It’s Round 19, finals are getting closer every week, and we have five of the best ahead of Origin III.
BetDeluxe looks at each game, with the Eels and Warriors battling in a top-eight blockbuster.
game of the week: Eels vs. Warriors
8th July 5:30pm
With just five games to choose from in Round 19, surpassing the blockbuster top-eight clash between the Parramatta Eels and NZ Warriors is hard.
The Eels have been one of the form sides of the competition with a five-game winning run, including wins over the Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Bulldogs, Sea Eagles and Dolphins. While they freshened up with the bye last weekend, Brad Arthur’s men leapt into sixth spot on the ladder after sitting as low as 14th before their mid-season resurgence.
It will be a different-looking Eels outfit against the Warriors, with Clint Gutherson, Mitchell Moses, and Reagan Campbell-Gillard all on Origin duty, with the market reacting accordingly and placing them as $2.35 outsiders.
The Warriors took a step backwards with a 6-28 home loss to the Rabbitohs, giving up three unanswered tries in the second half. Having dropped down to the eighth spot on the ladder, the only possible change to their 17 will occur if halfback Shaun Johnson remains in NZ for the birth of his child.
While the Eels are averaging 35 points over their five-game winning run, replacing their star Origin trio will undoubtedly be a challenge.
Suggested Bet: M. Sivo anytime try scorer @ $1.83
Wests vs. Sharks
6th July 7:50pm
There couldn’t be a greater disparity between the form lines of these two sides, with the Sharks destroying the Dragons by 36 points just two days before the Tigers went down to the Cowboys 74-0 in one of the all-time drubbings. Currently, on a four-game losing streak, the market expects the Tigers to experience another tough week at $9.30. And we can’t disagree. It could get ugly.
Suggested Bet: Sharks 13+ @ $1.40
Dragons vs. Raiders
7th July 8:00pm
The Green Machine for the top four? With four wins from their past five games, including another hard-fought four-point victory over the Titans last week, Ricky Stuart’s Raiders are incredibly well-placed in fifth spot on the NRL ladder. As for the Dragons, they’ve given up 100 points over the past two games following their 52-16 loss to the Sharks. With Ben Hunt on Origin duty and Tyrell Sloan suffering a calf injury, the 16th-placed Dragons are in for more pain in this one.
Suggested Bet: Raiders 1-12 @ $3.15
Rabbitohs vs. Bulldogs
8th July 7:35PM
Are the Bunnies back? After snapping a two-game losing run with a dominant 22-point victory over the Warriors in NZ, they just might be. While they will be without Origin representative Cody Walker, Cameron Murray, Damien Cook and Keaon Koloamatangi, they should have few issues against a Bulldogs side that just gave up 66 unanswered points against the Knights.
Suggested Bet: Rabbitohs to win @ $1.47
Titans vs. Dolphins
9th July 4:05PM
In one of the games of the week, the 10th-placed Titans and 12th-placed Dolphins will be desperate to find winning form as they both battle for a spot in the top eight. It was one of the greatest comebacks in NRL history when these two sides met earlier in the season, with the Dolphins coming from 26 points down for a thrilling two-point victory. David Fifita, Moeaki Fotuaika, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui and AJ Brimson are all on Origin duty, making things awfully difficult for the home side.
Suggested Bet: V. Te Whare anytime try scorer @ $2.30