We have expert betting tips for all NRL Round 18 games this week, which kicks off with the Tigers vs. Rabbitohs on Thursday night.
With only a handful of weeks left in the regular season, it’s do-or-die for many teams. Punters get some great games to bet on this week, and we look at the form of every NRL team in Round 18.
7:50pm Wests Tigers vs. South Sydney Rabbitohs @ Bankwest Stadium
The Rabbitohs were game in defeat against the Melbourne Storm, leading 16-10 at one stage before letting in two late tries.
With Latrell Mitchell on the sidelines, it won’t be an easy end to 2020, but they are much better than the Wests Tigers.
The Tigers scored a comeback win over the Manly Sea Eagles, which will give them confidence. However, Manly are average this year and the Rabbitohs are not.
Betting tip: Rabbitohs –6.5 @ $1.90
Rabbitohs by 10
6:00pm Canterbury Bulldogs vs. Manly Sea Eagles @ ANZ Stadium
The Bulldogs and the Sea Eagles are having a poor season, so this game will come down to which team wants it more.
Manly is coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Tigers, where they led comfortably in the second half, only to get run down.
It was a predictable loss for the Bulldogs, going down 18-14 to the Titans. They sit in 16th position and are looking good for the wooden spoon, so the edge goes to Manly this week.
Betting tip: Sea Eagles to win @ $1.39
Sea Eagles by 4
7:55pm Penrith Panthers vs. Parramatta Eels @ Panthers Stadium
The Penrith Panthers are humming and they have had over a week to prepare for this top four clash with Parramatta.
Penrith are the best side in the NRL this year, and the sheer size of their team makes it hard for rivals to compete. They boast a huge forward pack, which combines size with speed and agility.
It has been too much for most teams to handle, and the Eels could find out why. Parramatta looked shaky against the Warriors, so that won’t instill much confidence.
Stick with Penrith, as they come head into the finals with a lengthy winning record.
Betting tip: Panthers to win @ $1.45
Panthers by 6
3:00pm St George Dragons vs. Canberra Raiders @ WIN Stadium
The Dragons feint chances of making the NRL playoffs were dashed last week when losing to the Cowboys in extra time.
It was a chance that got away from the Dragons, who looked solid in the mid-stages of the season but they finished in an all too familiar fashion.
Canberra is looking to bounce back after losing to the Roosters, and they have found a winnable game in Round 18.
The Raiders should have far too much firepower for this Dragons outfit.
Betting tip: Raiders –6.5 @ $1.90
Raiders by 12
5:30pm Gold Coast Titans vs. Brisbane Broncos @ Cbus Super Stadium
The Titans are a team capable of stringing wins together and they looked good against the Bulldogs last week.
Wins like that should give them confidence, especially when taking on big brother, Brisbane Broncos. The Broncos have been awful this season and they continue to disappoint, suffering another loss to the Panthers on Thursday.
The Titans don’t score a win over the Broncos often, but now is the perfect time to capitalise and notch consecutive wins this season.
Betting tip: Titans to win @ $1.71
Titans by 4
7:35pm Sydney Roosters vs. Newcastle Knights @ SCG
The Roosters continued their march to the playoffs with a gutsy 18-6 win over the Canberra Raiders last week.
Sonny Bill Williams didn’t play for very long, but his game time will increase this week. The Roosters play the Newcastle Knights, who powered through their opposition in Round 17.
Newcastle came up trumps against the Cronulla Sharks, and that could give them the confidence they need to push the Roosters close.
However, we worry for the Knights defense, against one of the best attacking sides in the NRL. Bookmakers have the margin at 16.5 points, which is generous for Knights’ backers.
Betting tip: Knights +16.5 @ $1.90
Roosters by 14
4:05pm Melbourne Storm vs. North Queensland Cowboys @ Sunshine Coast Stadium
Punters should expect a one-sided game as the experienced Melbourne Storm faces an inexperienced Cowboys outfit.
The Storm are currently second on the ladder and they are coming off a strong victory over the Raiders. The return of Cameron Smith has helped this side, which looks set to make another deep run in the playoffs.
North Queensland scored a dramatic overtime win against the Dragons, but they are severely outmatched here.
Take the Storm –17.5, as they should be too classy throughout the entire contest.
Betting tip: Storm –17.5 @ $1.90
Storm by 24
6:30pm Cronulla Sharks vs. New Zealand Warriors @ Netstrata Jubilee Stadium
A place in the NRL playoffs could be on the line as the Sharks take on the Warriors. The Sharks suffered a big loss to the Knights last week, and they could be without a key player.
The Warriors went down fighting against the Eels, coming back from 16-0 down to lose by only six. It was an encouraging effort and we think they are playing better than the Sharks.
Bookmakers don’t agree, with the Sharks listed as $1.50 favourites. However, take the value for the team many NRL fans want to see in the finals.