Three top eight blockbusters headline Round 5 as the Panthers and the Eels look to remain undefeated.
After taking care of Manly last week, Penrith returns home to take on the Raiders on Friday night in a game that could turn out to be a finals preview.
The Roosters and Sharks are looking to make it two in a row when they meet on Saturday at the SCG, followed by a Sunday twilight blockbuster between the Eels and Dragons from Bankwest.
This should be another telling weekend of footy, so be sure to check out who we’re backing in our Round 5 Preview here!
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Thursday April 8,7:50pm, Stadium Australia
They might be at opposite ends on the ladder, but there should be plenty of feeling between the Rabbitohs and Broncos on Thursday night.
After stumbling against some of the lower teams last year, the Rabbitohs proved to everybody that they are locked in with a 38-0 shutout over the Bulldogs last Friday night.
The Broncos, meanwhile, gave the Storm a slight scare in the opening 10-minutes before suffering at the hands of Ryan Papenhuyzen in another 40-6 landslide.
Although he’s been removed from the Broncos for close to three years, this is still another statement game for Wayne Bennett going up against not only his former club, but also his former assistant Kevin Walters.
While these two sides traded punches last season, it was all one-way traffic when they last met with the Rabbitohs walking away comfortable 18-point victors.
Souths will have to go about their business minus Cody Walker, but after Brisbane’s defence was carved up last week by Ryan Papenhuyzen and George Jennings, it’s unlikely the Bunnies will be too worried.
Unlike most teams, the Broncos are one of the healthiest and fittest sides in the league right now, but this is still a tough task against a red-hot Rabbitohs side scoring for fun.
Considering the Bunnies have covered the line three of their last four games as the home favourite against Brisbane, this one should turn into another Thursday night blowout.
Tip: Back the Rabbitohs to Cover the Line (-20.5 Points) @ $2.00
New Zealand Warriors
Manly Sea Eagles
Friday April 9, 6:00pm, Central Coast Stadium
Things are only about to get harder before they get any easier for Manly.
After suffering a 40-point loss last week to the Panthers, the Sea Eagles now travel to Gosford on Friday night to face a Warriors side looking to return to winning form.
Although injuries have largely been to blame for Manly’s winless start, there’s no denying Des Hasler’s side is lacking the mental focus and effort to string together two consistent halves of football right now.
The Warriors also have their injury concerns, but this does look a nice little bounce-back game for them after suffering at the hands of the Roosters last week.
Unfortunately, Addin Fonua-Blake has joined Peta Hiku on the sidelines, but Warrior fans can rest easy knowing their side has won three straight over Manly dating back to 2019.
The Sea Eagles may get some reprieve if Tom Trbojevic is deemed fit to play, but with obvious problems in the locker-room, it’s very difficult to see Manly pulling off an upset here.
Tip: Back the Warriors to Cover the Line (-7.5 Points) @ $2.00
Friday April 9, 7:55pm, Panthers Stadium
First plays fifth on Friday night as the Panthers look to keep their unbeaten record intact against the visiting Raiders.
Ivan Cleary’s side spent the first month of the season in third gear with blowout wins over the Cowboys, Bulldogs and Sea Eagles, but like their Round 3 clash against the Storm a fortnight ago, this one shapes up to be a much tougher test.
Despite being hampered by injury, the Raiders still managed to dig deep last week in their 20-4 win over the Titans at Jubilee.
A tight defensive performance saw Canberra overcome its lack of possession in the second half to keep the Titans off the scoreboard, a performance the Green Machine will need to replicate this week against the best side in the league.
The last time these two sides met the Panthers won comfortably at home on the back of four first half tries, and there’s no doubt another slow start will cost the Raiders dearly this time around.
An encouraging defensive showing against the Titans is one thing, but after struggling to string together two consistent halves for most of the season, it’s tough to see the Raiders causing an upset.
Tip: Back the Panthers 1-12 @ $2.65
Gold Coast Titans
Saturday April 10, 3:00pm, CBUS Super Stadium
A spot inside the top eight is up for grabs on Saturday when the Titans and Knights square off on the Gold Coast.
Both sides have played to middling 2-2 records so far, but as the odds suggest, the Titans look a relatively safe bet to move one step closer to playing finals.
Newcastle’s injury woes have only gotten worse with Mitchell Pearce now set to miss up to three months with a pectoral injury.
The skipper joins Kalyn Ponga, Kurt Mann, Bradman Best, Edrick Lee and David Klemmer on the sidelines – a long list that leaves the Knights seriously short on playmakers.
For all the hype, it’s fair to say the Titans have fallen somewhat short of expectations so far, but there’s still room for optimism despite last week’s forgettable loss to the Raiders.
Justin Holbrook is set to welcome centre Brian Kelly back to the side, while Anthony Don and Jamal Fogarty are both a chance at playing.
With the Knights missing the bulk of their star power, the Titans look a good bet to extend their home winning streak over Newcastle to six.
Tip: Back the Titans to Cover the Line (-10.5 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday April 10, 5:30pm, Stadium Australia
Canterbury’s defence has been historically bad to start the season and things aren’t about to get any easier this week against the Storm.
The Dogs suffered their third consecutive shutout last week against the Bunnies – a result that has not surprisingly left Melbourne as -26 favourites at the line.
The Storm, meanwhile, cruised to a 34-point blowout over the Broncos thanks to a dazzling four try performance from star full back Ryan Papenhuyzen.
On one hand, the Dogs do have some decent talent through the middle to limit Melbourne’s opportunities, but considering they’ve allowed 24 points or more in all four of their games so far, another blowout looks imminent.
To make matters worse, the Storm have historically dominated the Bulldogs over the last few years.
Melbourne hasn’t lost to Canterbury since 2016, while last year’s 41-10 loss remains firmly at the back of Trent Barrett’s mind.
With a strong 3-1 record as the away favourite at the line against the Dogs, this one really isn’t worth overcomplicating.
Tip: Back the Storm to Cover the Line (-26 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday April 10, 7:35pm, SCG
The Roosters and Sharks were two of the big winners to emerge from Round 4 as both sides now look to keep momentum rolling on Saturday.
Sydney’s stalwarts came through with the goods last week as the Morris brothers and James Tedesco played a big part in the 32-12 win over the Warriors.
The Sharks, meanwhile, picked up a blowout win of their own against the hapless Cowboys thanks to two tries respectively from Connor Tracey and William Kennedy.
The Chooks hold the wood over the Sharks with five straight wins on the board dating back to 2017, but this one could turn out much closer than the market suggests.
