THERE is only a handful of games left in the NRL season, but there’s still plenty left to play for.
The final eight is far from settled. The Cowboys and the Storm clash in what could be a Grand Final preview, the Warriors host the Panthers in a match that could determine who holds their spot in the eight, while the Bulldogs are playing to keep their top-four chances alive against a desperate Dragons outfit.
All odds this week are provided by sportsbet.com.au, which is offering new customers a fantastic first bet inducement of $501 in matched bets.
Round 21 NRL multi of the week selections:
Canterbury to defeat St George Illawarra ($1.19)
New Zealand to beat Penrith ($1.73)
Melbourne to defeat North Queensland ($1.77)
Canberra to beat South Sydney ($1.40)
Canterbury vs. St George Illawarra
Friday, July 29 at 7.50pm at ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Two sides coming off horrible losses last week meet under the Friday night lights in Sydney.
The Bulldogs were crushed last week against the Cowboys, failing to score whilst conceding 36 points.
Despite the ordinary showing, the Bulldogs are still just two points shy of the third placed Cowboys and are at the $1.80 quote at sportsbet.com.au to make the finals.
The Dragons were stunned by the Wests Tigers last week, failing to win at home in a match that could cost them a finals spot.
St George Illawarra is just two points adrift of Penrith in eighth spot but sportsbet has the big red V as the $21 outsiders to make the finals.
The first leg of our multi should be a formality, expect the Dogs to win big.
Multi tip: Canterbury Bulldogs to win – $1.19
New Zealand vs. Penrith
Saturday, July 30 from 3pm at Mt Smart Stadium, New Zealand
Two teams vying for the final positions inside the eight do battle across the Tasman on Saturday afternoon as the Warriors host the Panthers.
The two teams had contrasting outings last weekend.
The Warriors were stiff to come away empty handed last week as the Raiders scored on the first play of extra time to seal an incredible victory.
The Panthers stunned the Broncos to record their finest victory of the season, crushing last year’s Grand Finalists by 19 points.
Penrith’s record in New Zealand is a hard one to read considering they have won exactly half the matches they have played across the Tasman, albeit against some weak Warrior eams.
Can the Panthers win again on the road to consolidate their position inside the eight? We do not think so.
We are backing the Warriors to overcome the Panthers at good odds.
Multi tip: New Zealand Warriors to win – $1.73
North Queensland vs. Melbourne
Saturday, July 30 from 7.30pm at 1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville
Two of this year’s biggest premiership fancies clash in the north of the country as the Cowboys host the Storm in the match of the round.
The Storm are the current favourites for the NRL title at $3.50 over at WilliamHill.com.au while the Cowboys are on the second line of betting at $4.50.
Both teams bring in sensational form into the contest.
The Cowboys obliterated the Bulldogs last week, winning 36-0 despite having reigning Dally M medallist Jonathan Thurston sitting on the bench for the majority of the match.
JT injured his hamstring in the crushing win and will not take his place against the Storm.
Melbourne overcame a plucky Roosters outfit to record a comfortable 16 point home win, which moved them to second position on the ladder.
The big question here is, can the Cowboys win without their talisman Thurston? We think not.
Everyone knows a Queensland match is as good as home game for the Storm, and a JT-less Cowboys outfit only strengthens their claims.
We are backing the Storm to consolidate their top-two position.
Multi tip: Melbourne Storm to win – $1.77
South Sydney vs. Canberra
Sunday, July 31 from 2pm at ANZ Stadium, Sydney
The Bunnies and the Raiders clash in Sydney’s heartland on Sunday to round out our multi.
It has been a season to savour thus far for the Raiders, who find themselves in the top-four after a string of fantastic victories.
Canberra were able to overcome the Warriors in golden point extra time last week to leapfrog the Bulldogs into fourth position on the ladder.
South Sydney has had a horror season and the year cannot end quick enough for the Bunnies.
13 premiership points separate the two teams on the NRL ladder, but the Raiders would not want to take any team that boasts the talent of Greg Inglis lightly.
Maintaining their position inside the top four should be all the motivation that the Raiders need heading into Sunday and they should finish our multi off in style.
Multi tip: Canberra Raiders to win – $1.40
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