WHAT a terrible weekend of league it was for favourite-backers last week.
The Dragons’ free-fall continued and Sharks dropped the ball massively.
hankfully the Storm and the Broncos got the job done, but unfortunately there is no prize for two of four legs.
We are humble in victory and humble in defeat, so we move onto round 23 where we have put together a four-legged multi that we believe will generate a tasty return.
Selections for the Round 23 NRL multi of the week:
Parramatta Eels to beat Newcastle Knights ($1.15)
Brisbane Broncos to win against the Cronulla Sharks ($1.50)
Melbourne Storm to beat the Sydney Roosters ($1.38)
New Zealand Warriors to win against the Canberra Raiders ($3.05)
Parramatta Eels vs. Newcastle Knights
Friday, August 11 from 6pm AEST, ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Two of the feel-good stories of the campaign meet on Friday night as the Eels host the Knights at ANZ Stadium.
Parramatta has shed the salary cap scandal of last year to find themselves firmly entrenched in the eight. A win on Friday night would solidify their post-season and keep them in sight of a top-four berth.
The Knights were staring down the barrel of yet another wooden spoon, but after brilliant back-to-back wins there is hope they will avoid the dreaded bottom position.
Can Newcastle pull off the hat-trick? We do not think so.
In 2017 the Eels only take what’s theirs, and that is a Friday night win to keep in striking distance of the top four.
Parramatta Eels to win – $1.15
Brisbane Broncos vs. Cronulla Sharks
Friday, August 11 from 7.15pm AEST, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
A nice prelude to the finals awaits footy fans on Friday night as the Broncos host the Sharks at Suncorp Stadium.
The Broncos have a chance to go second on the ladder if they can back up their terrific 54-point win over the Titans last week. Wayne Bennett’s men were sparkling in holding the Gold Coast scoreless and they pierced holes at will through a mostly shoddy Titans defence.
The Sharks had a match to regret against the Raiders. The Green Machine outworked their opponents despite having very little to play for, while Cronulla was challenging for a top-four berth, further highlighting the disappointment of the loss.
A form reversal of the highest magnitude will have to happen for both sides to have last week’s result flipped, and we do not see that happening.
The Broncos should win handsomely to keep their premiership hopes in line.
Brisbane Broncos to win – $1.50
Melbourne Storm vs. Sydney Roosters
Saturday, August 12 from 5.30pm AEST, AAMI PArk, Melbourne
The third leg of our multi heads south of the border to Melbourne where the Storm host the Roosters in a top-two showdown.
Melbourne can all but lock down the minor premiership if they can knock off the Tricolours on Saturday night. The Storm are fresh off a gritty win against the Cowboys that proves they are not afraid to get their hands dirty.
Sydney had a surprise loss to the Sea Eagles, but are still in terrific form and present a major challenge to the Storm.
We are still backing the men in purple, who should register a win and keep us rolling into the final leg.
Melbourne Storm to win – $1.38
New Zealand Warriors vs. Canberra Raiders
Sunday, August 14 from 7.30pm AEST, Mt Smart Stadium, New Zealand
We are going for an upset in the final leg of our NRL multi as the Warriors host the Raiders across the Tasman.
Both teams are out of finals commission, and typically this is where New Zealand does its best work in rugby league.
The Warriors are out to restore some pride after losing to the bottom-of-the-table Knights – their 13th loss of the season. It has been a dismal season for the Kiwis, who were one of the top-eight fancies prior to the commencement of the 2017 campaign.
The Raiders recorded a sparkling win against the Sharks last week but it is a matter of too little, too late for the Green Machine. Ricky Stuart must be pulling his hair out, wondering where this effort was two months ago.
Canberra might be in the better form currently, but history suggests this is a fixture the Warriors make their own in Auckland.
NZ are looking to maintain an incredible run of domination over the Raiders at Mt Smart Stadium. The Kiwis have lost just twice since 2002 at their home stadium.
We are backing them to maintain the rage and cause an upset to bring us home in style.
Cronulla Sharks to win – $1.50
NRL Round 23 promotions
When favourites let you down it is good to know the bookmakers are there to break your fall, and their safety net remains in place as the regular season comes to a close.
Sportsbet.com.au is offering a multi insurance deal, which means any multi of five legs or more that fails by one match this weekend will see your stake returned up to the value of $50 in bonuses.
On top of this, Sportsbet will be paying any bet as a winning dividend if your selected team in a head-to-head investment leads at any stage by 12 points or more.
Ladbrokes.com.au continues to offer boosted $1.95 lines – far greater than the handicap odds available at other bookies.