Cronulla has proven themselves a handful on several occasions this year with some strong second half performances, while the return of Ronaldo Mulitalo and Jesse Ramien should pose a few challenges to a Roosters defence minus Luke Keary.
So far these two sides have played to 3-1 records at the line, but with the Sharks welcoming back some key pieces, they look a good bet to keep this tight.
Tip: Back the Sharks to Cover the Line (+7.5 Points) @ $1.90
North Queensland Cowboys
Sunday April 11, 4:05pm, Leichardt Oval
The Tigers have opened as the short-priced favourites to pick up their second win of the season against the lowly Cowboys.
After recording one of the upsets of the season a fortnight ago in Newcastle, Wests managed to put up a decent fight in the first half last week before the Eels kicked away in the final 10 minutes.
The Cowboys, on the other hand, have left plenty to be desired through the first month under new coach Todd Payten.
North Queensland has allowed the second-most points to opponents this year behind the Bulldogs – a worrying sign going up against a Tigers team that ranks top three in set completions.
To make matters worse, the Cowboys have lost four straight to the Tigers dating back to 2018 – two of which have come at Leichardt.
With some doubt surrounding the status of Justin O’Neill and Michael Morgan also set to msis another game, this looks to be another rough weekend for North Queensland fans.
Tip: Back the Tigers to Cover the Line (-9.5 Points) @ $1.90
St George-Illawarra Dragons
Sunday April 11, 6:15pm, Bankwest Stadium
Round 5 concludes with a bang on Sunday as the second-placed Eels take on the sixth-placed Dragons at Bankwest.
Much like last year, Parramatta has cruised to a perfect 4-0 record through the first month of the season, but they’ll likely need to produce their best this week against a dangerous Dragons side that hasn’t lost since Round 1.
Adding further spice to this game is the fact the Dragons won at this venue against the Eels by a narrow two-point margin last August.
On the injury front, Parramatta should receive a boost up front with Ryan Matterson returning from a concussion, while the Dragons will also welcome back Jack Bird from suspension.
As far as betting is concerned, this really is the toughest game of the week to pick.
Although the Eels won comfortably in the end against the Tigers, they did have their hands full early on.
At the same time, it’s difficult to read too much into St George’s wins over the lowly Cowboys and Sea Eagles and a half-strength Knights team.
With that in mind, the safest play here is probably on the total.
The last two games between these sides have gone Under, and it wouldn’t be surprising if we get a similar result this week with plenty on the line.
Tip: Under 43.5 Total Points @ $1.90
The hapless Broncos and the hard done by Sea Eagles get us underway from Gosford on Thursday night, followed by a clash between two undefeated sides, Parramatta and Penrith, on Friday.
Saturday features another blockbuster between the Knights and the Storm that is shaping up to be a finals preview, while Sunday is one for the traditionalists with four old-time rivals in action.
We’ve previewed all eight games and offered our best bets in our 2020 NRL Round 5 Preview below!
Manly Sea Eagles
Thursday June 11,7:50pm, Central Coast Stadium
Thursday night’s game in Gosford will be more than just a test of physical strength as the Broncos and the Sea Eagles both look to put their Round 4 horrors behind them.
The last fortnight for Brisbane has been an absolute nightmare after their Round 3 loss to the Eels concluded with a 59-0 massacre at the hands of the reigning premiers.
As for Manly, the less said about the forward pass controversy the better, but the fact remains the same: both of these sides are desperate to get back in the win column.
Anthony Seibold’s side has enjoyed the better part of this matchup recently with back-to-back wins over the last two seasons, but unfortunately, as the odds suggest, there’s a lot to loathe about the Broncos right now.
Uninspired on and off the field, Seibold has chosen to shuffle his squad this week by moving Corey Oates to the back row. Katoni Staggs returning is also a welcome side as the team ventures away from Suncorp for the first time since the season restarted.
Manly remain unchanged at time of publish and coach Des Hasler shouldn’t have any trouble rallying his troops in preparation for this clash.
After Tom Trbojevic’s surprisingly awful performance last week was followed by a controversial referee decision, it’s hard to see a fired up Manly side losing.
Tip: Back the Sea Eagles 1-12 @ $2.95
New Zealand Warriors
North Queensland Cowboys
Friday June 12, 6:00pm, Central Coast Stadium
The Cowboys and Warriors were both comfortable winners in Round 3 over the Titans and Dragons respectively, but as we learned last week, cheap wins over two easy-beats often doesn’t mean much.
North Queensland were caught off guard last week against a Sharks outfit that simply wanted it more.
Defensive errors and consistent ball-handling issues cost the Cowboys in a back and forth game, while the Warriors on the other hand, produced a complete no-show against the Panthers in Campbelltown, much to the frustration of punters.
The Kiwis are technically the home side on Friday night and they do look a little over the odds against a Cowboys team still struggling with injuries.
Jason Taumalolo holds a slim chance at returning, while John Asiata now heads for an extended stint on the sideline with a knee injury, while Round 3 hero Ben Hampton and Jake Granville are also set to miss out.
The Warriors themselves are battling through with Isaiah Papali’i absent.
Considering the last five games between these two side have all gone Under the Total, the lack of star power could result in another low-scoring game.
Tip: Under 38.5 Total Points @ $1.90
Friday June 12, 7:55pm, Bankwest Stadium
The NRL has done a great job with these primetime blockbusters so far, and Friday’s potential Finals preview between the undefeated Eels and Panthers should be no exception.
Parramatta may have won controversially last week, but it’s worth remembering they did dominate the first half with three tries in the final 10-minutes.
The Eels also forced a disciplined side like Manly into a handful of uncharacteristic errors, while Mitchell Moses’ leadership clearly has this team in the conversation for the Grand Final.
Penrith can also stake their claim this week with another win against a top contender.
After defeating the Roosters way back in Round 1 and holding the Knights to a draw last week, the Panthers recorded a statement shutout victory over the Warriors that suggests they are the real deal.
Nathan Cleary is set to return to the halves for Penrith, meaning we could see another 16-10 thriller similar to last year’s Round 11 clash at Bankwest Stadium.
With that in mind, the Panthers do represent enormous value at their current quote.
Not only has Penrith won three of their last five against Parramatta, they’ve also played to a 2-0 record as the line underdog on the road against the Eels.
While the outright $2.45 is tempting, it’s worth taking the +5.5 insurance here.
Tip: Back the Panthers to Cover the Line (+5.5 Points) @ $1.95
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Gold Coast Titans
Saturday June 13, 3:00pm, BankWest Stadium
Surely the Titans can’t do it again… can they?
