We’re at the business end of the 2013 NRL Telstra Premiership season and this weekend sees a return to an eight-match round for Round 20 with finals hopes on the line.
Round 20 Upset Tip: Brisbane Broncos ($2.60) to defeat the Cowboys ($1.52) in North Queensland on Friday night
The weekend of footy kicks off on Friday night with a Queensland Derby where the NQ Cowboys host the Brisbane Broncos.
Normally these two up against each other would be a blockbuster on the NRL Draw but it’s struggle street for these two this season.
Brisbane could maybe, JUST manage to sneak into eighth spot on the NRL Ladder as they sit 12th as it stands but for the Cowboys it’s 13th and probably goodbye semis.
Both come off a Round 19 bye but before that the Broncos showed some true grit going down just a point to the in-form Sharkies at Suncorp while North Queensland suffered an embarrassing 34 – 14 flogging at the hands of the Sea Eagles who sit inside the Top 4.
The other Friday night clash is then a seemingly easy pick with the wooden spoon favourites Parramatta Eels, kept scoreless by the Raiders last Saturday night, playing the sixth-ranked Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium with the Doggies fresh off a scheduled break.
The highlight on Saturday night, and one of the best of the round, plays out on the Gold Coast at Skilled Park with the Titans taking on the top-of-the-table South Sydney Rabbitohs.
If you asked anyone at the start of the year if the Titans were going to be the best of the Queensland teams you’d get a laugh but here we are 20 rounds in and they’re up in 10th not without a chance in the Top 8.
They were beaten 38 – 20 by the Sea Eagles on Sunday arvo but held their own until the points blowing out in the final 10 minutes.
The Bunnies are still the team to beat and look set for a NRL Grand Final appearance even though they suffered a shock 22 – 18 loss to the Dragons on Monday night without Greg Inglis who’s out until finals time with a knee injury.
Third-ranked Melbourne Storm get a shot at another two points when they play the hit-and-miss Warriors on Sunday, the Kiwis another Round 19 winner after running away with a 24 – 14 victory over the troubled Wests Tigers.
Also on Sunday is a crack game between the seventh-ranked Cronulla Sharks and the Penrith Panthers who are ninth on the ladder but desperate to claw their way back into the top eight after losing to the Knights a week back.
The Sharks are also desperate this week after being kept scoreless at the hands of the Roosters last Saturday night in a horror 40 – nil flogging.
Newcastle meanwhile has the home ground advantage at Hunter Stadium in Sunday’s third match hosting the red hot Sydney Roosters.
The Chooks have been a real surprise package this year and find themselves second on the ladder just two competition points off South Sydney after taking down the Sharks in a big way last week.
Round 20 then comes to a close Monday night with the Tigers hosting the Sea Eagles at Campbelltown Stadium, another seemingly easy pick for the punters.
Check out the full 2013 NRL Round 20 draw and match odds below, prices quoted head-to-head odds you can lock in now online at bookmaker.com.au – home of the famous $500 bonus welcome bet offer!
2013 NRL Round 20 Draw
Friday July 26, 2013
North Queensland Cowboys ($1.52) v Brisbane Broncos ($2.60)
1300SMILES Stadium (7:35pm)
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs ($1.08) v Parramatta Eels ($8.50)
ANZ Stadium (7:35pm)
Saturday July 27, 2013
St George Illawarra Dragons ($2.08) v Canberra Raiders ($1.77)
WIN Stadium (5:30pm)
Gold Coast Titans ($3.17) v South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.37)
Skilled Park (7:30pm)
Sunday July 28, 2013
New Zealand Warriors ($2.15) v Melbourne Storm ($1.72)
Mt Smart Stadium (2:00pm)
Cronulla Sharks ($1.52) v Penrith Panthers ($2.60)
Remondis Stadium (2:00pm)
Newcastle Knights ($2.75) v Sydney Roosters ($1.46)
Hunter Stadium (3:00pm)
Monday July 29, 2013
Wests Tigers ($5) v Manly Sea Eagles ($1.18)
Campbelltown Stadium (7:00pm)
*Times quoted are local and subject to change