Analyst Joshua Reed will be providing his weekly NRL plays. Follow him on Twitter.
Current selections (and any quoted odds) are correct on Sportsbetting.com.au at the time of publishing.
Penrith Panthers (1st) vs Cronulla Sharks (7th)
21/08/2020 – Friday Evening, 6:00pm at Panthers Stadium
2 units – Cronulla Sharks with +9.5pt Start @ $1.97
The Panthers are looking to continue their hot run in the NRL when they face another team who is finding some form in the Cronulla Sharks.
The Sharks are full of confidence now after their win over the Titans and will relish a chance to try knock off the ladder leaders at their home ground. Both teams are unchanged from their wins last weekend as the Sharks look to get revenge on their match up last month where Penrith embarrassed them.
Penrith may just make it another win on the picket fence though Cronulla have found a new fight that they have showed over their last 5 outings. Cronulla with a 9.5 start is generous for a team that can put points on unexpectedly.
South Sydney Rabbitohs (8th) vs Manly Sea Eagles (10th)
22/08/2020 – Saturday Night, 7:35pm at ANZ Stadium
4 Units – Manly Sea Eagles with +7.5pt Start @ $1.96
Manly are coming off three tough losses which puts them as genuine outsiders for this match up whilst South Sydney are looking to make it four in a row after their 1-point win over the Cowboys.
South Sydney have been average over their past 5 starts despite winning 3 of them. They should have put the Cowboys away last week and they were not overly convincing in their wins over the Broncos and Dragons. Manly have faced an injury crisis whilst getting within four points of the Warriors and their rivals Newcastle in their last two outings.
I think this is the bet of the weekend due to what I have already stated with the addition of some key personnel for the Manly side. The Eagles welcome back Marty Taupau, Taufua is recalled to the wing and the possible addition of Fonua-Blake just adds spice.
This is going to be a lot closer than most will predict and the 7.5 start to Manly is a gift to punters.
Canterbury Bulldogs (16th) vs New Zealand Warriors (12th)
23/08/2020 – Sunday afternoon, 2:00pm at ANZ Stadium
2 Units – Canterbury Bulldogs head-to-head @ $2.20
Both these teams are coming off narrow losses to teams that should have put them away easily. The Warriors have been incredibly competitive over their last four games stretching the ladder leaders last week. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs went down by a Luke Brooks field goal in a heart-wrenching loss to the Tigers.
Both sides have changes but none more significant than the Bulldogs. They welcome back Will Hopoate to the fullback position as well as Lachlan Lewis and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak to the extended bench and Jake Averillo back into the side. With their positive display last week, they shuffled their side to give those players a chance to repeat their effort as starters.
This match really could go either way and the effort of both sides has been there. The Bulldogs are a massive chance as outsiders in this match-up and their effort in their previous five matches will be rewarded with a victory here.