Justin Holbrook’s side finally got a win on the board last week against the Tigers in what will go down as one of the clubs most memorable victories, but unfortunately, the odds, and the trends, are stacked against them this week.
Winless since the season restarted, the Rabbitohs are set to welcome back James Roberts and Cody Walker into the backline – welcome relief following last week’s thrashing at the hands of the Storm.
The Bunnies have also won three straight over the Gold Coast dating back to 2016, so while another spirited Titans performance wouldn’t come as a surprise, this game isn’t worth over-complicating.
Tip: Back the Rabbitohs to Cover the Line (-11.5 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday June 13, 5:30pm, BankWest Stadium
The Knights are not only looking to potentially move into first-place on the ladder on Saturday night, they are also looking to erase four years worth of bad luck against the Storm.
Newcastle hasn’t defeated Melbourne since 2015, but following their 3-1 start to the season, Adam O’Brien’s side really looks a strong chance ahead of this finals-like preview.
Last week the Knights made short work of a Raiders team that seemed almost unbeatable a week prior against this same Storm outfit.
Melbourne, meanwhile, got things back on track last week with a win over the understrength Rabbitohs, but this will be a much tougher test against the NRL’s newest one-man wrecking ball, Bradman Best.
The Storm will head to Campbelltown as the favourites in the market, but you could argue the bookies have got this one wrong.
History aside, this game should be a proving point for the undefeated Knights to cement themselves as a serious premiership contender, and with a healthy side, they should do just that.
Tip: Back the Knights to Win @ $2.25
Saturday June 13,7:35pm, Campbelltown Stadium
The Raiders lost back-to-back games only once last year, so it’s no surprise to find the Green Machine at such a short price in the market here.
Canberra’s no-show performance last week against the Knights was easily one of the surprise storylines to emerge from Round 4, especially on the heels of a statement victory over the Storm a week earlier.
The Tigers also put up a flat performance themselves against the Titans that boiled down to a handful of unforgivable defensive errors.
As a result, the club dropped a bombshell earlier in the week by dropping Benji Marshall, while other names like Robert Jennings and Luke Garner also haven’t survived Michael Maguire’s axe.
Inconsistencies have been a part of the Tigers’ game seemingly forever, so it’s difficult to see them turning things around here against a class side like Canberra.
The Raiders have won two in a row over the Tigers and are also 4-1 as the away favourite at the line over the last 12 months, so stick with Ricky Stuart’s side to win big.
Tip: Back the Raiders to Cover the Line (-8.5 Points) @ $1.95
Sunday June 14, 4:05pm, BankWest Stadium
One of the NRL’s longest standing rivalries kicks off on Sunday, but judging by how the Roosters have returned following the two month break, it might be a little one sided.
Sydney’s demolition over the Broncos last week has them back in premiership favouritism, and while the Bulldogs did pull off a hard-fought win over the Dragons, this task is probably a little beyond them.
The Roosters are welcoming James Tedesco back into the side, a scary thought considering they put up 59-points last week without him.
As far as trends go, the Dogs have lost six straight to Sydney dating back to 2016, but if there is one constant to keep in mind, it’s that Canterbury has managed to keep it close on the scoreboard.
In their last six meeting the Dogs have lost by eight points or less on four occasions, so with a +17.5 line to play with, it might be worth taking Canterbury to at least keep things respectable.
Tip: Back the Bulldogs to Cover the Line (+17.5 Points) @ $1.90
St George Illawarra Dragons
Sunday June 14, 6:30pm, Campbelltown Stadium
Another famous rivalry will cap off Round 5 on Sunday with the winless Dragons in action against the rejuvenated Sharks.
Cronulla has won their last two encounters against St George and they certainly look the team to beat here based on last week’s efforts against the Cowboys.
Aside from a few silly errors in defence, the Sharks ran North Queensland ragged on the wing as Ronaldo Mulitalo found the line twice.
The Dragons, meanwhile, are perhaps one game away from implosion.
After laying a goose egg against the Warriors a fortnight ago and mustering only two-points last week in the loss to the Bulldogs, it’s safe to say Paul McGregor’s job is well and truly on the line.
From a trends perspective, the Dragons do look value at the line, though.
St George is a perfect 3-0 as the away underdog against the Sharks, so if they can force Cronulla into errors like the Cowboys did last week, they might keep this close.
Tip: Back the Dragons to Cover the Line (+6.5 Points) @ $1.90
If footy is your thing, boy does the NRL have your Saturday night sorted.
It’s the Sharks and the Roosters from Shark Park in a twilight thriller, followed by a Sunday matinee between two 3-1 teams, the Raiders and the Eels.
If you fancy backing a winner, be sure to check out our entire 2019 NRL Round 5 Preview below.
Thursday 11 April, 7:50pm, Suncorp Stadium
Have the wheels completely fallen off Anthony Seibold’s side? The Broncos were embarrassed at the hands of the Roosters losing 36-4 in Sydney last week, a loss that has called the heart of Brisbane’s leadership into question after a disastrous start to the season.
The Tigers also have a few problems to address after a second-straight loss, this time in agonizing golden point fashion to the Panthers. Wests were always the outsiders heading in, only to be left with nothing to show after allowing a last minute try to Dylan Edwards.
Both shock losses set up what should be a fascinating Thursday night tussle from Suncorp, one that has seen its fair share of close calls in recent years.
The Broncos won in thrilling overtime fashion when these sides met last March, claiming their second-straight victory over Michael Maguire’s side. Before you go backing Brisbane though, it’s worth questioning what frame of mind the Broncos are in after two disappointing losses.
As the away underdog the Tigers are 1-8, while the Broncos hold a much tidier 3-1 record as the home favourite against this week’s opponents. The last time the Tigers won at Suncorp was way back in 2016, but even so, if the Broncos start flat like they often do, they could easily find themselves trailing early.
[matchmodule matchid=" 77539312" no="1"]
Tip: Half-Time/Full-Time: Wests Tigers/Brisbane Broncos @ $7.00
Gold Coast Titans
Friday 12 April, 6:00pm, CBus Super Stadium
Nothing went the way of the Titans last week in New Zealand. Gold Coast didn’t get out of the gates until after half time, and although the Titans made things interesting with two early second half tries, the damage had already been done as Garth Brennan’s side fell by 16-points.
The Panthers found themselves in a much more evenly matched battle at home against the Tigers. It took Penrith 78-minutes to crack the scoreboard, but that’s all it took for the Panthers to go on and win in golden point fashion to delight the home crowd.
Looking ahead to this week, we could be in for a real close one. The Panthers have won four straight over the Gold Coast, but fans would do well to remember last year’s epic 17-16 win in Round 22.
