State Of Origin is here and that means there are only four games set to take place in the NRL this weekend.
There will be a host of big names missing from all eight teams in action and that makes this a tough round to assess, but it also means there are plenty of betting opportunities for punters to find value in.
We have closely analysed all four games and our complete 2018 NRL Round 13 tips can be found below.
Manly Sea Eagles Vs North Queensland Cowboys
Thursday 31 May, 7:50pm, Brookvale Oval
The market for this one remains as tight as last week’s losing margins for the Sea Eagles and Cowboys.
Manly and North Queensland both lost narrowly by one point respectively, and there’s nothing separating the two in head-to-head betting so far.
The Cowboys have won four of their last five against the Sea Eagles, but Manly will be looking to avoid back-to-back losses for the third time this season with the chance of a Top 8 berth still hanging in the hopes.
North Queensland suffered their ninth loss of the season against the Storm last weekend, and recent history says things aren’t about to get any easier.
The Cowboys have won just one game on the road all year, but to make things even trickier for punters, North Queensland’s last trip to Brookvale back in 2016 resulted in a resounding 34-18 win.
With both teams playing limited lineups, this one should be close.
Back Manly to Win 1-10 @ $3.50
South Sydney Rabbitohs Vs Cronulla Sharks
Friday 1 June, 7:55pm, ANZ Stadium
Easily the match of the round, the Rabbitohs meeting with the Sharks on Friday sees third play fourth with some serious ladder leapfrogging up for grabs.
Cronulla has recorded six wins on the trot, while last weekend’s 48-10 annihilation against the Knights placed the entire league on notice.
This will be a serious team come finals time, but there’s no overlooking South’s win over the Warriors in Auckland, either – the Bunnies have now kept their last four opponents to under 20-points.
The Sharks hold an impressive 5-1 record as the away favourites over the past 12 months, and there’s certainly some value to be had at $1.80.
The same can be said for the Rabbitohs, though, who are currently riding a four game winning streak.
When these two met last season the Sharks walked away with a 26-12 victory over the Bunnies in Round 20.
Souths are 5-7 as head-to-head underdogs, and although punters would probably like to see this kind of quality game played after Origin, Cronulla’s ability to stomp on the throat’s of their opponents come crunch time gives them the edge here.
Back Cronulla to Win @ $1.80
Parramatta Eels Vs Newcastle Knights
Saturday 2 June, 7:35pm, ANZ Stadium
Two teams with four straight losses meet on Saturday night, as the 5-7 Knights take on the 2-10 Eels.
Newcastle look to rebound from one of their biggest losses of the season against the Sharks last week, while the Eels are on the back of a close 18-10 defeat against the Broncos.
Despite suffering yet another loss, Parramatta’s second half last week was much improved.
The damage was done in the first half where the Broncos scored two unanswered tries, but the Eels successfully shut down Brisbane following their early try in the second term to give themselves half a chance.
The Knights, meanwhile, were out of last week’s game within the first 10 minutes.
Newcastle’s tackling has been particularly poor as of late, and rightfully so, they enter this one as serious underdogs.
When favourites at the line, the Eels hold a not-so convincing 4-8 record, but the Knights have managed only three wins on the road over the past 12 months.
These two teams have split their last four encounters two games apiece, but the Eels are probably worth your money.
They’ve showed signs of life and fight in their four straight losses, while the Knights continue to take backward steps following Mitchell Pearce’s injury.
Back Parramatta to Cover the Line (-4.5Points)
Sydney Roosters Vs Wests Tigers
Sunday 3 June, 4:10pm, Allianz Stadium
The Tigers got back to winning ways last week with a gutsy 14-10 victory over the Bulldogs and the same can be said for the Roosters, who also found themselves in the winners circle following a convincing 34-14 win over the Titans.
In terms of ladder stipulations, it doesn’t get any bigger.
Tied on 14-points, a loss for either side could toss them out of the Top 8, and given their spotty form, this game is by far the toughest one to call for punters.
The market remains razor tight, and unfortunately the recent form guide is much the same.
Consistency has been an issue for both the Roosters and the Tigers over the past 12 months and they have proven tough to trust from a betting perspective.
Sydney hold a 3-1 record as the home favourite at the line, so it’s worth watching any market moves as Sunday afternoon approaches.
This game figures to be a nice runner-up for match of the round, but since both sides have struggled for points at times, it is one that I am happy to stay out of.
We were treated to the opening game of the 2017 State Of Origin series on Wednesday Night, but there is no break for the majority of the players involved in the fixture.
The State Of Origin period can often throw up some surprise results and there is definitely value to be found in a host of games this weekend.
We have analysed all seven games set to take place this weekend and you can find our 2017 NRL Round 13 tips below.
