than Ayshford @ $2.50
Warriors v Storm – Mt Smart 5:30pm
Team news: No changes for either team.
Game news: The Warriors farewell Stacey Jones but have been cruelled by injuries. The Storm are looking at keeping their place in the top 4 and build some momentum. They have some depth issues in the forwards but with so much to play for, they should win.
Tip: Storm by 8
Odds: Warriors – $3.40, Storm – $1.30
Footy TAB: Warriors +9.5
Best bets: Safety – Storm @ $1.30, Storm 1-12 @ $3.10
Sea Eagles v Titans – Brookvale 7:30pm
Team news: No injury worries for Manly.
The Titans have Luke Bailey in doubt with a virus, Selasi Berdie is on standby as replacement.
Game news: The Sea Eagles were extremely lucky to beat a committed Sharks team last week, needing refereeing intervention on numerous occasions to get over the top of them. The Titans looked a little jaded too in their win over the Tigers, with the result flattering the home team. If Bailey is out, it is a huge loss for the Titans and Manly can’t play that bad 2 weeks in a row. Manly in a close one.
Tip: Manly by 7
Odds: Manly – $1.30, Titans – $3.40
Footy TAB: Titans +8.5
Best bets: Safety – Titans +12.5 @ $1.40, Value bet – Manly 1-12 @ $3.10
Sharks v Rabbitohs – Shark Park 7:30pm
Team news: The Sharks are expected to be as named.
The Rabbitohs are also 1-17.
Game news: The Sharks will be trying to avoid the wooden spoon and the Rabbits will be trying to send prodigal son Craig Wing off as a winner. The Sharks also farewell Corey Hughes. Very hard to pick a winner here, the game could go either way.
Odds: Sharks – $1.80, Rabbitohs – $2.00
Footy TAB: Rabbitohs +2.5
Best bets: Safety – Rabbitohs +12.5 @ $1.21, Value bet – Either team under 6.5 @ $2.90
Roosters v Cowboys – SFS 2:00pm
Team news: Roosters have no injury concerns.
The Cowboys have no worries either.
Game news: The Cowboys have nothing to play for, while the Roosters are playing to avoid the wooden spoon and send off coach Bard Fittler and club stalwart Craig Fitzgibbon out on a high after a horror year. You would think the Cowboys should win but the Roosters look to have more motivation.
Tip: Roosters by 2
Odds: Roosters – $2.05, Cowboys – $1.75
Footy TAB: Cowboys +2.5
Best bets: Safety – Roosters +12.5 @ $1.21, Value bet – Roosters 13+ @ 4.40
Knights v Panthers – Energy Australia 3:00pm
Team news: Zeb Taia is out for the Knights and is replaced by Cory Paterson.
The Panthers have to cull a few off their extended bench but have no injury worries.
Game news: The only crunch game of the round with the winner to play in the finals and the loser to start planning the end of season trip. The Panthers were blown off the park by a rampant Eels side while the Knights froze to death in Canberra last Monday night. The Panthers have a shocking defensive record and the Knights should capitalize on this at home.
Tip: Knights by 10
Odds: Knights $1.45, Panthers – $2.65
Footy TAB: Penrith +6.5
Best bets: Safety – Knights @ $1.45, Value bet – Knights -6.5 @ $1.90
Broncos v Raiders– Suncorp 7:00pm
Team news: No injury worries for either team.
Game news: The Broncos should win this game as the Raiders have nothing to play for and are away from home. The Broncos will also want some revenge on the Raiders for the belting they gave the Broncos a few months ago.
Tip: Broncos by 16
Odds: Broncos – $1.20, Raiders $4.25
Footy TAB: Raiders +13.5
Best bets: Safety – Broncos @ $1.20, Value bet – Broncos 13+ @ $ 1.83
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