2021 NRL Round 25 Preview

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There looks to be one last twist in this year’s NRL tale with six of the eight games packing serious finals implications.

The top four is still far from certain as Manly, the Eels and the Roosters all look to make one last push, while the final spot in the eight remains up for grabs between the Sharks, Raiders and Titans.

Never has the final round been this dramatic, and we’ve got you covered with our set of tips below!

Canberra Raiders Vs Sydney Roosters

Thursday September 2, BP Print Stadium, 7:50pm

The stage is set for a pivotal clash in Mackay on Thursday night with plenty on the line for both clubs.

For the Raiders, the top-eight is still very much on the cards if results go their way, while the Roosters are still a serious top four chance if Manly and Parramatta lose.

The recent form of both teams has left a ton of value on offer in the market, especially after the Roosters suffered a humiliating 54-12 loss to the Rabbitohs last week.

Canberra, on the other hand, kept its season alive with an eight-point win over the Warriors, but no one would blame you for feeling a little wary of the Raiders right now.

Back-to-back wins have proven hard to come by recently for Ricky Stuart’s men, while their 44-16 loss to the Tri-Colours earlier in May was a night Raider fans would rather forget.

To make matters more complicated, the injury bug also bit both clubs last week with Joey Manu suffering a broken cheekbone courtesy of Latrell Mitchell, and both Bailey Simonsson and Joseph Tapine coming off early against the Warriors.

As far as betting goes, this is a tough game to pick at a neutral venue, but if there’s been one constant all year, it’s been the Roosters bouncing back from a loss.

Trent Robinson’s side has won seven of their last 10 games following a previous defeat, so it’s worth taking the Roosters to win a tight one.

Tip: Back the Roosters to Win & Under 46.5 Total Points @ $3.40

Cronulla Sharks Vs Melbourne Storm

Friday September 3, CBUS Super Stadium, 6:00pm

The Storm will have a serious point to prove on Friday night after having their winning streak snapped at the hands of the Eels.

Missed tackles and costly penalties saw the Storm undone in the second half, setting up an intriguing race for the minor premiership with Melbourne and Penrith now tied on points heading into the final round.

For Cronulla, the stakes are arguably even higher. The Sharks can book an unlikely finals spot with a win over the Storm, while a loss would leave them at the mercy of either the Raiders or the Titans.

Normally this game would be Melbourne’s to lose, but Craig Bellamy’s controversial decision to rest most of his stars has left the door ajar for the Sharks to punch their ticket.

Cronulla has lost three consecutive games to the Storm, the most recent being a 40-14 beatdown back in April.

That said, this Sharks team has been a very profitable betting play as the line underdog over the last 12 months covering in 10 of their 15 games during that span.

The Storm have more than enough talent to pull this off, but the +7.5 head start on Cronulla is tough to pass up.

Tip: Back the Sharks to Cover the Line (+7.5 Points) @ $1.90

Parramatta Eels Vs Penrith Panthers

Friday September 3, CBUS Super Stadium, 8:05pm

The Eels kept their top four chances alive last week with a surprise win over Melbourne as they now look to finish the job against the Panthers on the Gold Coast.

A win for Parramatta and a Manly loss to the Cowboys is what it will take for the Eels to finish top four, the latter of those scenarios being the most unlikely of course.

The Panthers, meanwhile, can claim the minor premiership with a win and a Storm loss, setting up another crucial game to compliment the early fixture.

These two sides have played out some real classics in recent years, with the common theme being five of the last six games being decided by no more than eight points.

On the injury front, Eels captain Clint Gutherson is set to miss this clash with a knee injury, while like the Storm, the Panthers may choose to rest some of their stars in preparation for the finals.

If Ivan Cleary does choose to give a few of his playmakers the night off, it’s fair to say the -12 line favouring Penrith is a little generous – especially when you consider the Eels have played to an 8-3 record as the line underdog against the Panthers.

Parramatta is always a tough side to trust, but with their scoring woes seemingly behind them, the Eels look a good bet here.

Tip: Back the Eels to Cover the Line (+21.5 Points) @ $1.90

Brisbane Broncos Vs Newcastle Knights

Saturday September 4, Suncorp Stadium, 3:00pm

Unlike almost every other club, the Knights can rest easy knowing they’ve done enough to lock up the seventh spot.

Newcastle made it five on the trot last week with a thrilling one-point win over the Titans and will be hoping to keep that momentum rolling into the finals against the Broncos on Saturday.

Brisbane’s season really hasn’t gone as planned under first year head coach Kevin Walters, but they have been playing some decent footy of late to suggest they can at least make a contest of this.

Last week’s eight-point loss to the Sharks was an honourable one as the Broncos tightened up defensively in the second half, while there was also only eight points separating these two sides when they met just four weeks ago.

Like other clubs, there’s a good chance Adam O’Brien chooses to rest some guys before things get serious, and if that is the case, the Broncos could be a decent winning chance.

Tip: Back the Broncos to Cover the Line (+1.5 Points) @ $1.90

North Queensland Cowboys Vs Manly Sea Eagles

Saturday September 4, Queensland Country Bank Stadium, 5:30pm

Manly appears locked and loaded to finish fourth on the ladder, providing they take care of the Cowboys on Saturday night.

North Queensland has won only one of its last 10 games, but they picked a good time to find some form with a spirited second half resulting in a 38-26 win over the Dragons last week.

The Cowboys will relish the chance at spoiling Manly’s late season celebrations, but it’s likely going to take another big effort from Jason Taumalolo to pull off an unlikely upset.

The Sea Eagles walked away comfortable 50-18 victors over the Cowboys without Tom Trbojevic back in Round 14, and given last week’s thorough beatdown over the Bulldogs, another double-digit victory appears likely.

