2018 NRL Round 8 Preview

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Round 7 has only just been completed, but Anzac Day means that we don’t need to wait long for more NRL action.

The traditional Anzac Day games involving the St George Illawarra Dragons, Sydney Roosters, Melbourne Storm and New Zealand Warriors headline another big round and there is plenty of value to be found across all eight matches.

We have analysed every game set to take place this weekend and our complete 2018 NRL Round 8 tips can be found below.

St George Illawarra Dragons Vs Sydney Roosters

Wednesday 25 April, 4:10pm, WIN Stadium

This is set to be one of the anticipated Anzac Day meetings between these two sides in recent memory.

The Dragons may have suffered their first loss of the season when they went down to the Warriors last weekend, but they will still go into this clash as narrow favourites.

WIN Stadium is generally a happy hunting ground for the Dragons and they have won eight of their past 10 games as home favourites, while they are 5-5 against the line in this scenario.

It wasn’t a pretty performance, but the Sydney Roosters were able to return to winning form against the Canterbury Bulldogs last weekend and their defensive toughness had to be admired.

The Roosters have lost their past three games as away underdogs, but they are 2-1 against the line in this scenario and they have won three of their past four games against the Dragons.

There is nothing between these two sides and a repeat of their Golden Point epic from last season could be on the cards, so the Roosters are a great bet with the small start.

Back Roosters To Cover The Line (+1.5 Points)

Melbourne Storm Vs New Zealand Warriors

Wednesday 25 April, 7:00pm, AAMI Park

This is another very interesting clash and we are going to be treated to some outstanding Rugby League on Anzac Day.

The Melbourne Storm have won their past four games against the New Zealand Warriors and they will go into this clash as clear favourites.

Melbourne are always tough to beat in front of their home fans at AAMI Park and they have won 11 of their past 13 games as home favourites, while they were 8-5 against the line in this scenario.

New Zealand bounced back from their first defeat of the season to beat the St George Illawarra Dragons in impressive fashion and there has been plenty to like about the way that they have played this season.

The Warriors have won four of their past 11 games as away underdogs and they are 5-6 against the line in this scenario, but their impressive form can’t be discounted.

This is the biggest test of the season for the Warriors to date and I’m not sure that they are up for it after such a quick back-up.

Back Melbourne To Cover The Line (-4.5 Points)

South Sydney Rabbitohs Vs Brisbane Broncos

Thursday 26, 7:50pm, ANZ Stadium

The South Sydney Rabbitohs have won two games on the trot and they will go into this clash with the Brisbane Broncos as clear favourites.

South Sydney backed up their impressive win over the Sydney Roosters with a dismantling of the Canberra Raiders and there is no doubt that they are a team heading in the right direction.

The Rabbitohs have won five of their past eight games as home favourites and they have covered the line in each of these wins.

Brisbane were not disgraced against the Melbourne Storm last weekend, but their composure let them down at key moments.

They will go into this clash without inspiration hooker Andrew McCullough and the rest of the spine is really going to need to lift if they are any chance of recording an upset win.

Brisbane have won only two of their past seven games as away underdogs for a loss, but they are 4-3 against the line in this situation.

This is a game that the market looks to have just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting standpoint.

No Bet

Manly Sea Eagles Vs Newcastle Knights

Friday 27 April, 6:00pm, Brookvale Oval

The Manly Sea Eagles were disgraceful against the Parramatta Eels last weekend, but they will still start this clash with the Newcastle Knights as favourites.

Off-field dramas dominated the week for the Sea Eagles and that clearly took a toll on their on-field performance – they have now suffered three poor defeats in a row.

Manly have won seven of their past nine games as home favourites and their record against the Knights at Brookvale Oval is excellent, but it is tough to back them on the back of their recent efforts.

The Knights showed plenty of fight to score a late win over the Wests Tigers last weekend, but that victory came at a cost and Mitchell Pearce has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

That is a huge blow for Newcastle and how they respond will be a great test of the character of this side.

They have won only three of their past 13 games as away underdogs and they are 6-7 against the line in this scenario.

The betting play that does appeal in this clash is the Under in Total Points betting markets.

