THERE is only a fortnight of footy to go into the finals roll around, but the minor premiership and the top eight could be settled as soon as this week.
The Storm will lock away top spot on the ladder if they can overcome the Broncos, while the Tigers and the Warriors are playing for their finals survival across the Tasman this weekend.
Nothing short of a win will do for either side.
All odds for round 25 are provided by Sportsbet.com.au, which is offering prospective punters a fantastic deal when they open a new account.
New customers can get their first bet at Sportsbet matched up to the value of $501.
Selections for the round 25 NRL multi of the week:
Melbourne to defeat Brisbane ($1.45)
Canberra to beat Manly ($1.47)
Cronulla to defeat Sydney Roosters ($1.58)
New Zealand to beat Wests Tigers ($1.32)
Melbourne vs. Brisbane
Friday, August 26 from 7.50pm at AAMI Park, Melbourne
Two of the premiership fancies of 2016 meet on Friday night as the Storm host the Broncos to kick off our multi.
A win to Melbourne would hand them the minor premiership and the box seat heading into a finals campaign which sees Craig Bellamy’s men as the $3.25 favourites to win at Sportsbet.com.au.
For the Broncos, a victory will see them joint on points inside the top-four, a position they desperately covet after an ordinary second half of the season.
Unfortunately the Broncos face the toughest road trip in Rugby League, and we are predicting the Storm to keep their terrific home record in tact on Friday night.
Multi tip: Melbourne Storm to win – $1.45
Manly vs. Canberra
Saturday, August 27 from 3pm at Brookvale Oval, Sydney
The most inform team in the NRL right now in the form of Canberra face a team who will not play a part in the 2016 finals this year, the Manly Sea Eagles.
The Raiders are playing out of their skins right now and have their top-four position locked in place heading into the finals.
Last time out they gave the Eels a huge lead and were still able to run them down, but ideally the Green Machine will be competitive from the get-go if they are to make an impact in the finals.
After a spirited month of football eight weeks ago the Sea Eagles have fell in a hole.
Manly is now just treading water until the end of the season, and we are not expecting the Raiders to be troubled at all here.
The Green Machine will roll on towards the finals on the back of another win.
Multi tip: Canberra Raiders to win – $1.20
Cronulla vs. Sydney Roosters
Saturday, August 27 from 7.30pm at Shark Park, Sydney
An interesting match awaits league fans on Saturday night as Cronulla and the Sydney Roosters clash at Shark Park.
It sounds crazy to describe a team who is sitting second on the ladder as an outfit that desperately needs to win but that is the case for the Sharks heading into the latter stages of the season.
Cronulla looked unbeatable a month ago, but after their magnificent 15-win streak was broken they have looked like a completely different team.
Captain Paul Gallan returns to the side to add some strength and bulk to a side that has been meek over the last fortnight.
The Roosters have been terrific in the last fortnight after a lamentable season, beating the reigning premiers before hammering the Dragons 42-6 last week.
The Sharks have too much to play for, and should lock their top-two spot away heading into the finals.
Multi tip: North Queensland Cowboys to win – $1.24
New Zealand vs. Wests Tigers
Sunday, August 28 from 2pm at Mt Smart Stadium, New Zealand
Arguably the match of the round takes place on Sunday as the Warriors host the Tigers across the Tasman in a game that has serious finals ramifications.
Neither side currently sits inside the top-eight and no longer have their destinies in their own hands and will be relying on the Gold Coast Titans slipping up in their final match of the season.
The Warriors are $4.50 to force their way into the finals while the Tigers ($21) are the only team in double figures to finish inside the eight at Sportbet.com.au.
The Warriors have a fantastic home record which has seen them lose just once in their last five matches across the Tasman and they should easily account for the Tigers.
Multi tip: New Zealand Warriors to win – $1.32
NRL bookmaker promotions across round 25
We are covering tons of sport this weekend, which is a good thing considering William Hill are continuing their brilliant 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.
Would you rather have a crack at the head-to-head market? Sportsbet has your back.
Place a head-to-head bet on any game between now and the finals and if your team lose by eight points or less you get your cash back up to $50.