The NRL is gearing up for a wet and wild Magic Round, with torrential rain forecast in Brisbane throughout a weekend where all 16 teams will line up at Suncorp Stadium over three days.
Match-up-wise there’s some doozies on the docket: the Broncos chasing four straight when they face the Sea Eagles, a potential grand final preview between the Storm and Panthers, and a Roosters-Eels blockbuster.
Put on your ponchos and wade into the eight Magic Round showdowns.
Friday May 13, 6:00pm, Suncorp Stadium
The wind from a rousing Round 8 upset of Sydney Roosters was sucked right out of Canterbury’s sails via a 14-4 loss in Canberra last Friday.
A few gilt-edged opportunities early on went to waste and the Bulldogs failed to fire a shot in the second half, while there were some glaring defensive lapses against a depleted opponent.
The positives were Matt Burton and Josh Addo-Carr, who are settling into their roles as marquee men in a battling team after being role-players in dominant sides.
Fellow 2-7 strugglers Newcastle received no respite in Round 9, sinking to a seventh straight loss (six of which have come by 18-plus margins) against North Queensland, 36-16.
After scoring just two penalty goals in their previous two outings, the Knights led at halftime before being outscored 24-0 in the second stanza.
Under-fire Kalyn Ponga’s busy, dynamic performance was a plus, while David Klemmer led an improved middle-forward effort.
The Knights are boosted by the return of Mitch Barnett and Adam Clune, but rep veterans Tyson Frizell and Dane Gagai remain out, while the Bulldogs’ only change sees Chris Patolo come in for Ava Seumanufagai.
The Bulldogs have won eight of the teams’ last 11 clashes, but the Knights won both encounters last season – 32-16 at home in Round 1 and 22-16 on the Gold Coast in Round 23.
Eight of the clubs’ last 11 matches were decided by 1-12 margins and had totals of 38 points or less.
Both teams struggle to score points – the Bulldogs chalk up an NRL-worst 10 per game, while the Knights’ average of 12 points per game ranks 15th in the comp.
After leaking 125 points in the past three rounds, the Knights also have the league’s poorest defensive record.
On a dry track this would shape as an ideal match-up for a rejuvenated Ponga to pick the Bulldogs apart.
But the conditions make this a flip of the coin, though the blue-and-whites look under the odds as $1.65 favourites.
Tip: Back Under 35.5 Total Points @ $1.90
SGM: KNIGHTS +3.5 / JOSH ADDO-CARR ANYTIME TRY SCORER / BULLDOGS UNDER 18.5 @ $8.02
Manly Sea Eagles
Friday May 13, 8:05pm, Suncorp Stadium
With Adam Reynolds pulling the strings and a talented backline firing, Brisbane appears to have turned a corner and is on the cusp of four straight wins for the first time in five years.
Reynolds has been at forefront as the Broncos recorded a fast-finishing win over the Bulldogs, upset the red-hot Sharks and thumped the Rabbitohs.
Selwyn Cobbo notched an eye-catching double in the 32-12 defeat of Souths, while Patrick Carrigan superbly led a Haas-less pack in a points victory over a vaunted engine-room.
Manly followed up a stoic 12-man loss to Souths with a convincing 36-22 defeat of Wests Tigers last Saturday.
Two-try second-row tyro Ben Trbojevic gobbled up the headlines, but it was another Daly Cherry-Evans master-class that underpinned the result.
Both teams are 5-4 and among the NRL’s more reliable teams of recent weeks.
Haumole Olakau’atu is a big in for the Sea Eagles, which sees Ben Trbojevic move out to centre.
Origin forwards Payne Haas and Kurt Capewell are back for the Broncos.
Brisbane has won six of its last eight against Manly at Suncorp, but the Sea Eagles carved out a 50-6 victory at Magic Round in 2021 with an unstoppable Tom Trbojevic scoring two tries.
Speed out wide and a propensity for shifting the ball, a powerful middle-forward contingent and dangerous ball-runners on the edges are shared traits between these combatants.
The Sea Eagles have a clear advantage at fullback and via the on-fire DCE-Foran combination, but this should go down to the wire if the Broncos maintain their defensive improvement.
Tip: Back the Sea Eagles to Win by 1-6 @ $5.50
SGM: EITHER TEAM BY LESS THAN 10.5 POINTS / UNDER 37.5 POINTS / DYLAN WALKER ANYTIME TRY SCORER / HERBIE FARNWORTH ANYTIME TRY SCORER @ $74.24
New Zealand Warriors
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Saturday May 14, 3:00pm, Suncorp Stadium
It’s hard to fathom how the Warriors have four wins on the board this season in the wake of their 70-10 Anzac Day defeat and a humiliating 29-10 loss to a 12-man Cronulla.
The Warriors had no idea how to capitalise on their advantage, with Shaun Johnson turning in an absolute shocker.
Tohu Harris returns from a 10-month layoff to add much-needed calm and leadership to an embattled team, while Marcelo Montoya is back from a four-week suspension in a key boost to a low-quality backline.
Meanwhile, Souths’ post-Bennett, post-Reynolds growing pains continue, slumping to a 32-12 grudge match loss to Brisbane last week.
Rookie No.7 Lachlan Ilias has been one of the 4-5 Rabbitohs’ more impressive competitors week to week, but Cody Walker is struggling in the role of senior playmaker.
Errors are killing Souths’ progress, while their defensive performance against the Broncos was comfortably their worst this season.
Cameron Murray’s absence won’t help, but Jacob Host and Thomas Burgess return to reinforce the pack. Ex-Warrior Kodi Nikorima comes straight onto the Bunnies’ bench.
The Rabbitohs have won 11 of their last 12 against the Warriors – nine by margins of 17-plus – including the last five straight. Last season Souths ran in 11 tries in a 60-22 thrashing on the Sunshine Coast.
Savaged by the media and their own fans, expect to see a similar resolve that carried the Warriors to a somewhat lucky golden point win over the Raiders after the Melbourne debacle.
But the days of the Warriors bouncing back from a horrific loss with a world-beating display are long gone.
There’s a far lower ceiling on their inconsistency these days under Nathan Brown, while Reece Walsh is the only Warriors player resembling an elite attacking talent.
If South Sydney has genuine designs on a fifth straight finals appearance, it will grind the confidence-sapped Warriors down for a comfortable victory.
Tip: Back the Rabbitohs to Cover the Line (-6.5 Points) @ $1.90
SGM: RABBITOHS TO WIN BOTH HALVES / WARRIORS UNDER 15.5 POINTS / RABBITOHS BY MORE THAN 10.5 POINTS / TAANE MILNE ANYTIME TRY SCORER @ $6.37
Gold Coast Titans
St George-Illawarra Dragons
Saturday May 14, 5:30pm, Suncorp Stadium
Gold Coast is on a five-match losing streak and the hopeful signs of improvement in a plucky 18-4 loss to Penrith went out the window in a 44-16 defeat to a Roosters side that had hardly been setting the NRL alight.
Kieran Foran may be just what this inexperienced line-up needs, but his 2023 signing announcement may have a detrimental immediate impact on a young spine that is already struggling.
Jayden Campbell returns at fullback for the first time since Round 3, pushing AJ Brimson back to five-eighth and Will Smith out.
Phil Sami and Jamayne Isaako replace Greg Marzhew and Corey Thompson on the wings, while Esan Marsters is also back at centre and Kevin Proctor has been dropped.
St George Illawarra’s three-game tear ended abruptly courtesy of a 42-6 loss in Melbourne. The Dragons hung tough for 55 minutes before getting overrun by the relentless Storm.
Given the way the Storm have been dismantling all and sundry, the result shouldn’t impact the Saints’ (albeit modest) recent improvement.
The Titans are chasing three straight wins over the Saints for the first time in their history.
They chalked up their biggest victory over the joint venture in Round 19 last year, with Toby Sexton scoring 16 points on debut in a 32-10 result.
The unchanged Dragons should do it relatively easy here and it’s a surprise to see these teams at even money given the Titans are a shambles and a constantly changing line-up won’t be helping.
Ben Hunt has had a fabulous season and is head and shoulders above any player taking the field in this match; follow his lead, and the Saints will get the two points.
Tip: Back the Dragons to Win @ $1.90
SGM: DRAGONS BY MORE THAN 6.5 POINTS / UNDER 39.5 POINTS / MOSES SULI ANYTIME TRY SCORER @ $15.24
Saturday May 14, 7:45pm, Suncorp Stadium
It’s arguably the most anticipated game of the season so far, with Magic Round providing the stage for the NRL front-runners’ third straight encounter in Brisbane.
