We are already 21 rounds into the 2014 NRL Telstra Premiership and this weekend is shaping up as a beauty with eight stellar matches on the agenda.
Upset Round 12 Tip: Sharks to beat the Eels @ $2.10 through Ladbrokes.com.au on Saturday
Things kick off on Friday night where the ladder leading Manly Sea Eagles host the eighth-ranked Brisbane Broncos at Brookvale Oval.
The Sea Eagles have won four of their past five making it three straight with their 22 – 12 win over the Warriors in New Zealand last week and will relish coming back home for this.
They play a Brisbane outfit struggling to stay in the Top 8 and secure a semi-finals bid, nothing much to like about their 30 – 8 loss to the Melbourne Storm a week ago and hard to see them scoring an upset here.
The Broncos did beat Manly when they clashed earlier this year in a big 36 – 10 victory but that was at Suncorp Stadium and the Sea Eagles held the advantage before that winning the four other most recent games played by these two.
- Tip: Manly by 14
The other Friday night footy showdown has the Canterbury Bulldogs, currently fourth on the NRL ladder, taking on the Penrith Panthers who come off a close loss to the Shark (16 – 18) last Saturday but who are still third on the ladder.
Canterbury are out to break a two match losing streak after going down again 20 – 12 to the Cowboys at ANZ in Round 20 on the back of a loss to the Cowboys but will be aided by the return of their star half Josh Reynolds from suspension.
Penrith are looking down the barrel of three consecutive losses too and lose playmaker Peter Wallace to injury.
- Tip: Bulldogs by 6
Saturday the Cronulla Sharks continue to try and shrug off their wooden spoon status when they play the 12th-placed Parramatta Eels at Remondis Stadium.
The Eels broke a winning drought last week defeating the Titans 24 – 18 and will start favourites to win again here but think they’re vulnerable.
- Tip: Sharks by 12
North Queensland Cowboys are also favourites on Saturday arvo playing at home in a Queensland Derby as they host the Gold Coast Titans.
The Cowboys beat the Doggies last round to make it two on the trot after finally breaking their dismal away record two weeks ago while the Titans lost to the Eels and will start at long odds through Ladbrokes.com.au this weekend.
Further boosting the Cowboys’ claims is the likely return of top prop Matt Scott who will be playing for the first time since fracturing his jaw in Origin footy, but history shows the Gold Coast have won four of the past five games played between the teams.
- Tip: Cowboys by 18
Also on Saturday night at Allianz Stadium the Sydney Roosters, currently fifth on the ladder, host the St George Illawarra Dragons.
The tri-colours come off a Friday night loss to the Knights when going down in a shock 16 – 12 defeat, something they are out to atone for here playing the Dragons who enjoyed a confidence boosting 28 – 12 victory over the Tigers on Sunday last week.
Could be in for a runaway win from the Roosters too as they’ve won four of the five most recent between these two by an average 24 points.
- Tip: Roosters by 22
This weekend’s Sunday arvo matches feature the Canberra Raiders going up against the New Zealand Warriors, both teams coming off mixed form but the Warriors the pick especially with the return of Shaun Johnson who was out last week with an injured groin.
It could be another big margin here too if the last game between the Raiders and Warriors is anything to go by, Canberra going down 54 – 12 back in May.
- Tip: Warriors by 18
Then the South Sydney Rabbitohs will start shorties at Barlow Park as the NRL goes up to Cairns, the Bunnies playing the Newcastle Knights.
The Knights scored an upset over the Chooks last Friday night but will be at juicy odds to do it again with Souths having beaten Canberra 34 – 18 on Monday night in a scoreline that flattered the losers.
- Tip: Rabbitohs by 6
To see out Round 21 we’ve then got the Wests Tigers looking to bounce back from their big loss to the Dragons last Sunday when they play the Melbourne Storm at Campbelltown Stadium.
The Tigers may have the home ground advantage but can’t see it counting for much against a Storm outfit starting to genuinely stake their claims for this year’s premiership title.
- Tip: Storm by 16
Check out the full Round 21 draw and odds below, heading over to Ladbrokes.com.au when you’re ready to place your bets on the footy and enjoy $2 lines on both the NRL and AFL all season!
Don’t forget Ladbrokes.com.au also have their awesome Footy Freak markets going off again for the NRL this weekend with Steve Matai the ‘Freak’ for Manly tonight at $2.50 to score and Manly to win.
2014 NRL Round 21 Draw
Friday August 1, 2014
Manly Sea Eagles ($1.36) v Brisbane Broncos ($3.25)
Brookvale Oval (7:45pm)
Canterbury Bulldogs ($1.45) v Penrith Panthers ($2.80)
ANZ Stadium (7:45pm)
Saturday August 2, 2014
Cronulla Sharks ($2.10) v Parramatta Eels ($1.77)
Remondis Stadium (3:00pm)
North Queensland Cowboys ($1.25) v Gold Coast Titans ($4)
1300 Smiles Stadium (5:30pm)
Sydney Roosters ($1.37) v St George Illawarra Dragons ($3.20)
Allianz Stadium (7:30pm)
Sunday August 3, 2014
Canberra Raiders ($2.25) v New Zealand Warriors ($1.67)
GIO Stadium (2:00m)
South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.30) v Newcastle Knights ($3.50)
Barlow Park (3:00pm)
Monday August 4, 2014
Wests Tigers ($3.25) v Melbourne Storm ($1.36)
Campbelltown Stadium (7:00pm)
*All odds quoted from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change