Even with home-field advantage this week the Titan still find themselves as the underdog for the fifth consecutive week. Gold Coast are 1-7 in this role over the last 12 months and 0-2 against the Panthers, however there is some value to be had on the line.
The Titans are 6-2 as the home underdog against the line, and although the usual errors and sloppy play will likely plague them once again, a fast start from the Titans could at least see them keep this game competitive.
[matchmodule matchid=" 77540011" no="2"]
Tip: Back the Titans to Cover the Line (+3.5 Points) @ $1.90
North Queensland Cowboys
Friday 12 April, 7:55pm, 1300Smiles Stadium
A Round 5 clash with the Storm is the last thing the Cowboys need right now. North Queensland were outclassed by the Raiders last week, losing by 18-points at home in what was another tough game for the Cowboys’ defence.
Melbourne remains perfect atop the NRL ladder, but things certainly didn’t come easy against Canterbury. The Dogs had a real chance to upset the Storm at home, but Rhyse Martin’s missed conversion attempt ultimately meant the difference between a tied game and a loss.
This week’s game looks cruisy for the Storm, but they can’t afford to get complacent with a red-hot Roosters side coming to town next week.
It goes without saying that the Storm will win this game easily if they control possession and stick their tackles – two things Craig Bellamy’s side have had no trouble with so far this season.
Melbourne are also an impressive 12-2 as the favourite against the Cowboys, which makes sense considering the Storm have won eight straight over North Queensland dating back to 2015.
[matchmodule matchid=" 77540229" no="3"]
Tip: Back the Storm to Cover the Line (-7.5 Points) @ $1.90
South Sydney Rabbitohs
New Zealand Warriors
Saturday April 13, 3:00pm, Sunshine Coast Stadium
Tough to work out how the Bunnies lost to Manly last week. South Sydney controlled possession and played the cleaner brand of football, but unfortunately, none of that converted into points on the scoreboard.
Unlike the Rabbitohs, the Warriors reaped the rewards for their hard work against the Titans, securing a much-needed victory to remain on the fringe of the Top 8.
These two sides have combined for some real lively affairs in recent years, with the Total going well over 50 points in four of their last five. The Rabbitohs have won three of the last five, but even so, still look a little under the odds at this price after last week’s shortcomings.
It’s still only early, but New Zealand need to find the same form they had on the road last year. The Warriors were a force to be reckoned with in Sydney, but their 34-6 blowout loss to the Tigers in Campbelltown back in Round 2 was a far cry from the team we once knew.
As the away underdog the Warriors are 3-3 straight-up over the last 12 months and 1-7 in all games against South Sydney. Given just how many attacking weapons both sides possess though, the Overs is the play here.
[matchmodule matchid=" 77540424" no="4"]
Tip: Back Over 41.5 Total Points @ $1.88
Manly Sea Eagles
Saturday April 13, 5:30pm, McDonald Jones Stadium
Manly nailed down what could perhaps be one of their most important wins of 2019 last week over the Rabbitohs, but it came at a cost. Tom Trbojevic’s hamstring injury has ruled the star fullback out for at least the next two months, but there’s nothing to say the Sea Eagles can’t win this week against the Knights.
To be fair, Newcastle fought gallantly against the Dragons at home last week, but once again came up short in the 13-12 defeat. The loss was the Knights’ third of the year, and they won’t hold particularly fond memories against Manly, either.
Despite having won two-straight against Des Hasler’s side, the Sea Eagles have typically taken Newcastle to the sword in recent years. Both meetings last year were decided by a try or less, with the Round 1 meeting needing overtime.
As the away underdog Manly are 6-11 straight-up over the last 12 months, but at the line they are 6-3 on the road. If the Sea Eagles can carry over last week’s momentum and lean on Daly Cherry-Evans to hold down the fort, this looks a great upset bet.
[matchmodule matchid=" 77540722" no="5"]
Tip: Back Manly to Cover the Line (+4.5 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday April 13, 7:35pm, Shark Park
The usually stingy Sharks defence was far from its old self last week against the Eels, surrendering an opening seventh-minute try to Marata Niukore before the floodgates opened in the second half.
Cronulla’s attack isn’t a strong point right now, and when faced with a side that can dominate around the opposition’s try-line, things get a little dicey.
Not that we needed convincing, but the Roosters proved they are one of those sides last week in their 36-4 demolition over the Broncos. Sydney have enjoyed an extra couple of days rest leading up to Sunday’s game, and it appears the bookies want no part of the Sharks at this price.
Cronulla are 4-4 as the home underdog against the Roosters, so it’s not surprising to learn the Sharks have lost three straight to Sydney.
The Roosters will need to be careful this weekend on attack, though. The Sharks are one of few teams capable of disrupting their organized sets, but if there’s two experienced players worth trusting to get the job done, it’s Cooper Cronk and James Tedeseco.
[matchmodule matchid=" 77541063" no="6"]
Tip: Back the Roosters 1-12 @ $2.80
St George Illawarra Dragons
Sunday April 14, 4:05pm, Jubilee Stadium
You can hardly call last week’s 13-12 win over the Knights dominant, but the Dragons got the job done to remain just one step away from securing their spot back inside the Top 8.
The Bulldogs, on the other hand, put up a very impressive fight against the Storm in Melbourne last week, and even though Dean Pay’s side didn’t come away with the points, Canterbury has to take heart in the fact they put together two consistent halves.
These two sides met twice last year earning one win apiece. The most notable game was the Dogs’ 38-0 win in Round 24, a game the Dragons would have had circled all offseason.
With home-field advantage this week the Dragons find themselves at the short price, a situation they are 4-2 in against the Bulldogs. St. George also had to feel encouraged by the performance from Ben Hunt, and if the halfback can put together another huge day on attack, the Dragons should have no trouble disposing of a competitive Dogs side.
[matchmodule matchid=" 77541547" no="7"]
Tip: Back the Dragons to Cover the Line (-6.5 Points) @ $2.00
Sunday April 14, 6:10pm, GIO Stadium
It’s only fitting that two sides fresh from convincing Round 4 victories meet in the final game on Sunday.
The Eels were always great value against the Sharks last week, and they didn’t disappoint in the 24-12 win. Likewise, the Raiders also saluted at a handy price against the Cowboys, earning their third victory on the year to now sit third on the ladder.
The Raiders will find confidence heading into this week’s game knowing they’ve won five straight over the Eels dating back to 2016. This is a different Parramatta side compared to last year though, and Canberra only need to peak down the ladder to find out why this weekend’s game is such a big deal.