Manly’s average winning margin of 26 points is the largest in the league right now, so they look a good bet to cover a very healthy line.

Tip: Back Manly to Cover the Line (-22 Points) @ $1.90

South Sydney Rabbitohs Vs St George-Illawarra Dragons

Saturday September 4, Sunshine Coast Stadium, 7:35pm

The minor premiership looks extremely unlikely for the Bunnies given Melbourne’s for-and-against, but a second-place finish is still up for grabs if they beat the Dragons and the Panthers lose to the Eels.

Once a finals hope, the Saints have gone down without so much as a whimper during the second half of the season as they now hope to avoid an eighth straight loss.

The Dragons sunk to a new low last week with a disheartening 12-point loss to the Cowboys, but there could be some good news ahead with Ben Hunt a chance at playing in the final game.

Souths, on the other hand, are set for a very uncertain future with Latrell Mitchell out for the remainder of the season following last week’s nasty hit on Joey Manu, but his absence alone hasn’t deterred the bookies from favouring the Rabbitohs by double digits.

The Rabbitohs held the ball for nearly ten minutes longer than the Dragons when they met last month on the way to a comfortable 50-14 victory.

Mitchell’s absence will no doubt play a part, but with plenty of talent still left, the Rabbitohs should continue on their winning ways right into the finals.

Tip: Back the Rabbitohs to Cover the Line (-11.5 Points) @ $1.90

Gold Coast Titans Vs New Zealand Warriors

Sunday September 5, CBUS Super Stadium, 2:00pm

There is a logical scenario where the Titans can still play finals, but it’s going to take more than just a hope and a prayer.

Last week’s agonizing one-point loss to Newcastle has made the situation almost impossible, but if the Titans can somehow overcome the Warriors and also rely on losses from Cronulla and Canberra, there might still be a chance.

The Titans will know where they stand by the time they run onto the field on Sunday, which does make the current -11 line appear a little generous in Gold Coast’s favour.

While the Warriors officially saw their season come to an end last week with a loss to the Raiders, it’s fair to say they’ve been playing some decent footy in recent weeks.

The Warriors rattled off three wins in succession not that long ago and also proved themselves a handful against the Titans when they won 19-6 back in March.

New Zealand has played to a perfect 3-0 as the line underdog against the Titans, and with Chanel Harris-Tavita a chance at playing, they look very hard done by in the market.

Tip: Back the Warriors to Cover the Line (+11 Points) @ $1.90

Wests Tigers Vs Canterbury Bulldogs

Sunday September 5, Moreton Daily Stadium, 4:05pm

This is the only game of the weekend that doesn’t hold any finals implications, and there’s a good chance it might turn out to be one of the most exciting.

The Dogs have already locked up another wooden spoon, but they’ll fancy themselves a live chance on Sunday against a Tigers outfit that has lost back-to-back games in blowout fashion.

Wests, meanwhile, could move as high as 11th if they snap their two-game skid, and their recent track record against Canterbury suggests they should do just that.

The Tigers won by eight when these two sides met just three weeks ago, extending their winning streak over the Dogs to three.

Really, this game could swing either way, but considering the Tigers have had no trouble scoring points in recent weeks, they should be able to put up a number on this awful Bulldog defence.

Tip: Tigers Over 29.5 Points @ $1.88


2020

Business is about to pick up this weekend as the home and away season comes to a close.

With finals right around the corner, the Broncos, Sharks and Tigers all face a crucial line in the sand game, while there are also several top-four implications on the line for the Raiders and Rabbitohs.

After six long months of footy, it’s time to build a serious bank with the NRL Grand Final ahead, so be sure to check out our entire 2019 NRL Round 25 Preview below.

South Sydney Rabbitohs Vs Sydney Roosters

Thursday September 5, 7:50pm, ANZ Stadium


The Roosters are locked and loaded at the two-spot heading into the finals, but they’ll still be out to spoil Souths top four chances on Thursday night.

Sydney pulled apart the Panthers 22-6 at the SCG last week – marking their third straight win by 16-points or more. Technically, this week is an “away” game for the Chooks, and they should play with plenty of intensity after losing to the Rabbits 26-16 back in Round 1.

After a bit of a late-season slump, Souths have since steadied to win two on the trot. The Bunnies backed up their one-point win over the Broncos a fortnight ago with a blowout victory over the Warriors in Auckland, but that still hasn’t been enough to convince the bookies.

The Rabbitohs have opened as the home underdog only once over the last calendar year, while the Roosters are 6-3 on the road.

Numbers aside, there’s still reason to believe in Souths chances. The Bunnies have tightened up defensively over the last fortnight and have also limited sloppy skill errors and turnovers.

Thursday night’s game will likely boil down to each sides key attacking players, namely Damien Cook and James Tedesco. With the finals only a week away though, you can expect Bennett and Robinson to take a conservative approach into this game as the two teams will likely meet not long after.

Considering the Rabbitohs’ last three home games against the Roosters have gone Under the Total, backing this one to be low-scoring looks to be the safest play.

Tip: Under 39.5 Total Match Points @ $1.88

Paramatta Eels Vs Manly Sea Eagles

Friday September 6, 6:00pm, Western Sydney Stadium

The unfortunate news of Tom Trbojevic’s season-ending chest surgery has put a dampener on Manly’s promising season.

Not surprisingly, the bookmakers have reacted accordingly drifting the Sea Eagles out to $26.00 in the Premiership market and $2.24 this week against Parramatta.

The Eels have plenty of soul searching to do after last week’s heartbreaker against the Broncos at Suncorp. Parramatta’s courageous second-half fightback showed the Eels have some real resiliency heading into the finals, but can the Eels use their golden point loss as a motivator heading back home this week?

