NRL Round 25 Previews and Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 25 of the 2017 NRL season.

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Broncos v Eels

Thu 24 Aug, 7:50 pm, Suncorp Stadium


The Broncos have won every game since their round 21 loss to the Eels, while Parramatta have only a solitary loss to the Knights in a momentary lapse in their finals’ momentum. The Eels are last start winners over a lowly Titans, but they will face a changed Brisbane outfit who have developed into one of the danger teams this year. The Broncos’ win against the Dragons last week was a solid performance but continued the consistent defensive resolve that, if maintained, could take them to the grand-final.

Brisbane will be without Tevita Pangai Jr for the clash as Jaydn Su’A joins the bench. Jordan Kahu has also been ruled out for the Queensland club with David Mead likely to join the wing. The Eels will miss Bevan French and Manu Ma’u for the clash as David Gower and Frank Pritchard join the interchange as cover.

Ben Hunt’s shift to hooker has payed dividends for the club but Brisbane’s intensity and defensive resolve has been the catalyst for their recent success. Expect the Broncos to leave everything on the field in their performance after they were humbled by the Eels in their last clash and with Parramatta down on troops, expect Brisbane to get the points.

Betting Tip: Eels +10.5 @ $1.94 (Crownbet)



Raiders v Knights

Fri 25 Aug, 6:00 pm, GIO Stadium



Raiders fans were left disappointed last week after a crushing loss to the Panthers ended a winning streak and further reduced their chances of making the play-offs. It was always a tough task for Canberra to make the top eight, but coach Ricky Stuart will have his crestfallen outfit primed for the Knights who have restored much of their lost pride with some encouraging form in recent weeks despite a heavy loss to Melbourne in their last game.

The Raiders have named an unchanged squad, while the Knights will bring back Nathan Ross as Jack Cogger also joins the side to cover the injured Brock Lamb. Mickey Paea has also been included in the Knights’ interchange.

The Raiders will go into the match as favourites, but the Knights have displayed a lot of courage in their recent performances and look to be playing with belief and passion. It will be a tough task for the Novocastrians and expect their classier, more experienced opposition to have the edge. Raiders to get the points.

Betting Tip: Knights +16.0 @ $1.92 (Ladbrokes)



Tigers v Cowboys

Fri 25 Aug, 7:50 pm, Campbelltown Stadium


The Cowboys will travel to Sydney in a desperate bid to keep their finals series alive with mounting pressure from the Dragons outside the top eight after their last-start loss to the Sharks. The injury-hit Queensland club will face an improved Tigers team clearly benefitting from new coach Ivan Cleary’s influence after they pushed the Roosters to their limits last week in a narrow loss.

The Tigers will be without Elijah Taylor for the clash with Jack Littlejohn and Bayley Sironen joining the interchange. Antonio Winterstein will return for the Cowboys on the wing as Shaun Fensom joins the bench. Veterans Gavin Cooper and Lachlan Coote are also a chance to return after being named in the reserves.

Despite their injury-depleted roster, the Cowboys will not go into the match as underdogs with the Tigers’ yet to prove they are capable of consistent football. The odds look relatively even at this stage, but expect the Tigers to out-enthuse their opposition with the Queensland club run down and fatigued after fielding a rag-tag squad for such a long period.

Betting Tip: Tigers Head to Head @ $2.25 (Bet365)



Titans v Bulldogs

Sat 26 Aug, 3:00 pm, Cbus Super Stadium


Two clubs facing an off-season overhaul in the Titans and Bulldogs will meet this Saturday afternoon with massive news surfacing that Titans coach Neil Henry has been sacked by the club with immediate effect. Expect this revelation to impact the Titans’ on-field performance as their opposition in the ‘Dogs were much improved in their last-start win against the Sea Eagles.

Jarryd Hayne and Jarrod Wallace will both return for the Titans in a huge boost, but with Jon Olive and Ryan James out injured, Agnatius Paasi and Max King will join the interchange. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs will go into the match unchanged.

The Titans will head into the match as favourites with bookies clearly anticipating Henry’s sacking will immediately improve the Gold Coast side. However, with the Bulldogs’ improved attack, expect the Canterbury club to again play well after a run of horrendous form. It will be a tough one to call with both clubs’ inconsistent form, but expect the Bulldogs to get the points.