With both sides sitting 3-1, the only real advantage the Raiders have is home field. It’s been over a decade since Parramatta have won in Canberra, and if the Raiders’ defence can lockdown and limit the points like they’ve done all season long, they should have no trouble earning their fourth win on the year.
[matchmodule matchid=" 77541992" no="8"]
Tip: Back the Raiders 1-12 @ $2.90
What a start it has been to the NRL season!
There have been a string of upsets in the first month of the season and it is a big surprise that the St George Illawarra Dragons and the New Zealand Warriors are the only two unbeaten teams left in the competition.
Our NRL Early Payout special has also proven to be a hit for punters as we have paid out on both teams in at least one game in every round of the season to date and it continues this weekend – if your selection scores the first 2 tries, we will pay you out as a winner early even if they go on to lose the game.
We have analysed every game set to take place in the NRL this weekend and our complete 2018 NRL Round 5 tips can be found below.
Thursday 5 April, 7:50pm, GIO Stadium
It has been a shocking start to the NRL season for the Canberra Raiders, but they will still go into this clash with the Canterbury Bulldogs as narrow favourites.
The Raiders slumped to 0-4 with another poor performance against the Manly Sea Eagles last weekend and this has been their worst start to a season since they entered the competition in 1982.
Canberra have won only four of their past ten games as home favourites for a clear loss and they are a woeful 2-8 against the line in this scenario.
The Canterbury Bulldogs flew out of the gates against the South Sydney Rabbitohs, but they ran out of legs in the final 10 minutes and their inability to close out games has become an issue.
Winning away from home has been an issue for the Bulldogs over the past 12 months an they have won only two of their past ten games as away underdogs, while they are 4-6 against the line in this scenario.
It is impossible to trust either of these teams from a betting standpoint and this is a clash that I am more than happy to stay out of.
[matchmodule matchid=" 51895135" no="1"]
Friday 6 April, 6:00pm, Southern Cross Group Stadium
This is arguably the highlight of the round and a big test for both these sides at this stage of the season.
The Sydney Roosters were flogged by the New Zealand Warriors last weekend, but they will still go into this clash with the Cronulla Sharks as favourites.
The Roosters have suffered back-to-back defeats only twice over the past 12 months, but their record on the road is not particularly strong and they have won only four of their six games as away favourites.
Cronulla have shown plenty of defensive toughness to record back-to-back wins over the Parramatta Eels and the Melbourne Storm and their recent record against the Roosters is outstanding – they have won six of the past seven games played between the two sides.
The Sharks have won one of their past two games at Southern Cross Group Stadium as underdogs and they are 2-0 against the line in this scenario.
The Under in the Total Points betting has saluted in the past seven games played by the Sharks and has also been a profitable betting play in Roosters matches over the past 12 months.
This should be another fairly dour, low-scoring affair and the Under is an excellent bet.
[matchmodule matchid=" 51895521" no="2"]
Back Under 36.5 Points
St George Illawarra Dragons
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Friday 6 April, 7:50pm, Jubilee Oval
The St George Illawarra Dragons taken an unbeaten record into this clash with the South Sydney Rabbitohs and it is no surprise that they are clear favourites.
St George Illawarra have been dominant over the past fortnight and a win over the Rabbitohs will make this their best start to a season since 1993.
The Dragons have now won seven of their past nine games as home favourites, but they are still only 4-5 against the line in this scenario.
South Sydney came from behind to beat the Canterbury Bulldogs on Good Friday and there has been plenty to like about the way that the Rabbitohs have played in recent weeks.
The Rabbitohs have won only two of their past seven games as away underdogs, but they are 5-2 against the line and they have won six of their past seven games against the Dragons.
This is a game that should be closer than the current market suggests and the Rabbitohs are a great bet to beat the line with a start of 8.5 points.
[matchmodule matchid=" 51920016" no="3"]
Back South Sydney To Cover The Line (+8.5 Points)
Saturday 7 April, 3:00pm, Mt Smart Stadium
This will be the second meeting between these two sides this season and the first leg of a double-header at Mt Smart Stadium.
The Wests Tigers stunned the Melbourne Storm in the second round of the NRL season and they take a 3-1 record into this clash following their big win over the Parramatta Eels on Easter Monday.
Wests have now won seven of their past 21 games as underdogs for a clear profit and they are an impressive 13-1-7 against the line in this scenario.
The Storm produced an unusually flat effort to go down to the Cronulla Sharks last Friday and they definitely aren’t as dominant a side as they were 12 months.
In saying that, they have still not suffered back-to-back defeats since 2015 and it would take a brave man to bet against them.
Melbourne have won 19 of their past 23 games as favourites and they are a profitable betting play against the line when giving away a start.
A strong defence has been the hallmark of the Tiger’s revival this season and this is another clash in which the Under in Total Points betting does appeal.
The Under has saluted in six of the past eight games played between these two sides and there is every chance that this will be another low-scoring affair.
[matchmodule matchid=" 51991291" no="4"]
Back Under 38.5 Points
New Zealand Warriors
North Queensland Cowboys
Saturday 7 April, 5:30pm, Mt Smart Stadium
What a start to the season it has been for the New Zealand Warriors!
They are 4-0 – their best start to the season in their history – and they were able to record a dominant win over the Sydney Roosters without Shaun Johnson.
The Warriors are showing a maturity that has been missing from their side for a very long time and they have not won five games in a row since 2013.
New Zealand have won only five of their past ten games at Mt Smart Stadium for a loss, but they are 6-4 against the line in this scenario.
It has been a shocking start to the NRL season for the much-hyped North Queensland Cowboys and they were nothing short of disgraceful against the Penrith Panthers.
A number of their key players simply aren’t performing at the level they are capable of and coach Paul Green hasn’t had any answers.
The Cowboys will take confidence from the fact that they have won their past four games against the Warriors and winning away from home – even in New Zealand – has not been an issue.
Backing the Cowboys on the road over the past 12 months has been a highly profitable play and if they can return to their best they do have a quality edge over the Warriors.
It is tough to back the Cowboys off their performance last weekend, but their record against the Warriors can’t be ignored and they are capable of bouncing back.
[matchmodule matchid=" 51895821" no="5"]
Back North Queensland To Win @ $1.91
Saturday 7 April, 7:35pm, McDonald Jones Stadium
This is another game where the market is unable to split the two sides.
The Brisbane Broncos take a 2-2 record into this clash, but there are still plenty of questions being asked about Wayne Bennett’s men following their disastrous loss against the Gold Coast Titans last weekend.
Brisbane were simply out-enthused against the Titans and another loss to the Knights would really put the pressure on this Broncos outfit.