Manly has won two of their last three meetings against Parramatta, including a blowout 36-24 victory back in Round 18. The Sea Eagles have also been profitable as the line underdog this year covering in six of their eight games.

Trobjevic’s absence will call upon Daly Cherry-Evans to create plays from halfback, but the captain’s creativity still mightn’t be enough to make up for last week’s loss to the Storm.

In case you missed it, Parramatta own a 6-3 record on the back of a loss this season. The added inclusion of Brett Ferguson also payed huge dividends in the late stages against the Broncos, which should help the Eels come good on their 5-3 record as the line favourite.

Tip: Back the Eels to Cover the Line (-3.5 Points) @ $1.90

Melbourne Storm Vs North Queensland Cowboys

Friday September 6, 7:55pm, AAMI Park

There’s nothing left to play for on Friday night between two sides at opposite ends of the ladder.

The Storm have locked up the minor premiership for another year, leaving Craig Bellamy with some tough decisions to make as to whether he rests some of his starters.

North Queensland, meanwhile, will be looking to end the season on a high note after stringing together two straight wins over the Panthers and Bulldogs. Last week’s victory at home leaves the Cowboys within reach of a top ten finish, but they’ll need to pull out something special this week on the road.

The last time the Cowboys won at AAMI against the Storm was way back in 2015, a victory that kick-started Melbourne’s commanding nine-game winning streak over North Queensland.

These two sides last met back in Round 5, a game the Storm won 18-12. Josh Addo-Carr wreaked havoc on Paul Green’s defence all game long, but if the superstar winger sits out on Friday night, the Cowboys should have one less problem to worry about.

Even so, it’s difficult to see the Storm losing this game one week out from the finals. The odds paint the full picture, and with a 4-1 record as the line favourite at home to the Cowboys, it’s worth backing Melbourne to Cover.

Tip: Back the Storm to Cover the Line (-14.5 Points) @ $1.90

Canberra Raiders Vs New Zealand Warriors

Saturday September 7, 3:00pm, GIO Stadium

The Green Machine heads back home to Canberra this week on the heels of a much-needed 15-14 victory over the Sharks in Cronulla.

As much as last week’s win was worth celebrating though, the Raiders do need to focus on the job at hand as they look to secure their spot inside the top four.

For the Warriors, there’s nothing left to play for having now lost four of their last five games. New Zealand failed to produce much of anything last week in an uninspiring loss to the Rabbitohs, and with a 3-7 record away from home, the odds on offer look about right.

Ricky Stuart’s side is plenty familiar with the Warriors and his players should hold fond memories of their 34-point victory over the Kiwis last month.

On the flip side, the Raiders have lost their last two games at home – a problem Canberra would like to rectify with finals right around the corner.
Make no mistake, this is a huge test of the Raiders’ maturity as they square up against a much lesser opponent. If the Raiders can continue to complete their sets and land big tackles though, they should take this one comfortably.

Tip: Back the Raiders 13+ @ $2.05

Canterbury Bulldogs Vs Brisbane Broncos

Saturday September 7, 5:30pm, ANZ Stadium

Canterbury’s faint finals hope faded out last week as the Dogs lost by seven-points to the Cowboys up north. Dean Pay’s side now looks to end the season on a high note, but that might be easier than done against a very dangerous looking Broncos outfit.

Brisbane did their best to keep things interesting last week against the Eels, right before a dazzling burst from David Fifita set up Jamayne Isaako’s game-winning field goal.

The result leaves the Broncos in charge of their own destiny sitting seventh on the ladder, but with just a point separating them from Cronulla and the Wests Tigers, this is still a must-win scenario.

Anthony Seibold can take heart in the fact his side manhandled the Bulldogs 28-6 earlier in the year, but Brisbane’s record on the road against Canterbury isn’t quite so convincing.

The last time the Broncos defeated the Dogs in Sydney was way back in 2015, and with Canterbury returning home for the first time in just under a month, you can expect the Bulldogs to be up for a fight.

Betting wise, the Dogs are a perfect 2-0 as the home underdog against Brisbane, while the Broncos are a perfect 3-0 as the away favourite this year.

It’s easy to make a case for either sides winning chances. But since this game looks a bit of a coin flip, take the money on offer for either side to win by less than 6.5.

Tip: Tribet 1-6 – Either Team Under 6.5 Points @ $2.50

Gold Coast Titans Vs St George-Illawarra Dragons

Saturday September 7, 7:35pm, CBus Super Stadium

This shapes up as a bit of a nothing game between two sides destined to finish on the very bottom of the ladder.

St. George’s season reached a new low point last week as the Dragons lost 42-14 at home to the Tigers, while the same can also be said for the Titans, who turned up to Newcastle only to lose by 34-points to the Knights.

Not surprisingly, the bookies have sided with the Dragons on the road this week despite their ugly 3-8 record on the road this year. The Titans have won only two of their 11 games at home all year, while their most recent home game against St. George resulted in a 54-8 loss last season.
The Dragons will be hoping to get some game time into their younger legs this week as they look ahead to next season.

With the Titans looking clueless on defence, it’s worth backing some value in a game that offers very little excitement.

Tip: Back the Dragons to Win & Over 44.5 Total Match Points @ $3.30

Wests Tigers Vs Cronulla Sharks

Sunday September 8, 2:00pm, Leichhardt Oval

In what’s been a mad dash to the finish, it’s only fitting that the Sharks and Tigers lock up on Sunday afternoon to determine who winds up playing finals.

With 11 wins and 12 losses each, the pair find themselves tied on 24 points heading into this crucial do-or-die match with almost even money on offer.
There’s very little form to go on considering these two sides haven’t met this year, but with that said, the Sharks have won five straight games over the Tigers dating back to 2014.

