BRISBANE V SOUTHS Friday night, Suncorp Stadium

The league-leading Broncos are short-priced favourites to register their seventh win from the opening eight rounds of the competition when they host Souths on Friday night.

Brisbane leads the premiership on 12 points and is unbeaten at home this season with their only loss coming on the road against the Panthers in round 3.

All the signs are proving ominous for the Rabbitohs as the Broncos have been on fire at Suncorp this season, winning all matches and holding their last two opponents scoreless (Dragons and Knights).

For their part the Rabbitohs blistering start to the season has fizzled out, losing four of their last five including two by blowout scores. They head into this one off the back of a 44-18 hiding against North Queensland at 1300Smiles Stadium.

Although the Rabbitohs have had the measure of the Broncos in four of the last five games, we are taking the Broncos to win this one in the Head-to-Head market. The Rabbitohs will need points and plenty of them but they haven't been able to score more than 20 points in their last six games.

Looking for something at value? Take Corey Oats as the First Tryscorer as he's done that on four occasions already this season.

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Brisbane Broncos - 1pt @ 1.18
Corey Oates - 1pt @ 7.00

BULLDOGS V TITANS Saturday afternoon, ANZ Stadium

Form suggests the Bulldogs are a lock in their game against the Titans at ANZ Stadium this Saturday afternoon.

The boys from Belmore have traded wins and losses for the past five weeks and go into this one off the back of a 24-20 loss to the Warriors in New Zealand, meaning they are now due for another win.

Those wanting to take the shorts about their chances of winning though may want to consider that the Titans have won four of the last five between the sides.

The Titans actually have a winning record against the Dogs but it must be said that most of those games have been played in Queensland. This is just the second time they are playing at ANZ.

If the Bulldogs are capable of putting points on the Titans early then the result may be out of reach for the visitors in the second half.

Gold Coast has been notoriously slow in starting and has conceded the opening try in their last six games. The only exception to this the whole season was their opening game against the Knights. Back the Bulldogs to win but this one should be a tight one. Look to the Dogs 1-12.

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Bulldogs 1-12 - 1pt @ 3.05

CANBERRA V WESTS TIGERS Saturday afternoon, GIO Stadium

Two of the more frustrating teams to follow in 2016 will do battle this Saturday afternoon and one thing's for certain - they will both be desperate!

Canberra looked to be an early season smokey for the top four following some impressive performances which included a win over the Dogs, at Belmore, in round five but since then they have been flogged by Parramatta and Cronulla.

What hasn't helped them is the fact they are missing their chief playmaker Blake Austin once again.

It hasn't been much easier following the Tigers this season either. After winning their opening two games they have lost five straight. One of the positives, if any, for the Tigers is the fact they have been in winning positions in their last two games only to go down by two points and one point respectively. In fact, their last four losses have come by an average of just over four points.

The Tigers have had a five-game losing streak at least once every year for the past five years so they aren't exactly a reliable proposition. Dig a little deeper though and you will find that their record in the nation’s capital is exceptional – six wins from the past seven visits.

The Tigers have beaten the Raiders in 11 of their past 14 clashes – their best record against any team over that stretch. On that basis and the fact that Austin is not lining up for Canberra we believe that the Tigers should be given the nod here.

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Wests Tigers - 1pt @ 3.05

NORTH QUEENSLAND V PARRAMATTA Saturday night, 1300Smiles Stadium

This could be a watershed moment for the Parramatta Eels as they travel to Townsville to take on the Cowboys.

Just one of two teams to beat the defending champions so far this season (with Brisbane being the other), Parramatta has surprised many with their start of five wins from seven games so far.

One of the biggest factors for their success has been their defence, which is giving up a miserly 10.7 points per match.

That defence will again be called upon as the Cowboys have been ruthless at home this season and have averaged 40 points in their last two games there.

When you look at the recent history between the sides, the case for the Cowboys gathers momentum as they have taken the two points on eight of nine occasions when playing at home against the Eels.

In the last four of those wins against Parramatta they have registered 40 points or more.

Without doubt this is the most anticipated matchup of the weekend and will give punters a better indication of where both teams are at when it comes to premiership discussions.

Although Parramatta has been excellent so far in 2016 you have to take the Cowboys in this one.

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Cowboys - 1pt @ 1.40

SHARKS V PANTHERS Sunday, Southern Cross Group Stadium

The Sharks head into this one as favourites when they host the Panthers in Sunday afternoon footy.

