The Big Marn knows best! 8 games means 8 opportunities to win big!
BULLDOGS Straight Out
TIGERS Straight Out
BEST ODDS: $33.41 (William Hill)
BRISBANE V SYDNEY ROOSTERS Thursday night, Suncorp Stadium
The key for us punters is to determine by how far the Broncos. The odds straight off the bat are short, and with the inept performance put in by the Roosters last week against the Sharks, backing Brisbane 13+ ($1.80 Ladbrokes) looks a smart move.
We expect the Broncos to have the Roosters for breakfast early on, although we will sidestep chicken nuggets and go for the healthier option in the First Try Scorer market: Oates. Corey Oates ($7 Bet365)
CANTERBURY V SOUTH SYDNEY Friday night, ANZ Stadium
This will be a great battle in the forwards although you have to slightly favour the big Canterbury pack to just get the better of the Bunnies. Therefore we look to take the Bulldogs 1-12 ($3.10 Ladbrokes) in the margin markets creating some additional value for our loyal band of followers!
I do expect the Bunnies to start well and there is a good chance they might have their paws in front at Half-Time, with the Dogs powering over the top. Let’s have a speculator on the Rabbitohs / Bulldogs HT/FT Double ($8.50 Sportsbet) . I am looking at Hymel Hunt ($21 Ladbrokes) at chunky odds to score first in the game as these two famous clubs battle it out on Friday night.
STGEORGE ILLAWARRA V NEWCASTLE Saturday afternoon, Jubilee Oval
The Knights have tried hard but in the best competition in the world you need cattle and they just don’t have them. St George’s season finishes as well but they have so much to play for, with Benji Marshall and that old warrior Ben Creagh saying adios. It is at their traditional home which carries a lot of weight and you cannot see anything else except a Dragons ($1.32 Sportsbet) victory.
The Dragons themselves have had a tough season but they have put together some very good results recently and we have to stick with them 13+ ($2.20 Centrebet) over the hapless Knights.
Looking to First Try Scorer we will go with Jason Nightingale ($11 Bet365), a veteran himself these days who will rise to the occasion to send off his mates in their last NRL game.
NORTH QUEENSLAND V GOLD COAST Saturday night, 1300Smiles Stadium
The Cowboys could drop from 4th to 6th with a loss, so they too have plenty to play for. The Gold Coast have been gallant this season and pulled off a stunning coup with the signing of Hayne, but I can’t see them toppling the defending premiers whom I am going to take 13+ ($2.25 William Hill) to deal it to the glitter strip boys.
Kane Linnett ($17 Sportsbet) is a strong runner and will benefit from Thurston lobbing it about early doors, so we will side with him as First Try Scorer.
MELBOURNE V CRONULLA Saturday night, AAMI Park
I am going to side with the Sharks ($2.95 UNIBET) in this one at the decent odds. I know they have a terrible record down there but last week they showed that they had expelled a lot of their recent wobbly form and this will be a game where they will want to make a statement. Yes the winner takes out the minor premiership but is there the prestige in it that there once was? You pick up an extra 100k but that doesn’t buy a Cameron Smith boot so finishing 1st or 2nd is neither here, nor there.
To add more value to the equation, let’s go with the Sharks 1-12 ($4 William Hill) as there won’t be much in it. I am going to roll with Valentine Holmes ($11.50 LuxBet) to score first and get the Sharks off to a flyer in Melbourne.
WESTS TIGERS V CANBERRA Sunday afternoon, Leichhardt Oval
I am tipping the Tigers ($2.40 UNIBET) here. They were fantastic against the Warriors last week and with so much to play for in front of a packed home crowd at their traditional home, you cannot help but feel this game was made for a Tigers win to sneak into the 8. Added to that there are rumours floating around that both Canberra halves will be out which only helps the Tigers cause.
Jason Taylor has copped plenty of criticism in recent times but he has this side firing on all cylinders with speed out wide and some real grunt up front. They bring that on Sunday, Tigers will go very close. Speaking of close, Tigers 1-12 ($3.75 William Hill) looks a brilliant bet in the whole scheme of things.
First Try Scorer: David Nofoaluma ($18 Sportsbet) has scored 14 times this season and I expect him to set the locals alight by dotting down first in what will be a classic rugby league match at the business end of the season.
NEW ZEALAND V PARRAMATTA Sunday afternoon, Mt Smart Stadium
The Eels were excellent on Monday disposing of St George in emphatic fashion in the last ever game at the old Parramatta Stadium.
When the Warriors are this short you need to steer clear of them in a big fashion, this is a 50/50 game and given the Eels ($2.90 Bet365) are a decent shade of odds against, we are on them to topple the Warriors. They look a great bet at sensational value.
I expect the Eels to charge out of the blocks so am going to go for Michael Gordon ($18 Sportsbet) as First Try Scorer.
PENRITH V MANLY Sunday night, Pepper Stadium
Penrith will start and finish strong and big Isaah Yeo ($29 Bet365) to deal the first of many blows on an enjoyable night for the Panthers fans.