Both teams welcome back their Origin stars, seemingly much needed. The Broncos ended up winning comfortably last week against the Knights but struggled early on. The Bulldogs struggled the week before against the same opposition.
Canterbury are all but finished this season as their attacking woes continue. The Broncos are well and truly in contention for a Top 4 spot and still have a few players to return. The Bulldogs embarrassed them in their match earlier this year but it will be a different story this time around.
Broncos -9.5 @ 1.93
Roosters v Knights
The Roosters lineup without key duo Michael Gordon (pec) & Jake Friend (hand) but are still heavy favourites against the struggling Knights who will give Shaun Kenny-Dowall his first start for the club against his old team.
In the reciprocal fixture earlier this year, the Roosters won comfortably by 18 points & have won 7 of their last 8 against Newcastle.
The betting markets are well in tune with the gap between these two teams but the Knights have shown that they can keep it close against the better sides. I think the Roosters’ injured players are enough of a loss to help the Knights over the line.
Knights +16 @ 1.93
Sharks v Rabbitohs
The Sharks rested a few of their stars last week and didn’t quite turn up against the Titans in horrendous conditions on the Gold Coast. They haven’t been the most consistent side through the origin period trading wins & losses for the last 6 weeks while the Rabbitohs have lost 2 straight.
Cronulla sit just outside of the Top 4 on points difference and they will be looking to make their charge home to the finals. While the Rabbitohs won’t be holding similar aspirations, I don’t think they’ll get blown off the park.
Sharks 1-12 @ 3.00
Panthers v Titans
Penrith have been tough to predict at the best of times and find themselves 1 win out of the Top 8 with 2-game winning streak. The Titans aren’t too far behind but need to continue their good run of form to have any chance of sneaking into the finals.
The Panthers welcome back key players in Moylan & Wallace this week in what will be a huge boost to the side on top of their current form. However, they lose Trent Merrin through injury (knee).
I wouldn’t be blowing the bank on this one but I think the Titans form is deceiving with the opposition they’ve faced. Penrith to continue on their charge.
Panthers 1-12 @ 3.20
Raiders v Storm
The Raiders finally got back in the winners circle last week with a golden point victory against the Dragons while the Storm were last start losers against Parramatta, albeit without their Origin stars.
The Raiders are one of the rare sides with a decent record H2H of late against Melbourne. However, Melbourne welcome back all of their Origin players and the Raiders have well and truly been on the slide.
While I do think the Storm could put up a cricket score, they haven’t belted too many sides in 2017. They will be far too good in this clash though and I think the handicap is well and truly a steal.
Storm -6.5 @ 1.93
Cowboys v Warriors
The Cowboys keep showing what they can do as a team, even without superstar Johnathon Thurston. Some pundits still think they can win the competition. Meanwhile, the Warriors lose their superstar in Shaun Johnson for an extended period of time with a knee injury.
North Queensland have won 5 of their last 6 while the Warriors have only won 3 in the same period. The Cowboys hold a superior recent record against the Warriors with the Cowboys winning their last 2 meetings by a combined 62 points.
I’d consider taking an alternative, higher line as value but the Cowboys should easily cover the start.
Cowboys -10 @ 1.93
Dragons v Sea Eagles
The Dragons come into this match after losing 4 of their last 5 with the only win against the Knights in that time. In contrast, Manly have won 6 of their last 8 and the market here is quite baffling with the Dragons given just a 2 point start.
Recent history is in favour of the Dragons with a 25-point hiding given earlier this year. Manly are also missing Apisai Korisau who has been one of their best in 2017.
I still think both teams’ recent form is too hard to look past and the Dragons recent problems in attack will be their downfall.
Manly H2H @ 1.77
Tigers v Eels
The Tigers have only managed 1 win from their last 5 but, similar to the Knights, they haven’t been completely smashed every week. They kept Manly honest last week and almost beat the reigning premiers Cronulla not long ago. Meanwhile, the Eels find themselves in a good patch of form and sit comfortably in the 8 on 24 points, only 2 points from 3rd place.
The Eels were last start winners against the Storm and are coming off a break which has given them favouritism in this match. However, the Tigers have shown good signs and should keep the Eels in check this week.
While the Tigers start is tempting, I think the Eels will still win in a close match.