The Under has saluted in five of the past six games played between these two sides and another low-scoring affair does look on the cards on Friday night.

Back Under 38.5 Points

Penrith Panthers Vs Canterbury Bulldogs

Friday 27 April, 7:55pm, Panthers Stadium

The Canterbury Bulldogs beat the Penrith Panthers earlier this season, but it is the Panthers that will go into this clash as clear favourites.

Penrith suffered a poor loss at the hands of the Cronulla Sharks last weekend, but they have still won nine of their past ten game as home favourites, while they are 8-2 against the line in this scenario.

Canterbury’s attack was extremely poor against the Sydney Roosters last weekend and they have struggled for consistency so far this season.

The Bulldogs have won only three of their past 12 games as away underdogs and their record against the line is not much better.

This is a game that Penrith should be able to win comfortably and they can cover the line of 5.5 points in the process.

Back Penrith To Cover The Line (-5.5 Points)

Gold Coast Titans Vs Cronulla Sharks

Saturday 28 April, 5:30pm, Cbus Super Stadium

The Gold Coast Titans have a surprisingly strong record against the Cronulla Sharks in recent seasons, but they will still go into this clash as underdogs.

This is the first proper home game that the Titans have had this season and they desperately need it following a tired performance against the North Queensland Cowboys last weekend.

The Titans have won four of their past six games as home underdogs and their record against the Sharks in this scenario is strong.

Cronulla defied an injury toll to beat the Penrith Panthers last weekend and they played some excellent football in the process.

The Sharks have won five of their past six games away favourites, but they are only a middling 3-3 against the line in this scenario.

This is a game that the market looks to have just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective

No Bet

North Queensland Cowboys Vs Canberra Raiders

Saturday 28 April, 7:35pm, 1300SMILES Stadium

The North Queensland Cowboys were finally able to end their losing streak with a win over the Gold Coast Titans last weekend and they will start this clash with the Canberra Raiders as clear favourites.

North Queensland have an excellent record against Canberra – the Raiders haven’t won a game in Townsville since 2006 – and this is the Cowboys chance to score back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

The Cowboys have won four of their past six games as home favourites and they have covered the line in each of these wins.

Canberra had their winning run ended by the South Sydney Rabbitohs and their defensive issues were once again prevalent.

The Raiders have won only two of their past six games as away underdogs and their record against the line is no better.

The Cowboys looked to have turned the corner and they should be able to record another comfortable win.

Back North Queensland To Cover The Line (-7.5 Points)

Parramatta Eels Vs Wests Tigers

Sunday 29 April, 4:10pm, ANZ Stadium

This is the second meeting between these two sides in less than a month.

The Wests Tigers conceded a late try to go down to the Newcastle Knights last weekend and they will still go into this clash as narrow favourites.

Wests have won two of their past three games as favourites and they have covered the line in each of these wins, while they have won seven of their past eight games against the Parramatta Eels.

Parramatta were finally able to record their first win of the season with a big victory over the Manly Sea Eagles and they are sure to take plenty of confidence from that performance.

The Eels have won only two of their past five games as underdogs and it is unlikely that they will be able to fix all their issues with just one performance.

The Tigers can record their second win over the Eels in a month.

Back Wests Tigers To Cover The Line (-2.5 Points)


2017

We were treated to a number of excellent games in the NRL last weekend and that quality looks set to continue in round eight.

The highlight of the round will be on Tuesday when the Sydney Roosters and St George Illawarra Dragons meet in their traditional Anzac Day clash, but there is NRL betting interest in every single clash.

We have closely analysed every game of the weekend and our NRL Round 8 tips can be found below.

Canberra Raiders Vs Manly Sea Eagles

Friday 21 April, 6:00pm, GIO Stadium

Canberra Raiders 18 - Manly Sea Eagles 20

The Canberra Raiders have now won three games on the trot and they will go into this clash with Manly as clear favourites.

Canberra have bounced back from their slow start to the year in impressive fashion and they really should be able to make it four wins on the trot.

The Raiders have won 11 of their past 13 games as home favourites and are 8-5 against the line in this scenario.

