We move into the third week of the 2017 NRL Telstra Premiership with Round 3 kicking off on Thursday night with a tough match for the Broncos up against the Storm in Melbourne.
Upset NRL Tip of the Week: Brisbane to beat the Storm @$2.50 through Ladbrokes.com.au
The Eels have been in much better form early in the footy season and get the chance to make it three-from-three when Parra play the Titans at the Gold Coast on Friday night, while the round highlight takes place on Saturday.
The Penrith Panthers and Sydney Roosters are even in NRL betting for their clash at Pepper Stadium despite the two sitting 10th and 3rd respectively on the NRL Ladder 2017.
Manly’s woes look set to continue when the Sea Eagles head up to North Queensland to take on the Cowboys, who come off the gritty one-point extra-time win over Brisbane last week, while it is 5th plays 6th with the Sharks – Dragons clash on Sunday.
Check out the full 2017 NRL Round 3 Preview & Tips below before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au for the top footy odds and Rugby League betting offers.
NRL ROUND 3
Melbourne Storm ($1.55) vs Brisbane Broncos ($2.50)
Thursday March 16, 2017 (8:05pm) – AAMI Park
The Broncos went down a point after yet another incredible extra-time match to the Cowboys last week and they now head to Melbourne to face the Storm. It’s a tough test for Brisbane especially as the Storm welcome back Billy Slater who has been off the scene with a shoulder injury for a year. Melbourne are two-from-two after a big win in the wet over NZ last week. The Broncos lead the head-to-head stats against the Storm with 26 wins from 40 played, and are two from their last three at AAMI Park. Can Brisbane get the upset here in a likely tight affair?
- Tip: Brisbane by 2 – Ladbrokes.com.au
Canterbury Bulldogs ($2.05) vs New Zealand Warriors ($1.80)
Friday March 17, 2017 (6:00pm) – Forsyth Barr Stadium
The Bulldogs went down by 4 to the Roosters last week, while the Warriors lost the plot in the mud going down at home to the Storm by 16 points. Canterbury haven’t won yet and are slight underdogs to stop the Kiwis. This is a “home” game for the Doggies, but it is played at Dunedin in New Zealand so that advantage is lost. Also working against Canterbury is the loss of Will Hopoate and Kerrod Holland to injury. It is shaping-up as a win for NZ in NZ.
- Tip: Warriors by 10 – Ladbrokes.com.au
Gold Coast Titans ($2.55) vs Parramatta Eels ($1.55)
Friday March 17, 2017 (8:05pm) – Coopers Stadium
The Titans come into this home game on the back of successive losses, while the Eels are topping the table after two wins. Last week saw Parra smash the Dragons 34 – 16 on Sunday, giving them a short turnaround for their trip to the Gold Coast. The Titans meanwhile went down to the Knights last week and Hayne is out for this continuing the club’s injury woes. Confidence sides with Parra who are the improver of the season with all the line-breaks and possession. The Eels however have lost Corey Norman (hamstring), tightening the gap between these two.
- Tip: Eels by 4 – Ladbrokes.com.au
Newcastle Knights ($2.55) vs South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.53)
Saturday March 18, 2017 (4:30pm) – McDonald Jones Stadium
Both clubs broke through with their first wins of the season last week, the Knights beating the Titans (34 -26) and the Bunnies bouncing back with the big 38 – 18 victory over Manly at Brookvale. Who makes it back-to-back victories here? The Knights hadn’t won prior to last week since Round 6 last year and the question is whether or not they’ve finally got their groove back. The fans are praying to the footy gods, but Souths surely have more momentum.
- Tip: Souths by 12 – Ladbrokes.com.au
Penrith Panthers ($1.92) vs Sydney Roosters ($1.92)
Saturday March 18, 2017 (7:00pm) – Pepper Stadium
Bookies are having a hard time separating these two in betting. The Roosters are undefeated for 2017 after their gutsy win over the Dogs last Thursday night and get the longer turnaround for this. Penrith smashed the Tigers last Sunday 36 – 2 so have plenty of points in them. It is East vs West and for the big cats young Nathan Cleary is looking to stand-out again facing a key Chooks halves comb led by Pearce. Luke Keary has also been outstanding for the Roosters fitting like a glove to the club and he’ll need to be at his best for this. Penrith are five from their past six at Pepper Stadium and this looks a really tough pick.
- Tip: Roosters by 2 – Ladbrokes.com.au
North Queensland Cowboys ($1.28) vs Manly Sea Eagles ($3.90)
Saturday March 18, 2017 (9:00pm) – 1300Smiles Stadium
Surely the easiest of the week to predict? The Cowboys have had to really work for their opening two wins, both games going into extra time. JT was all smiles after his field-goal win over the Broncos last week and the home crowd up at NQ HQ will be cheering him in this. Manly meanwhile were disappointing again going down in Round 2 by 20 points to the rejuvenated Bunnies. That said, the Cowboys suffered some serious injuries last week and the pressure is on for them to win without Matt Scott. Jason Taumalolo is also off serving a shoulder charge suspension, while Coote and Winterstein are missing from the backs. In the past two years North Queensland have lost just five times at this stadium and with an 81% average completion rate, the boys should be able to hold on and defeat Manly.
- Tip: Cowboys by 12 – Ladbrokes.com.au
Canberra Raiders ($1.42) vs Wests Tigers ($3)
Sunday March 19, 2017 (4:00pm) – GIO Stadium
We head to the nation’s capital again on Sunday with the Green Machine looking to move from the bottom of the ladder with their first win of the season. The Tigers were thrashed by Penrith last Sunday, while the losing margin for Canberra was also massive when the Sharks got the better of them 42 – 16 here at GIO Stadium. Who bounces back in this? Money is on the Raiders and winger Jordan Rapana who, from four games against the Tigers, has scored seven times. Skipper Jarrod Croker is also back for the home side, while Wests lose Jamal Idris to injury (foot).
- Tip: Raiders by 16 – Ladbrokes.com.au
Cronulla Sharks ($1.36) vs St George Illawarra Dragons ($3.25)
Sunday March 19, 2017 (6:30pm) – Southern Cross Group Stadium
Big odds on offer for the Dragons who head to Shark Park on Sunday on the back of a big loss to the Eels a week ago come this game. The Sharks meanwhile will be on a high after the easy 20 point win over Manly putting their first 2017 competition points on the board. Cronulla have plenty of four-pointers in them, but the St George tackling rate is very good. Head-to-head stats are near enough to even and it comes down to a battle of the forwards here.
- Tip: Dragons by 4 – Ladbrokes.com.au
*All times quoted are AEDT and odds from Ladbrokes.com.au – subject to change