The Panthers have won four of their last seven against the Storm – after losing 17 of 18 clashes between the clubs from 2006-17.
Last season Penrith won 12-10 at home in Round 3, Melbourne thumped a Cleary-less opponent 37-10 in Round 20 at Suncorp, and the Panthers pulled off an epic 10-6 preliminary final victory, again at Suncorp.
Both teams are 8-1 and boast outrageous points differentials.
The Storm have been especially ruthless of late, scoring 30-plus points in their last six games and outscoring their hapless opposition 162-18 over the past three weeks.
But an injury to Ryan Papenhuyzen is a bit of a buzz-killer ahead of this marquee showdown; Nick Meaney moves to fullback with Dean Ieremia coming in on the wing while Marion Seve replaces the injured Reimis Smith in the centres.
The Panthers finally suffered their first loss of 2022, edged 22-20 by the Eels last Friday in a high-quality showdown.
That defeat followed on from a somewhat underwhelming win over the Titans in Round 8 – but the premiers will lift a gear for this blockbuster.
Papenhuyzen’s absence has promoted the Panthers into $1.68 favouritism and shapes as the key difference between two sides that match up incredibly evenly across the park.
The Storm are still laced with blue-chip performers, though, and it’s hard to conceive anything but an absorbing arm-wrestle when the two best attacking and defensive teams meet.
Tip: Back Either Team to Win by Less Than 6.5 Points @ $2.50
SGM: PANTHERS 1-12 / BRIAN TO’O ANYTIME TRY SCORER / UNDER 35.5 POINTS @ $10.95
Sunday May 15, 1:50pm, Suncorp Stadium
Cronulla is coming off a famous win, blitzing the Warriors 29-10 despite a first-half send-off and a second-half sin-bin.
Nicho Hynes was sublime, Connor Tracey returned to first grade with a double and the Sharks’ pack won the territory battle after a flat team performance against Brisbane.
The fallout from the Sharks’ heroic victory is that Will Kennedy and Jesse Ramien are out suspended.
Craig Fitzgibbon has moved Hynes to fullback with Braydon Trindall to don the No.7, while Ronaldo Mulitalo’s return allows Tracey to shift to centre and Royce Hunt has been named on the bench at Andrew Fifita’s expense.
Canberra relieved the pressure of a five-match losing streak with a 14-4 win over Canterbury in Round 9.
While it was hardly a performance to signal a permanent turnaround, there was a lot to like about the Raiders’ defensive attitude, the stand-in display from five-eighth Matt Frawley, and the efforts of Adam Elliott and Elliott Whitehead.
The luckless Jarrod Croker has been replaced in the centres by Sebastian Kris, with Xavier Savage returning to the bench.
Canberra bagged a thrilling 24-19 win over Cronulla at home in Round 1, blowing a big lead before Hudson Young scored the match-winner with five to go to seal the Raiders’ seventh consecutive win over the Sharks.
Plenty has changed for both clubs since, however, with the Sharks – Magic Round’s shortest favourites – may miss Hynes’ control at halfback, he’ll cause the Raiders no shortage of problems in the custodian role and their firepower and fluency of their shifts should be too much for Ricky’s Raiders.
Tip: Back the Sharks to Win by 13+ @ $2.05
SGM: SHARKS WIN / RAIDERS UNDER 12.5 / SIOSIFA TALAKAI ANYTIME TRY SCORER / CONNOR TRACEY ANYTIME TRY SCORER @ $11.18
Sunday May 15, 4:05pm, Suncorp Stadium
After a pair of low-scoring losses to the Dragons and Bulldogs, the Roosters blew out some cobwebs with their best attacking display of the season in a 44-16 drubbing of the Titans.
It was far from their projected best, but James Tedesco finished with a hat-trick and Joseph Suaalii and Daniel Tupou notched doubles in a nice palate-cleanser.
Parramatta, meanwhile, responded to a dismal loss to North Queensland in Darwin by inflicting Penrith’s first defeat of 2022, the Eels were brilliant with the ball at times, ultra-gritty without it at others and thoroughly deserved their victory.
Junior Paulo, Ryan Matterson, Clint Gutherson and Dylan Brown were nothing short of magnificent – and several teammates weren’t far behind.
The Roosters will be without Sam Verrills, who is replaced at hooker by Connor Watson. Lindsay Collins is suspended. The Eels are unchanged.
The Roosters have won 15 of their last 19 against the Eels, but honours were shared in 2021.
Parra earned an impressive 31-18 home victory in Round 9, before the Tricolours powered to 28-0 shutout in Round 20.
The Roosters’ sizzling attack on the edges last week may have the Eels worried, though their makeshift backline held together impressively in defence at Penrith.
The blue-and-golds have shown that reputations mean little to them with upsets of the Storm and Panthers; the Roosters’ overall formline won’t be enough to prevent them from becoming another notch on the Parramatta belt.
Tip: Back the Eels to Win by 1-12 @ $2.75
SGM: EITHER TEAM BY LESS THAN 10.5 POINTS / UNDER 39.5 POINTS / JOSEPH SUAALII ANYTIME TRY SCORER / SHAUN LANE ANYTIME TRY SCORER @ $44.00
North Queensland Cowboys
Sunday May 15, 6:25pm, Suncorp Stadium
North Queensland has not won five straight matches since early-2016, but the Cowboys are strongly favoured to achieve that feat in the Magic Round closer after racking up wins over the Titans, Eels and Knights by 20-plus margins in the past three weeks.
The third-placed Cowboys took longer than expected to get on top of the struggling Knights, but they scored 24 unanswered second-half points to run away with a 36-16 win as Chad Townsend’s vintage form run continued and the likes of Tom Dearden, Scott Drinkwater and Jeremiah Nanai shone brightly yet again.
Wests Tigers are 2-7, with their twin field goal wins leading into consecutive losses to the Dragons (12-6) and Sea Eagles (36-22).
There were positives to come from both defeats and the Tigers are still vastly improved from the rabble that went 0-5.
Luciano Leilua returns for the Tigers to face the club he will join in 2023, with Thomas Mikaele (head knock) dropping out and the Cowboys are unchanged.
The Tigers boast seven wins from their last nine encounters with the Cowboys and have won three straight in Queensland.
Last season the Cowboys prevailed 34-30 at Leichhardt Oval in Round 5, but the Tigers got up 24-16 in Townsville in Round 22.
The Cowboys are humming, playing as a confident, cohesive and committed unit.
They’ve discovered grit in defence and patience with the ball, as well as being one of the fitter-looking teams in the NRL – as their 110-37 second-half record in 2022 would imply and the Tigers will be doing well to keep this one close.
Tip: Back the Cowboys to Cover the Line (-8.5 Points) @ $1.90
SGM: COWBOYS WIN / TIGERS UNDER 14.5 / 2ND HALF COWBOYS -4.5 / PETA HIKU ANYTIME TRY SCORER @ $10.06
The NRL’s annual Magic Round kicks off on Friday night from Suncorp Stadium and there are eight quality games of football to choose from across the entire weekend.
As far as highlights go, it’s all happening on Sunday afternoon with three top-eight blockbusters scheduled between the Warriors and the Eels, the Storm and the Dragons, and finally, the Titans and the Panthers.
Plenty is on the line this week with only 10 points separating first from tenth on the ladder, so be sure to find out who we’re tipping in our Magic Round Preview below!
Friday May 14, 6:00pm, Suncorp Stadium
Only four points separated the Tigers from the Knights when they met back in March and it would not be surprising if we get another high-scoring thriller again on Thursday night.
The scoreboard really didn’t do Wests any justice last week in their 36-28 loss to the Titans after Michael Maguire’s side came roaring home in the second half with three tries inside the final 20 minutes.
The Knights, meanwhile, came from behind themselves against the Raiders to snap a two-game skid with a convincing 24-16 win.
Newcastle’s forward line suffered another setback last week with Pasami Saulo injuring his leg, but there is good news on the Edrick Lee and Hymel Hunt front with both a chance at returning.
The Tigers could also look a little different this week with Tommy Talau’s suspension over, but even so, this does look Newcastle’s to lose with several key troops returning.
Newcastle made short work of the Bulldogs at Suncorp in last year’s Magic Round, and if they can knuckle down defensively like they did in the second half last week against Canberra, they should go a long way towards winning two straight.