Manly went down to the Melbourne Storm last weekend, but they lost no admirers with their performance and had their chances to win in the final minutes.

The Sea Eagles have won only two of their past eight games as away underdogs for a loss, but they are 5-3 against the line in this situation.

This is a marker that looks just about right and I am happy to stay out of this clash from a betting standpoint.

South Sydney Rabbitohs Vs Brisbane Broncos

Friday 21 April, 7:50pm, ANZ Stadium

The Brisbane Broncos got out of jail late against the Gold Coast Titans last weekend, but they are still clear favourites to record their third win on the trot.

It is tough to know what to make about the performance of the Broncos last Friday night and they are a team that is still struggling for consistency this season.

Winning away from home has been an issue for Brisbane and they have won only four of their past eight games as away favourites, while they are 3-5 against the line in this scenario.

Souths produced another very flat performance against the Canterbury Bulldogs last weekend and their record at home continues to be appalling.

The Rabbitohs have won only one of their past seven games as home underdogs and their record against the line in this scenario is just as bad.

The real value in this clash is in the Total Points betting market.

South Sydney have conceded over 20 points in all of their games so far this season and the Over has saluted in five of the past seven games played between these two sides.

Back Over 39.5 Points

Parramatta Eels Vs Penrith Panthers

Saturday 22 April, 4:00pm, ANZ Stadium

Parramatta Eels 18 - Penrith Panthers 12

Both the Parramatta Eels and the Penrith Panthers have been disappointing so far this season, but the Western Sydney Derby is always an entertaining clash.

Penrith produced their worst performance of the season against the Cronulla Sharks last weekend, but they will still go into this clash with the Eels as clear favourites.

Winning away from Pepper Stadium has been something of an issue for Penrith and they have won only three of their past five games as away favourites, but they do have the same record against the line for a profit.

Parramatta rallied late to score a come-from-behind win over the Wests Tigers last Sunday and they are sure to take plenty of confidence from that clash.

The Eels have won only five of their past 15 games as underdogs and they have been a losing play against the line when giving away a start.

The Panthers are becoming a tough team to trust, but they are simply a better side than Parramatta and really should be able to cover the line comfortably.

Back Penrith To Beat The Line (-3.5 Points)

North Queensland Cowboys Vs Newcastle Knights

Saturday 22 April, 5:30pm, 1300Smiles Stadium

North Queensland Cowboys 24 - Newcastle Knights 12

The North Queensland Cowboys will be without Johnathan Thurston once again this weekend, but they will still go into this clash with the Newcastle Knights as clear favourites.

North Queensland were awful in the first half against the St George Illawarra Dragons last weekend, but they were much better in the second half and were almost able to pull-off a remarkable comeback.

The Cowboys have struggled somewhat at 1300Smiles Stadium this season, but they have still won ten of their past 12 games as home favourites.

Newcastle have lost five games on the trot and it is fair to say that their performance against the Sydney Roosters last weekend was fairly uninspiring.

The Knights have not won a game away from home for well over a year and they are 4-6 against the line in this scenario.

North Queensland really should be able to get the job done in this clash, but without Thurston they are a tough team to trust from a betting standpoint and this is another game that I am happy to stay out of.

No Bet

Cronulla Sharks Vs Gold Coast Titans

Saturday 22 April, 7:30pm, Southern Cross Group Stadium

Cronulla Sharks 12 - Gold Coast Titans 16

The Cronulla Sharks are showing no signs of a premiership hangover and they go into this clash with the Gold Coast Titans on the back of four wins.

Cronulla produced their best performance of the season to date against the Penrith Panthers and it is no surprise that they will go into this clash as clear favourites.

The Sharks have won seven of their past nine games as home favourites, but they are only 3-6 against the line in this scenario and they have not covered the line in their past four games against the Gold Coast Titans.

The Titans were unfortunate not to come away with the two points from their clash with the Brisbane Broncos, but they should still have taken plenty of confidence from that performance.

They may have only won the one game this season, but they are playing better than that record suggests and they are a much better team with Nathan Peats in the side.

Gold Coast have won only two of their past eight games as away underdogs, but they are a highly profitable 6-2 against the line in this scenario.

