JUST three rounds to go league fans.
The finals are looming large, but the frame is far from settled given the Manly Sea Eagles, who are positioned all the way down in 11th, can still sneak into the eight if things fall their way.
Even the North Queensland Cowboys, who currently sit in fifth position, can fall out of the eight by the end of the season if they fall in a heap.
At the other end of the eight the minor premiership is still up for grabs.
The Storm sit one point clear at the top, but NRL fans know you can never anticipate what is going to happen week-to-week.
Enough of the finals talk, let’s get into the multi.
This week we have selected four games we think are pretty safe bets, and we’re comfortable in investing our own hard earned this weekend.
All odds for round 23 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 24 NRL Multi of the week:
Penrith to defeat Wests Tigers ($1.22)
Gold Coast to beat Newcastle ($1.20)
North Queensland to defeat New Zealand ($1.24)
Cronulla to beat South Sydney ($1.40)
Penrith vs. Wests Tigers
Friday, August 19 from 7.50pm at Pepper Stadium, Penrith
A battle of the big cats could decide who plays finals as the Panthers host the Tigers on Friday night at Pepper Stadium.
Wests were dealt a huge blow last week in the loss to the Gold Coast Titans, condemning them to 10th position on the ladder and needing results to go their way if they are to force their way into the finals.
The Tigers will also be without superstar full back James Tedesco for the foreseeable future after the 23-year-old sustained a broken jaw.
The Panthers are a game clear of the Tigers in seventh position, a win on Friday night will all but ensure they are part of the finals action this season.
To us it looks like no Teddy, no Tigers – we are backing the Panthers to win comfortably to kick off the multi this weekend,
Multi tip: Penrith Panthers to win – $1.22
Newcastle vs. Gold Coast
Saturday, August 20 from 3pm at Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
One team is playing for their finals survival and the other is anchored to the bottom of the ladder, to us it looks like a safe leg.
The Gold Coast Titans travel south to face the Knights at Hunter Stadium, looking to consolidate their position inside the eight after a terrific win over the Tigers last week.
The Knights last week were hammered, losing by 36 points to the Panthers.
It is clear Newcastle is desperate for this season to end.
The Titans have struggled to justify the favourites tag at times throughout this season, but if they cannot get past the Knights then they do not deserve to play finals.
Thankfully for them it looks like a formality; we are backing the Titans to walk over the Knights for the second win of our multi.
Multi tip: Gold Coast Titans to win – $1.20
North Queensland vs. New Zealand
Saturday, August 20 from 7.30pm at 1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville
An out of form Cowboys host a desperate Warriors outfit in Townsville on Saturday night.
North Queensland is in dire need of a win to keep their top-four chances alive, while the Warriors just need to win if they want to be playing finals in 2016.
After entering the season as the joint favourites for the premiership, the Cowboys ($7) have slipped to the fourth line of betting at Sportsbet.com.au.
The Warriors have been in decent form recently, but they cannot afford any slip ups if they are to play finals given they are one point behind the eighth placed Gold Coast in ninth.
New Zealand is $2.50 to play in the 2016 finals series at WilliamHill.com.au.
After missing a game three weeks ago through a hamstring injury Cowboy captain Jonathan Thurston has had a couple of uncharacteristic uninfluential outings, but it is impossible to keep a man of his class down for too long.
We are expecting JT and the Cowboys to bounce back in style.
Multi tip: North Queensland Cowboys to win – $1.24
South Sydney vs. Cronulla
Monday, August 22 from 7pm at ANZ Stadium, Sydney
A vital game for Cronulla awaits the Sharks on Monday night as they travel into the heart of Sydney to face the Rabbitohs.
The Sharks are still in the hunt for the minor premiership, but they will need to improve significantly on what they have produced over the last fortnight.
Despite a shaky two weeks against Canberra and St George, the Cronulla is still the second favourite for NRL premiership at the $5 at Sportsbet.com.au.
South Sydney may have been abysmal in the opening half of the season, but their last two weeks have shown they are no push overs as their season draws to a close.
The Bunnies fell agonising close to defeating the Storm at AMMI Park, but they had no such trouble the week after against the Warriors, hammering them by 19 points.
If any side needed to get themselves into gear it is the Sharks, and we are expecting them to come out breathing fire on Monday night.
Expect Cronulla to bounce back into form, delivering us our multi dividend in the process.
Multi tip: Cronulla Sharks to win – $1.40
NRL bookmaker promotions across round 24
We are covering tons of sport this weekend, which is a good thing considering William Hill are contining 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.
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.