Tip: Back the Knights to Cover the Line (-4.5 Points) @ $2.00
Manly Sea Eagles
Friday May 14, 8:05pm, Suncorp Stadium
A win would likely be enough to propel Manly back inside the eight this week as they set their sights on a feisty Broncos outfit looking to bounce-back from a one-point loss to the Cowboys.
The Sea Eagles recorded a gutsy win against the Warriors thanks to a big performance from Tom Trbjoevic and Jason Saab, but they probably haven’t forgotten about their 26-10 loss to Brisbane in the inaugural Magic Round at Suncorp two years ago.
Manly is technically the home side on Friday night, and they should get some revenge if Turbo has his way.
The star fullback has been the catalyst for Manly’s resurgence, and he will no doubt be hungry to add to his five-try total since returning from injury.
The Broncos can definitely hold their heads high after missing out on a sweep over their Queensland rivals by a single point last week, but this is still a much tougher test against a team with serious top eight credentials.
Manly has played to a 5-1 record as the home favourite in their last six games against the Broncos, a number they can certainly add to if they start fast on the scoresheet like they did last week.
Tip: Back Manly 1-12 @ $3.05
Saturday May 15, 3:00pm, Suncorp Stadium
A game against the cellar dwellers couldn’t have come at a better time for Ricky Stuart’s men.
The Raiders have been the talk of the town after their second half collapse against Newcastle last week – a worrying trend that now cost the Green Machine five consecutive losses.
Scoring points in the final 40 minutes has proven a massive challenge for Canberra all season, but the good news is the Bulldogs have had their own troubles stringing together two consecutive halves this year.
Injuries have also played a large part for both clubs this year, but there is some reprieve on the Raiders’ front with Jarrod Croker and Josh Hodgson both a chance to play.
As far as trends go, the Raiders have won four straight over the Dogs dating back to 2018, but it is worth noting that Canterbury has covered the line in five of its last seven games as the underdog against Canberra.
Overall, it’s really hard to feel confident in either team right now, but with Dylan Napa returning and the game being played on neutral turf at Suncorp, the Dogs aren’t a bad bet with some serious insurance on offer.
Tip: Back the Bulldogs to Cover the Line (+15.5 Points) @ $1.90
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Saturday May 15, 5:30pm, Suncorp Stadium
It’s only fitting that the Sharks and the Rabbitohs should meet this week after both sides were shutout in Round 9.
Cronulla, like so many before them, suffered a 48-0 defeat against the Panthers in Penrith, while the Rabbitohs laid a goose egg themselves in a forgettable 50-0 defeat against the Storm.
The Sharks have been a tough side to feel good about all year, so their loss is of much greater concern when you factor in the Rabbitohs were missing several of their key playmakers.
Unfortunately, that will again be the case this week for Wayne Bennett’s side with Latrell Mitchell and Josh Mansour still a week away, but even so, it’s difficult to see the Bunnies losing this game after suffering such an embarrassing defeat only a week earlier.
South Sydney has played to a strong 6-4 record on the back of a loss over the last 12 months to go with a 9-2 record as the away favourite.
After missing 45 tackles last week and struggling massively for possession, the Rabbitohs look a good bet to cover what is a very generous line.
Tip: Back the Rabbitohs to Cover the Line (-7.5 Points) @ $1.90
North Queensland Cowboys
Saturday May 15, 7:45pm, Suncorp Stadium
It’s fair to say a win could work wonders for both the Roosters and the Cowboys on Saturday night.
After coming up well short of the Eels last week, the tri-colours will be eager to bridge the gap between themselves and the Rabbitohs on the ladder, while the Cowboys could also venture closer to the eight with an upset.
These two clubs have been dealt their fair share of injuries throughout the year and things have only gotten worse as far as the Roosters are concerned.
Sydney will now be without Drew Huthison for the foreseeable future, leaving Trent Robinson well short on playmakers this week with Victor Radley also uncertain to play through concussion.
The Cowboys, on the other hand, are starting to return to full health.
Jason Taumalolo showed some promising signs in last week’s narrow win over Brisbane and there is also a good chance Hamiso Tabui-Fidow plays this week.
A come-from-behind win over Brisbane is tough to get excited about, but the Cowboys are a much better chance here than the +10.5 point line suggests.
The Cowboys are 4-1 in their last five games as the away underdog against the Roosters, so it’s worth taking North Queensland to keep this tight.
Tip: Back the Cowboys to Cover the Line (+10.5 Points) @ $1.90
New Zealand Warriors
Sunday May 16, 1:50pm, Suncorp Stadium
Second plays eighth on Saturday night in what is sure to be a high-flying affair.
The Eels made it four straight last week with a statement victory over the Roosters at Bankwest, while the Warriors continue to struggle to win back-to-back games after falling six points short to Manly.
No more than a converted try has separated these two clubs in their last two meetings, and it would not be surprising if we get another tight, high-scoring thriller this time around.
The Warriors have done well to keep their heads above water during their recent injury crisis, but there looks to be hope on the horizon with Euan Aitken and Ben Murdoch-Masila both expected back this week.
The Eels, meanwhile, will be without Dylan Brown, although there is a chance Nathan Brown and Waqa Blake return from respective injuries.
The market does suggest the Eels will be tough to beat, but the Warriors have proven time and time again that they are a worthwhile play on the back of a loss.
New Zealand has covered the line in 10 of its last 15 games following a previous defeat, making them a worthy play with some insurance on offer.
Tip: Back the Warriors to Cover the Line (+8 Points) @ $1.90
St George-Illawarra Dragons
Sunday May 16, 4:05pm, Suncorp Stadium
A second top eight battle is on the cards on Sunday between the red-hot Storm and the Dragons from Melbourne.
Craig Bellamy’s side again looks destined for a Grand Final rematch against the Panthers after scoring a half century last week against the Rabbitohs in a shutout, but the legendary head coach does need to ensure his side doesn’t overlook a Dragons outfit that recorded a big win of its own over the Bulldogs.
The Saints managed a win over the Storm when these two sides met last September, but that was against a half-strength Melbourne outfit resting up for the finals.
Unfortunately for coach Anthony Griffin, his men will now take on a full-strength Melbourne outfit that is also set to feature star fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen in his return from injury.
Of course, Papz might be the least of the Dragons’ concerns after Josh Addo-Carr scored six tries last week in the demolition job over Souths.
Either way, it’s been over three years since the Storm last lost a game at Suncorp, so this looks to be one of the safest bets of the round.
Tip: Back the Storm to Cover the Line (-15.5 Points) @ $1.90
Gold Coast Titans
Sunday May 16, 6:25pm, Suncorp Stadium
The Magic Round comes to a close on Sunday night with an intriguing battle between the Titans and the Panthers.
Justin Holbrook’s side picked up a crucial win last week against the Tigers to snap a three-game skid, while the Panthers remain undefeated in their last nine games.
Like most other sides, the Panthers have held the wood over the Titans in recent times winning four of their last five meetings, which is reason enough to believe Penrith can extend its remarkable unbeaten streak to ten in a row.
Ivan Cleary’s side is often praised for its ferocious attack, but it’s also easy to forget the Panthers are one of, it not the, toughest defensive side in the competition.
The Titans, on the other hand, continue to stumble their way through the season behind some sloppy turnovers and major defensive errors.
Gold Coast does have enough on attack to challenge, but when push comes to shove, this looks like a test the Titans aren’t capable of handling right now.
Tip: Back the Panthers to Win & Under 42.5 Total Points @ $1.80
The favourites have proven a valuable commodity over the last two rounds and there are once again plenty of opportunities for punters to cash-in this week.
Two top eight games headline Round 10 with the first coming nice and early on Thursday night between the Roosters and Raiders from the SCG.
The Rabbits and the Knights are the main attraction on Saturday as the battle between fifth and sixth promises to deliver, while the night-cap between Manly and Parramatta should be a doozy.
We’ve officially reached the half-way point of the season and with a back-log of teams still fighting for the eight, we’ve done all the hard work for you in our 2020 NRL Round 10 Preview below.
Thursday July 16 ,7:50pm, SCG
Things are about to get a whole lot tougher for the Raiders on Thursday as they narrowly cling to a spot inside the top eight.
Canberra’s injury concerns have grown even larger ahead of this week’s Grand Final rematch with Josh Hodgson and Bailey Simonsson suffering season-ending injuries in the loss to the Storm.
