After 4 games of the season, the form-lines are becoming clearer.
Gold Coast Titans v Brisbane Broncos
Anthony Milford’s 40-metre field goal delivered the Broncos a memorable 21-20 victory over the Cowboys in last weekend’s grand final rematch but they will not need the same heroics to see off Gold Coast in another QLD derby this week. Brisbane will be without Greg Eden and Lachie Maranta but are boosted by the return of the prolific Corey Oates and talented Jack Reed. It’s hard to see them being beaten on the glitter strip this Friday night. The Titans will take confidence from their come-from-behind win over the Raiders as well as early season form that has defied many judges predictions. However we expect Brisbane to win both halves, paying $2.08 with Unibet. Ryan James has scored tries for the Titans in the past three games and we are on him to cross again at any time ($8 with Sportsbet and Centrebet).
Brisbane Broncos - 1pt @ 2.08
Melbourne Storm v Newcastle Knights
The Storm tasted defeat for the first time this season on Easter Monday when they had their colour’s lowered by Cronulla at Shark Park 14-6 but they have a prime opportunity to get back on the winner’s list at home this Saturday against the struggling Newcastle Knights. Melbourne will miss centre Curtis Scott (leg) who is replaced by Kevin Proctor. The Knights have yet to taste victory in 2016 and despite Sione Mata'utia returning from suspension, they will struggle against a Storm outfit on the rebound. We are going for Melbourne to win by at least 19 points, paying $2.05 with Luxbet, and the Storm to win the race to 30 points ($2.30 with Centrebet).
Melbourne Storm - 1pt @ 2.05
Melbourne Storm - 1pt @ 2.30
Wests Tigers v Cronulla Sharks
Club legend Robbie Farah returned off the bench but it was not enough to prevent the Tigers remaining scoreless in the defeat to Parramatta in round four. The joint venture faces another tough test at Campbelltown this Saturday night against The Sharks, who are flying after an eight-point victory over Melbourne. They will be boosted by the return of skipper Paul Gallen from a knee injury and his presence always lifts the Cronulla side in what should be a fantastic encounter. Chris Lawrence returns from suspension in the No.11 jersey for the home side, who have won three of their four clashes against the Sharks at the venue. We are taking Sportsbet up on their $2.30 for a Tigers win this week and Valentine Holmes to be the first try scorer, which pays $9.25 with Luxbet.
Wests Tigers - 1pt @ 2.30
Valentine Holmes - 1pt @ 9.25
North Queensland Cowboys v St George Illawarra Dragons
The Cowboys got a taste of their own medicine in a golden-point loss to arch-rivals Brisbane last week but they will start as hot favourites to bounce back against the Dragons at home this Saturday night. The Dragons broke Penrith’s hearts in round four to make it two in a row, but they will have their work cut out against the defending premiers. Half-back Benji Marshall is back in the Red V this week, returning from his hamstring injury, but his side will need more than that to get the job done in Townsville. We’re going for a Cowboys Half-Time/Full-Time double at $1.60 with bet365 whilst we fancy Samoan winger Antonio Winterstein to score the first try of the game ($9 with Sportsbet).
North Queensland Cowboys - 1pt @ 1.60
Antonio Winterstein - 1pt @ 9.00
Sydney Roosters v New Zealand Warriors
The Tricolours came so close to breaking their duck in round four against Manly but Latrell Mitchell’s late effort was disallowed in their 20-22 loss to the Eagles. Meanwhile, New Zealand finally got on the board when they overran and out-of-sorts Newcastle and are favourites to knock off the Roosters in Gosford this week. Both teams have named unchanged line-ups for Sunday’s clash and we are backing the Warriors to win with Unibet at a tasty $1.79. Chooks star Shaun Kenny-Dowall was a metre-eater against the Sea Eagles with 192m, two tries, two line breaks and 11 tackle breaks. We are backing him to score the first try, paying $10 with most corporates.
New Zealand Warriors - 1pt @ 1.79
Shaun Kenny-Dowall - 1pt @ 10.00
Parramatta Eels v Penrith Panthers
The blue and gold army has had plenty to cheer about so far in 2016 with the Eels joint competition leaders after four rounds. As a result the Eels are warm favourites to topple western suburbs rivals Penrith at home on Sunday. Panthers full-back Matt Moylan returns from a back injury to bolster the men in black, who are on the rebound after their last-gasp 14-12 defeat to the Dragons. We are backing Parramatta to make it four wins on the trot and fancy them to do the Half-Time/Full-Time double over the Panthers at $2.06 with Unibet. The most points Parramatta have conceded in a game this season is 17. So with that in mind, backing the Eels to win the race to 20 points ($1.89 with Hills and Centrebet) looks a sharp investment.
Parramatta Eels - 1pt @ 2.06
Parramatta Eels - 1pt @ 1.89
Canterbury Bulldogs v Canberra Raiders
It was a very ‘Good Friday’ for the Bulldogs, who put South Sydney to the sword over the Easter weekend and have a chance to retain top spot on the ladder when they take on the hot-and-cold Raiders in the Monday night game. Canberra will get a massive boost with the return of halves pairing Blake Austin (knee) and Aidan Sezer (eye socket), while Joey Leilua is back in the centres after his suspension. Despite those handy inclusions, we think the Bulldogs will be too good at their former home of Belmore and are backing them to win both halves, paying $2.65 with Unibet. We also fancy Josh Morris to score at any time ($2.60 with Sportsbet).
Canterbury Bulldogs - 1pt @ 2.65