Round 20 of the 2016 NRL Telstra Premiership means there are just seven weeks left until the NRL Finals and it is well and truly the pointy end of the season for teams on the brink of a Top 8 finish.
Upset NRL Round 20 Tip: Panthers to beat the Broncos in Brisbane @ $3.70 through Ladbrokes.com.au!
A Thursday night blockbuster gets things underway this evening with the third-ranked North Queensland Cowboys facing off against the fourth-ranked Bulldogs in a tight match-up.
The reigning Premiers, NQ have come through the Origin series without dropping out of the Top 4 and last week enjoyed a bye. They should be fresh for this home game up at 1300 Smiles Stadium hosting the Doggies then and are out to atone for the 26 – 12 loss to the Raiders back in Round 18.
Canterbury meanwhile are after blood hoping to keep their spot in the first four teams on the NRL Ladder and also come off a bye from Round 19, their last game played producing a 10-point win over the Tigers in Rnd 18. They’ll be in for a fight though with the Cowboys having won three of the past four games between these two sides, but it is the Bulldogs with the better recent record at the venue with three from four played up in North Queensland.
For Friday night footy the Broncos return home to Suncorp Stadium and are out to keep the good news coming after they broke a losing streak with their smart 30 – 10 victory over the Bunnies at ANZ Stadium last Saturday night.
Brisbane are sixth on the ladder currently and are short-odds to hold out the Panthers who played in last weekend’s best match, coming back from a devastatingly bad start to beat the gutsy Eels 22 – 18 at Pepper Stadium. Penrith got the better of the Broncos in an upset earlier in 2016 and Brisbane have a poor record this season as the home favourites.
We’re back to three games on Saturday and the first is in Canberra with the fifth-ranked Raiders hosting the eighth-ranked Warriors. Canberra will start favourites off a bye while New Zealand come off the one-point loss to Manly a week ago. The Raiders are right on the cusp of a spot in that coveted Top 4 and have won eight of their past 10 games when starting the favourites at home.
The second on Saturday takes the NRL action down to the Gold Coast with the Titans (7th) playing Parramatta (14th) who gave their fans plenty to be proud of last week despite all the bad headlines, setbacks and eventual loss to the Panthers. Of the past six between these two clubs, the Gold Coast have come away with the points five times and should do so again here.
One of the Round’s easiest-to-pick match-ups looks to be Saturday’s nights AAMI Park clash between the Melbourne Storm who briefly sat top of the ladder last week before winding up in second spot and the 15th placed Roosters who lost 20 – 32 to the No. 1 placed Sharks.
On Sunday afternoon the ladder-leading Sharks get the chance to secure their incredible 15th consecutive victory and should have zero problems doing it taking on Wooden Spoon favourites Newcastle ($16th) who are at double-figures to score an improbable upset having won just once this season.
The other Sunday match is between the Dragons (10th) and Tigers (11th), St Georg missing Josh Dugan once again, before the round concludes on Monday night with the Bunnies big odds to hold off Manly in a 13th plays 12th at Allianz Stadium.
Check out the full 2016 NRL Round 20 draw below as well as our insider footy tips to lock in at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Footy Freaks and the best NRL Premiership betting offers!
NRL ROUND 20 DRAW
North Queensland Cowboys ($1.45) vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs ($2.85)
Thursday July 21, 7:50pm, 1300 Smiles Stadium
Tip: Cowboys by 4
Brisbane Broncos ($1.30) vs Penrith Panthers ($3.70)
Friday July 22, 7:50pm, Suncorp Stadium
Tip: Penrith by 12
Canberra Raiders ($1.45) vs New Zealand Warriors ($2.85)
Saturday July 23, 3:00pm, GIO Stadium
Tip: Raiders by 8
Gold Coast Titans ($1.45) vs Parramatta Eels ($2.85)
Saturday July 23, 5:30pm, CBUS Super Stadium
Tip: Gold Coast by 12
Melbourne Storm ($1.25) vs Sydney Roosters ($4.10)
Saturday July 23, 7:30pm, AAMI Park
Tip: Melbourne by 12
Cronulla Sharks ($1.05) vs Newcastle Knights ($11)
Sunday July 24, 2:00pm, Shark Park
Tip: Sharks by 13+
St George Illawarra Dragons ($2.55) vs Wests Tigers ($1.53)
Sunday July 24, 4:00pm, ANZ Stadium
Tip: Tigers by 2
South Sydney Rabbitohs ($2.20) vs Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles ($1.70)
Monday July 4, 7:00pm, Allianz Stadium
Tip: Manly by 8
*All odds quoted are provided by Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change