As quick as round three ended, the focus shifts immediately to round four of the 2020 NRL season.
The first week back showed that rule changes can lead to big winning margins. Until all teams are used to the new rules, you can expect to see a few more games decided by 13 or more points.
Let’s take a look at the matchups for round four, with odds from Australia’s best NRL betting sites.
Broncos vs Roosters
7:50pm Thursday, June 4 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
As successful as the Sydney Roosters have been under Trent Robinson, the one fixture they have struggled with is the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium. The Chooks have played the Broncos eight times in Brisbane since 2013 for only two wins (2014, 2016). It is somewhat of a bogey ground for the club, which will leave some cautious about parting with their cash. The $1.42 at BetOnline feels short considering Sydney’s record at the ground, but we must remember Brisbane are missing Kotoni Staggs, Alex Glenn, Tevita Pangai Jr and David Fifita. Young Herbie Farnworth and Jesse Arthurs filling out the Broncos’ right edge against the sensational left of the Roosters also makes the likes of Boyd Cordner, Josh Morris and Daniel Tupou great first try scoring options, with Cordner and Morris at the longer odds.
This is my table
Panthers vs Warriors
5pm Friday, June 5 at Campbelltown Stadium, Leumeah
The Penrith Panthers spluttered their way to a frustrating draw against Newcastle, who were missing seven starting-calibre players, while the NZ Warriors dictated terms in emphatic fashion against the Dragons. Again, the Panthers will be forced to play without Nathan Cleary at halfback and in his absence they may struggle to put away a team who were so clinical in their last start. Panthers 13+ at $2.75 with Sportsbet doesn’t look the best value going on form, so you may see punters look to take the Warriors at the six-point start.
Storm vs Rabbitohs
7:55pm Friday, June 5 at AAMI Park, Melbourne
An important fact to remember: the South Sydney Rabbitohs have never won in Melbourne, so you’d be a brave soul to say they end the hoodoo this week. The Storm were humbled by Canberra at home and they seldom lose two in a row, let alone two home games on the trot. Melbourne created plenty of chances against Canberra but kept finding ways to drop the ball at the crucial moment. Considering the lack of cohesion Souths have currently and a Storm outfit hurting from a sloppy performance, Melbourne 13+ is short at $2.63 with Sportsbet for good reason.
This is my table
Eels vs Sea Eagles
5:30pm Saturday, June 6 at Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta
This is the undisputed game of the round. Both were hugely impressive winners in their last starts and look every bit top four contenders. Bankwest Stadium may give the Parramatta Eels a slight edge with an impressive record at the ground, but what factor does no crowd play for them? Manly lost to the Eels in round 25 last season, but the shift in premiership betting for the Sea Eagles will tell you what the punters think about them. Nathan Brown is the only significant out for Parramatta and Manly are at full strength, so expect a high-quality contest and a close game. The Sea Eagles should attract plenty of interest as $2.35 outsiders at BetOnline, while Tom Trbojevic to score multiple tries could be an exotic option worth some thought.
Cowboys vs Sharks
7:35pm Saturday, June 6 at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
Another home game in Townsville for the North Queensland Cowboys should spell huge danger for a Cronulla side still yet to win in 2020. Their second half capitulation doesn’t bode well for this matchup, even with Jason Taumalolo out for the Cowboys. There have been question marks about Paul Green’s coaching and the lack of creativity; however, with Valentine Holmes playing his first game against his former club and rounding into form, the Cowboys will see a huge chance to inflict a damaging fourth loss to the Sharks. Reece Robson looked a big threat in the second half for the Cowboys last week, so the $3.20 price at Sportsbet for North Queensland 13+ will be attractive if the trend of big margins continues.
Raiders vs Knights
4:05pm Sunday, June 7 at Campbelltown Stadium, Leumeah
The Newcastle Knights showed tremendous courage to scratch out a draw missing seven starters and faced with a 14-point deficit, but a game on the road against Canberra appears a tall order when they could be missing Mitchell Pearce. Kalyn Ponga will come back in for the Knights, but how do they step up to the class of the premiership favourites after a torrid 90 minutes last week? The final make up of their side won’t be known until an hour before kick off, while Canberra will name the same 17 who defeated Melbourne. An 8.5 start at the line looks enticing when you consider the improved defence of Newcastle and Canberra playing their first ‘home’ game, which is a three-hour journey for them.
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Titans vs Tigers
6:30pm Sunday, June 7 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
This is a big chance for the Wests Tigers to solidify their position in the top eight with a comfortable away win against the Titans. Their second half against Cronulla showed why plenty of people believe they are finals bound in 2020. Conversely, the Titans’ second half against the Cowboys showed why they will most likely win the wooden spoon, so all things point to Wests moving to a 3-1 record. The Titans have been conceding an average of 31 points per game over the past 12 months, so expect the Tigers to run up a cricket score. Look at picking your own line to juice up the odds.
Bulldogs vs Dragons
4:05pm Monday, June 8 at Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta
Traditionally, the Queen’s Birthday Monday clash has served the Canterbury Bulldogs well, and the Dragons’ lack of effort against the Warriors suggests this is a great chance for Dean Pay’s men to notch a win. In their last 13 starts, St George Illawarra have picked up only two victories – both against the Titans. Of their last 21 games, they have lost 17. They are on a sinking ship and Paul McGregor is coaching for his job. Many would argue Pay is in the same boat at Canterbury, but the Dogs’ issue is not a lack of effort – it’s a lack of class. Both are $1.90 head-to-head at Sportsbet and for the same price you should get on the unders for overall points.
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