The final round of the regular 2016 NRL season is here with positions in the Top 8 and the NRL finals to be decided.
Upset NRL Round 26 Tip: Tigers to beat the Raiders @ $2.30 through Ladbrokes.com.au on Sunday!
Things kick off tonight at Suncorp Stadium with last year’s Grand Final runners-up Brisbane hosting the Roosters.
It is fifth plays 15th, but despite the order of the two on the NRL Ladder, anything can happen with the Chooks looking to take something positive into the break.
Brisbane were back to their excellent best last weekend doing everything right in Melbourne to come away with the surprise 26 – 16 win over Melbourne and are still in with a chance at a Top 4 finish.
They need to keep consistent with the NRL Finals series around the corner starting with a win tonight in skipper Corey Parker’s last regular season appearance, which would be their fifth on the trot.
Friday night footy heads to ANZ Stadium with the Bulldogs (6th) short-priced favourites to beat the Rabbitohs (13th).
The Bunnies were big winners over the Knights last Sunday, but anybody can beat Newcastle this season.
Canterbury meanwhile get the lengthy turnaround not having played since last Thursday when beaten 16 – 24 by the reigning premiers the Cowboys, and if they win and other NRL results go their way a Top 4 finish is not impossible for the Dogs.
It is a nothing match first-up on Saturday afternoon with the Dragons (11th) and Knights (16th) saying goodbye for 2016 at Jubilee Oval, before a big Queensland Derby up at 1300 Smiles Stadium.
The fourth-ranked North Queensland squad are out to secure that home semi by winning and staying in the Top 4 with victory over the Titans who are in eighth position and also desperate for success.
The Gold Coast lost at home to the Panthers by one point last week so could be in trouble and that is reflected in their juicy odds to stop the Cowboys who were outstanding over the Dogs last round.
Success here for North Queensland gives them three straight and a Top 4 end, while a loss opens up the final eight position for the Titans.
The genuine NRL Round 26 blockbuster meanwhile plays out at AAMI Park on Saturday night with 1st playing 2nd – a draw you couldn’t script!
Melbourne are out to atone for the loss to the Broncos last round and wrap-up the Minor Premiership for 2016, while the Sharks come off the confidence boosting 37 – 12 victory over Sydney a week ago.
At home as favourites the stats are in the Storm’s favour, Melbourne winning eight from 10 in this scenario.
That said, the Sharks ended their late-season losing streak and will be playing their hearts out in what could prove a low scoring affair.
Sunday sees Wests Tigers (9th) hosting the third-placed Canberra Raiders at Leichhardt Oval in a hard to predict clash.
The never-say-die attitude of Wests was on full display in New Zealand last Sunday when they defeated the Warriors in a high-scoring 36 – 24 affair.
Canberra meanwhile also enjoyed plenty of points in their favour last round with a 44 – 30 victory over Manly at Brookvale.
If the Titans lose their game earlier in the round, then the Tigers really have something to play for here so watch earlier results before placing your bets on this one.
The other Sunday game has the Warriors (10th) playing at home again, with Parramatta (14th) glad to see the end of this horror season.
Things conclude with the seventh-placed Panthers out for a win ahead of a post-season appearance playing the Sea Eagles (12th) at Pepper Stadium and as home favourites they have won six of their past eight games.
Check out the full Round 26 draw complete with the NRL odds and our insider footy tips for you to lock in at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Footy Freaks!
NRL Round 26
Brisbane Broncos ($1.20) vs Sydney Roosters ($4.75)
Thursday September 1, 7:50pm, Suncorp Stadium
Tip: Brisbane by 6
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs ($1.65) vs South Sydney Rabbitohs ($2.30)
Friday September 2, 7:50pm, ANZ Stadium
Tip: Bulldogs by 12
St George Illawarra Dragons ($1.33) vs Newcastle Knights ($3.40)
Saturday September 3, 3:00pm, UOW Jubilee Oval
Tip: Dragons by 10
North Queensland Cowboys ($1.33) vs Gold Coast Titans ($3.40)
Saturday September 3, 5:30pm, 1300 Smiles Stadium
Tip: Cowboys by 8
Melbourne Storm ($1.45) vs Cronulla Sharks ($2.85)
Saturday September 3, 7:30pm, AAMI Park
Tip: Storm by 4
Wests Tigers ($2.30) vs Canberra Raiders ($1.65)
Sunday September 4, 2:00pm, Leichhardt Oval
Tip: Tigers by 6
New Zealand Warriors ($1.48) vs Parramatta Eels ($2.75)
Sunday September 4, 4:00pm, Mt Smart Stadium
Tip: New Zealand by 13+
Penrith Panthers ($1.29) vs Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles ($3.75)
Sunday September 4, 6:30pm, Pepper Stadium
Tip: Manly to win by 4
*All odds quoted are provided by Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change