Cronulla will be looking to rebound following last week’s gut-wrenching loss to the Raiders at home. In Paul Gallen’s final game at Shark Park, the Sharks somehow managed to allow a 12-point first-half lead to slip away after the break due to inaccurate goal kicking.

Likewise, the Tigers also find themselves in this position due to various hot and cold streaks. Wests should receive strong home support, but if the Tigers are to win, they’ll need Benji Marshall to perform at his best.
The Sharks have plenty to reflect on following last week’s loss, but they can still hold their heads high knowing the forward line played exceptionally well.

The last four games between these two sides have been decided by 1-12 points, and with the Sharks owning a perfect 3-0 record as the away favourite against the Tigers, it’s worth backing Cronulla to go up, up into the finals.

Tip: Back the Sharks 1-12 @ $3.20

Penrith Panthers Vs Newcastle Knights

Sunday September 8, 4:05pm, Panthers Stadium

The last-ditch finals dream is over for both of these teams, leaving Newcastle and Penrith with little more than bragging rights on the line to close out the home and away season.

Newcastle’s big win over the Titans last week was a nice confidence booster looking ahead to next season, but with a poor 4-7 record on the road, it’s difficult to find confidence in the Knights.

After so much mid-season promise, the Panthers’ season quickly turned south having now lost four of their last five games. Penrith open as the favourites this week at home, but with the defence struggling to find answers, it’s also difficult to back the favourites.

James Maloney will look to leave his mark on his final game in a Panthers uniform as he departs for the English Super League, although the 33-year-old still mightn’t be enough to keep the scoreboard ticking.

Penrith’s last four home games against the Knights have all gone Under the Total, so back this one to be a low-scoring affair.

Tip: Under 42.5 Total Match Points @ $1.88


2018

The home/away season winds down this week, and while we farewell one rugby league legend, there’s plenty of other story lines to watch ahead of a big final round of footy.

With two points separating fourth and eighth, there’s still time for teams to slide up or down the ladder, while home finals and the double-chance are still up for grabs for several teams.

So who’s finishing where?

Be sure to check out all of our 2018 NRL Round 25 tips in our preview below!

South Sydney Rabbitohs Vs Wests Tigers

Thursday 30 August, 7.50pm, ANZ Stadium

It’s so tough to know what to make of this Rabbitohs side now.

South Sydney suffered their third straight loss, this time at the hands of the Raiders, last weekend and there’s plenty of concerns surrounding Anthony Seibold’s squad entering September.

First and foremost, mistakes need to stop.

Souths committed 17 errors against Canberra last week, surrendering a 12-0 lead in the first half.

The Bunnies also looked very vulnerable in the air.

The Raiders continued to bombard the Rabbitohs with fierce aerial attacks, which eventually caused Souths to over-commit on their own line and give up 24 unanswered points.

As for the Tigers, they did everything right against Manly on Thursday night, but even a win couldn’t push Wests toward the finals.

The Tigers have been mathematically eliminated, but after showing plenty of poise on attack, there’s some value to be had in the underdogs this week.

The Tigers have won four of the last five encounters between these two, and own a 4-3 record as the away underdog this year.

Souths, meanwhile, are also 4-3 as the home favourite against the Tigers, but they’ll need to knuckle down defensively if they wish to snap their losing streak.

Moses Mbye, Kevin Naiqama, Esan Marsters and Benji Marshall all looked up and about for Wests last week, and if they can hold their fair share of possession, the Tigers might throw another spanner in the works as they end their season on a high note.

Tip: Back the Tigers To Win @ $2.80

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New Zealand Warriors Vs Canberra Raiders

Friday 31 August, 6.00pm, Mt Smart Stadium

The Warriors might just be that team no one wants to face in the finals.

New Zealand were fierce last week against the Panthers, winning comfortably by 20-points.

Plenty of the Warriors’ tries came relatively easy, and with such burst and speed around the opponents goal line, this is an attacking side that looks really dangerous.

Mind you, the same could also be said for Canberra after last week’s success.

Finals are out of the question, but the Green Machine’s brilliant kicking game and strong share of possession saw them record one last win in front of the home crowd for 2018.

So what does that leave us with?

The Warriors have been hard to trust at home this season, but last week’s efforts more than silenced any doubts we may have had.

New Zealand are 4-2 as the home favourite against the Raiders, and if David Fusitu’a can continue to light it up on the wing, it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see him score another handful of tries.

Canberra’s woes on the road are well documented this season, winning just three of their 11 games.

This one should be close, but the Warriors are really building some momentum heading toward September, and with the chance to potentially score a home final, it’s tough to see them letting this slip.

Tip: Back the Warriors 1-12 @ $2.90

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Melbourne Storm Vs Penrith Panthers

Friday 31 August, 7.55pm, AAMI Park

It came down to the wire, but Billy Slater’s last game on Queensland turf ended with a win last Saturday.

The Storm were on the ropes early, they trailed the Titans by eight points at half-time, but Cameron Munster once again saved the day though, scoring the equaliser in the 58th minute, followed by a clutch Cameron Smith penalty goal just two minutes later to gift Melbourne a 10-8 win.

The victory marks two straight for the Storm now, but a real test lies ahead this week against the Panthers.

Penrith’s season has been swirling down the gurgler ever since Anthony Griffin’s firing, and although the Panthers have hardly looked like a finals team, the Storm need to make sure they don’t take this game lightly.

Of course, history is in favour of Craig Bellamy’s side.

The Storm have won six straight dating back to 2013, with only one of those games turning out to be somewhat close.

Penrith are 0-8 as the underdog in away games vs. the Storm, while Melbourne are a near perfect 12-3 as the home favourite this season.

If the Panthers are to cause an upset, they’ll need to limit Melbourne’s explosive play making ability.

The Warriors jumped all over Penrith last week, slicing them apart down the sidelines and challenging them with some nasty kicks.