Sydney, meanwhile, overcame an early scare against the Cowboys to lay down a 42-16 beating up in North Queensland.
The Roosters are heavy favourites in the market with Brett Morris returning from a groin injury, while Jordan Rapana is set to replace Simonsson on the wing.
Morris returning likely leaves last week’s top performer Matt Ikuvalu as the odd man out, but it does provide the Roosters with an almost full-strength side against a battered and bruised Canberra outfit.
The Roosters do need to be wary of the Raiders though.
Canberra has typically responded well to previous defeats over the last 12 months playing to a 6-1 record head-to-head and a 4-1-2 record at the line.
It’s tough to take the Raiders outright, but don’t be surprised if Ricky Stuart’s team at least puts up a fight on Thursday night.
Tip: Back the Raiders to Cover the Line (+10.5 Points) @ $2.00
Gold Coast Titans
Friday July 17, 6:00pm, Sunshine Coast Stadium
The Titans’ bus will take a trip up the highway this week as the Storm host their first “home” game on the Sunshine Coast on Friday night.
After picking off the Warriors, Roosters and Raiders in succession, Craig Bellamy’s side can make it four on the trot but don’t expect the legendary coach to take this Titans outfit lightly.
The Gold Coast clawed their way back from a 12-0 deficit last week against the Warriors to walk away with their third win of the season.
It will take something very special for the Titans to upset the Storm in a similar fashion, but after a rebound performance from Tyrone Peachey last week, it’s certainly not out of the question.
Cameron Munster could potentially return to the Storm halves this week while the Titans are sweating on the HIA status of Ash Taylor.
Not surprisingly, Melbourne has won their last four games against the Titans, but it is worth noting Gold Coast has covered in five of the last seven.
With some of their own supporters sure to be in attendance, the $2.00 on offer for the Titans +18.5 is good value.
Tip: Back the Titans to Cover the Line (+18.5 Points) @ $2.00
Friday July 17, 7:55pm, Leichardt Oval
The Broncos are hoping to put the bad times behind them on Friday night as they look to build on last weeks victory over the cellar-dwelling Bulldogs.
Brisbane travels to Leichardt to face a Tigers team equally desperate to get their season back on track.
Wests strung together back-to-back wins over the Cowboys and Dogs to close out the month of June, but July hasn’t been quite so kind with back-to-back losses to the Panthers and Rabbitohs ensuing.
The Broncos looked very energetic on attack last week, although it is difficult to read too much into a win over the lowly Bulldogs.
Wests, meanwhile, continue to put in spirited performances with only sloppy stretches of play getting in the way of victory.
On the plus side, the Tigers do appear to be returning to full-strength, which likely explains the short odds on offer.
Josh Reynolds is back from his suspension, while Benji Marshall is also set to return to the side.
The Broncos, however, are much worse for wear after captain Alex Glenn suffered a knee injury last week that will cost him the next two months, while Katoni Staggs continues to battle through hamstring problems.
The one trend that has emerged between these two clubs recently is low-scoring games.
Each of the last four have gone Under the Total, so with the Broncos missing a few key names, don’t be surprised if this turns into a bit of a battle.
Tip: Under the Total
St George Illawarra Dragons
Saturday July 18, 3:00pm, WIN Stadium
A win this week for the Dragons would leave them knocking on the door for a top eight spot – a surprising turnaround for a club that looked doomed for the spoon only a month ago.
St George recorded a season-defining win last week against the understrength Sea Eagles, and with the hapless Bulldogs up next, coach Paul Macgregor should fancy his chances at making it two in a row.
The Dragons won’t be short on motivation, but if Macgregor is looking to give his side an extra edge, he only need to revert back to his side’s blowout Round 4 loss to the Bulldogs at Bankwest.
A lot has changed at St George since then though, particularly on the injury front.
The only real name the Dragons could be missing this week is Jordan Pereiera, who faces another possible suspension.
Considering the Dragons manhandled Manly last week, you could almost argue the (-8.5) line at time of publish is a little too short.
Tip: Back the Dragons to Cover the Line (-8.5 Points) @ $2.00
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Saturday July 18, 5:30pm, Bankwest Stadium
The Bunnies have hit a purple patch to start the month with back-to-back wins over the Bulldogs and Tigers, but they’re about to face a much tougher test on Saturday against a Knights team desperate for a return to form.
After defeating Manly the week before in a hard-fought battle, the Knights failed to show up last week against the Eels losing 10-4.
Prior to their 20-12 win over the Bunnies last year, Souths had the wood over Newcastle winning nine in a row.
Unfortunately for the Rabbitohs, they’ll take the field this week minus Latrell Mitchell, who’s serving a suspension for his run-in with Joey Leilua last week.
Mitchell’s absence opens the door for Alex Johnston to shift over to fullback, which could be seen as both a negative or a positive.
The Knights do represent value at the line though, especially considering they’ve covered in five of their nine games following a previous loss over the last calendar year.
With Sione Mata’utia potentially returning alongside Connor Watson, the +1.5 insurance is worth taking.
Tip: Back the Knights to Cover the Line (+1.5 Points) @ $2.00
Manly Sea Eagles
Saturday July 18, 7:35pm, Brookvale Oval
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to tip Manly with any confidence as they continue to battle their way through a long list of injuries.
The Sea Eagles were no match for the Dragons last week in what turned out to be a stunning 34-4 loss at Jubilee.
Meanwhile, in Newcastle, the Eels continued their winning ways by defeating the Knights 10-4 to improve to 8-1 on the season.
Brad Arthur could potentially name Mitchell Moses to the side this week, but with Dylan Walker Tom Trbojevic still a month away from returning, there’s no real need to rush things.
In terms of trends, the Eels have won their last two games over the Sea Eagles and they’ve also played to a perfect 2-0 record as the away favourite at the line against Manly.
You can never write the Sea Eagles off, especially at home – but this is a tough task against what is arguably the league’s top side.
Tip: Back the Eels to Cover the Line (-10 Points) @ $2.00
New Zealand Warriors
Sunday July 19, 2:00pm, Central Coast Stadium
The Sharks and the Warriors both have similar goals in mind this week after suffering respective losses in Round 9.
With a 12-0 lead early on, New Zealand took their foot off the gas against the Titans last week that ultimately allowed the Gold Coast to move equal on points on the ladder.
Things were a little tougher for the Sharks in their 56-24 loss to the Panthers highlighted by Charlie Staines’ five try performance on debut.
Both teams are welcoming back some key playmakers with Eliesa Katoa and Kodi Nikorima returning for the Warriors, and Ronaldo Mulitalo back from a knee injury for the Sharks.
These two teams have also been difficult to get a read on at times this season, but the Sharks have typically been a good betting play on the back of a previous loss winning five of their eight games over the last 12 months.
Tip: Back the Sharks 1-12 @ $2.75
North Queensland Cowboys
Sunday July 19, 4:05pm, Panthers Stadium
Penrith heads back to Panthers Stadium for the first time since Round 1 this week as they look to keep the pressure on the ladder leading Eels.
Ivan Cleary’s side piled on the points last week in their 56-24 win over the Sharks, but the bad news is exciting young rookie Charlie Staines is set to miss this clash as he serves a suspension for breaching the league’s COVID-19 policy.
The Cowboys, on the other hand, face another must-win game after they were annihilated by the Roosters last week.
To their credit, North Queensland did put up a fight in the early stages, but it’s difficult to have any confidence in the Cowboys here with Valentine Holmes set to miss another game with an ankle injury.
Penrith are really rolling right now and they should relish this opportunity to earn another two points.
The Panthers are 6-1-1 at home over the last 12 months and 3-2 at the line favourite against the Cowboys, so take Penrith to win big.
Tip: Back the Panthers to Cover the Line (-14.5 Points) @ $2.00
The dust has settled from a dazzling Magic Round and we’re still no closer to learning who might be headed to the finals.
There are only six points separating first from eighth, and just four points separating eighth from 16th on the NRL ladder.
This week, we turn our attention towards a Friday night blockbuster between the Broncos and the Roosters followed by a Saturday night thriller between the second place Rabbitohs and the fourth-place Raiders.
Picking winners continues to prove difficult in this topsy-turvy season, but we’re confident we’ve found some value in our 2019 Round 10 Preview below.
Thursday May 16, 7:50pm, AAMI Park
The Storm don’t lose back-to-back games very often, and as the Eels found out the hard way last week, Melbourne is still the premier side to beat in this year’s competition.