The Titans can give Cronulla a scare and they are a great bet to cover the line with a start of 10.5 points.

Back Gold Coast To Beat The Line (+10.5 Points)

Wests Tigers Vs Canterbury Bulldogs

Sunday 23 April, 4:00pm, ANZ Stadium

Wests Tigers 18 - Canterbury Bulldogs 12

The Canterbury Bulldogs have won nine of their past 11 games against the Wests Tigers and they will go into this clash as clear favourites.

Canterbury asserted their authority over South Sydney in the second half Friday and they have now won three games on the trot.

The Bulldogs are a team that generally get the job done as the punter’s elect and they have won five of their past six games as away favourites, while they are 5-1 against the line in this scenario.

Wests proved once again that they are incapable of stringing together positive performances and they threw away victory with a truly awful last 15 minutes against Parramatta.

The Tigers do have a poor record against the Bulldogs and their record at ANZ Stadium is nothing to write home about.

Canterbury continue to be one of the safest betting teams in the NRL and they can cover the line of 4.5 points comfortably.

Back Canterbury To Beat The Line (-4.5 Points)

Sydney Roosters Vs St George Dragons

Tuesday 25 April, 4:00pm, Allianz Stadium

Sydney Roosters 13 - St George Illawarra Dragons 12

This is set to be the most interesting Anzac Day clash between the Sydney Roosters and St George Illawarra Dragons in recent memory.

The St George Illawarra Dragons currently sit on top of the NRL Ladder, but it is the Sydney Roosters that will start this clash as clear favourites.

The Roosters ended their losing streak with a professional victory over the Newcastle Knights and they have now won four of their past five games as home favourites, while they are 3-2 against the line in this scenario.

St George Illawarra survived a late comeback from the North Queensland Cowboys to make it five wins in a row last weekend and they are surprise ladder leaders after almost two months of the season.

Despite their recent run, the Dragons have won only two of their past seven games as away underdogs and they are 3-4 against the line in this scenario.

This is the chance for the Sydney Roosters to make a statement and they should be able to do just that on Anzac Day.

Back Sydney To Beat The Line (-3.5 Points)

Melbourne Storm Vs New Zealand Warriors

Tuesday 25 April, 7:00pm, AAMI Park

Melbourne Storm 20 - New Zealand Warriors 14

Melbourne Storm and the New Zealand Warriors meet in their now traditional Anzac Day clash and it is the Storm that will start as clear favourites.

Melbourne got the job done against Manly last weekend, but their second half-performance was poor and Craig Bellamy would expect a more complete effort from his side this weekend.

The Storm have won nine of their past 12 games as home favourites for a clear profit, but they are only 5-7 against the line in this scenario.

New Zealand were fairly poor against the Canberra Raiders last weekend and they really have struggled against the best teams in the NRL this weekend.

The Warriors have won only one of their past seven games as away underdogs and they are 3-4 against the line in this scenario.

In terms of head-to-head betting, the market has got this game just about right and the real value lies in the Total Points betting market.

The Under has saluted in ten of the past 13 home games played by the Melbourne Storm as well as seven of the past ten games played by the New Zealand Warriors in Australia.

New Zealand will struggle to score against the Storm and the Under looks an excellent bet.

Under 38.5 Points

 


2016

Anzac Day Weekend is now one of the biggest on the NRL calendar and there are a number of key games set to take place this weekend.

The round starts on Friday night when the Brisbane Broncos take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs, but the highlight of the weekend is definitely the triple header on Monday.

The day starts when the Newcastle Knights take on the Manly Sea Eagles before the St George Dragons face the Sydney Roosters and the Melbourne Storm host the New Zealand Warriors in their traditional Anzac Day fixtures.

Brisbane Broncos Vs South Sydney Rabbitohs

Friday 22 April, 7:50pm, Suncorp Stadium

Brisbane Broncos 30 - South Sydney Rabbitohs 8

The Brisbane Broncos have lost their past three meetings with the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium, but they have won four games on the trot this season and they face a South Sydney side that has really struggled in recent weeks.

The Broncos showed that they are capable of putting teams to the sword when they recorded a massive 53-0 victory over the Newcastle Knights this weekend and they may be an even better team than they were 12 months ago.