Given the Storm’s star power and 7-3 home form, it’s hard to see Penrith putting up much of a fight again this week.

Tip: Back Melbourne Storm 13+ @ $2.63

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Newcastle Knights Vs St. George Dragons

Saturday 1st September, 3.00pm, McDonald Jones Stadium

Is it panic stations for the Dragons? Or do we wait until next week?

Post Origin Ben Hunt has been nothing but bad news and that was evident in St. George’s 38-0 drubbing at the hands of the Bulldogs last week.

Fortunately, a game against the Knights poses as a chance to get their season back on track ahead of finals, but even though Newcastle sit 11th on the ladder, nothing is a given as far as St. George are concerned.

The Knights were less than impressive last week against the Sharks, failing to hold onto the footy and committing plenty of errors and penalties in the process.

St. George, well where do we begin?

Dominated in possession, struggling to complete sets, dropping the ball, and most importantly, absolutely no impact on the scoreboard.

If the Bulldogs can run all over the Dragons like they did, it’s tough to get involved with this market this week.

The Dragons looked completely flat footed on more than one occasion against the Bulldogs, and their lack of defensive structure and array of missed tackles is really concerning.

If you’re game, the Knights are an enticing upset pick, but other than that, this is a market to avoid with the unpredictable Dragons involved.

Tip: No Bet

[matchmodule matchid=" 61390864" no="4"]

Gold Coast Titans Vs North Queensland Cowboys

Saturday 1st September, 5:30pm, Cbus Super Stadium

Johnathan Thurston takes the turf for his final game on Saturday night, and he has to feel pretty good about the Cowboys’ chances after last weeks resounding home victory over the Eels.

Thurston himself was fantastic last weekend, nailing all seven of his conversion attempts, while Ben Hampton and Kyle Feldt chipped multiple tries apiece.

For the first time in a long time, the Cowboys looked ready for the contest, and it was evident in their defensive efforts.

North Queensland were disciplined and effective with their tackling, holding Parramatta to just one try on the night.

As for the Titans, Gold Coast were unlucky not to get the points against the Storm.

Garth Brennan’s side actually led at half time, but the Titans’ defence fell apart in the second half, allowing Cameron Munster and Cameron Smith to take charge.

What we’re left with now is the Thurston storyline, but also a chance for the Cowboys to secure 14th spot on the ladder.

North Queensland have won six straight over Gold Coast, and are 2-2 as the away favourite.

Thurston’s stellar career deserves to end with a win, and that’s what he should get to close out the season and his career.

Tip: Back North Queensland 1-12 @ $2.90

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Parramatta Eels Vs Sydney Roosters

Saturday 1st September, 7:45pm, ANZ Stadium

The Roosters looked switched on and ready to go last week against the Broncos, but they weren’t prepared for what was about to happen next.

Sloppy line defence and some creativity from Darius Boyd saw the Broncos tie the score midway through the first half, but after Dylan Napa’s dangerous hit on Andrew McCullough, Brisbane turned it up a gear.

Targeting the right side of the line, the Broncos completely outworked the Roosters.

Fortunately for Sydney, the Eels don’t quite feature the same star power the Broncos possess, but there’s still some worrying signs about for this once premiership favoured side.

The last time the Eels beat the Roosters was back in 2016, but Sydney had Parra’s number last season cruising to a 48-10 victory.

Head-to-head, the Roosters are 1-3 as the away favourite against the Eels, and as their 7-4 record on the road suggests, Sydney are far from a guarantee when they travel.

Still, points have proved so hard to come by for Parramatta this season, and even with Napa likely to miss a handful of games, this shapes up as a perfect bounce back opportunity for the Chooks.

Tip: Back Sydney Roosters To Beat The Line (-11.5 Points) @ $1.91

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Canterbury Bulldogs Vs Cronulla Sharks

Sunday 2nd September, 2:00pm, ANZ Stadium

The Sharks are on a nice little three game roll right now, and they’ll sleep well knowing they’ve won the last four contests against the Bulldogs dating back to 2014.

Sunday’s game poses a handy test against an up and about Canterbury side one week before the finals.

Cronulla look like the most complete side entering September, and with the change to finish second behind the Storm up for grabs, the Sharks will sense the importance of this game.

Cronulla were in control for the majority of the 80 minutes last week, but there were a few questions surrounding the middle of the defence.

The Bulldogs showed plenty of poise on attack against the Dragons last week, and it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see them keep this one close.

If the Dogs could somehow stop the likes of Valentine Holmes and Cronulla’s fast-paced wing attack, they might just stand a chance.

Still, the likelihood of the Sharks surrendering this game is slim, especially if the Dogs fail to contain last week’s try scoring machine, Edrick Lee.

Tip: Back the Sharks To Win @ 1-12 @ $2.75

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Brisbane Broncos Vs Manly Sea Eagles

Sunday 2nd September, 4:10pm, Suncorp Stadium

It’s hard to get too excited about the Broncos given their unpredictable form this season, but last week’s win over the Roosters was something else.

Although it was a team effort, it was nice to see Darius Boyd leading the way.

The Broncos captain was responsible for the majority of Brisbane’s scoring chances, while David Fifita and Corey Oates chipped in to accomplish the rest.

For Wayne Bennett’s side, there’s plenty on the line this week, and it’s only fitting it might all come down to the final game of the regular season.

A win (plus other results going their way) could see the Broncos move as high as fifth on the ladder, which would no doubt instill some confidence in fans and the team itself.

As for Manly, the season was lost a long time ago, but this is a chance for the Sea Eagles to potentially earn one last victory under coach Trent Barrett.

With his career at the club likely over after this weekend, it’s also a chance for Manly to build on last week’s bitter disappointment against the Tigers.

