NRL Round 22 Betting Preview: Game Odds, Trends and Analysis for Week Ahead

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2017

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 28:  Tautau Moga of the Broncos is tackled during the round 21 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Brisbane Broncos at ANZ Stadium on July 28, 2017 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

There are just five rounds to go until the NRL finals and by Sunday night, when Round 22 draws to a close, the make-up of the finals could be a lot more clear.

Only four points separate fourth from ninth on the table, so there is no margin for error. The round is expected to be an extremely tight affair, with a line of under a converted try in seven of the eight games, according to AustralianGambling.com.au.

The action kicks off when the Canterbury Bulldogs host the in-form Parramatta Eels on Thursday night, and the visitors are set to go in as hot favourites at around the $1.50 AUD mark. The confidence comes on the back of Parramatta's best performance of the season, a 28-14 win over the highly fancied Broncos.

Friday night's game between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the South Sydney Rabbitohs provides a perfect opportunity for St George to cement their spot inside the top eight after they lost to the bottom-placed Newcastle Knights last week.

While that was a poor showing from the Dragons, Souths are on a four-game losing streak themselves, so you couldn't back them with any confidence at the moment. The Red V are $1.50 favourites to get the job done against one of their oldest rivals, who are $2.65.



When the final whistle goes at the SCG, the North Queensland Cowboys and Melbourne Storm players will be running onto the field in Townsville for a crucial clash.

Melbourne remain Premiership favourites and clear on top of the table, but beating the Cowboys, who are equal on points with the fourth-place Broncos, will be no easy feat.

North Queensland have won three of their last four home games and were on a four-game winning streak before losing to the Sydney Roosters in a tight one last week.

In selection news, Storm young gun Cameron Munster will miss out with an ankle injury, with Billy Slater set to take his place in the side. Storm are $1.51 favourites to remain on top of the table with a win, while the hosts are at $2.60.

Should Melbourne slip up, the Roosters can move to top spot with a big win over the Manly Sea Eagles on Sunday. That win would be Sydney's fourth in a row, and is priced at $1.77, while Manly are assessed as a $2.08 shot in that Sunday fixture after being belted by Melbourne last week.

The Cronulla Sharks are well positioned for a tilt at back to back Premierships, sitting in third place on the ladder after a 26-12 win in New Zealand over the Warriors last Friday.

Their next assignment is a home game against the Canberra Raiders, who are all but out of finals contention despite beating fellow strugglers the Rabbitohs last week. The Sharks are solid favourites at $1.52, with their opponents out at the juicy odds of $2.56 to keep their season alive.

The Penrith Panthers are the shortest-priced favourites of the round at $1.30 to win their fifth game in a row, over the Wests Tigers ($3.60). A win would see the ninth-place Penrith side squeeze into the top eight should other results go their way.

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