Melbourne’s 64-10 whitewash over Parramatta put the entire league on notice, and as they now head home to face the Tigers on Thursday night, it’s safe to say Wests coach Michael Maguire has a mammoth job ahead of him.
To their credit, the Tigers were also impressive at Suncorp disposing of the Panthers 30-4. Wests were all over the Panthers in the opening ten minutes, picking apart Penrith’s sloppy backline to score five unanswered tries.
Suncorp has become a stomping ground for the Tigers of late, and surprisingly enough, they haven’t fared too poorly at AAMI Park. The Tigers took care of the Storm in a 10-8 win in Round 2 last year, and if Maguire’s side can rely on the same kind of spark from Benji Marshall and Moses Mbye that we saw last week, there’s every chance Wests can keep this close.
Of course, as we’ve seen all year, consistent performances from the Tigers are far and few between. Wests struggled with the Roosters a fortnight ago, largely due to their inability to stop Sydney’s electrifying wingers.
The Storm possesses a similar calibre of talent, and while the Tigers can be dangerous around the goal line, Melbourne only needs to stretch the defence wide to pile on the points. Considering the Storm are yet to win a game at home by more than 10-points this season, it’s still worth backing this one to be close.
Tip: Back the Storm 1-12 @ $3.00
New Zealand Warriors
Friday May 17, 6:00pm, Panthers Stadium
It’s hard to win games of footy when you can’t get your hands on the ball, and it’s even more difficult when you miss 41 tackles.
That was the case last week for the Panthers in their 30-4 blowout to the Tigers. Penrith now finds themselves second last on the ladder above the Bulldogs, but the good news is this week’s game presents as an opportunity for Ivan Cleary’s side to turn their luck around.
The Warriors are just as miserable having won only three of their nine games. Last week’s 26-18 win over the Dragons was a stark reminder of how dangerous this team can be though, and if recent history is anything to go by, the scoreboard could be in for a bit of a workout.
These two sides met three times last season, two of which were won by the Panthers. The pair combined for an average score of 43-points across all three meetings, and despite their no-show last week against the Tigers, Penrith tend to turn up at Panthers Stadium.
Perhaps the most impressive part of last week’s Warriors win was their ability to weather the storm. It’s something we haven’t seen much from Stephen Kearney’s side this year, but after falling behind 10-0 after allowing a pair of highlight reel tries, the Warriors fought back strongly in the second half thanks to some Peta Hiku brilliance.
The Warriors are the underdog this week, but as we’ve seen over the last 18 months, New Zealand often saves their best for games on the road. The Warriors are 5-2 as the away underdog at the line over the last 12 months, but with their long history of high-scoring games, the Over looks to be the safer bet.
Tip: Over 39.5 Total Match Points @ $1.88
Friday May 17, 7:55pm, Suncorp Stadium
Things looked grim for the Broncos last week, at least up until the second half. Suddenly Anthony Seibold’s side switched things up a gear, and with it came a much-needed 26-10 win over Manly.
The Roosters got off to their usual fast start against the Raiders, but things got a little nervy as superstar fullback Latrell Mitchell left the field with a groin problem. The good news is last year’s Origin star has been cleared of any serious injury, but his loss was certainly felt on the field as the Raiders made a late run to score three unanswered tries.
The importance of this game can’t be stressed enough. Only four points separate fifth from 13th on the ladder, while a win could easily put the Broncos right back on the fringe of the eight.
As for the Roosters, the ladder leaders could easily distance themselves from the second place Rabbitohs this week, and if they can pile on the points like they did against the Broncos back in Round 4, this one could get ugly.
Seibold will take a lot away from that early season loss, and it doesn’t take a genius to work out what the Broncos must do to win this game. A fast start is key against a potent attacking side like the Roosters, but after failing to fire in the opening 20 minutes last week, Brisbane’s inability to play a full 80-minutes should cost them yet again.
Sydney, meanwhile, needs to focus on the small things. This fixture has always caused a few headaches, but the Roosters have still managed to win three of the last five meetings.
Sydney are 6-3 as the line favourite over the last 12 months, so take advantage of the generous spread.
Tip: Back the Roosters to Cover the Line (-6.5 Points) @ $1.90
Gold Coast Titans
Saturday May 18, 3:00pm, CBus Super Stadium
The Titans turned up for a fight last week against the Sharks only for some sloppy second-half defence to let them down.
Gold Coast piled on three tries in the first half to put Cronulla on edge, but the Sharks fought back behind Aaron Gray and Paul Gallen to walk away with a 26-18 victory.
Canterbury was the opposite last week against the Knights, capping off a scoreless first half with two consolation tries in the second to lose 22-10. The Bulldogs have now managed just 20-points over their last two games, making this cellar dweller clash even more interesting as the wooden spoon race heats up.
These two sides met only once last year in a 32-10 Titans victory in Sydney. The Dogs have won two of their four trips to CBUS Stadium, and despite their position on the ladder, there are a few stats worth noting if you wish to back a Dogs upset.
Dean Pay’s side is well short of attacking options, but did you know the Dogs lead the league in set completion? They are also top of the competition in offloads and tackles, which spells bad news for a Titans side holding a mediocre 1-1 record as the home favourite over the last 12 months.
The Bulldogs do rank bottom of the league in points scored, but the addition of Kieran Foran back into the side last week certainly helped the rest of Canterbury’s halves. With a 6-5 record as the line underdog on the road, back the Dogs to get the job done.
Tip: Back the Bulldogs to Cover the Line (+3.5 Points) @ $1.90
North Queensland Cowboys
Saturday May 18, 5:30pm, 1300Smiles Stadium
The Cowboys had a fighting chance last week against the Rabbitohs after scoring two crucial tries right before the half. In the end, the class of Damien Cook and Sam Burgess overwhelmed North Queensland in the 32-16 loss.
Head coach Paul Green can take plenty away from the result, and the same has to be said for the Eels following last week’s 64-10 demolition at the hands of the Storm. Parramatta looked slow and sluggish at Suncorp as they battled for possession, while a whopping 51 missed tackles cost the Eels any chance at keeping the game close.
A second-straight loss this week would be enough to send the Eels outside the eight. A win for the Cowboys, who sit just four points behind the Eels on the ladder, could see them inch closer to the top half of the table.
These two sides split their series one win apiece last year, but it was the Cowboys who came away with the last laugh securing a 44-6 win in the second last round of the season.
Neither side will read too much into last season’s affair, but it’s worth noting the Eels have managed only one win from their last four trips to North Queensland.
There’s also no doubting the Cowboys chances in this game. The forward line showed some real signs of improvement last week with a pair of gutsy tries before the break, and if North Queensland can play with a similar chip on its shoulder, the Eels might just add another loss to their 2-3 record on the road this year.
Tip: Back North Queensland To Win @ $1.70
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Saturday May 18, 7:35pm, GIO Stadium
This could be a potential finals preview between two top four sides.
The Rabbitohs survived a scare last week against the Cowboys to win 32-16. It was the Damien Cook show as the star hooker carved up North Queensland down the middle, while the defence stepped up in a big way after losing the possession battle.
Things weren’t quite so peachy for the Raiders on Sunday losing a close one to the Roosters. To their credit, Canberra battled on strongly in the second half to score three unanswered tries, but the damage had already been done in the opening term by injured fullback Latrell Mitchell.
Points should come easily in this contest considering both sides rank Top 5 in points, tries and possession. Recent history also suggests the scoreboard could be in for a workout with the last three meetings resulting in well over 30-points.
The Raiders have surprisingly won four of their last five meetings against the Rabbitohs, but even with home-field advantage, the Over is probably the safest play here.
Tip: Over 20.5 1st Half Total Points @ $1.91
St George-Illawarra Dragons
Sunday May 19, 2:00pm, Glen Willow Stadium, Mudgee
The Dragons were all over the Warriors last week at Suncorp scoring two tries inside the first 10-minutes to grab an early 10-0 lead.
Things went south very quickly though as the Warriors fought back to hold Paul McGregor’s side scoreless in the second half, sending the Dragons to 10th on the ladder behind the very same Knights side they’ll face this weekend.
Newcastle have quietly been checking all the boxes over the last month – particularly in the win column. The Knights have strung together three-straight on the trot, and if they can pull off a huge upset on the road this week, Newcastle can likely rejoin the Top 8 with their season back on track.