Since the Sea Eagles have been miserable on the road however, it’s unlikely Manly exit Suncorp with a win.

Barrett’s side have won just three of their 11 road games this season, while the Broncos are 6-6 at home.

Odds wise, the Broncos are 3-2 as the home favourite against Manly, but are 6-2 as the overall home favourite on the season.

If Brisbane can avoid their 2018 kryptonite – slow starts – and start this game with a bang like they did last week, the Broncos should have no trouble picking up the points.

Tip: Back the Broncos 13+ @ $2.63

Same Game Multi:

[matchmodule matchid=" 61392721" no="8"]

2017

We have reached the penultimate round of the 2017 NRL regular season and the jostling for positions inside the top eight continues this weekend.

We have a genuine Thursday Night Blockbuster set to take place between the Brisbane Broncos and the Parramatta Eels, while the Sydney Roosters face the Cronulla Sharks do battle in a clash that will have top four ramifications.

There is plenty of value to be found this weekend, so don’t miss out on our complete NRL Round 25 tips.

Brisbane Broncos Vs Parramatta Eels

Thursday 24 August, 7.50pm, Suncorp Stadium

Brisbane Broncos 34 - Parramatta Eels 52

The Parramatta Eels flogged the Brisbane Broncos a month ago, but it is the Broncos that will start this clash as clear favourites.

Brisbane made it three wins on the trot with another professional performance against the St George Illawarra Dragons and their record at home this season is outstanding.

The Broncos have won 11 of their past 12 games as home favourites and they are 6-1-5 against the line in this scenario.

Parramatta bounced back from their shock loss at the hands of the Newcastle Knights to beat the Gold Coast Titans and they have won seven of their past eight games.

The Eels have won three of their past six games as away underdogs for a profit, but they are only 3-3 against the line in this scenario.

There is nowhere near as much between these two teams as the current betting market suggests and the Eels are an excellent bet to cover the line.

Back Parramatta To Beat The Line (+9.5 Points)

[matchmodule matchid=" 37221415" no="1"]

Canberra Raiders Vs Newcastle Knights

Friday 25 August, 6.00pm, GIO Stadium

Canberra Raiders 46 - Newcastle Knights 28

The Canberra Raiders are all but out of NRL finals contention and need to win this clash to keep their finals hopes alive.

Canberra missed out on a golden opportunity to claim two points when they lost to the Penrith Panthers last weekend and it will be interesting to see how they mentally bounce back from that setback.

The Raiders have won only six of their past 12 games as home favourites for a clear loss and they are a poor 4-8 against the line in this scenario.

The Newcastle Knights were no match for the Melbourne Storm last weekend, but they have still played some quality rugby league in recent weeks.

Newcastle have won only one of their past 12 games as away underdogs, but they are 7-5 against the line in this scenario.

It really would not surprise if Canberra have completely given up on this season and the Knights can beat the line with a massive start of 14.5 points.

Back Newcastle To Beat The Line (+14.5 Points)

[matchmodule matchid=" 37221472" no="2"]

Wests Tigers Vs North Queensland Cowboys

Friday 25 August, 7.50pm, Campbelltown Stadium

Wests Tigers 14 - North Queensland Cowboys 22

The market can’t separate the Wests Tigers and the North Queensland Cowboys ahead of this Friday Night clash.

The North Queensland Cowboys have been hit by a truly horrendous injury toll and they have now lost four games on the trot.

They still need to win another game this season to finish in the top eight and there is no doubt that this is their best opportunity.

The Cowboys have not been disgraced in recent weeks and their record away from home is fair – they are 9-4 against the line when playing on the road.

Wests almost made it two wins on the trot last weekend and they have won the past two games played between these two sides.

It is still tough to have any faith in the Tigers from a betting perspective – they have won only two of their past 11 games at home and their record against the line is just as bad.

This is one of the most difficult games of the week to analyse and at this stage I am happy to stay out.

No Bet

[matchmodule matchid=" 37221547" no="3"]

Gold Coast Titans Vs Canterbury Bulldogs

Saturday 26 August, 3.00pm, Cbus Super Stadium

Gold Coast Titans 14 - Canterbury Bulldogs 26

The Canterbury Bulldogs ended their losing streak with a shock win over the Manly Sea Eagles, but it is still the Gold Coast Titans that will start this clash as favourites.

It has been another turbulent week for the Titans following the sacking of coach Neil Henry and they are definitely a club that is already looking towards 2018.

The Titans have lost five games on the trot and it really is tough to see how they are favourites for this clash.

Canterbury pulled something out from the clouds to claim a shock win over Manly, but it should not be forgotten how poorly they have played in recent months.

The future of coach Des Hasler has still not been resolved and I am far from convinced that they can string together back-to-back wins.

There has to be a winner in this clash, but this is a match that I will certainly not be getting involved in.

No Bet

[matchmodule matchid=" 37229174" no="4"]

Melbourne Storm Vs South Sydney Rabbitohs

Saturday 26 August, 5.30pm, AAMI Park

Melbourne Storm 64 - South Sydney Rabbitohs 6

The Melbourne Storm have secured another minor premiership and they are clear favourites to continue on their winning ways.

Melbourne were their typically professional selves against the Newcastle Knights and their record against the South Sydney Rabbitohs is excellent.

The Storm have won ten of their past 13 games as home favourites for a clear profit, but they are only 5-8 against the line in this scenario.

South Sydney have won three games on the trot in fairly impressive fashion and they have found a semblance of their best form.

The Rabbitohs have actually won four of their past seven games as away underdogs for a clear profit and they are 5-2 against the line in this scenario.

It really would not surprise to see South Sydney give Melbourne a scare in this contest and the Rabbitohs are a great bet to beat the line with a healthy start.