The Broncos have won their past five games against the Knights and they are 6-2 on the back of a loss over the past 12 months.
The Newcastle Knights were no match for either the Sydney Roosters or the St George Illawarra Dragons over the past fortnight, but there is still no doubt that they are an improved side in 2018.
Whether they can turn around their poor record against the Broncos is a genuine question mark and I am surprised that the Knights are in the battle for favourtism for this clash.
I expect a response from the Broncos – Wayne Bennett is too good a coach for them not to – and they can maintain their dominance over the Knights.
[matchmodule matchid=" 51919322" no="6"]
Back Brisbane To Win @ $1.91
Gold Coast Titans
Manly Sea Eagles
Sunday 8 April, 2:00pm, Marley Brown Stadium
The Gold Coast Titans have taken this game to Gladstone as they continue their tour of Queensland while the Commonwealth Games take place on the Gold Coast.
The Manly Sea Eagles returned to winning form with a strong performance against the Canberra Raiders and they have won four of their past five games against the Titans.
Manly have now won nine of their past 13 games as favourites for a profit, but they are only 5-8 against the line in this scenario.
The Titans produced their best performance of the season to date to beat the Brisbane Broncos and they played some excellent rugby league in the process.
Whether they can replicate that two weeks in a row is a genuine query and they are always a tough team to trust from a betting perspective.
This is a game that the market looks to have just about right and I will be staying out.
[matchmodule matchid=" 51920387" no="7"]
Sunday 8 April, 4:10pm, ANZ Stadium
This is the second game of the season between these two sides following the opening round comeback win of the Penrith Panthers.
Penrith have improved their record to 3-1 since that victory and they were particularly impressive against the North Queensland Cowboys last weekend.
The Panthers have won ten of their past 16 games as favourites and they are 8-8 against the line in this scenario, while they have won three of their past four games against the Eels.
The Parramatta Eels have made a shocking start to the season and they are still chasing their first win after going down to the Wests Tigers last weekend.
Coach Brad Arthur has been disgusted with the performances of his side – especially their lack of discipline – and he is likely to make wholesales changes ahead of this clash.
Parramatta have won five of their past 12 games as underdogs for a profit and they are 6-6 against the line in this scenario.
I still think that Parramatta are a better side than their form this season suggests and I am willing to give them one more opportunity to return to winning form.
[matchmodule matchid=" 51991251" no="8"]
Back Parramatta To Win @ $2.20
It has been an exciting start to the 2017 NRL season and we are back to bring you our NRL round 5 tips for this weekend.
The Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm are the only unbeaten teams left in the competition and they both face tough assignments this week.
Sydney host the in-form Manly Sea Eagles on Friday night before the Storm and the Penrith Panthers do battle in a Saturday night blockbuster!
There is betting interesting in every single NRL game this weekend and you can find our thoughts for every single game below.
Thursday 30 March, 8:05pm, ANZ Stadium
Canterbury Bulldogs 10 - Brisbane Broncos 7
The Canterbury Bulldogs are a club in crisis and it would not surprise if Des Hasler has been replaced as head coach before this clash on Thursday.
Canterbury could hardly have been worse against Manly last weekend and they will go into this clash with the Brisbane Broncos as clear outsiders.
The Bulldogs have won only one of their past five games as home underdogs for a clear loss and they are 2-3 against the line in this scenario.
It has been a tough start to the season for the Brisbane Broncos and they secured a vital win thanks to a late field goal from Jordan Kahu against the Canberra Raiders.
Brisbane have not been particularly convincing away from home over the past 12 months and they have won only five of their past eight games as away favourites for a clear loss, while they are 3-5 against the line in this scenario.
This is a game that the market looks to have got just about right, but there is one price that does stand out.
The Brisbane Broncos have scored first in all four of their games this season and 18 of their 24 regular season games last season – mainly due to the fact that they are keen to take the two points when it is on offer.
There is still $1.65 available for the Broncos to score the first points in this clash and that really does look like excellent value.
[matchmodule matchid=" 30249460" no="1"]
Back Brisbane To Score First @ $1.65
Manly Sea Eagles
Friday 31 March, 6:00pm, Allianz Stadium
Sydney Roosters 12 - Manly Sea Eagles 18
The Sydney Roosters and Manly Sea Eagles are two of the form teams of the competition and this is set to be one of the games of the weekend.
The Roosters have made an almost flawless start to the NRL season and they go into this clash as deserving favourites.
Sydney never looked in trouble against the South Sydney Rabbitohs last weekend and it really would not surprise if they were able to control this game from the outset.
They have now won their past four games as home favourites and they are 3-1 against the line in this scenario.
A number of experts were quick to write Manly off following their poor start to the season – myself included – and they have responded with two outstanding performances against the North Queensland Cowboys and the Canterbury Bulldogs.
Manly have won only two of their past eight games as away underdogs for a clear loss, but they are 5-3 against the line in this scenario.
It would not surprise if Manly are in this match for a long way, but I expect the class of the Roosters to prevail and there is an edge at the $1.80 for the Roosters/Roosters half-time/full-time double.
[matchmodule matchid=" 30250433" no="2"]
Back Roosters/Roosters @ $1.80 In Half-Time/Full-Time Betting
North Queensland Cowboys
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Friday 31 March, 8:05pm, 1300Smiles Stadium
North Queensland Cowboys 20 - South Sydney Rabbitohs 6
The North Queensland Cowboys returned to winning form against the Gold Coast Titans last weekend and they will go into this clash with South Sydney as dominant favourites.
North Queensland were far from flawless against the Titans, but they did enough to get the job done and they will be buoyed by the return of Jason Taumalolo.
The Cowboys suffered a rare loss to Manly at 1300Smiles Stadium, but they have still won 11 of their past 12 games as home favourites and they are 7-1-4 against the line in this situation.
South Sydney were fairly flat against the Sydney Roosters last weekend and it is fair to say that they haven’t really impressed to start the season.
The Rabbitohs have been a tough team to trust from a betting perspective, but one metric in which they have thrived is as away underdogs and they have won four of their past eight games in this scenario, while they are 6-2 against the line.
In saying that, the Cowboys really have had the edge over South Sydney in recent years and they have won seven of the past eight games played between the two sides.
North Queensland have won seven of their past 13 games at 1300Smiles Stadium by over 12 points and they should be far too good for South Sydney this weekend.
