It’s Round 22 of the NRL this weekend and there are some very exciting match ups to get your teeth into. We’ve picked out three of the best fixtures from a betting perspective to preview with our top picks to add to your weekend bets. So, no more waiting, let’s find some winners.
Cronulla-Sutherand Sharks v North Queensland Cowboys
Saturday evening sees two of the best teams in the NRL face off against each other at Redmondis Stadium.
The Sharks look as though they have already made it through to the finals. Without playing the most attractive rugby the team is securing wins by grinding. That is the way teams win in the latter stages and it has been enough to win six of the past seven games. Sitting fifth in the ladder, the Sharks are ranked the underdogs at 2.56 with Sportsbet but in front of a home crowd, could that equal good value?
Well, the Cowboys have some of the best attacking players in the NRL but it could be the battle in the middle that decides the winner. The six week bans given to the Fifita brothers may hurt the Sharks this week more than any. The Cowboys are incredibly strong through the middle and if they are allowed to dominate the ball and set up attacks at will, the Cowboys could ensure another away win, although perhaps not by many.
Canberra Raiders v Wests Tigers
The shock result of last week was undoubtedly Wests Tigers win over Melbourne Storm. Languishing towards the bottom of the ladder, the Tigers upset the odds to record a 34-16 victory which will go down as one of the biggest upsets all season. Desperate to show that they are not wooden spoon contenders, they set about playing their best rugby but a repeat performance is not expected by the bookies.
Canberra is the firm favourite with every book. The top price is with Bet365 at 1.57 while the Wests Tigers are 2.8 with Palmerbet.
Those prices reflect a couple of things. The first is that the Raiders recorded their biggest ever comeback win against the Tigers in Round 7 and the second is their home advantage. The Canberra players were clearly struggling to maintain their performance levels in the humidity of Townsville when they were easily beaten by the Cowboys last week. The cold of Canberra will be very welcome for the Raiders but not so welcome for the Tigers.
What isn’t so welcome though is the number of players missing for the Raiders. A combination of injuries and suspensions have robbed them of some key players which will hurt the team against the Tigers.
This is a more difficult game to call than the odds suggest. The Tigers have seven wins from their last 10 encounters with the Raiders and having reminded the rest of the NRL what they are capable of, they should be fancied to make this an incredibly tough game for their hosts.
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