NRL Season 2018: Round 18 Analysis

International Rugby League: Saturday June 23

Parramatta v New Zealand

Friday May 18, 6:00pm ANZ Stadium

Parramatta’s season continues to get worse with a loss to second-last Canterbury followed by the latest Kenny Edwards controversy consigning the Eels to last position without a lot of hope. They do get a chance to pull off a win this week though when hosting the inconsistent New Zealand Warriors, who are still without star half Shaun Johnson. The Eels have won the last two against the Warriors, while the Warriors haven’t won at ANZ since 2011.

The Warriors have covered just eight of their last 24 after losing by 13-plus. With their backs against the wall, Parramatta are a bet at home to the Warriors.

 

Betting Strategy

BACK – Parramatta +2.5 pts

Brisbane v Sydney

Friday May 18, 7:55pm – Suncorp Stadium

Brisbane are in the very rare spot of going into a home game at Suncorp. The Broncos have struggled for form all season and have been hit hard by injury with Jack Bird, Alex Glenn and Payne Haas all joining a long injury list. The Broncos have been good bets though as a big underdog, covering 11 of their last 15 when getting a start of four or more with a 36% POT in head-to-head betting over that run.

The Roosters have covered just 2 of their last 8 as an interstate favourite since 2015 and 2 of their last 10 on the road off a win of 13 or more.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Brisbane +3.5pts

Gold Coast v Newcastle

Saturday  May 19, 3:00pm – Cbus Super Stadium

A battle between the two worst defensive teams in the premiership, it is surprising that the Titans have opened outsiders. Garth Brennan made the right call on Tuesday night and dropped Bryce Cartwright, that will do wonders for team morale. The Titans did lead the Storm early and have got some good Rugby League in them. Newcastle, by contrast, threw away a big opportunity to beat Penrith with stupidity and some soft middle defence.

The Titans are 15-10 against the line as a home underdog over the last four seasons while the Knights have failed to cover any of their three games as a favourite away from Hunter Stadium.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Gold Coast +1.5pts

North Queensland v South Sydney

Saturday May 19, 5:30pm – 1300SMILES Stadium

North Queensland have won eight of their last nine against South Sydney and with their season essentially on the line, they are a big play as a home underdog. The Rabbitohs are certainly in a down spot here after knocking off rivals and premiership frontrunners St George Illawarra, so they are vulnerable. Paul Green has shown significant restraint in not wielding the axe though it is expected he will insert some youth into his backline in his late team changes.

The Cowboys have covered 8 of their last 12 at home after scoring 12 or fewer while Souths have covered just 2 of their last 8 interstate games.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Nth Queensland +2.5pts

Melbourne v Manly

Saturday May 19, 7:35pm – AAMI Park

Melbourne will be without Cameron Smith but the market has significantly overcompensated for his absence. Brandon Smith is an adequate replacement with a bright future and should take this opportunity with both hands. The Storm have covered 7 of their last 10 at home when favoured by more than a converted try while the Sea Eagles have covered just 2 of their last 14 away from Brookvale Oval.

Manly have covered just 3 of their last 11 away from Brookvale after scoring 30 or more.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Melbourne -6.5pts


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