NRL Round 16 Tips & Preview

Game three of Origin is just over a week away and that means that Round 16 of the NRL will only feature half the number of games.

In typical fashion, the NRL have done their best to drag it out for as long as possible and we’re looking at one game a day from Thursday night, when the Dragons host the Storm.

There’s four winners to be found and I’m pretty confident that I’ve done so in the NRL Round 16 tips below.

St George Illawarra Dragons vs Melbourne Storm
Storm (-4.5)

At first glance this is a bit of a mismatch but given the massive number of players that are set to miss because of Origin selection…. It’s still a mismatch.

The Dragons are a pretty ordinary footy team in 2019, but they do enter this off the back of a win over the equally disappointing Cowboys. Regardless, this is still a big step up in quality for them – even at home, even against a depleted side. They themselves will be without Hunt, Frizell, Sims, Vaughn and Norman.

Melbourne are missing a few but so still have the notable advantage of Cameron Smith available for selection, and as has been the case in his career so many times, it’ll mean all the difference.

The line seems small, all things considered.

Wests Tigers vs Sydney Roosters
Tigers to Win ($2.20)

Wests Tigers, proudly sponsored by Neds, enter Round 16 in winning form and represent terrific value to beat a Roosters side that has also been noticeably weakened by State of Origin.

It was their first win in three starts at Bankwest Stadium and now that the hoodoo has been broken, they can go on with the job. This particular win cannot be understated – it was against a near full strength South Sydney side and further to the vital competition points, the confidence that it has garnered is priceless.

Sure, the Roosters still boast some of their weapons on this week’s team sheet, but they certainly haven’t been at their best recently and I think that they’re extremely vulnerable again.

Betting suggests that nothing is expected of Wests and that is typically when they play their best footy.

best bet
Newcastle Knights vs New Zealand Warriors
Knights (-2.5)

The Knights have enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence since around Round 5 and they are offered another excellent opportunity to win and push into the top four when they host an ordinary Warriors outfit on Saturday.

Other than the Storm blemish (which most teams can be forgiven for, to be fair), the Knights have been virtually seamless. The Pearce/Ponga combination has quickly become one of the most lethal in the league, while their forward pack is monstrous and mobile.

Ponga is clearly a huge out, but I still think the Knights will be far too good for the Warriors, who struggle to fire a shot most weeks. New Zealand have slipped to twelfth ahead of this Round 16 clash and with plenty of scope to continue sliding, in my opinion.

Cronulla Sharks vs Brisbane Broncos
Sharks (-8.5)

Round 16 draws to a close in the Shire on Sunday afternoon and ironically, it could prove to be as bad a show as the reality series that shared its name a few years ago.

The Broncos are bad at full-strength, so it’s pretty tough to imagine how they’re going to fare away from home, and with five or six players from the Redhill Under 12’s in tow.

The Sharks have lost one to Origin, but other stars return and ultimately, there really isn’t a lot to say about this one, other than the 8.5-point line is probably way too short.