It is just over a month until the NRL Finals kick-off for the season and Round 21 of the 2016 NRL Telstra Premiership began on Thursday night with the Brisbane Broncos continuing their downward spiral.
Upset NRL Round 21 Tip: Panthers to beat New Zealand @ $2.25 through Ladbrokes.com.au on Saturday
Having sat at the top of the NRL Ladder early on in the season, things have gone badly amiss for last year’s runners-up with Brisbane slipping to sixth after their disappointing 32 – 16 loss to the 15th-ranked Roosters, the club having had just two wins in their past nine played.
While Thursday night footy is done and dusted there’s still seven top NRL games to enjoy a punt on across the weekend including tonight’s Bulldogs vs Dragons clash at ANZ Stadium where the Des Hasler-trained Dogs are out to continue their good 7 – 2 record on the back of a loss.
Canterbury are short-priced favourites in NRL betting to get the job done, the fifth-ranked club hoping to sneak into the Top 4 by the round’s conclusion. Last weekend the Bulldogs were kept scoreless in a 36 – nil thrashing at the hands of the Cowboys, but they face a much easier task in St. George who were beaten 12 – 25 by Tigers last Sunday arvo.
The first on Saturday is a closely matched affair between the Warriors (9th) and Panthers (8th) over in New Zealand, and the home side are favourites despite a four point loss to the Raiders in Canberra last weekend. Penrith meanwhile enjoyed an easy 31 – 12 win over the Broncos last Friday night, but that form isn’t much to write home about based on Brisbane’s poor performance this week.
A win by NZ here could see them head into the Top 8 and move past Penrith on the ladder, making it a great game to tune in for. That said, the Warriors have struggled as home favourites over the last year and we had success tipping Penrith for an upset last week so are happier to go that again with their up-and-coming half-back Nathan Cleary doing plenty right.
Next-up on Saturday the Eels host the Tigers before the round’s blockbuster that night up at 1300 Smiles Stadium in North Queensland, the Cowboys taking on the Storm in a third plays second super showdown.
The reigning premiers had the big win at home over the Doggies last Thursday night and will be well-rested as they prepare to take on Melbourne in another home game. Speaking of resting, NQ lost skipper Johnathan Thurston to a minor hamstring injury late in last week’s game and he’s unlikely to play again this weekend.
Melbourne meanwhile beat the Chooks 26 – 10 last Saturday at home and travel this week, favourites to handle the North Queensland heat and come away with the win.
Sunday arvo has the down-and-out Bunnies (13th) facing a tough match against Canberra (4th) who are looking to hold onto one of those Top 4 spots after a surprisingly consistent season including winning seven of their past eight games.
We then head to Brookvale oval for the Sea Eagles vs Knights clash, surely an easy win for Manly who have finally found form of late coming off the win over Souths last Monday night while Newcastle’s woes continued with a 36 – 4 thrashing by the ladder-leading Sharks.
This week Cronulla will look for their 16th win on the trot to retain Premiership favouritism when they go to the Gold Coast on Monday to take on the seventh-ranked Titans.
Check out the full NRL Round 21 draw below before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au for all the top NRL odds and footy freaks markets!
NRL Round 21
Sydney Roosters 32 def. 16 Brisbane Broncos
Thursday July 28, 7:50pm, Allianz Stadium
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs ($1.14) vs St George Illawarra Dragons ($6)
Friday July 29, 7:50pm, ANZ Stadium
Tip: Bulldogs by 12
New Zealand Warriors ($1.67) vs Penrith Panthers ($2.25)
Saturday July 30, 7:50pm, Mt Smart Stadium
Tip: Panthers by 4
Parramatta Eels ($3.25) vs Wests Tigers ($1.36)
Saturday July 30, 5:30pm, ANZ Stadium
Tip: Tigers by 8
North Queensland Cowboys ($2.15) vs Melbourne Storm ($1.75)
Saturday July 30, 7:50pm, 1300 Smiles Stadium
Tip: Cowboys by 2
South Sydney Rabbitohs ($3.25) vs Canberra Raiders ($1.36)
Sunday July 31, 2:00pm, ANZ Stadium
Tip: Raiders by 13+
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles ($1.10) vs Newcastle Knights ($7.50)
Sunday July 31, 4:00pm, Brookvale Oval
Tip: Manly by 16
Gold Coast Titans ($2.85) vs Cronulla Sharks ($1.44)
Monday August 1, 7:00pm, CBUS Super Stadium
Tip: Sharks by 10
*All odds quoted are provided by Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change