Adam Reynolds returned for the Rabbitohs last weekend, but it did not do the trick and they were destroyed by a rampant North Queensland Cowboys.

The Broncos will start this game as clear favourites and this has been a position in which they have thrived over the past 12 months – they are 12-3 as home favourites in head to head betting and are 10-5 against the line in this scenario.

In contrast, the South Sydney Rabbitohs have won just one of their past seven games as underdogs and their record against the line when receiving a start is just as poor.

The Broncos are in ruthless form and they should prove far too good for a Rabbitohs side that clearly has some serious issues.

Recommended Bet: Back The Broncos To Beat The Line (-14 Points)

Canterbury Bulldogs Vs Gold Coast Titans

Saturday 23 April, 3:00pm, ANZ Stadium

Canterbury Bulldogs 21 - Gold Coast Titans 20

Both the Canterbury Bulldogs and Gold Coast Titans will head into this clash on the back of disappointing losses.

The Bulldogs continue to be hot and cold this season and they really should have been able to get the job done against the New Zealand Warriors, while the Gold Coast Titans have now lost three games in a row following their strong start to the season.

Canterbury will start this game as favourites and they have been far from convincing in this position in the past 12 months.

They have won six of their past 11 games as home favourites for a betting lose and their record against the line in this scenario is a very poor 4-7.

However, the Gold Coast Titans have also been an uninspiring betting side across the same time period and they have won just 3 of their past 12 game as away underdogs and are 5-7 against the line when being given a start at home.

The market seems to have gotten this game just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.

Recommended Bet: No Bet

Canberra Raiders Vs Wests Tigers

Saturday 23 April, 5:30pm, GIO Stadium

Canberra Raiders 60 - Wests Tigers 6

This is a vital game for both sides who have hit a roadblock in recent weeks following their strong start to the season.

The Raiders looked the goods when they beat the Bulldogs three weeks ago, but they have since produced poor performances against both the Parramatta Eels and Cronulla Sharks.

They will still start this game as clear favourites, but they are 5-6 as home favourites in the past 12 months and are 4-7 against the line in the same scenario.

Jason Taylor is staring down the barrel of the sack after the Tigers lost their fifth straight game to the Melbourne Storm and data suggests that will not change this weekend.

The Tigers are 2-7 as away underdogs in the past 12 months and they are 3-6 against the line in this position.

It is clear that neither the Raiders nor the Tigers can be trusted from a betting perspective, but there is a betting play that stands out in this game.

The over has saluted in 13 of the last 23 games played by the Canberra Raiders, while he over is 6-3 in Tigers away games and 14-8 in all their games across the past 12 months.

Recommended Bet: Back The Over (41.5 Points)

North Queensland Cowboys Vs Parramatta Eels

Saturday 23 April, 7:30pm, 1300 Smiles Stadium

North Queensland Cowboys 32 - Parramatta Eels 16

The Parramatta Eels recorded an upset win over the North Queensland Cowboys earlier this season, but they face a Cowboys side that has been in ruthless form in recent weeks.

The Cowboys have scored 120 points and conceded just 18 in their past three games at 1300 Smiles Stadium and they will start this game as clear favourites.

North Queensland have won 11 of their past 13 games at 1300 Smiles Stadium for a narrow profit, while they are 7-6 against the line.

The Eels did not play particularly well against the Manly Sea Eagles last weekend, but they were still able to get the job done and will take confidence from the fact that they have beaten the Cowboys already this season.

Parramatta have won three of their past eight games as away underdogs for a sizable profit and they are 5-3 against the line in this scenario, but are only 8-8 as underdogs overall and have failed to fire in their four most recent trips to 1300 Smiles Stadium.

There is reason to be bullish about the chances of both sides this weekend, but the Cowboys look as though they are on another level at the moment and can record another classy win.

Recommended Bet: Back The North Queensland Cowboys To Beat The Line (-8.5 Points)

Cronulla Sharks Vs Penrith Panthers

Sunday 24 April, 4:00pm, Shark Park

Cronulla Sharks 20 - Penrith Panthers 18

The Cronulla Sharks have not made headlines this season, but they have now won four games on the trot and have done so in a very professional manner.