[matchmodule matchid=" 30250510" no="3"]
Back North Queensland To Win 13+ @ $2
Saturday 1 April, 3:00pm, Southern Cross Group Stadium
Cronulla Sharks 19 - Newcastle Knights 18
Cronulla are the shortest-priced favourites in the NRL this weekend and have an excellent chance to record back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
The Sharks were far from impressive against Parramatta last weekend, but they still did enough to get the job done and the likes of James Segeryaro should improve having spent a week training with the side.
Cronulla have won seven of their past nine games as favourites at Southern Cross Group Stadium for a clear profit, but they are only 3-6 against the line as home favourites.
The Newcastle Knights made a promising start to the season, but they took a big step backwards last Friday night when they suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of the Penrith Panthers.
Winning away from home has proven very difficult for the Knights and they haven’t won away from home in the past 12 months, while they are 4-7 against the line in this scenario.
This is a game that the market looks to have got just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
[matchmodule matchid=" 30238537" no="4"]
Saturday 1 April, 5:30pm, GIO Stadium
Canberra Raiders 30 - Parramatta Eels 18
This is a crucial game for both the Canberra Raiders and the Parramatta Eels.
Canberra were a touch disappointing in their narrow defeat at the hands of the Brisbane Broncos and they have started the season with just one win from their four games.
The Raiders have won nine of their past 11 games as home favourites for a clear profit and they are 6-5 against the line in this scenario.
Organisation in offence continues to be a big problem for the Parramatta Eels and they really were fairly putrid against the Cronulla Sharks last weekend.
Parramatta have proven to be a tough team to trust as underdogs over the past 12 months and they have won just one of their past seven games as away underdogs, while they are 3-4 against the line in this scenario.
This really is a game that the Raiders should be able to win comfortably and I am backing them to cover the line.
[matchmodule matchid=" 30250687" no="5"]
Back Canberra To Beat The Line (-8.5 Points)
Saturday 1 April, 7:30pm, AAMI Park
Melbourne Storm 28 - Penrith Panthers 6
This is easily the game of the weekend between two sides that are genuine premiership contenders.
The Melbourne Storm came from behind against the Wests Tigers to maintain their unbeaten start to the season and they will go into this clash as favourites.
Melbourne have won 10 of their past 13 games as home favourites for a clear profit, but they are 5-8 against the line in this scenario.
Penrith bounced back from their narrow loss at the hands of the Sydney Roosters to put a score on the Newcastle Knights and they are sure to take a fair amount of confidence from that clash.
The Panthers have won three of their past seven games as away underdogs and they have covered the line in five of those clashes.
Penrith have not beaten the Storm since 2013, but there is very little between these two teams and the Panthers are a good bet to beat the line with a start of 4.5 points.
[matchmodule matchid=" 30250781" no="6"]
Back Penrith To Beat The Line (+4.5 Points)
New Zealand Warriors
Gold Coast Titans
Sunday 2 April, 3:00pm, Mt. Smart Stadium
New Zealand Warriors 28 - Gold Coast Titans 22
The New Zealand Warriors have made a very disappointing start to the 2017 NRL season, but they will still go into this clash with the Gold Coast Titans as clear favourites.
New Zealand were expected to be buoyed by the NRL return of Kieran Foran last weekend, but he suffered a hamstring injury just minutes before kick-off against the St George Illawarra Dragons and he could miss this clash.
The Warriors have now won just one of their past eight games and their record as home favourites is extremely poor – they have won just four of their past nine games in this scenario and have failed to cover the line in any of these games.
Gold Coast went down to the North Queensland Cowboys last weekend, but there were still plenty of positives to take out of the performance and a repeat of that effort would likely be enough to beat the Warriors.
The Titans have won only two of their past seven games as away underdogs, but they are 5-2 against the line in this scenario.
Taking on the New Zealand Warriors continues to be a profitable betting play and the Titans to beat the line with a start of 5.5 points is one of the best betting plays of the weekend.
[matchmodule matchid=" 30250903" no="7"]
Back Gold Coast To Beat The Line (+6.5 Points)
St George Dragons
Sunday 2 April, 5:00pm, ANZ Stadium
Wests Tigers 6 - St George Illawarra Dragons 28
The St George Illawarra Dragons have been the big surprise packages of the early stages of the NRL season and they will start this clash with the Wests Tigers as clear favourites.
St George Illawarra have scored back-to-back wins over both the Cronulla Sharks and the New Zealand Warriors and their is no reason that they can’t make it three wins on the trot.
The Dragons have won five of their past six games as favourites for a clear profit and they are a side that continue to defy market expectations.
Wests played well in their first game since sacking Jason Taylor, but defensive lapses in the second half let them down badly and cost them victory against the Melbourne Storm.
The Tigers don’t have the best record at ANZ Stadium and they have now scored just over 20 points in their past three games.
St George can grind out a win over the Wests Tigers and they are good value to do just that.
[matchmodule matchid=" 30251113" no="8"]
Back St George To Win @ $1.78
It is a big week of local derbies in round 5 of the 2016 NRL season.
The Gold Coast Titans have struggled against the Brisbane Broncos in recent years, but they have the chance to record an upset win over their ‘big brother’ when they host them at Cbus Super Stadium on Friday night.
The Wests Tigers host the Cronulla Sharks in what could be a fiery affair on Saturday night before the Western Derby between the Parramatta Eels and the Penrith Panthers headlines Sunday’s fixtures.
Manly Sea Eagles
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Thursday 31 March, 7:05pm, Brookvale Oval
Manly Sea Eagles 12 - South Sydney Rabbitohs 16
Neither Manly or South Sydney bring particularly strong form lines into this Thursday Night clash.
Manly managed to get the job done against the Sydney Roosters, but they were far from convincing in doing so, while South Sydney were embarrassed against the Canterbury Bulldogs on Easter Thursday.
South Sydney are set to start this game as clear favourites – despite the fact they will still be without the likes of Sam Burgess and Adam Reynolds – and they are a very poor 3-5 as away favourites in the past 12 months and have beaten the line just once in seven games in this scenario.
In contrast, Manly are undefeated as home underdogs in the past 12 months and have been a winning betting plan as underdogs in all scenarios.
The Rabbitohs look like a rabble without Reynolds and Burgess leading the charge, while Manly will only continue to get better under Trent Barrett.
[matchmodule matchid="15613118" no="1"]
Recommended Bet: Back Manly Sea Eagles To Win @ $2.55
Gold Coast Titans
Friday 1 April, 7:05pm, Cbus Super Stadium
Gold Coast Titans 16 - Brisbane Broncos 24
The Gold Coast Titans have been the surprise packets of the 2016 NRL season to date and they will go into this clash with the Brisbane Broncos full of confidence following their fighting win over the Canberra Raiders.
