Thu, Jul 21, 12:38pm by Staff Writer
The big matches of the weekend surround those sides that are on the cusp of the top eight. Four teams currently sit on 20 points from seventh to tenth on ladder, the Gold Coast Titans, New Zealand Warriors, Penrith Panthers and St George Illawarra Dragons.
Although none of them will play against each other in Round 20 they are all in action hoping to keep up the pressure on those around them on the ladder.
Broncos v Panthers – Friday July 22, 7:50pm
Penrith Panthers arguably face the toughest task as they travel to Brisbane to take on the Broncos. Both of these sides have an indifferent form sheet heading into this match but Suncorp is always a difficult place to go and get a win. As such the Broncos stand as favourites for this match at $1.30 with Sportsbet on the back of the strength they have across their squad. The Panthers, however, will feel that after beating the Broncos earlier in the season that they can overcome the odds of $3.65 to secure an upset victory.
Bet of the Match – Broncos to Win at $1.30
Raiders v Warriors – Saturday July 23, 3pm
The New Zealand Warriors have edged into the top eight in recent weeks and will be desperate to stay there. Inconsistency has dampened their push forward after losing five of their last ten matches. They will need to be on top form if they are to beat the Canberra Raiders at home and in the middle of a three-game winning streak. They themselves are still in the fight for the top four and it is hard to see past a home win priced at $1.45 on Sportsbet compared to the Warriors at $2.85.
Bet of the Match – Raiders to Win at $1.45
Titans v Eels – Saturday July 23, 5:30pm
A home fixture for the Gold Coast Titans against the Parramatta Eels means that they be looking to still be in the top eight at the end of the Round. The points deduction for the Eels has removed them from contention for Finals but they still have quality players that could cause the Titans troubles. The Eels are priced at $2.85 with the Titans favourites at $1.45 on Sportsbet. Gold Coast thrashed the Dragons in the last Round and will be looking for a repeat performance.
Bet of the Match – Titans to Win at $1.45
Dragons v Tigers, Sunday July 24, 4pm
After that demoralising loss to the Titans, the Dragons will need to pick themselves up quickly as they host yet another tough opposition in the form of Wests Tigers. It is the away side who are held as favourites on Sportsbet at $1.53 as the Dragons season fades away along with their hopes of a top eight finish. With star man Robbie Farah dropped to the reserves it is time for the Tigers youngsters to step up. St George need this win if they are to stay in touch with the chasing pack but will need to overcome significant odds from Sportsbet as they are priced at $2.55.
Bet of the Match – Tigers to Win at $1.53
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