NRL Round 18 Tips & Preview

Boy I love the footy and boy I love being on this side of the representative period. It’s eight games a week with plenty on the line and that couldn’t possibly mean anything other than great betting.

The Broncos are puss, but they face another puss side to open the round on Thursday night so it should be a good contest. The Roosters and Knights were both awful last week but that should also make for a great contest on Saturday, while the Gold Coast Titans are due a win, right in time for the league-leading Storm to arrive in town.

Check out our full complement of NRL Round 18 tips below.

Brisbane Broncos vs Canterbury Bulldogs
Bulldogs (+7.5)

The Broncos found a new way to avoid winning in Round 17 and will surely be eager to drop more points when the Bulldogs arrive in Brisbane on Thursday night.

Yep, for the first time in a few years, a game ended in a draw after golden point extra time and above anything, it’s just another disappointing result for a Broncos side who are finding it increasingly difficult to catch the top eight.

The Dogs meanwhile recorded an impressive win over the Knights in Round 17, arguably their best of the season, and they’ll be quietly confident of doing a similar job on the Broncos. What was particularly impressive about the win was that they trailed at the break, scoreless, and didn’t let the head drop.

I’m just not sure that the Dogs have the fortitude to produce a couple of wins like that in a row, but they can certainly cover a big line as outsiders.

New Zealand Warriors vs Cronulla Sharks
Warriors to Win ($2.10)

The second half of last weekend’s lacklustre draw will be one of the first teams in action on Friday, when they host the Sharks at Mount Smart Stadium.

There isn’t a more untrustworthy side in the NRL, particularly from a betting perspective than the Warriors and boy, wasn’t that compounded last week when they bloody drew a game. They had the terrible Broncos on the ropes and still could not get the job done.

The Sharks are in quite a form slump. Quite a form slump. True to form, they did look as though they had the answers for the Storm last week, certainly for the first hour anyway, but everything fell off late, and they face another tough road assignment on Friday evening.

I really do not like this game at all, but I do think that the Warriors are slightly over the odds at their current price. How the Sharks could lose so many and maintain favouritism on the road is beyond me.

Penrith Panthers vs St George Illawarra Dragons
Panthers (-3.5)

A reasonably uninteresting affair has somehow found its way into the Friday night primetime slot and tens of people are sure to be excited when the Dragons travel to the foot of the mountains to take on the Panthers.

Haven’t the Panthers found a bit of form? I’ll bet everyone at HQ is breathing a sigh of relief and I think that we can all agree the best part of it all is that Gus Gould cannot take a skerrick of the praise. They’ve just been a different side since his demise, and they look a top eight team.

St George are not good and they face another task in the Panthers, but will face a task more often than not for the rest of the season. Last week’s loss to the Raiders was a typically forgettable affair and the end of the season cannot arrive quickly enough.

There’s still enough meat on the bone for me at $1.65, but a three-and-a-half-point line looks even better.

Suggested Same Game Multi: Panthers to Win, Under 37.5 Points, Euan Aitken Anytime Try – ($16.37)

Sydney Roosters vs Newcastle Knights
Knights (+8.5)

This should have been the game of the round and it very well still could be, but if the Roosters and  Knights carry their Round 17 form and mentality into Saturday afternoon’s meeting, it could be a looooong day at the office for all of us (I refer to my lounge as the office).

The Roosters are one of, if not the NRL’s best team on paper and their recent form has simply not been good enough. Losing to the Storm or the Bunnies is one thing, but completely dropping the stack at home and against a club that is as lowly as the Cowboys are in 2019 is damning.

The Knights were unlucky not to beat the Warriors when heavily depleted a fortnight ago and were offered a beautiful opportunity to win when the Bulldogs arrived in the Hunter but could not make it count. Very disappointing for their fans, as it tends to suggest they’re really not that up to it.

In theory the Roosters should be winning, but they are far, far too short in head to head betting, but now not trustworthy enough to take at the line.

 

Canberra Raiders vs Wests Tigers
Rapana Anytime Try

Two teams that play with plenty of hear will step out opposite each other on Saturday evening and we should be treated to a great game of footy.

The Green Machine are absolutely airborne at the moment and they are a live chance of finishing in the top four. They do currently sit third, but there’s plenty of water to go under the bridge before the finals and plenty of opportunities to bottle it. By saying they are a live top four hope, I’m offering a massive compliment.

The Tigers are tough to set your watch to, but boy are they capable of a big showing on their day and under the right conditions. I do think that in the chilly nation’s capital they might struggle a little bit, but there’s no doubt they’ll give it a red-hot crack and ultimately, wouldn’t look out of place winning.

North Queensland Cowboys vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
Rabbitohs (-4.5)

The action heads north on Saturday night and a stadium full of North Queenslanders, who haven’t had a lot to cheer about in any of the game’s formats in 2019, attempt to steer the Cowboys to a memorable win over the second-placed Rabbitohs.

Let’s face it – Souths have been winning, but not always well and they were extremely lucky to get away with the win over Manly last week. Luckily for them, they face a worse opposition in the form of the Cows. They really should be winning this, and comfortably.

The Cows, to their credit, recorded a tough win over the Roosters last week, but can they really do enough to beat two top four sides, two weeks in a row? The short answer is no, and I simply do not have the time or desire to expand on that.

Gold Coast Titans vs Melbourne Storm
Titans to Win ($3.90)

You need only click through to this week’s Titans Tips article at the conveniently positioned link below to know my thoughts on this match and where the value lies.

Spoiler warning: It’s everywhere. The value, that is. You’ll also be able to tell from the tip included here that I am more than confident the Titans will lift, in honour of Garth Brennan.

CHECK OUT THIS WEEK’S TITANS TIPS HERE

Manly Sea Eagles vs Parramatta Eels
Sea Eagles (-5.5)

One of the better seventies and eighties rivalries and it’s always a good contest when the Sea Eagles and Eels meet in a Sunday afternoon timeslot.

The Sea Eagles have been insanely good. Sure, you might say ‘well they lost last week, have lost several times and are only fifth on the ladder, how can they be insanely good?’ Well, they’ve largely done it without Tom Trbojevic and several times without DCE. With both fit and in tow, they are a legit chance of winning the whole thing. Argue with me, I don’t care. I’ll link back to this in ten weeks’ time.

The Eels are extremely difficult to put the finger on, but to their credit they remain in the top eight and were last start winners, at the expense of the Tigers. They are over the odds in head-to-head betting, but I personally cannot have them.

Suggested Same Game Multi: Sea Eagles to Win, Turbo Anytime Try, First Try Converted (Yes) – ($3.36)