Melbourne Storm Vs Newcastle Knights
Friday 2 June, 6:00pm, AAMI Park
The Melbourne Storm are the shortest-priced favourites of the weekend in the NRL and will have a number of players backing up from State Of Origin 1.
Melbourne went into the bye on the back of a fighting win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs and narrow victories has been the hallmark of their season to date.
The Storm have won ten of their past 14 games as home favourites, but they have covered the line in only five of their past 14 games in this scenario.
The Newcastle Knights have definitely played improved rugby league in 2017, but they obviously face a tough assignment against the Storm.
Newcastle have not won a game as away underdogs for over 12 months and they are 4-6 against the line in this scenario.
The market looks to have got this game just about right and the betting play that really stands out in this fixture is the Under in Total Points betting.
The under has saluted in 10 of the past 14 Storm home games and the Storm defence should ensure that this is the case again.
Back The Under
Parramatta Eels Vs New Zealand Warriors
Friday 2 June, 7:50pm, ANZ Stadium
The Parramatta Eels returned to winning form with a strong victory against South Sydney and they will go into this clash with the New Zealand Warriors as favourites.
Consistency continues to be something of an issue for Parramatta, but they have played some decent football in recent weeks and you can see the passion returning to this side.
They have won two of their past three games as home favourites for a narrow profit and they are 1-1-1 against the line in this scenario.
New Zealand ended their losing streak with a win over an undermanned Brisbane Broncos and they will take confidence from the fact that they beat Parramatta earlier this season.
The Warriors have won only one of their past eight games as away underdogs and they are a middling 4-4 against the line in this scenario.
This is another game where the Under does represent the betting value.
The Under has saluted in eight of the past 11 games played by the Warriors in Australia and backing the Under in Eels games has also proven to be a profitable betting play.
Back The Under
St George Dragons Vs Wests Tigers
Saturday 3 June, 3:00pm, ANZ Stadium
The St George Illawarra Dragons have regressed somewhat in the past month, but they will still go into this clash with the Wests Tigers as clear favourites.
St George comfortably beat Wests when they did battle earlier this season and there is plenty to suggest that a repeat is on the cards.
The Dragons have won their past six games as favourites and more impressively they are 4-2 against the line in this scenario.
The Tigers went into their first bye on the back of three straight defeats and it doesn’t get any easier for them against the Dragons this weekend.
Wests have won seven of their past 21 games as away underdogs for a narrow profit, but they are only 9-1-11 against the line in this scenario.
These are the types of games that St George Illawarra have had no problems winning this season and they should be able to cruise to another comfortable win.
Back St George Illawarra To Beat The Line (-8.5 Points)
Sydney Roosters Vs Brisbane Broncos
Saturday 3 June, 5:30pm, Allianz Stadium
This is the game of the weekend, but sadly it could be decided by player availability.
The Brisbane Broncos had five players involved in State Of Origin 1 on Wednesday night and in recent years Wayne Bennett has not been keen to see his players back-up.
The same can’t be said about the Sydney Roosters and it would surprise if the likes of Mitchell Pearce and Boyd Cordner did not take their places this weekend.
It is the Roosters that will start this clash as clear favourites and this really does shape as an interesting betting fixture.
Sydney have won five of their past six games as home favourites, but they are only a middling 3-3 against the line in this scenario.
Brisbane recorded a dominant win over the Roosters when they met earlier this season and they are sure to improve on their lacklustre effort against the New Zealand Warriors last weekend.
The Broncos have won only one of their past five games as away underdogs and they are 2-1-2 against the line in this situation.
This could change depending on what Bennett does, but at this stage of proceedings the Sydney Roosters do look the value to get the job done.
Back Sydney Roosters To Win @ $1.70
North Queensland Cowboys Vs Gold Coast Titans
Saturday 3 June, 7:30pm, 1300Smiles Stadium
The North Queensland Cowboys are currently clear favourites and that price will shorten again if Johnathan Thurston is cleared to return to action.
It has been a tough period for the Cowboys without Thurston in the side and they have not recorded back-to-back wins for over a month, but they have not been disgraced.
North Queensland have won nine of their past 12 games as home favourites and they continue to be a profitable play against the line in this scenario.
The Gold Coast Titans went into the bye on the back of a disappointing loss to the Manly Sea Eagles and consistency has been an issue for Neil Henry’s men.
The Titans have won three of their past eight games as away underdogs and most impressively they are 6-2 against the line in this scenario.
Without Thurston in the Cowboys side, there is not as much between these two teams as the current betting market suggests and the Titans are a good bet to cover the line with a start of six points.
Back Gold Coast Titans To Beat The Line (+6 Points)
Manly Sea Eagles Vs Canberra Raiders
Sunday 4 June, 2:00pm, Brookvale Oval
The match between these two sides just over a month ago was a very spiteful affair and this shapes as one of the most interesting games of the weekend.