Cronulla has been quietly going about their business this season and has racked up a five wins and two losses record, which puts them only behind Brisbane on points and equal with the Cowboys, Eels and Storm. On face value it would appear that the Panthers, winners of just three games so far in 2016, are up against it but a closer look suggests this game will go down to the wire.

The margin between these sides in recent years has been minimal with five of the seven games being decided by eight points or less. At Shark Park the home side has had the advantage by winning three of the previous five but again the margins weren’t great, with three matches decided by single figures.

Cronulla will also be boosted by the return to the bench of veteran Luke Lewis.

The home ground advantage, their improved attack and the inconsistency of the Panthers suggest the Sharks will win a tight one here. Remember the average Margin in Panthers games this season is a skinny 3.4 points – the third fewest through seven games in league history!

We recommend taking Cronulla 1-12 in the Winning Margin market and even having a small saver on Penrith 1-12 also.

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Cronulla Sharks 1-12 - 1pt @ 3.05
Panthers 1-12 - 0.5pts @ 3.90

KNIGHTS V SEA EAGLES Monday, Hunter Stadium

This is the first time the Knights and Sea Eagles have faced each other on ANZAC Day.

The two teams face off on Monday afternoon and are both coming off losses in round 7.

Newcastle, in particular, will be hoping for some bounce back after they were trounced 53-0 by the Broncos while the Sea Eagles went down by 12 to the Eels.

The Knights, who have only won one game this season, couldn’t have asked for a worse opponent this week as they have just two wins from their previous 10 against Manly.

Making things worse is that their defence is the worst in the NRL and conceding a tick over 32 points per game.

Don’t expect a close encounter in this one as the average margin between the sides has been 14 points or more in 11 of their previous 12 clashes.

Playing at Hunter Stadium gives the Knights a chance but with Manly having the likes of Brenton Lawrence and Matt Purcell returning, they should be too strong in this one.

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Manly - 1pt @ 1.50

DRAGONS V ROOSTERS Monday afternoon, Allianz Stadium

Although both teams are struggling this season this is still the biggest ticket item on ANZAC Day.

The Dragons finally broke their point scoring drought in registering a season high 19 points when beating the Titans last week, however, their attack is still the worst in the NRL. Their previous two games saw them held to nil.

As for the Roosters they are going worse than the Dragons and have scored just one win all season and that was a fortnight ago against bitter rivals Souths.

Traditionally the Dragons have owned this fixture with nine wins from 14 including last year’s game.

Their defence, although embarrassed against the top three sides in Brisbane, Nth Qld and Cronulla, has been somewhat resolute in other games and could be enough to stifle the Roosters attack which still has no Mitchel Pearce, Boyd Cordner or Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.

This game usually brings out the best in both sides who ride the wave of sentiment and emotion surrounding ANZAC Day.

You cannot back any team with great confidence so we recommend taking aim at the Total Match Points market. The Dragons can’t attack but their defence is resolute enough to stop a team such as the Roosters from piling on the points. We think the UNDERS is close to a good thing.

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Unders (Total Points) - 1pt @ 2.00


Are the Storm a real threat to the leading sides in the NRL premiership?

With a record of five wins and two losses you would say yes, however, we still have our doubts after a number of narrow escapes to start the season.

One of those came last week against the Tigers at Leichhardt when a number of dubious calls went their way before Cooper Cronk slotted the winning field goal in golden point.

This isn’t the traditional Melbourne of recent years when they have been ruthless on many occasions. Six of their seven matches have been decided by eight points or less in 2016 and three of them by an unconverted try or less.

The Storm are clear favourites heading into this one but you can never count out the Warriors against them.

The Kiwis have a good record against Melbourne in winning three of the past five but their attack has been dealt a huge blow with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck out for the season.

That doesn’t bode well against the NRL’s fourth-best defence but they are coming off a win against the Bulldogs, who incidentally beat Melbourne the week before at AAMI Park.

While losing Tuivasa-Sheck is a huge blow they do get back monster winger Manu Vatuvei, who has a fine knack of scoring tries against the Melbourne Storm.

He has crossed the line on 11 occasions in 15 games against them and only needs two tries to rack up 150 in his career.

New Zealand can be a terrible team to try and catch but if you are looking for value at the end of the long weekend, look no further than them to take the points.

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Warriors - 1pt @ 2.32