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NRL Tips & Previews, 20th July

Round 21 of the NRL season is upon us. With the finals starting to take form, who can book a spot in September and who will fall? Tips, previews and analysis.

Round 21 of the NRL season is upon us. With the finals starting to take form, who can book a spot in September and who will fall?

Tips, previews and analysis.

game of the week: Cowboys vs. eels

22nd July 7:35pm

As the 2023 NRL finals series approaches, several games will undoubtedly have implications on the structure of the final eight. As such, we’ve decided to go with the blockbuster match-up between the ninth-placed North Queensland and seventh-placed Parramatta as those two red-hot outfits look to cement a spot in the finals picture.

The Cowboys, who enter the match as $1.42 favourites, made it five wins on the trot last weekend when they dispatched the Sea Eagles by 11 points at 4 Pines Park. State Of Origin Player of the Series, Reuben Cotter, joined Jeremiah Nanai and Scott Drinkwater as the Cowboys’ try scorers, while Valentine Holmes continued his outstanding form.

As for the Eels, who started the season with a 4-7 record after their first 11 games, they’ve pieced together six wins from their past seven following Sunday’s one-point thriller over the Titans. They’ll enter this one with an air of confidence after winning four of their past five against the Cowboys but will need to do so without stars Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Maiko Sivo after they were both handed four-match bans in the aftermath of the Titans clash.

While they’re arguably a bit short in the market, this is the Cowboys’ game to lose as they try to extend their current five-game winning streak at home.

TIP: Cowboys 1-12 @ $2.95

dragons vs. tigers

20th July 7:50pm

Not one of the high-quality clashes we’ll be subjected to this weekend, with 16th taking on 17th on Thursday night. Skipper Ben Hunt leads a raft of ins for the Dragons following their bye round, including Jack Bird, Tyrell Sloan, and Jacob Liddle. It was an improved Wests in their 16-point loss to the Knights, but they still gave up seven tries.

TIP: Dragons to win @ $1.67

Warriors vs. raiders

21st july 6:00pm

A top-four spot is on the cards for the Warriors as they host an equally in-form Raiders outfit in NZ. Despite the short turnaround, the Warriors go in as $1.42 favourites after dominating the Sharks 44-12 on Sunday. The Raiders, who lost to the Warriors just six weeks ago, will be fresh off the bye and buoyed by the return of Josh Papali’i, Corey Horsburgh and Pasami Saulo. Closer than the marker suggests.

TIP: Warriors 1-12 @ $2.90

rabbitohs vs. broncos

21st July 8:00PM

Can the Bunnies start making their run to finals? Or can the Broncos snatch top spot off the Panthers? This is set to be a match-up of the highest order, with Souths welcoming back Latrell Mitchell, Campbell Graham, Jai Arrow, Cody Walker, Damien Cook, Keaon Koloamatangi and Cameron Murray. Reece Walsh and Payne Haas return for Kevin Walters’ squad, but you can’t help but think this is where the Souths mount their finals run.

TIP: Rabbitohs to win @ $1.71

titans vs. roosters

22nd July 2:00PM

Another week, another loss to the Storm for the Roosters. The most disappointing team of the 2023 season will face off with a Titans outfit that was wildly unlucky not to get the points against Parramatta. While Tino Fa’asuamaleaui will miss the next three weeks with suspension, the Titans have every chance to snap their nine-game losing streak against the Roosters.

TIP: A. Khan-Pereira to score 2 tries at $3.40

knights vs. storm

22nd july 5:30pm

Is anyone else getting that feeling about the Storm? That potential premiership feeling? After defeating the Roosters 16-30 at the SCG, the Storm has now won four of their past five and sits in third on the ladder. With a 5-3 away record, we’re happy to follow them in, irrespective of the Knights’ impressive form.

TIP: Storm (-8.5) @ $1.90

panthers vs. bulldogs

23rd July 2:00pm

In the most one-sided game of the round, the ladder leaders will get every chance to cement their spot at the top of the table against the 15th-placed Bulldogs. This one could be ugly with Nathan Cleary, Stephen Crichton, Brian To’o, Liam Martin, and Isaah Yeo all back on deck. Really ugly.

TIP: D. Edwards anytime try scorer @ $2.20

sharks vs. sea eagles

23rd july 4:05pm

This is a must-win match after both sides suffered disappointing losses in Round 20. The Sharks will enter as short-priced favourites mainly based on their recent record of four wins from their past five games against the Sea Eagles. We’re happy to side with the market as the Sharks try to stay in contention for the top four and a double chance.

TIP: Sharks 13+ @ $2.25

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