Manly won that meeting in golden point thanks to the boot of Dylan Walker and they will go into this clash as narrow favourites.
The Sea Eagles have won three of their past five games as home favourites for a small loss, but they do have the same record against the line for a profit.
Canberra got the job done against an under-strength Sydney Roosters outfit last weekend and there really wasn’t a great deal to like about their performance.
The Raiders have won only one of their past five games as away underdogs, but they are 5-0 against the line in this scenario.
This is a game that the market looks to have got just about right and I am more than happy to stay out from a betting standpoint.
Canterbury Bulldogs Vs Penrith Panthers
Sunday 4 June, 4:00pm, ANZ Stadium
The Penrith Panthers went into the bye on the back of two straight wins and they will start this clash with the Canterbury Bulldogs as narrow favourites.
While Penrith did beat both the New Zealand Warriors and the Newcastle Knights, both their performances still left plenty to be desired and they are a tough side to trust from a betting standpoint.
The Panthers have won four of their past seven games as away favourites for a loss and they are only 3-4 against the line in this scenario.
Canterbury suffered a heart-breaking defeat at the hands of the Cronulla Sharks last weekend and they have now lost three games on the trot.
The Bulldogs have actually won four of their past eight games as home underdogs and they are a profitable 6-2 against the line in this situation.
Taking on the Panthers has proven to be a profitable betting play all season long and I am keen to continue that this weekend.
Back Canterbury Bulldogs To Win @ $2
This is one of the toughest rounds of the NRL to analyse from a betting perspective as 34 of the best players in the game will have played a brutal State Of Origin encounter earlier in the week.
There are plenty of intriguing games in round 13 of the 2016 NRL season, but the highlight of the round may be Monday Night Football, where the Canterbury Bulldogs will host the Cronulla Sharks in what could be a key game at the halfway mark of the season.
Canberra Raiders Vs Manly Sea Eagles
Friday 3 June, 7:50pm, GIO Stadium
This is a crucial game for both sides as the Canberra Raiders are on a rare winning streak, while Manly have lost their past games.
Canberra got the job done as favourites against Canterbury last weekend – despite trailing in the second half – and they will start this fixture as clear favourites once again.
The Raiders have improved their record to 6-4 as home favourites in head to head betting and they are 5-5 against the line in this scenario, but it has been a while since they won three games in a a row.
Manly have lost three games in a row, but to be fair they have played three of the best teams in the competition in the form of the North Queensland Cowboys, Brisbane Broncos and Cronulla Sharks.
The Sea Eagles have a surprisingly strong record away from home in the past 12 months and they are 3-3 as away underdogs and have beaten the line in four of their past six games in this situation.
It would not surprise to see Manly score an upset win in this game and I am keen to back them with the insurance of a 4.5 points start.
Recommended Bet: Back Manly Sea Eagles To Beat The Line (+4.5 Points)
New Zealand Warriors Vs Brisbane Broncos
Saturday 4 June, 3:00pm, Mt Smart Stadium
This is a tricky fixture for the Brisbane Broncos as a number of there forward pack will be backing up from State Of Origin and could be left out of this fixture by Wayne Bennett.
The Broncos suffered a shock loss to the Wests Tigers without their State Of Origin players last weekend and their record against New Zealand away home from is far from impressive.
Brisbane have won five out of their past eight games as away favourites, but they have not been profitable in this situation and they are 3-5 against the line.
New Zealand went into the bye on the back of back-to-back losses against Penrith and Canberra and there is plenty of speculation that coach Andrew McFadden is on the way out.
The Warriors have won just one of their past 12 games as underdogs and are a truly hopeless 2-10 against the line in this situation.
There is little doubt that a full-strength Broncos team would be very tough to beat, but their is no edge at their current price due to the speculation about which of their State Of Origin players will back-up.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
North Queensland Cowboys Vs Newcastle Knights
Saturday 4 June, 5:30pm, 1300 Smiles Stadium
The North Queensland Cowboys are easily the shortest-priced favourites of the week and should prove far too strong for the Newcastle Knights – even though they also have several players backing up from State Of Origin.
Johnathan Thurston is such a competitor that he normally backs-up after State Of Origin and it would not surprise to see Matt Scott, Michael Morgan and Justin O’Neill do the same.
The Cowboys lost to the Dragons without their Origin stars last weekend, but they are still undefeated at 1300 Smiles Stadium this season and have beaten the line in seven of their past 12 games in front of their home fans.
The Newcastle Knights produced a much improved performance against Parramatta last weekend and they were arguably unlucky not to get the job done.
In saying that, they face a tougher task against North Queensland and they have won just two of their past 12 games as away underdogs, while they are a shocking 3-9 against the line.
A full strength Cowboys team could easily put 50 points on the Newcastle Knights and if Thurston backs-up they are a great bet to beat the line.