Back South Sydney To Beat The Line (+12.5 Points)

[matchmodule matchid=" 37221587" no="5"]

Cronulla Sharks Vs Sydney Roosters

Saturday 26 August, 7.30pm, Southern Cross Group Stadium

Cronulla Sharks 14 - Sydney Roosters 16

This is a crucial game for both these sides as the winner will lock in a top four finish.

The Cronulla Sharks returned to winning form against the North Queensland Cowboys, but they were still far from convincing and there is no doubt that they have struggled in recent weeks.

Cronulla have won only six of their past 11 games as home favourites for a clear loss and they are an extremely poor 2-9 against the line in this scenario.

The Sydney Roosters survived a scare against the Wests Tigers to take the two points, but they are another side that has struggled for any real consistency over the past month.

Sydney have lost their past six games as away underdogs and they are only a middling 3-3 against the line.

Underdogs have an excellent record in games played between these two sides and it is the Roosters that do appeal in this clash.

Back Sydney Roosters To Win @ $2

[matchmodule matchid=" 37221666" no="6"]

New Zealand Warriors Vs Manly Sea Eagles

Sunday 27 August, 2.oopm, Mt Smart Stadium

New Zealand Warriors 21 - Manly Sea Eagles 22

The Manly Sea Eagles need to win one more game to earn a berth in the NRL Finals and they are favourites to do just that against the New Zealand Warriors.

Manly produced one of their worst performances of the season to loss to the Canterbury Bulldogs last weekend and they have now lost four of their past five games, while they have won only one of their past three games as away underdogs.

The New Zealand Warriors slumped to their seventh straight defeat when they went down to the South Sydney Rabbitohs last weekend and they have not really looked like winning a game since Shaun Johnson was ruled out of the rest of the season due to injury.

New Zealand have won only one of their past four games as home underdogs and they continue to be one of the worst betting teams in the NRL.

The only market that does appeal in this clash is the Over in Total Points betting.

Overs has saluted in nine of the past 13 home games played by the Warriors and over 40 points has been scored in seven of the past eight games played by Manly.

Back Over 42.5 Points

[matchmodule matchid=" 37232211" no="7"]

Penrith Panthers Vs St George Dragons

Sunday 27 August, 4.00pm, Pepper Stadium

Penrith Panthers 14 - St George Illawarra Dragons 16

The Penrith Panthers are the form team in the NRL and they are clear favourites to extend their winning streak this weekend.

Penrith’s win over the Canberra Raiders was their seventh on the trot and they may never have a better chance to improve their poor recent record against the St George Illawarra Dragons.

The Panthers have won ten of their past 12 games as home favourites and their record against the line is identical.

St George Illawarra need to win both their remaining games to qualify for the NRL Finals and on their recent form it is tough to see that happening.

The Dragons have lost five of their past seven games and their defence really has been brittle in recent weeks.

There is plenty to like about the Panthers at the moment and they can record another comfortable win.

Back Penrith To Beat The Line (-6.5 Points)

[matchmodule matchid=" 37223169" no="8"]

2016

There are plenty of big games in the penultimate round of the 2016 NRL season.

The Canterbury Bulldogs and North Queensland Cowboys both played finals football last year and will do battle in a clash that will almost certainly decide which team finishes in fourth position.

The game of the round will clearly be between the Melbourne Storm and the Brisbane Broncos, while the the game between the Gold Coast Titans and the Penrith Panthers will be crucial to the top eight chances of both sides.

Canterbury Bulldogs Vs North Queensland Cowboys

Thursday 25th August, 7.50pm, Belmore Sports Ground

Canterbury Bulldogs 16 - North Queensland Cowboys 24

This is arguably the biggest game of the season for both sides as the winner will be in the box-seat to finish in fourth position.

The Cowboys recorded a dominant 36-0 victory over Canterbury when the two sides met just over a month ago and they will start this game as clear favourites.

North Queensland lost three game on the trot following that dominant victory, but they returned to winning form with an excellent performance against the New Zealand Warriors last weekend.

The problem for the Cowboys in this clash is that they have struggled as away favourites this season and have a record of 4-5 in both head-to-head betting and line betting in this situation.

Canterbury have won six of their past eight games, but it is fair to say that they have been particularly impressive in doing so.

They lacked composure at key times against the Brisbane Broncos last weekend and they have lost both their game as away underdogs this season.

This will be a fascinating game to analyse heading into the NRL finals, but it is not one that I am keen to bet on at the current prices.

No Bet

[matchmodule matchid="22766988" no="1"]

Melbourne Storm Vs Brisbane Broncos

Friday 26th August, 7.50pm, AAMI Park

Melbourne Storm 16 - Brisbane Broncos 26

This is another game that will have key finals consequences as a victory would secure the minor premiership for the Melbourne Storm.

Melbourne bounced back from their loss to the Canberra Raiders with a comfortable victory over Manly and they will go into this clash as clear favourites.

The Storm have won nine of their ten games as home favourites this season, but they are only 5-5 against the line in this scenario.

Brisbane made it three wins on the trot with a hard-fought victory over Canterbury and they still have an outside chance of finishing in the top four if they win this game and other results go there way.

The Broncos have lost both of their games as away underdogs this season and are a flat 1-1 against the line.

I am not interested in either of these teams from a betting standpoint in this clash, but the under in the total points betting market does standout.

The under has saluted in five of the past seven games played by these two sides and it is also 8-4 in Storm home games this season.

Back Under 37.5 Points

[matchmodule matchid="22767877" no="2"]

Manly Sea Eagles Vs Canberra Raiders

Saturday 27th August, 3.00pm, Brookvale Oval

Manly Sea Eagles 30 - Canberra Raiders 44

The Canberra Raiders now have a big chance of securing a top two finish and could potentially leapfrog Cronulla to go to second on the ladder this weekend.

