NRL Round 25 Betting Preview: Game Odds, Trends and Analysis for Week Ahead

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2017

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 06:  Josh Hodgson celebrates his try with team mates in golden point time during the round 26 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Canberra Raiders at Pirtek Stadium on September 6, 2015 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Renee McKay/Getty Images)
Renee McKay/Getty Images

The Melbourne Storm may have wrapped up their second minor premiership in as many years with a win over the Newcastle Knights last weekend, but the race for both the top-four and top-eight spots is still alive as we enter the penultimate round of the NRL season.

Last week the two sides likely to break into the top eight were the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Canberra Raiders, but both failed to take their chances after they lost to the Brisbane Broncos and the Penrith Panthers, respectively.

Luckily for the pair, the eighth-place Manly Sea Eagles dropped their second game in as many weeks, which left the door ajar. The team from the northern beaches of Sydney sit just one win ahead of the ninth-place North Queensland Cowboys and two games ahead of the 10th-place Raiders, who will now find it tough to reach their second finals series in a row.

Canberra have the chance to give their flickering aspirations a boost on Friday night with a home win against the cellar-dwelling Knights ($5.50), a win that's priced at $1.15 AUD, while Manly are $1.52 to snap a two-game losing streak when they head across the ditch to play the New Zealand Warriors ($2.55) on Sunday according to AustralianGambling.com.au.

The Dragons face the Penrith Panthers this week. The Panthers are the in-form team of the competition and have won seven games in a row to make a charge towards the top four, and with it the all-important double chance.

Penrith are $1.52 to make it eight wins in a row, with the Dragons out at $2.55.

The Panthers are hoping to displace the reigning Premiers, the Cronulla Sharks, from the top four. They sit just one win ahead of Penrith in fourth place on the ladder.

Cronulla face a tough assignment against the third-place Sydney Roosters ($2.02) at home on Saturday night. In the match of the round, the hosts are a $1.80 chance to win their second game in a row after they were too strong for the Cowboys last week in a crucial win.

The Parramatta Eels are the other club who still have top-four aspirations following their amazing late-season form, which has consisted of seven wins from their last eight games.

They head north to Brisbane for a Thursday-night blockbuster against the second-place Brisbane Broncos, but the Eels aren't given too much chance at $4. The Broncos are at $1.25 to win their 10th home game from 12 starts this campaign.

The tightest betting match of the round comes up on Friday night in Sydney, where the Wests Tigers host the Cowboys. These two sides cannot be split at $1.90 for a game the Cowboys simply must win if they want to be a part of the finals action for the seventh year in a row.

As mentioned, the Storm may have wrapped up the minor premiership, but they'll still want to finish the regular season with a pair of wins to ensure they hit the finals with some momentum. The Melburnians are assessed as a $1.17 chance to beat South Sydney Rabbitohs ($5.10), who they host on Saturday afternoon.

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