Fri, Jun 24, 9:25am by Staff Writer
Queensland may have won Origin 2, but the events of the week shouldn’t not detract from the upcoming NRL Round 16, one which holds much promise.
With the first match of the weekend pushed back to Friday Night Football there is plenty of time to pick out the top odds for the Round.
Starting with that Friday night clash, top-eight chasing Penrith Panthers host the South Sydney Rabbitohs. The home side head into the game as favourites priced at $1.40 as they look to consolidate their push for playoffs footy.
South Sydney are struggling for form and enter this weekend on the back of three straight losses, a fact that is reflected in their odds of $2.95 to take the win.
In a round of some potential rather one-sided matches it is the clash between the Gold Coast Titans and Canberra Raiders which is hardest to call. With very little separating them and a point in the ladder, this is sure to be the closest matchup of the weekend.
Despite standing a point above their opponents the Raiders are not favourites with William Hill to take the win, priced at $1.93 to the Titans’ $1.87. Both sides will be desperate for a win as they look to separate themselves from the chasing pack.
Big prices are being offered on a number of possible upsets that may well occur in Round 16. Largely unaffected by Origin, the New Zealand Warriors are priced at $3.20 to defeat the high-flying Cronulla Sharks. Whether they can interrupt the Sharks’ ten-match winning streak remains to be seen.
The largest odds are on a Manly Sea Eagles victory in North Queensland. William Hill has Manly priced at $5.75 for them to down the in-form Cowboys, a difficult prospect for any side and for a Sea Eagles side in the midst of a six-match losing streak these odds even appear skinny.
The Melbourne Storm will look to overcome their disappointing loss in Round 15 to the Dragons and continue their drive to take the Minor Premiership. They will be confident of beating Wests Tigers, as are William Hill who have the Storm priced at $1.22. The Tigers are mathematically still in the chase for the playoffs but the odds are certainly not in their favour in Melbourne.
A Wests win is priced at $4.30 highlighting the extremely difficult task awaiting them in Round 16 to keep their top eight hopes alive.
The Brisbane Broncos will head into Round 16 hoping for no Origin hangover as they face the Canterbury Bulldogs. Despite the possible effects of the midweek match on a number of their players they are rated $1.90 chance by Sportsbet. Following Origin 1 they went down to the Warriors and will not want a repeat of that scenario. For the Bulldogs to come away with victory, Sportsbet has them also at $1.90.
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