Canberra had a very poor first half against the Parramatta Eels last weekend, but they produced another second half comeback and will go into this clash as clear favourites once again.

The Raiders have still not been particularly convincing as away favourites this season and they have just two wins from their four games for a narrow loss.

Manly suffered their third straight loss at the hands of the Melbourne Storm last weekend and they face another tricky assignment on Saturday.

Brookvale Oval has not been a fortress for Manly this season and they have won just one of their past seven games as home underdogs, while they are an extremely poor 1-1-5 against the line in this scenario.

This is another game where the total points betting market is where the best value is on offer.

Five of the past six games between these sides have finished in the over and the Raiders have been an overs side throughout this season.

Back Over 41.5 Points

[matchmodule matchid="22768492" no="3"]

Gold Coast Titans Vs Penrith Panthers

Saturday 27th August, 5.30pm, Cbus Super Stadium

Gold Coast Titans 14 - Penrith Panthers 15

The Penrith Panthers and Gold Coast Titans currently sit in seventh and eighth respectively and a win from either side will secure them a place in the top eight.

Gold Coast kicked three points clear of the New Zealand Warriors with their win over the Newcastle Knights last weekend and they will go into this clash as narrow favourites.

The Titans have won three of their five games as home favourites this season and have the same record against the line for a narrow profit.

Penrith all but secured their place in the top eight with a big win over the Wests Tigers last Friday night and can keep alive their hopes of a home final with a win this weekend.

The Panthers have won just two of their past seven games as away underdogs, but they do have a more than credible record of 4-3 against the line in this scenario.

This will be another very interesting clash, but the market looks to have got it just right and I am happy to stay out from a betting standpoint.

No Bet

[matchmodule matchid="22769383" no="4"]

Cronulla Sharks Vs Sydney Roosters

Saturday 27th August, 7.30pm, Shark Park

Cronulla Sharks 37 - Sydney Roosters 12

The Cronulla Sharks have hit a form slump at the wrong time of the season and desperately need to win this game to get their maiden premiership aspirations back on track.

Cronulla have now not won a game since they beat the Newcastle Knights over a month ago and they have been extremely poor against both St George Illawarra and South Sydney in the past two weeks.

Their recent performances have dented their betting statistics somewhat and they have still won nine of their past 11 games as home favourites, but they are 5-6 against the line in this scenario.

The Sydney Roosters have the chance to record three straight wins for the first time this season after recording a big 42-6 win over the Dragons last weekend.

This has obviously been a season to forget for the Roosters and their betting statistics showed just how poor they have been in 2016 – they have won just two of their eight games as away underdogs.

If Cronulla remain a genuine threat heading into the finals they really should prove far too strong for the Sydney Roosters this weekend, but I can’t back them at their current price after their three most recent performances.

No Bet

[matchmodule matchid="22770079" no="5"]

New Zealand Warriors Vs Wests Tigers

Sunday 28th August, 2.oopm, Mt Smart Stadium

New Zealand Warriors 24 - Wests Tigers 36

This is a must-win game for both these sides if they want to remain in top eight contention.

The New Zealand Warriors were very poor against the North Queensland Cowboys last weekend and they have really let slip a golden opportunity to play finals football in 2016.

New Zealand will still go into this game as clear favourites and this has been a position in which they have not thrived this season – they are 4-3 as home favourites in head-to-head betting and they are 1-6 against the line in this situation.

Wests look a shell of their usual selves without James Tedesco in their outfit and they were extremely poor against the Penrith Panthers last Friday night.

The Tigers have struggled away from home this season and they have won just two of their nine games as away underdogs, but they are 5-4 against the line in this scenario.

This is another game where all the value is in total points betting markets.

Four of their past five games played between these two sides have resulted in the over and the Tigers in particular have been an overs outfit this season.

Back Over 41.5 Points

[matchmodule matchid="22770925" no="6"]

Newcastle Knights Vs South Sydney Rabbitohs

Sunday 28th August, 4.00pm, Hunter Stadium

Newcastle Knights 12 - South Sydney Rabbitohs 34

The South Sydney Rabbitohs have found a semblance of form at the end of 2016 and they will start this game as clear favourites.

After their entertaining display against New Zealand a fortnight ago, South Sydney ground out a narrow win over the Cronulla Sharks and played the type of inspired football that has been missing this season.

The problem for South Sydney is that they have generally struggled as favourites this season – they are 1-2 as away favourites and have not covered the line in any of these games.

Newcastle suffered their second straight defeat of more than 20 points last weekend and there is no doubt this is a club looking forward to the end of this season.

The Knights still have just the one win on their record this season and they are 5-7 against the line as away underdogs.

Newcastle have given away a start of 12.5 points or more on 13 occasions this season and they have covered that spread just five times, with an in-form South Sydney an excellent chance of putting up a big score this weekend.

Back South Sydney Rabbitohs To Beat The Line (-12.5 Points)

[matchmodule matchid="22771237" no="7"]

Parramatta Eels Vs St George Dragons

Monday 29th August, 7.00pm, Pirtek Stadium

This is another game that does not have any relevance from a finals perspective.

The Parramatta Eels started strongly against the Canberra Raiders last weekend before they fell away in the second half.

They will still start this clash as clear favourites and this is a position they have struggled in this season – they are 1-3 as home favourites in both head-to-head and line betting markets.

The St George Illawarra Dragons have lost six of their past seven games and they are currently a club in crisis.

St George Illawarra have won just one of their past ten games as home underdogs and they are 4-6 against the line in this situation.

Once again, it is the total points betting market that stands out in this clash.

The under is 9-3 in the past 12 games at Pirtek Stadium, while the under is 15-10 for the Dragons in the past 12 months.

Back Under 41.5 Points

[matchmodule matchid="22771939" no="8"]