NRL Round 21 Betting Preview: Game Odds, Trends and Analysis for Week Ahead

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2017

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 23:  Tim Grant of the Tigers is tackled by the Eels defence during the round 20 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Parramatta Eels at ANZ Stadium on July 23, 2017 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

With two points separating third and seventh on the NRL Ladder, Round 21 is expected to be crucial in determining which teams are in the best position to make the top four come the end of the season.

The most important game comes up at ANZ Stadium on Friday night where the in-form Parramatta Eels play host to the Brisbane Broncos.

The Eels have won six of their past seven to sit seventh, but just a game from the Broncos, who thrashed the Bulldogs 42-12 last week and are third.

The Broncos have won their past three against the Eels and go in as $1.50 AUD favourites, according to AustralianGambling.com.au, with the Eels at $2.62 having won their past five straight at this venue. They may be the value of the weekend.

Another key battle at the top sees second-placed Sydney Roosters host fifth-placed North Queensland Cowboys at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.

The Roosters are looking to maintain their buffer in second place and are $1.60 to beat the Cowboys for the fourth time in five encounters. But the Cowboys, who are $2.36, can't be discounted having won their past four matches despite being without Johnathan Thurston.



Melbourne Storm remain both Premiership favourites and two points clear of the Roosters on top of the table and face a possibly tricky Round 21 match against old rivals Manly at AAMI Park on Sunday afternoon.

The Storm go into this match with major doubts over two of their stars, Cam Smith (pec) and Billy Slater (concussion), and as a result have drifted out to $1.65 in the market.

But the Sea Eagles were hammered by the Dragons last week and are $2.26 having won just once at AAMI Park from five previous matches.

The round gets underway on Thursday night at Pepper Stadium where Penrith look to further press their top-eight hopes when they host the out-of-sorts Canterbury Bulldogs.

The Panthers, who sit two points out of the finals race, kept in touch with a win over the Gold Coast Titans last week, and are $1.42 to defeat the 'Dogs, who have lost seven of the past nine. The Bulldogs lost to Penrith 38-0 at ANZ Stadium just eight weeks ago and are $2.90.

Cronulla will be looking to consolidate their position in the top four when they travel to New Zealand to play the Warriors on Friday night. The Sharks start $1.65 favourites for the match but will be wary knowing the Warriors have won six of eight matches at Mt Smart this year.

The Warriors are $2.26 having lost seven of their past nine against the Sharks including three of their past four at this ground.

St. George Illawarra breathed new life into their season with a thumping win over Manly last week, and they will be looking to continue that form when they travel to Newcastle to take on the Knights.

The Dragons are the shortest-priced favourite for the round at $1.25 against the Knights ($4.05) having won nine of the past 10 matches between the two teams.

Canberra's campaign looks to be done for after they slipped three games out of the top eight, but the Raiders are $1.54 favourites in their clash against South Sydney ($2.50) at ANZ Stadium.

The Gold Coast Titans are in a similar situation to the Raiders having slipped from contention, but they go into their clash against the Wests Tigers on Sunday as $1.26 top picks, with the Titans at $3.95.

Related

    Super League: Wakefield Trinity v Widnes Vikings (Sun)

    Rugby League logo
    Rugby League

    Super League: Wakefield Trinity v Widnes Vikings (Sun)

    BBC Sport
    via BBC Sport

    NSW down Queensland to win inaugural women's State of Origin

    Rugby League logo
    Rugby League

    NSW down Queensland to win inaugural women's State of Origin

    Australian Associated Press
    via the Guardian

    Ian Lenagan Q&A: League Express meets the Wigan chairman

    Rugby League logo
    Rugby League

    Ian Lenagan Q&A: League Express meets the Wigan chairman

    Matthew Shaw
    via Total Rugby League

    Casty considering his options as interest heightens in French star

    Rugby League logo
    Rugby League

    Casty considering his options as interest heightens in French star

    League Express
    via Total Rugby League