The Brisbane Broncos bounced back from their shock defeat at the hands of the Penrith Panthers to beat the North Queensland Cowboys in controversial fashion last weekend and they are dominant favourite to record back-to-back wins over their Queensland rivals.
The Wayne Bennett-coached side have been a narrow winning betting proposition as home favourites, but they are only 3-4 against the line as away favourites.
Over the past 12 months they Titans are only 8-10 against the line as underdogs and that record improves slightly in front of their home fans.
The Broncos should prove too strong for their rivals here, but there is no value at their current odds and I am happy to stay out of this game from a betting perspective.
[matchmodule matchid="15613452" no="2"]
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Saturday 2 April, 2:00pm, AAMI Park
Melbourne Storm 18 - Newcastle Knights 14
The Melbourne Storm suffered their first loss of the season when they went down to the Cronulla Sharks on Easter Monday, but they are dominant favourites to return to winning form against the Newcastle Knights this weekend.
The Knights are still yet to record their first win of the season and they were badly beaten against a previously winless New Zealand Warriors last weekend.
Their is no luxury in the current price of the Storm and they will win comfortably, but whether they can cover the line of 18.5 points is the real question.
The Storm are 10-5 against the line as favourites in the past 12 months and 6-4 as home favourites, while the Knights are a dismal 3-8 as away underdogs.
Add in the fact that they have covered the line each time it has been over 16.5 points in the past three seasons and all the signs point to a big Melbourne win this weekend.
[matchmodule matchid="15613472" no="3"]
Recommended Bet: Back The Melbourne Storm To Beat The Line (-16.5 Points)
Saturday 2 April, 4:30pm, Campbelltown Stadium
Wests Tigers 26 - Cronulla Sharks 34
The shine has come off the Wests Tigers somewhat in the past three weeks, while the Cronulla Sharks recorded their biggest win of the season to date against the Melbourne Storm.
The Tigers were lauded for their attacking style of football in the first three weeks of the season, but the return of Robbie Farah has stifled that somewhat and Jason Taylor insists on playing a bench packed full of hookers.
Cronulla are clear favourites here and they are 7-4 in this position in the past 12 months and that record is the same against the line.
The Tigers are a losing proposition in just about every metric, but their record at both Campbelltown Stadium and Leichhardt Oval is very good and I don’t like to oppose them at these venues.
The prices on offer for both these teams look just about right and I am happy to stay out of this game from a betting perspective.
[matchmodule matchid="15613118" no="4"]
North Queensland Cowboys
St George Dragons
Saturday 2 April, 6:30pm, 1300 Smiles Stadium
North Queensland Cowboys 36 - St George Illawarra Dragons 0
The North Queensland Cowboys considered themselves robbed by The Bunker last weekend against the Brisbane Broncos and that might not be a good thing for the St George Illawarra Dragons this weekend.
Paul McGregor has not changed his game plan with the Dragons in 2016 and they continue to struggle to score points, but you can’t knock their toughness and they have grinded out gutsy wins against both the Rabbitohs and the Panthers.
The Cowboys have won ten of their past 12 games as favourites at 1300 Smiles Stadium, but they are a poor 5-7 against the line in this scenario.
Unfortunately, the Dragons aren’t any better as underdogs or away underdogs and this is another game where the market has got the prices for both teams just about right.
The $6 for a St George Illawarra Dragons/North Queensland Cowboys Half-Time/Full-Time double might be worth a dabble as the Cowboys are noted slow starters, while I always like Gavin Cooper at $21 for first try scorer.
[matchmodule matchid="15613609" no="5"]
Recommended Bet: Check Out The Prop Betting Markets On Offer
New Zealand Warriors
Sunday 3 April, 2:00pm, Central Coast Stadium
Sydney Roosters 28 - New Zealand Warriors 32
The Sydney Roosters produced an improved performance against the Manly Sea Eagles last weekend, but they were still unable to record their first win of the season.
In contrast, the New Zealand Warriors proved far too good for the Newcastle Knights to score their own maiden win of the season and they go into this game as clear favourites.
The Warriors have been a losing betting proposition in just above everything metric in the past 12 months and it should come as no surprise that they don’t have a great record as favourites.
I said that I wouldn’t back the Roosters again until I saw substantial signs of improvement, but I did like what I saw last weekend and they are 4-1 against the line as underdogs in the past 12 months.
At this stage of the season I am still keen to back against the Warriors and I am happy to support the Roosters with a head start of 2.5 points.
[matchmodule matchid="11111111" no="6"]
Recommended Bet: Back The Sydney Roosters To Beat The Line (+2.5 Points)
Sunday 3 April, 4:00pm, Pirtek Stadium
Parramatta Eels 18 - Penrith Panthers 20
The Western Sydney Derby is always a hard fought affair and their should be close to a capacity crowd at Pirtek Stadium on Sunday afternoon to support the in-form Parramatta Eels.
I suggested last week that the Eels might be the real deal this season and although they struggled with the ball in hand they showed a defensive toughness that has been missing for many, many years.
In saying that, the data does not speak well for the Eels as they have lost their past three games as home favourites and their record against the line at Pirtek Stadium is very poor.
The Panthers were fairly sluggish against the Dragons last weekend, but they produced another strong defensive showing and they are another side that is playing tough football.
They have a positive record against the line as underdogs, but the market that stands out for me here is the Over/Under 38.5 points.
The under has saluted in 14 of the last 23 games played by the Panthers, while the under is 7-4 in the past 11 games at Pirtek Stadium.
[matchmodule matchid="15613774" no="7"]
Recommended Bet: Back The Under (38.5 Points)
Monday 4 April, 7:00pm, Belmore Sports Ground
Canterbury Bulldogs 8 - Canberra Raiders 22
This is another game with a clear favourite following the Bulldogs demolition job over the South Sydney Rabbitohs last weekend.
While the Rabbitohs were poor, the Bulldogs took advantage of their opportunities and they are deserving of their position as dominant favourites here.
The Raiders were all over the Gold Coast Titans for the majority of their clash last weekend, but for the second weekend in a row they found a way to throw away what looked like a certain two points.
It would not surprise me to see the Raiders bounce back against the Bulldogs this weekend and they have an excellent record as underdogs in the past 12 months – they have won four of their seven games as underdogs and they are 5-2 against the line as away underdogs.
The Bulldogs have been a losing proposition as favourites over the same period and they are just 5-6 as home favourites, which suggests that the Raiders are a good bet to cover the line with a start of 5.5 points.
[matchmodule matchid="15613787" no="8"]
Recommended Bet: Back The Raiders To Beat The Line (+7.5 Points)