WE’RE less than a month away from Rugby League finals action, and the race for the top-four is just as heated as the battle to consolidate a position inside the eight.
The Storm and the Sharks are embroiled in a battle for the minor premiership, while at the tail end of the eight the Tigers, Warriors, Broncos and Titans – who occupy positions six through to ninth – are all separated by a mere three premiership points.
It looks like the fight for those coveted positions inside the finals will go down to the wire.
We are looking to make some money off round 23 and we think we have put together a sensational multi that will make us a tidy little profit.
All odds this week are provided by Sportsbet.com.au, which is offering prospective punters a fantastic deal to get them to sign up for an account.
New customers can get their first bet at Sportsbet matched up to the value of $501.
Selections for the Round 23 NRL multi of the week:
Brisbane to defeat Parramatta ($1.22)
New Zealand to beat South Sydney ($1.36)
Cronulla to defeat St George Illawarra ($1.25)
North Queensland to beat Sydney Roosters ($1.48)
Brisbane vs. Parramatta
Friday, August 12 from 7.50pm at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
The two teams who opened the season way back in March kick off our multi on Friday night.
The Broncos and the Eels are separated by just one win, but due to their salary cap infringement penalties imposed on Parramatta, the Eels sit towards the bottom of the table; while Brisbane is in sixth.
The Brisbane Broncos bounced back to form last week in a low scoring match against the Dragons to all but secure their place in the finals.
The Eels recorded a morale boosting win after a hard week off the field, coming from behind to put a huge dent in the finals chances of Manly.
Can Parra cause another big upset this week? We are very confident that will not be the case.
The Broncos still have a slim chance of finishing inside the top-four ($17 at Sportsbet.com.au), and we expect them to come out and play accordingly.
We expect Brisbane to win big to kick off our multi.
Multi tip: Brisbane Broncos to win – $1.22
New Zealand vs. South Sydney
Saturday, August 13 from 5.30pm at Mt Smart Stadium, New Zealand
Two teams that have very different objectives heading into the latter stages of the season clash across the Tasman on Saturday afternoon.
The Warriors are immersed in a battle to retain their position inside the finals and nothing short of a win will do for the Kiwis.
For South Sydney, the rest of the campaign is about restoring even a small semblance of pride.
A loss against the Warriors on Saturday would see the Rabbitohs loss streak enter double figures.
The recent match ups have favoured the Bunnies; who have won the last four contests between the sides, but we give them little hope in this one.
Expect the Warriors to hammer the Rabbitohs.
Multi tip: New Zealand Warriors to win – $1.36
St George Illawarra vs. Cronulla
Saturday, August 13 from 7.30pm at Jubilee Oval, Sydney
Finally the Sharks undefeated streak is over, but was last week’s defeat at the hands of the Raiders the fabled “loss they had to have” or a sign of things to come?
Cronulla could not have asked for a better opportunity to bounce back this week, facing off against their bitter rivals, the struggling St George Illawarra Dragons.
The return of Michael Ennis should assist the Sharks greatly. Ennis’ experience and attacking prowess has been greatly missed, especially in the loss against Canberra last week.
The big red V come in on the back of a five game losing streak, which has put a line through their finals chances.
The rest of the finals competitors may lament the Dragons’ loss too, as it may have played the Broncos back into form.
There is nothing left to play for if you are a Dragons fan; conversely, a minor premiership is still up for grabs for the Sharks.
The Cronulla Sharks are $2.40 at sportsbet.com.au to win this year’s minor premiership.
We expect the Sharks to decimate their rivals in what should be an emphatic return to form.
Multi tip: Cronulla Sharks to win – $1.25
Sydney Roosters vs. North Queensland
Sunday, August 14 from 4pm at Allianz Stadium, Sydney
The last leg of the multi sees the Cowboys travel south to face the Roosters at Allianz Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Both teams will be looking to get their names back on the winner’s sheet after pathetic displays last week.
The Roosters were horrendous against the Panthers, losing by 20 points after matching their opponents for the first 15 minutes of the contest.
The Cowboys were ordinary, losing 26-14 despite the return of Johnathan Thurston from a hamstring injury.
The loss leaves North Queensland two points adrift of fourth placed Canterbury, and the Cowboys are now at the $1.83 price to finish inside the top-four.
It is contrasting news on the injury front for both teams.
The Cowboys lose important hooker Jake Granville to injury, while the Roosters welcome back key duo Mitchell Pearce and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.
Will the personnel changes impact the outcome? We think not.
The Cowboys need to win to keep the pressure on the top-four and we think they will do it in a canter on Sunday.
Multi tip: North Queensland Cowboys to win – $1.48
NRL bookmaker promotions across round 23
William Hill continue their fantastic enhanced and money back multi special this weekend.
Place a four or more leg multi on any sport this weekend, and if you miss out by one leg you get your cash back up to $50.
In addition, get a tiered bonus up to 40% added to your winnings.
Bonus are paid as Bonus Bets from 2.5% (4 leg multi) up to 40% of winnings (12+ leg multi); Max Winning Bonus $5,000 Bonus Bets.
Sportsbet has a sensational money back special this weekend on any five or more legged multi.
Place a multi on the NRL this weekend, and if you miss out by one leg you get your cash back, up to $50.
Rather invest on the first try scorer market? A number of online bookies have heeded your advice and are now offering money back specials for Friday night’s crunch match between the Broncos and the Eels.
Place a first try scorer bet on Friday night at sportsbet.com.au and if your selection fails to score the first try but ends up scoring the second or third try you get your stake back up to the value of $50.
Think that the scoring within the first three tries is not lenient enough? Head on over to Luxbet.com.au and utilise their Friday night promotion.
If your selection fails to score the first try but crosses the line at any time throughout the first half you get your stake back in the form of a bonus bet up to the value of $50.
Crownbet.com.au is giving punters the entire first half to get their stake back in the form of a bonus if they miss out on the first try scorer.
Place a first try scorer investment, and if your man fails to score the first but they cross the line at any time during the first half you get your stake back in the form of Crown points up to the value of a $50 bet.