It’s Round 14 of the NRL season and the first State of Origin clash has been run and won.
With most players returning to their club this weekend, BetDeluxe looks at every match-up and provides the best bets.
game of the week: Sharks vs. Broncos
3rd June 7:35pm
Having won three of their past four heading into last week’s bye round, Cronulla will be fit and firing as they attempt to put a one-game gap on the third-placed Broncos.
The Sharks worked their way into second spot on the ladder since their Round 10 loss to the Dolphins, bouncing back with consecutive victories over the Sea Eagles and Knights. Star halfback, Nicho Hynes, is expected to rejoin the Cronulla starting side following reduced minutes off the bench in Wednesday night’s Origin opener, while Siosifa Talakai will return from a neck injury.
The Broncos will be full of confidence following their 22-26 victory over the Warriors in Napier last week, particularly given five players’ selection in Origin had decimated them. Dally M leader Payne Haas, Patrick Carrigan, Reece Walsh, Thomas Flegler and Selwyn Cobbo have all been named to return depending on how they recover from their Origin appearance.
While it was an impressive performance from an undermanned Broncos outfit in NZ, it would be a surprise if all five representative players suited up, so expect the Sharks to solidify their spot in the top two with victory in this one.
Suggested Bet: Sharks to win @ $1.60
Tigers vs. Raiders
2nd June 8:00pm
An exciting battle to open Round 14 with the market not entirely sold on the Raiders at $1.75. Before last week’s bye, the Tigers were the toast of the town following their 48-point thumping of the Cowboys, making it three wins from their past four. The Raiders did enough against an Origin-affected Rabbitohs but will be without skipper Jarrod Croker who is being rested ahead of his 300th.
Suggested Bet: J. Rapana anytime try scorer at $1.87
Warriors vs. Dolphins
3rd June 3:00pm
Despite being unable to curtail an undermanned Broncos side at home in NZ, the BetDeluxe market has faith in the Warriors as they welcome Wayde Egan, Dylan Walker and Mitch Barnett- back into Andrew Webster’s team. The Dolphins won’t risk Origin pair Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and Tom Gilbert on a two-day turnaround, but they’ll be buoyed by their decisive Round 13 triumph over the Dragons.
Suggested Bet: Dolphins (+7.5) @ $1.90
Titans vs. Rabbitohs
3rd June 5:30PM
Two weeks is a long time in the NRL; just ask Souths. Sitting atop the ladder at the conclusion of Round 11, the Rabbitohs have since dropped into fifth spot with consecutive losses to the Eels and the Raiders. Latrell Mitchell’s calf injury will sideline him for the time being, but they have named Cameron Murray, Jai Arrow and Campbell Graham. The rollercoaster season continued for the Titans with a loss to the Sharks in Round 12, so we simply can’t trust them now.
Suggested Bet: Rabbitohs 1-12 @ $3.05
Roosters vs. Bulldogs
4th June 2:00PM
Speaking of being unable to trust a team, the Roosters are causing punters more headaches than any side. The pre-season premiership fancies currently sit in 10th position on the ladder with three losses from their past three games. Thankfully for them, the Bulldogs aren’t doing any better, so the return of Joey Manu, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Daniel Tupou should be more than enough. Should be.
Suggested Bet: Under (-41.5) @ $1.90
Cowboys vs. Storm
4th June 4:05PM
It’s been a tough fortnight for the boot scooters from North Queensland, and things don’t look like they are getting any easier this weekend. Losses to the Tigers and Eels have the Cowboys reeling in 16th spot, but they will have something to celebrate with the return of edge back-rower Jeremiah Nanai. If Origin pair Cameron Munster and Harry Grant both play as named, the fourth-placed Storm should be able to cement their spot near the top of the table.
Suggested Bet: Storm to win @ $1.44
Panthers vs. Dragons
4th June 6:15PM
Things don’t get any more one-sided than #1, taking on #17. Even when #1 has six players returning from State of Origin duties. Ben Hunt has been named to back up from his own Origin appearance for the Maroons, but it could be Sunday bloody Sunday for the Dragons.
Suggested Bet: Panthers 13+ @ $1.79