Unfortunately, the Knights have seen very little success on the road against St. George over the last decade, while they’ve also won just one of the last five meetings.
On the plus side, the Dragons do look a little over the odds at this price. St. George are 5-2 as the home favourite against the Knights, and if they put last week’s second-half disappearance behind them, it’s worth trusting the Dragons’ kicking game to get the job done with a strong home-field advantage.
Tip: Back the Dragons to Win @ $1.70
Manly Sea Eagles
Sunday May 19, 4:05pm, Western Sydney Stadium
Paul Gallen is doing alright for a 37-year-old.
The Sharks’ second rower put the team on his back last week scoring a crucial 79th minute try to ice a 26-18 win over the Titans at Suncorp.
There was no such luck for Manly, however, as the injury bug once again stung Des Hasler’s side with the loss of Toafofoa Sipley to a knee injury.
The Sea Eagles have fought gallantly without the likes of Tom Trbojevic and Daly Cherry Evans over the last month, but the injury toll might finally be catching up. Manly struggled to contain the Broncos’ forward line last week, and despite owning two-straight wins over the Sharks, nothing will come easy against Cronulla’s defence.
Home-field advantage has played a big part in Cronulla’s season so far. The Sharks have lost just one of their four games at Shark Park, but Manly will enter this game with confidence knowing they’ve won four of the last five meetings.
Still, the Sharks have recovered from their early-season offensive woes to keep teams guessing. Cronulla leads the league in decoy runs and rank second in offloads, two problem areas that arose during Manly’s loss to Brisbane last week.
You can’t take the Sharks head-to-head at this price, but there’s some value to be found in the margin market considering they’ve won 12 games by 1-12 points over the last 12 months.
Tip: Back the Sharks 1-12 @ $3.00
The Suncorp Stadium double-header has become a staple of the NRL calendar and we are set for a feast of football on Saturday night.
The Gold Coast Titans stunned the Melbourne Storm in this fixture last year and they are a massive price to do the same this weekend, while the Brisbane Broncos are expected to account for the struggling Manly Sea Eagles.
There are a host of other big games this weekend and we have selections for every single one of them – our complete 2018 NRL Round 10 tips can be found below.
North Queensland Cowboys
Thursday 10 May, 7:50pm, Leichhardt Oval
This is one of the most interesting fixtures of the weekend.
The North Queensland Cowboys returned to winning form with an impressive display against the Penrith Panthers, but they have since been distracted by the off-field incident involving veteran prop Scott Bolton.
Another issue for the Cowboys is their disastrous record at Leichhardt Oval – they have won only one of their nine games at the venue and amazingly Johnathan Thurston has never won a game at the ground.
North Queensland will still go into this clash as favourites and they have won three of their past four games as away favourites, while they have covered the line in each of these wins.
The wheels have fallen off the Wests Tigers bus in the past three weeks and they head into this clash on the back of a heavy defeat at the hands of the New Zealand Warriors.
The Tigers have won three of their past nine games as home underdogs and they are 5-4 against the line in this scenario.
The betting play that does appeal in this clash is the Under in Total Points betting.
Backing the Under has been a profitable betting play in games involving either of these teams over the past 12 months and the Under has saluted in the past four games between these two sides.
Back Under 37.5 Points
Friday 11 May, 6:00pm, McDonald Jones Stadium
The Penrith Panthers have won their past four games against the Newcastle Knights and they will go into this clash as favourites.
Penrith were slow out of the gates against the North Queensland Cowboys and that cost them victory, but there was still a fair bit to like about the way they responded in the second half.
Winning away from home has been something of an issue for the Panthers and they have won only three of their past seven games as away favourites, while they are 2-5 against the line in this scenario.
Newcastle produced one of their worst performances of the season to go down to the South Sydney Rabbitohs and it was clear that they missed the composure offered by Mitchell Pearce.
The Knights have won three of their past eight games as home underdogs for a profit and they are 5-3 against the line in this scenario.
I think that this will be a very close affair and the Knights are good value to cover the line with a start of 3.5 points.
Back Newcastle To Cover The Line (+3.5 Points)
Friday 11 May, 7:55pm, ANZ Stadium
It has been a tough start to the season for both these sides.
The Parramatta Eels always managed to pull-off one of the comebacks of the season against the Cronulla Sharks last weekend and they will go into this clash as narrow favourites.
Parramatta have shown some signs of life over the past month and they have won eight of their past 11 games as favourites.
A cruel late penalty resigned the Canterbury Bulldogs to their third straight loss and they really are struggling to close out games this season.
The Bulldogs have won six of their past 22 games as underdogs for a loss and they are 10-12 when giving away a start.
Parramatta have definitely improved after their slow start to the season and they should prove too strong for the Bulldogs.
Back Parramatta To Win @ $1.80
New Zealand Warriors
Saturday 12 May, 3:00pm, Mt Smart Stadium
The New Zealand Warriors stamped themselves as the real deal when they beat the Sydney Roosters earlier this season and they will start this clash as clear favourites.
New Zealand bounced back from their heavy loss at the hands of the Melbourne Storm with a big win over the Wests Tigers and they have won their past four games against the Roosters.
The Warriors have won five of their past eight games as home favourites and they have covered the line in each of those wins.
The Sydney Roosters may have beaten the Manly Sea Eagles last weekend, but their performance still left plenty to be desired.
They have lost their past four games as away underdogs and they are a middling 2-2 against the line in this scenario.
The Roosters middle defence has proven to be particularly soft in recent weeks and this is an area that the Warriors will be able to exploit.
Back New Zealand To Cover The Line (-2.5 Points)
Gold Coast Titans
Saturday 12 May, 5:30pm, Suncorp Stadium
This is the first leg of the Suncorp Stadium double-header.
The Gold Coast Titans scored a stunning upset win over the Melbourne Storm in this fixture 12 months ago, but it is the Storm that will still start this clash as clear favourites.
Melbourne were no match for a rampant St George Illawarra Dragons last weekend and they have only suffered back-to-back losses in three seasons.
The Storm have won 19 of their past 23 games as favourites and they are 14-9 against the line in this scenario.
Gold Coast have now lost four games on the trot and it doesn’t get any easier for them against the Storm.
They have won only two of their past 12 games as away underdogs and their record against the line isn’t much better.
Melbourne are a safe bet to return to winning form and it really wouldn’t surprise to see them put up a big score.
Back Melbourne To Cover The Line (-14.5 Points)
Manly Sea Eagles
Saturday 12 May, 7:35pm, Suncorp Stadium
There is no coach in the NRL under more pressure than Trent Barrett.
The Manly Sea Eagles stormed out of the gates against the Sydney Roosters, but they were unable to play out the full 80 minutes and slumped to their fifth loss on the trot.
This is officially a Manly home-game, but they will obviously be at a disadvantage at Suncorp Stadium and they have won only two of their past six games as away underdogs, while they are a middling 3-3 against the line in this scenario.
The Brisbane Broncos didn’t play well against Canterbury Bulldogs, but they still managed to come away with the two points and they have been able to find a way to win in recent weeks.
Brisbane have won seven of their past nine games as home favourites for a clear profit and they are a middling 4-4 against the line in this scenario.
This is a game that the Broncos should win, but they won’t have things their own way.
Back Brisbane To Win By 1-12 @ $2.75
South Sydney Rabbitohs
St George Illawarra Dragons
Sunday 13 May, 2:00pm, ANZ Stadium
The St George Illawarra Dragons cemented themselves as premiership favourites with their big week over the Melbourne Storm last Sunday afternoon and they played some outstanding rugby league in the process.
The Dragons recorded a narrow win over the Rabbitohs just over a month ago and they will go into this clash as clear favourites.
Winning away from OKI Jubilee or WIN Stadium has been something of an issue for the Dragons and they have won only one of their past five games as away favourites.
South Sydney returned to winning form with an emphatic victory over the Newcastle Knights last weekend and they have won five of their past seven games.
The Rabbitohs have won two of their past four games as home underdogs for a clear profit and they are 3-1 against the line in this scenario.
South Sydney gave the Dragons a genuine scare when they met a month ago and I expect this clash to also be closer than the current betting market suggests.
Back South Sydney To Cover The Line (+6.5 Points)
Sunday 13 May, 4:10pm, GIO Stadium
The Canberra Raiders have got themselves back into finals contention following their slow start to the year and they will start this clash with the Cronulla Sharks as clear favourites.