Recommended Bet: Back The North Queensland Cowboys To Beat The Line (-20.5 Points)
Melbourne Storm Vs Penrith Panthers
Saturday 4 June, 7:30pm, AAMI Park
The Melbourne Storm have been one of the form teams in the NRL in the past month and they head into this game on the back of five straight victories.
Craig Bellamy has a big decision on his hands before this Saturday night clash as he must decide whether Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk back up from the opening game of the State Of Origin series.
I expect that Smith will take the field for the Storm, but it is tough to see Bellamy risking Cooper Cronk after his State Of Origin preparation was thrown into turmoil by an ankle injury.
The Storm do have the depth to cover the possible absence of Cronk and their outstanding record at AAMI Stadium can’t be ignored – they are 8-2 in their past ten games as home favourites and they have beaten the line in six of these games.
The Penrith Panthers have been one of the most frustrating teams during the 2016 NRL season and they let two points go begging when they lost yet another close game to the Gold Coast Titans.
The Panthers should take close to a full strength team into this fixture – with Matthew Moylan expected to back up from Origin 1 – but their record as underdogs is not an impressive one.
Penrith have won just two of their past nine games as away underdogs, but they do have a credible 5-4 record against the line in this scenario.
The unknowns surrounding Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk means that there is decent value on offer for the Melbourne Storm and they are a safe bet to get the job done this weekend.
Recommended Bet: Back The Melbourne Storm To Win @ $1.57
Sydney Roosters Vs Wests Tigers
Sunday 5 June, 4:00pm, Allianz Stadium
The Sydney Roosters went into the bye on the back of a disappointing defeat against the Canterbury Bulldogs, but they are clear favourites to return to winning form against the Wests Tigers.
The Roosters have still only won two games to date this season and there is plenty of speculation that the likes of Jackson Hastings or Jayden Nikorima could be on the way out of the club.
They have still been a surprisingly strong betting team as favourites in the past 12 months and they are 8-1 as home favourites in head-to-head betting as well as 5-4 against the line.
Wests scored a scrappy victory over the Newcastle Knights a fortnight ago, but they produced arguably the best performance of the season to date to beat the Brisbane Broncos and showed great maturity in the final stages of the game.
The Tigers have now won three of their past nine games as away underdogs for a tidy profit, but they are still 4-5 against the line in this scenario.
I expect the Roosters to return to winning form, but their is no edge at their current price and I am more than happy to stay out of this game from a betting perspective.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
South Sydney Rabbitohs Vs Gold Coast Titans
Sunday 5 June, 6:30pm, NIB Stadium
The South Sydney Rabbitohs have elected to take their home game against the Gold Coast Titans to NIB Stadium in Perth – a venue where they have had a fair bit of success in recent years.
The Rabbitohs have won five of their seven games played at NIB Stadium since 2008 and they have beaten the line in six of these games.
South Sydney went into the bye on the back of two tough wins over the Parramatta Eels and the South Sydney Rabbitohs, but they face a Gold Coast side that will also take winning form into this fixture.
The Titans produced arguably their best performance of the date when they proved far too strong for the Sydney Roosters and they toughed it out against the Panthers to score rare back-to-back victories.
Gold Coast have an average record away from home and they have won just two of their past nine games as away favourites, while they are 5-6 against the line in this scenario.
South Sydney have shown signs that they are finally back on track in recent weeks and I am confident that they can score a comfortable victory over the Titans this weekend.
Recommended Bet: Back The South Sydney Rabbitohs To Beat The Line (-4 Points)
Canterbury Bulldogs Vs Cronulla Sharks
Monday June 6, 7:00pm, ANZ Stadium
This is set to be a genuine Monday Night Blockbuster and the market can’t separate these two teams.
The Sharks have a number of key players in the New South Wales State Of Origin side, but with five days between games the likes of Andrew Fifita, James Maloney and Paul Gallen should all be cleared to back-up.
Cronulla sit on top of the NRL ladder after winning eight games on the trot and their spectators are gaining confidence that this could finally be the year that they break through for a maiden premiership.
The Sharks have an excellent record away from home in the past 12 months and they have won nine out of their past 13 games on the road, while they are 10-3 against the line in this scenario.
Canterbury have really struggled for consistency during 2016 to date and they let slip a golden opportunity to make it three wins on the trot when they lost to the Canberra Raiders last weekend.
The Bulldogs have been a losing betting proposition in front of their home fans in the past 12 months, but they very rarely lose back-to-back games and they have won eight of their past nine games on the back of a loss.
Just like the market, I am having trouble splitting these two teams but the total points betting market does offer plenty of value.
Both the Sharks and the Bulldogs have consistently been unders teams in recent seasons and 60 percent on the Monday Night Football games since 2014 have been low-scoring games.
Recommended Bet: Back The Under (38.5 Points)