Roosters vs Raiders | 5:50am Thursday | Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
Roosters -10.5 (-121) Raiders +10.5 (-114)
To compound last week’s loss to Storm, Raiders will be without 2 key players for the rest of the season due to
injury. Significantly, season ending injury to dummy half Josh Hodgson (who ranks 7th in the competition in number
of dummy half runs) will force Raiders to change attacking style.
In contrast, Roosters come off a straight forward 42-16 victory last week. Roosters offensive power continues to
set themselves apart from the rest of the league. They are ranked 1 st in average points with 29.8, 5.6 more points
than 2nd ranked Penrith, and 11.6 more than Raiders. Roosters will also be boosted by the recent history against
Raiders, winning the last 3 encounters against Raiders.
Expect the Roosters to take care of Raiders and cover the -10.5 spread.
Storm vs Titans | 4:00am Friday | Sunshine Coast Stadium, Sunshine Coast
Storm -18.5 (-110) Titans +18.5 (-125)
Storm might consider themselves lucky to get the win last week, especially considering they were not performing
close to their best. This week, Storm will be looking forward to potentially 3 starting players returning. If key
playmaker Cameron Munster is fit, Titans will be in for a long day.
Titans will be happy after stealing a victory last week in the dying minutes. It was a scrappy game against a battling
Warriors side, as Titans recorded 20 errors throughout the game. A team like Storm have the ability to turn those
mistakes into points better than nearly every other team in the league.
-18.5 is a large spread but considering that Titans have the 2 nd worst defense in the league,
Storm will look to pile on the points and still cover.
Wests Tigers vs Broncos | 5:55am Friday | Leichardt Oval, Sydney
Wests Tigers -6.5 (-110) Broncos +6.5 (-125)
Despite losing 2 games in a row, Tigers have shown they are not far off becoming a strong side. Prior to these two
losses, they had convincing wins with winning margins of 28 and 16, scoring an average of 35 points. But they will
be lining up this week without Reynolds who is suspended for 2 matches.
Last week, Broncos were able to find their first win after 6 straight losses, albeit against bottom of the ladder
Bulldogs. Unfortunately for Broncos, they added to a long injury list – a few Broncos players will be looking to
return from injury this week, however considered outside chances for the moment.
Assuming current list of injured Broncos players are unable to pass the fitness test, Wests Tigers -6.5 is where my
money will be.
Dragons vs Bulldogs | 1:00am Saturday | WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Dragons -8.5 (-110) Bulldogs +8.5 (-125)
Dragons wanted to improve in offense and last week against Manly, they were able to dump 34 points and record
their most convincing win of the season. Last week’s victory made it 3 wins from the last 5 games, and the Dragons
are full of confidence.
On the other hand, after a humiliating loss to Broncos last week, Bulldogs and their coach Dean Pay, have parted
ways. Along with this off field distraction, Bulldogs will be without both starting centres. Losing scoring power is
not the news Bulldogs were after, as they sit dead last in attack, averaging 10.4 points per game.
It won’t be the highest quality game, but I’m backing Dragons to win by at least 13.
Rabbitohs vs Knights | 3:30am Saturday | Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
Rabbitohs -2.5 (+100) Knights +2.5 (-137)
My early pick for game of the round as it should be a close, high quality contest.
Rabbitohs have been very consistent, winning the last 4 out of 5 games. In contrast, Knights have been alternating
wins and losses for the last 6 games. But last week’s 6 point loss to competition leaders, Eels, showed Knights have
the right ingredients. The biggest positive of the game was limiting the Eels to 10 points – a team that is ranked 4 th
in average points, with 23.3 per match.
While Rabbitohs have been consistent, they have not been overly convincing. Last week’s win against Tigers was
the first win against a top 8 side all season. Prior 3 games against top 8 teams this season, Rabbitohs were 0-3
against the spread. They will also be lining up without star off season signing, Latrell Mitchell due to suspension
and solid contributor Liam Knight, due to injury.
I feel this reshuffle in the lineup opens the door for the Knights to get the win here.
Sea Eagles vs Eels | 5:35am Saturday | Lottoland, Sydney
Sea Eagles +10.5 (-125) Eels -10.5 (-110)
Since star fullback, Tom Trbojevic injured his hamstring June 20 th , Sea Eagles have lost all three games by an
average margin of 16 points. Last week definitely gave the sense they are without any confidence and looked
extremely flat conceding 22 points in the 2 nd half.
Bitter rivals Eels are playing their best football in years. They are ranked 4 th in offence and 1 st in defence. Top
player, Mitchell Moses is a chance of returning from injury, however considering the opposition, may not be
rushed back this week.
I fully expect Eels to run riot over Sea Eagles and will take Eels -10.5 as my lock of the week.
Warriors vs Sharks | 12am Sunday | Central Coast Stadium, Central Coast
Warrios +8.5 (-125) Sharks -8.5 (-110)
The New Zealand Warriors were forced to relocate to Australia months ago to allow for them to continue playing.
This strain is starting to show as the team is struggling to score and hold off opposition for the full 80 minutes.
There are also reports circulating that several starting players will return back to NZ for personal reasons after this
Sharks were absolutely humiliated last week, conceding 56 points against Panthers. Sharks did manage to score 24
points off the very limited attacking opportunities presented to them. Before that match, Sharks were on a 3 game
win streak, scoring 40 points in 2 of them.
Expect Sharks to bounce back and cover this spread quite easily against an unengaged Warriors side.
Panthers vs Cowboys | 2:05am Sunday | Panthers Stadium, Penrith
Panthers -14.5 (-110) Cowboys +14.5 (-125)
Panthers trounced Sharks last week, making scoring points look easy. Panthers sit 2 nd on the ladder going 7-1-1 so
far this season.
Panthers attack is a big concern for Cowboys who have the worst defence in the competition. The last two games
have been particularly bad, with opposition scoring 42 points in each match.
Expecting Panthers to score 50+ points again is a big ask, but I do see Panthers winning by 20+.
Luke Slater @Luke_Slats
Cover the Club @CoverClubCorp