Canberra made it four wins from their past five games with a victory over the Gold Coast Titans and they played some excellent rugby league in the process.
The Raiders have won six of their past 11 games as home favourites for a loss and they are a poor 4-7 against the line in this scenario.
Amazingly, the away side has won the past nine games played between the Raiders and the Sharks and winning in Canberra hasn’t been an issue for Cronulla.
The Sharks have won three games in a row without playing particularly well, but they simply keep finding a way to win.
They have won four of their past five games as underdogs as well as six of their past ten games away from home.
There is not as much between these two teams as the current betting market suggests and the Sharks have an excellent chance to record an upset win.
Back Cronulla To Win @ $2.40
The NRL is back after an exciting – if not controversial – representative weekend.
On-field matters will hopefully dominate the headlines this weekend and we are set for a number of exciting games spread right across the round, which is highlighted by the big double-header at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday involving the Melbourne Storm, Gold Coast Titans, Manly Sea Eagles and Brisbane Broncos.
There are plenty of excellent NRL betting opportunities spread right across the weekend and you can find our complete NRL Round 10 tips below.
North Queensland Cowboys
Thursday 11 May, 7:50pm, ANZ Stadium
Canterbury Bulldogs 14 - North Queensland 30
The North Queensland Cowboys will go into this clash without Johnathan Thurston and it should come as no surprise that the Canterbury Bulldogs will start this clash as favourites.
Canterbury went into the representative weekend on the back of a fighting victory over the Canberra Raiders and they have now won four of their past five games.
Their recent record against the Cowboys is poor – North Queensland have won the past four games played between these two sides – but the Bulldogs have won five of their past six games as home favourites for a clear profit.
Thurston suffered a shoulder injury during the Anzac Test against New Zealand and that is a huge blow for a Cowboys outfit that has struggled badly without their leader in the side.
North Queensland were awful in their most recent clash against the Parramatta Eels and they have won only one of their past five games as away underdogs.
Canterbury should really win this game, but there is no value at their current price and the real value lies in the Total Points betting market.
The Under has saluted in 18 of the past 27 games played by North Queensland and they really do struggle to score points without Thurston in the side, while the Under has been a profitable betting play in Bulldogs games this season.
Back Under 38.5 Points
St George Dragons
Friday 12 May, 6:00pm, Jubilee Oval
St George Illawarra Dragons 14 - Cronulla Sharks 18
This is one of the most interesting editions of the Battle Of The Shire for some time as both teams currently sit inside the top four.
The Cronulla Sharks went into the representative weekend on the back of a win over the Wests Tigers and they have won five of their past six games in impressive fashion.
Cronulla’s overall record away from home has been positive this season, but they have won only four of their past seven games as home favourites and they are 3-4 against the line in this scenario.
The St George Illawarra Dragons have fallen off their perch at the top of the NRL ladder after suffering back-to-back defeats at the hands of the Sydney Roosters and the Melbourne Storm.
St George were able to beat Cronulla when they met earlier this season, but their record as home underdogs really does not inspire a great deal of confidence.
The Dragons have won only two of their past eight games as home underdogs and they are 3-5 against the line in this scenario.
This is another clash in which the best betting value lies with the Under.
Less than 35.5 points has been scored in six of the past eight games played between these two sides and the Under really does stand out.
Back Under 35.5 Points
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Friday 12 May, 7:50pm, ANZ Stadium
Wests Tigers 8 - South Sydney Rabbitohs 28
It has not been a particularly happy start to the season for either the Wests Tigers or the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the market has struggled to split these two sides.
South Sydney went into the representative weekend on the back of a hiding at the hands of the Manly Sea Eagles, but they will still start this clash as favourites.
South Sydney have won only three of their past seven games as favourites and they really are a very tough side to trust from a betting perspective.
Wests started their season with a most impressive win over South Sydney, but they have struggled for consistency ever since.
There is no doubt that they have shown some improvement since Ivan Cleary took over as coach and they will take confidence from the fact that they have won their past four meetings with the Rabbitohs.
It is impossible to back South Sydney on the back of their last-start effort and the Wests Tigers really do offer genuine value at their current price.
Back Wests Tigers To Win @ $2
New Zealand Warriors
Saturday 13 May, 3:00pm, Pepper Stadium
Penrith Panthers 36 - New Zealand Warriors 28
This is another game where the market has struggled to separate the two sides.
It has been a horror run for the Penrith Panthers and they have lost five games on the trot, but they will still go into this game with the New Zealand Warriors as narrow favourites.
The Panthers have proven to be incredibly difficult to trust from a betting standpoint so far this season and they are now 6-6 against the line as home favourites for a narrow loss.
New Zealand produced their best performance of the season to beat the Sydney Roosters, but as appears to be the case every season they still struggle for consistency.
Winning in Australia has proven to be particularly tough for the Warriors and they have won only one of their past eight games as away underdogs, while they are 4-4 against the line in this situation.
These are two teams that are incredibly tough to trust from a betting perspective and I am more than happy to stay out of this clash.
Gold Coast Titans
Saturday 13 May, 5:30pm, Suncorp Stadium
Melbourne Storm 36 - Gold Coast Titans 38
This is the first game of the double-header at Suncorp Stadium.
The Melbourne Storm have elected to take their home game to Suncorp Stadium, but it really shouldn’t be an issue for the Storm and they will start this clash as clear favourites.
Melbourne have lost just the one game this season and they continue to be one of the most reliable betting teams in the NRL – they have won 20 of their past 24 games and they are 13-11 against the line when giving away a start.
The Gold Coast Titans have found a semblance of their best form following their slow start to the season and they go into this clash with Melbourne on the back of two wins over the Cronulla Sharks and the Newcastle Knights.
Gold Coast have won five of their past past 15 games as underdogs for a profit and they are a most impressive 9-6 against the line in this scenario.
Melbourne really should be able to come away with the victory, but there is no value at their current price and this is another clash that I am happy to stay out of from a betting standpoint.
Manly Sea Eagles
Saturday 13 May, 7:50pm, Suncorp Stadium
Manly Sea Eagles 14 - Brisbane Broncos 24
This is technically a home game for the Manly Sea Eagles, but it is the Brisbane Broncos that will be playing in front of their rapid home fans at Suncorp Stadium.
Brisbane made it four wins on the trot with their impressive win over the Penrith Panthers and they will go into this clash as the punter’s elect.
The Broncos have won nine of their past 13 games as home favourites for a narrow profit, but they are only 5-8 against the line in this scenario and have survived a couple of scares during their winning streak.
Manly went into the representative weekend on the back of an outstanding effort against the South Sydney Rabbitohs and they are definitely a side that has surpassed expectations so far this season.
They have won only three of their past nine games as away underdogs, but they are 6-3 against the line in this scenario and are clearly a side that the market continues to get wrong.
Manly are more than capable of giving Brisbane a scare this weekend and in a game that I expect to be very tight, I am keen to back them with a start of 3.5 points.
Back Manly To Beat The Line (+3.5 Points)
Sunday 14 May, 2:00pm, McDonald Jones Stadium
Newcastle Knights 34 - Canberra Raiders 20
The Canberra Raiders are the shortest-priced favourites in the NRL this weekend and they really should be able to return to winning form against the Newcastle Knights.
Canberra went into the representative weekend on the back of two disappointing losses at the hands of the Manly Sea Eagles and the Canterbury Bulldogs and panic may set in if they lose again this weekend.
The Raiders have won five of their past six games as away favourites for a clear profit and more impressively they are 5-1 against the line in this scenario.
It has been two months since the Newcastle Knights won a game and they are showing signs of regressing after their positive start to the season.
The Knights have won just one of their past 13 games as away underdogs and they are an extremely poor 3-10 against the line in this scenario.
It would not surprise to see the Canberra Raiders return to winning form in emphatic fashion and they are a good bet to cover the line.
Back Canberra To Beat The Line (-12.5 Points)
Sunday 14 May, 4:00pm, Allianz Stadium
Sydney Roosters 48 - Parramatta Eels 10
The Sydney Roosters have taken a step back following their positive start to the season, but they will still go into this clash with the Parramatta Eels as clear favourites.
Sydney missed out on a golden opportunity to make it three wins in a row when they went down to the New Zealand Warriors before the representative weekend and this is another potentially tricky clash.
The Roosters have won four of their past five games as home favourites, but they are only 2-3 against the line in this scenario.
