Dragons run into a Storm
Clear favourites to claim the minor premiership, St George Illawarra Dragons face a tricky match against the Storm at WIN Jubilee Stadium, writes Andy Morris.
Melbourne beat the Dragons 17-16 in round one, and the Dragons will be without a number of key players, not least of which is star centre Matt Cooper.
The Storm are not short of confidence, following their win over the Sharks, though defeats in the past month to the Eels and Raiders have hurt them.
The Dragons go into this one with eight wins in the last nine games, having scored the most points of any team in the competition and been tight on defence.
This will be a test for St George, but take the Dragons to get home in this one, in match odds betting.
The Titans got up in their all-Queensland affair with the Cowboys back in round five, and there's no reason to think they won't do so again.
Their win over the Broncos last week pushed them four points clear of the fifth placed team, Manly, while the Cowboys are struggling to make the top eight.
Gold Coast will be without back-rowers Anthony Laffranchi and Ashley Harrison, but they are red hot at home. Add to that the fact that the Cowboys have lost their previous seven Friday night matches, and six of their eight away games, and you have a strong case to back the Titans in match odds betting.
The Roosters have only won once in their last 10 games, against the Sharks in round 16, and there's not much ground for optimism as they go to EnergyAustralia Stadium to face the Knights.
Newcastle get playmaker Jarrod Mullen back, which should help them get back to top form. The Roosters have beaten the Knights the last five times these teams have met, but this is one where backers should have confidence in Newcastle in match odds betting.
The Sea Eagles beat Wests Tigers 23-10 back in round 10, and will be confident approaching their meeting at the Sydney Football Stadium.
They get Steve Matai back from suspension, and go into this one on the back of a run of eight wins in their last 10 games, fresh from a win over Newcastle.
It promises to be an entertaining clash where Manly should have superiority across the park, and they can be backed in match odds betting.
The Warriors' season goes from bad to worse, and few will be expecting them to come good against the Panthers at CUA Stadium, especially with Penrith welcoming back Frank Pritchard.
The Warriors are also without Steve Price, who was injured in the defeat to the Dragons, so a Panthers outfit who have won their last two should be taken in match odds betting.
The Broncos have lost six of their past seven games, but will have some hope of winning on the road when they go to Canberra Stadium to face the Radiders.
The Raiders have a few injuries, while the Broncos will have skipper Darren Lockyer, veteran Tonie Carroll and Karmichael Hunt back.
The Raiders were awful against the Tigers last week, and there is enough talent in the Brisbane team to suggest they should be backed in match odds betting.
Few injury worries for either the Rabbitohs or the Bulldogs ahead of their clash at ANZ Stadium.
The Bunnies have won three straight and will fancy their chances here, especially given how the Bulldogs played against the Eels in defeat.
The Bulldogs have won four of the last five clashes between the sides, and boast a 6-1 record at ANZ so it will pay to back them in match odds betting.
The Eels have shown they are capable of living with the best in the competition, so a trip to Toyota Stadium to tackle the Sharks should not hold too many fears.
The Sharks lost 30-10 to the Storm last time out, while the Eels have beaten Melbourne and the Bulldogs in successive games to remain in finals contention.
The Eels have won five of their past six matches at this ground, and should be backed in match odds betting.