The Sharks have shown an ability to rack up big scores, which they have generally lacked in recent seasons and they have been a very relible betting team to date this season.

Cronulla are 6-3 as home favourites in the past 12 months and their record against the line at Shark Park across the same period is 7-4.

The Penrith Panthers returned to winning form with a grinding victory over the Sydney Roosters in Monday Night Football, but their is an alarming statistic that is a big concern heading into this weekend – they have won just one of their past eight games on the back of a win.

Penrith are 3-7 in head to head betting across the past 12 months and they have an identical record against the line.

I expect the Sharks to keep on winning this weekend and I am more than happy to back them to beat the line of four points.

Recommended Bet: Back The Sharks To Beat The Line (-4 Points)

Newcastle Knights Vs Manly Sea Eagles

Monday 25 April, 2:00pm, Hunter Stadium

Newcastle Knights 10 - Manly Sea Eagles 26

The Newcastle Knights scored a thrilling win over the Manly Sea Eagles in one of the greatest Grand Final’s in history and there is always a bit of tension when these two sides do battle.

Newcastle showed signs of improvement when they narrowly lost to the Melbourne Storm and beat the Wests Tigers, but they were truly horrid against the Brisbane Broncos last weekend and their is still massive problems with their defense.

The Knights will start this game as clear underdogs and they have won just one of their past five games as underdogs and have been an unreliable betting proposition across just about every metric.

Manly were unflattered by the scoreline when they lost to Parramatta and they really haven’t been that bad in recent weeks, but they are clearly missing the organisation the Daly Cherry-Evans brings to the side.

They are a credible 3-1 as away favourites in the past 12 months, but their record against the line as the punter’s elect has been poor.

Both these sides have struggled defensively in 2016 to date and the total points market is where I am keen to play this weekend.

The over has saluted in 14 of the last 22 games played by the Knights, while it is 7-3 in the past ten away games played by Manly.

Recommended Bet: Back The Over (40.5 Points)

St George Dragons Vs Sydney Roosters

Monday 25 April, 4:00pm, WIN Stadium

St George Illawarra Dragons 20 - Sydney Roosters 18

The St George Illawarra Dragons and the Sydney Roosters have played for the Anzac Day Cup since 2002 and this has become a key fixture on the NRL calendar.

Both these teams bring fairly average form into this fixture and it will be the Sydney Roosters that start the game as favourite, despite winning just a single game this season.

The Roosters record as favourites in the past 12 months remains surprisingly strong and they are 5-2 as away favourites over the past 12 months, while they have the same record against the line in that scenario.

The Dragons returned to winning form against the Gold Coast Titans to at least take something out of their tour to Queensland, but they still need not play particularly inspiring rugby league.

They are a very poor 5-10 against the line as underdogs over the past 12 months and they do not have the same upside as a Roosters side that has shown some signs of improvement in recent weeks.

The under in total points market has also been prolific in games involving these two sides – the under has saluted in 18 of the past 24 games played by the Dragons – and I expect the Roosters to win a low-scoring encounter.

Recommended Bets: Back Sydney Roosters To Beat The Line (-2 Points) & Under (378.5 Points)

Melbourne Storm Vs New Zealand Warriors

Monday 25 April, 7:00pm, AAMI Park

Melbourne Storm 42 - New Zealand Warriors 0

The lead-up to this game has been dominated by the season-ending ACL injured suffered by Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and it could prove the defining moment of the Warriors season.

They could use this opportunity to bind together and get their season back on track, but history suggests that this could cause the Warriors to completely lose their bundle.

The Melbourne Storm will start this game as favourites on the back of their narrow golden point victory over the Wests Tigers and they have won eight of their past ten games as favourites at AAMI Park, while they are a middling 5-5 against the line in this scenario.

New Zealand have won just two of their past 11 games as underdogs and they are a shocking 3-8 against the line when given a start over the past 12 months.

I am always happy to oppose the Warriors and the Storm are a very safe bet to get the win this weekend.

Recommended Bet: Back Melbourne Storm To Win @ $1.65