Parramatta have bounced back from a very slow start to the year to record three wins in a row and they produced their best performance of the season to beat the North Queensland Cowboys in the final round before the representative weekend.
The Eels have proven to be a losing betting proposition as underdogs over the past 12 months – they have won only two of their past nine games as away underdogs – but they are 8-7 against the line when giving away a start.
Sydney really should be able to return to winning form, but there is no real value at their current price.
There is no NRL action this weekend due to the Anzac Test between Australia and New Zealand at Hunter Stadium on Friday night.
Round 10 of the 2016 NRL season is highlighted by a highly anticipated double header at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.
The Melbourne Storm will take on the North Queensland Cowboys in the first game in a rematch of last year’s preliminary final before the Manly Sea Eagles do battle with the Brisbane Broncos.
Penrith have also elected to take a home game away from their regular venue and will host the New Zealand Warriors at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.
St George Dragons
Thursday 12 May, 7:50pm, Jubilee Oval
St George Illawarra Dragons 16 - Canberra Raiders 12
The rivalry between St George and the Canberra Raiders has been one of the strangest in the NRL in recent seasons.
Before the start of the 2014 NRL season, the Raiders had won 15 of the past 16 games played between the two sides but the Dragons finally stopped the rot in 2014 and won their two meetings last season.
The Raiders went into the break for representative football on the back of a narrow loss to the Penrith Panthers and have won just one of their past four matches, but they will still start this game as clear favourites.
Canberra have struggled as favourites in the past 12 months and they are 6-1-7 in head to head betting as well as 5-9 against the line.
The Dragons had their winning streak snapped by the New Zealand Warriors, but they have shown some promising signs in the past month and they generally play well at Jubilee Oval.
This is shown by the fact that they have won three out of their past five games as away underdogs – compared to their overall record of 4-11 – and this doe make them an attractive bet at their current quote of $2.15
Recommended Bet: Back St George Illawarra Dragons To Win @ $2.15
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Friday 13 May, 7:50pm, Pirtek Stadium
Parramatta Eels 20 - South Sydney Rabbitohs 22
This game has taken on a new dimension as it is the first time that the Eels will be in action since they were officially stripped of all of their competition points due to the salary cap scandal.
Despite this drama and the fact that the Eels will be without Kieran Foran, they will still start this game as dominant favourites and based on their performance against the Canterbury Bulldogs they will be tough to beat.
In saying that, the Eels have won just one of their past four games as home favourites and their recent record at Pirtek Stadium is a concern.
The Rabbitohs season hit a new low when they were beaten by Wests before the break for the representative weekend and they have now lost six of their past seven games.
There are clearly issues at South Sydney and the fact that they have won just one of their past eight games as underdogs does not give punters any confidence that they will be able to bounce back this weekend.
I am not keen to back either of these teams, but the under in the total points market really does stand out.
The under has saluted in nine of the past 12 games played at Pirtek Stadium, while the under is 9-1-4 in South Sydney games over the past 12 months.
Recommended Bet: Back The Under
New Zealand Warriors
Saturday 14 May, 3:00pm, AMI Stadium
Penrith Panthers 30 - New Zealand Warriors 18
This is one of the most interesting games of the weekend as the Penrith Panthers and New Zealand Warriors have both been very inconsistent sides this weekend.
The Panthers scored a narrow last start win over the Raiders, but they are a very poor 1-7 on the back of a win in the past 12 months and their record as favourites over the same time period is a very poor 3-4.
The New Zealand Warriors arguably saved the job of coach Andrew McFadden with their gutsy victory over the Dragons and that could prove to be a turning point for the Warriors.
However, their record as away underdogs does not inspire confidence and they are a very poor 2-6 against the line in this scenario.
These are two teams that it is tough to back with any confidence at this stage of the season and I am happy to stay out of it from a betting perspective.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
North Queensland Cowboys
Saturday 14 May, 5:30pm, Suncorp Stadium
Melbourne Storm 15 - North Queensland Cowboys 14
This is the first game in a double header that will be played at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.
The North Queensland Cowboys beat the Melbourne Storm in the preliminary final last year to secure a place in the Grand Final, but there has been very little between the two teams in recent seasons.
The Cowboys have been in simply outstanding form in recent weeks and they will start this game as clear favourites – a position in which they have proven extremely reliable in the past 12 months.
Melbourne have finally looked to click against both the New Zealand Warriors and the Gold Coast Titans, but they face a much tougher challenge against a Cowboys side that will not give up such easy points.
The Storm have won just three of their past ten games as underdogs and are 4-6 against the line in this scenario, while the Cowboys are 13-7 against the line as the punter’s elect.
North Queensland look to be a class above just about every other team in the NRL at this stage of the season and they should be able to cover the line of six points fairly comfortably.
Recommended Bet: Back The North Queensland Cowboys To Beat The Line (- 6 Points)
Manly Sea Eagles
Saturday 14 May, 7:30pm, Suncorp Stadium
Manly Sea Eagles 6 - Brisbane Broncos 30
This is the second leg of the highly anticipated double header.
The Broncos went into the representative weekend of the back of a loss to the Cronulla Sharks, but they are still dominant favourites to return to winning form against the Sea Eagles on Saturday.
Brisbane have won 11 out of their past 14 games as favourites at Suncorp Stadium and they are a most impressive 10-4 against the line in this scenario.
Manly were completely outclassed by the North Queensland Cowboys in their last game, but they still have a profitable 5-6 record as underdogs and are 6-1-4 against the line when being given a points start.
There is evidence to suggest that both of these teams are a good bet this weekend, but the market looks to have got this game just about right and the line of 12 is exactly how I would have it, so this is another game that I am happy to stay out of from a betting perspective.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Sunday 15 May, 2:00pm, Hunter Stadium
Newcastle Knights 0 - Cronulla Sharks 62
The Cronulla Sharks have now won six games on the trot and they go into this fixture as very short-priced favourites.
The Sharks are now into the third line of betting in our 2016 NRL Premiership betting market and if they are a serious premiership contenders they should prove far too strong for the Knights.
Cronulla are not only undefeated as away favourites this season, but they have beaten the line in all three of these fixtures and overall they are 18-8 against the line in the past 12 months.
The Knights went into the representative weekend on the back of a very heavy defeat at the hands of the Sydney Roosters and they have really struggled this season.
They have won just one of their past six games as home underdogs and they are only a middling 3-3 against the line in this scenario.
Newcastle have covered the line in just two of their past ten games when giving away a start of over 14 points and they should suffer another big defeat at the hands of Cronulla this weekend.
Recommended Bet: Back The Cronulla Sharks To Beat The Line (-14.5 Points)
Sunday 15 May, 4:00pm, ANZ Stadium
Wests Tigers 4 - Canterbury Bulldogs 36
The Wests Tigers have generally struggled against the Canterbury Bulldogs since they came into existence as a joint venture and they have won just two of the past nine games played between the two sides.
The Tigers scored their biggest win of the season to date to beat South Sydney and end a six game losing streak, but they will still start this game as heavy underdogs.
Wests have actually proven to be a profitable betting team as underdogs in the past 12 months and have won 6 of their past 18 games in this scenario, but they are 8-10 against the line when being given a start.
Canterbury have been a very inconsistent side during 2016 to date and punters that have backed them in each of their games as favourites in the past 12 months have not made a profit, while they are a very poor 6-11 against the line when giving away the start.
The Tigers are a very tough team to trust from a betting perspective, but they are capable of a strong performance on their day and I am happy to back them with a start of 10.5 points.
Recommended Bet: Back The Wests Tigers To Beat The Line (+10.5 Points)
Gold Coast Titans
Monday 16 May, 7:00pm, Cbus Super Stadium
A number of their returning stars made a big impact when the Sydney Roosters recorded a big victory over the Newcastle Knights and they will start this game against the Gold Coast Titans as clear favourites.
The Roosters looked like a completely different team than the one that made a truly awful start to the season and it is easy to see why there has been early support for the Bondi-based club.
Sydney have won four out of their past seven games as away favourites, but their record against the line as favourites is a profitable 10-7 when giving away a start.
The Titans have lost five games on the trot since their promising start to the season and their is some data to suggest that they can return to winning form as they have won three of their eight games as home underdogs for a narrow profit.
In saying that, the Titans are a side that simply lacks the upside of the Sydney Roosters and if the Roosters perform at anywhere near their best than the line of six points will not be anywhere near enough.
Recommended Bet: Back The Sydney Roosters To Beat The Line (-6 Points)