Betting Tip: Bulldogs Head to Head @ $2.25 (Unibet)



Storm v Rabbitohs

Sat 26 Aug, 5:30 pm, AAMI Park


The Storm secured yet another minor-premiership after their dominant win over the Knights last week and the Melbourne machine shows no signs of slowing down heading into the finals. The Rabbitohs’ late-season form surge has seen them win three consecutive games with their last wins coming over the Warriors and coach Michael Maguire will hope his team rise to the occasion against the competition’s best side.

Cooper Cronk will return in the only change to the Storm’s line-up while the Rabbitohs will bring in Robert Jennings to cover the injured Alex Johnston with Sam Burgess also set to return in the front-row.

The Storm will go into this match as heavy favourites and while most teams would be wary of complacency in Melbourne’s position, coach Craig Bellamy will have impressed the importance of consistency leading into the play-offs. The Rabbitohs will try to dominate the Victorians through the middle, but expect the class, discipline and execution of the Storm to get them the win.

Betting Tip: Storm -14.0 @ $1.91 (William Hill)



Sharks v Roosters

Sat 26 Aug, 7:30 pm, Southern Cross Group Stadium


It will be a massive top-four clash between third and fourth on the competition ladder this Saturday night as both teams face pressure from an in-form Eels to retain their respective top four berths. The Sharks were much improved against a depleted Cowboys last week, while the Roosters edged an enthusiastic Tigers outfit.

Both teams have elected to go into the match unchanged from their wins last round.

This match will be an interesting litmus test with both Cronulla and the Roosters displaying worrying signs in the latter stages of the season. Each outfit will need a strong performance to stave off critics and prove that they are genuine premiership contenders. With both teams fielding near full-strength forward rotations, expect a physical contest in the middle of the field. It will be a tough one to call but expect the Sharks to get the points in a tight contest.

Betting Tip: Total Match Points Under 37.5 @ $1.91 (Ladbrokes)



Warriors v Sea Eagles

Sun 27 Aug, 2:00 pm, Mt Smart Stadium

Sea Eagles

After breaking into the top four on the back of some wonderful form, the Sea Eagles now face a fight to remain in the top eight after a concerning form slump has seen them drop to seventh on the competition ladder, with their most recent loss coming against the Bulldogs last round. The Warriors are in a similar position to their opposition but will welcome reinforcements this week after another disappointing loss to the Rabbitohs in their last game.

Manly will go into the match unchanged, while the Warriors will welcome back Shaun Johnson in the halves in a big boost for the Kiwi club. Ben Matulino will also return to replace the injured Jacob Lilleyman in the Warriors’ only changes.

The Sea Eagles will go into this match as favourites, and don’t expect their opposition to turn around a concerning form slump with the return of Shaun Johnson. The Warriors have major issues on and off the field they will need to address in the off-season, so expect a desperate Manly side to get the points.

Betting Tip: Sea Eagles -4.0 @ $1.91 (Ladbrokes)



Panthers v Dragons

Sun 27 Aug, 4:00 pm, Pepper Stadium


The Dragons’ finals hopes are on life support after a disappointing loss to the Broncos has them sitting one win outside the top eight. With inconsistent form from the teams ahead of them, the St George club still have a good chance of making the play-offs, but will need to win their remaining games to leapfrog their rivals. Their opposition in Penrith have continued their winning form after an impressive performance against the Raiders last week and will be similarly motivated as they hold out hope of breaking into the top-four.

The Panthers will be without Matt Moylan as Tyrone May shifts to the halves and Peter Wallace comes in at hooker. The Dragons will replace the injured Euan Aitken with Nene Macdonald as Hame Sele also joining the bench.

The Panthers will understandably enter the match as favourites, and given their form against mid-level teams in recent times they are likely to get the points. The Dragons were not poor against the Broncos last week but failed to match their classier opposition. If the Dragons can produce the same intensity they showed against Brisbane for the whole game they certainly stand a chance but expect Penrith to get the win.

Betting Tip: Total Match Points Over 40.5 @ $1.91 (Topbetta)


Best Bets

Tigers Head to Head @ $2.25 (Bet365)

Bulldogs Head to Head @ $2.25 (Unibet)


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