The top 8 is starting to take shape and we’ll be treated to a couple of intriguing top 8 battles in Round 12 of the NRL. Read on for our Round 12 NRL tips, thanks to the team at Before You Bet.
St. George Illawarra Dragons vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
Thursday July 30 | Netstrata Jubilee Stadium | 7:50pm
Two fierce rivals battle for a top 8 spot on Thursday night footy.
The Dragons two-game winning streak ended last Saturday night in a thrilling 28-24 loss against the Sharks. So the 11th placed Dragons should be extra motivated to get back on the winners’ list here. In last week’s defeat, they lost Clune and Merrin during the game to head injuries and the pair will miss this clash. So Hunt moves back to halfback, McInnes into hooker and Jackson Ford will get the start at lock.
It was another tough loss for the Rabbitohs last Saturday night as they fell to the Raiders 18-12 in a grinding affair. But there’s good news in team selections, with Latrell Mitchell returning from suspension. So Mitchell will return to fullback and Johnson is named on the wing at this stage. On the bench, Knight and Mago return for Johns and Sele.
With the Rabbitohs 10th and the Dragons 11th on the ladder, this is a must-win for both sides and the rivalry between the two sides should heighten that fact. So we’ll be keen on the Under in night conditions.
Prediction: UNDER 41.5 Points @ $1.90
Wests Tigers vs New Zealand Warriors
Friday July 31 | SCG | 6:00pm
The Tigers will be aiming for a top 8 spot as they take on the Warriors in the first match on Friday night.
The Tigers lost to the Eels 26-16 last week and have a 1-3 record in their last 4 games.
It was another loss for the Warriors last week but they’ll take heart in conceding just 18 points against the defending premiers.
In team selections, the Tigers welcome back Tawl and Garner into the forward pack. Oliver Clark also returns to the starting side. The Warriors have lost Fusitu’a and Ken Maumalo as they return to NZ. So Herbert will move to the wing and George Jennings comes into the side from Parramatta. Alvaro also joins from the Eels and Wayde Egan is back from injury on the bench.
Wests should enjoy more freedom with the ball after playing plenty of 8 top sides lately. Meanwhile, the Warriors have plenty of team changes and will likely struggle in defence. So we like the Overs here.
Prediction: OVER 42.5 Points @ $1.90
Brisbane Broncos vs Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Friday July 31 | Suncorp Stadium | 7:55pm
Can the Broncos make it 7 straight wins over the Sharks?
Brisbane held their own against the Storm last week in the first 40 minutes but ultimately, the class of Melbourne was the difference in another crushing 46-8 defeat for the Broncos.
Cronulla heads to Brisbane after a 28-24 victory over the Dragons and they’ll be keen to continue the Broncos defensive woes.
The Broncos are without Croft and Milford will return to the halves as a result. Boyd moves to fullback and Farnworth will play in the centres. Turpin is also a good inclusion at hooker after injury. The Sharks are missing Chad Townsend at halfback and Connor Tracey will come in. But they do welcome back Dugan and Nikora.
While the Broncos love playing the Sharks, it’s really hard to suggest betting on their underdog line at the moment. So we’ll be favouring the Over as both sides can concede 40+ score lines if they don’t show up defensively.
Prediction: OVER 44 Points @ $1.90
Sydney Roosters vs Gold Coast Titans
Saturday August 1 | Sydney Cricket Ground | 3:00pm
Can the Titans stop the Roosters at the SCG?
While the Roosters are coming off an 18-10 win over the Warriors, it wasn’t overly impressive.
The Titans showed good signs last week in a 22-14 loss against the 1st placed Panthers so they should bring confidence to Sydney this Saturday.
The Roosters have lost Brett Morris to injury and Ryan Hall will replace him on the wing. For the Titans, Keegan Hipgrave comes into the starting side for Sam Stone.
This underdog line is pretty unfair on the Titans considering the Roosters performance last week. So we’ll just hope the Titans bring their A game in defence to keep this close.
Prediction: Titans +22.5 @ $1.90
North Queensland Cowboys vs Canberra Raiders
Saturday August 1 | Queensland Country Bank Stadium | 5:30pm
The Raiders are aiming for a 3rd straight win as they head north to take on the Cowboys.
The Cowboys have lost 4 straight games against top 8 sides and come off a 24-12 defeat against Manly at this venue.
While the Raiders are suffering from plenty of injuries, they’ve won back-to-back games against the Rabbitohs and Raiders. Full credit to Ricky Stuart!
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad is out for the Raiders but they do get John Bateman back from injury. The Cowboys welcome back Jordan McLean and Connelly Lemuelu.
With the Cowboys fielding a young side and struggling to score points, this should be a low scoring clash on Saturday. Especially with John Bateman back for the Raiders.
Prediction: UNDER 40.5 Points @ $1.90
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles vs Penrith Panthers
Saturday August 1 | Panthers Stadium | 7:35pm
A top 8 battle between the Sea Eagles and the Panthers highlights Super Saturday.
Manly are back into the top 8 after two straight wins and they’ll be confident of an upset in Penrith.
The Panthers are sitting pretty at the top of the ladder but they’ve struggled at times in recent wins over the Cowboys/Titans.
The Sea Eagles get Keppie back on the bench for Gosiewski. Penrith welcome back Kikau into the back row and May moves back to the bench.
Manly have a good history of close games against the Panthers and we like their chances of keeping this under a 4.5 point margin.
Prediction: Sea Eagles +4.5 @ $1.88
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs vs Parramatta Eels
Sunday August 2 | ANZ Stadium | 2:00pm
Traditional rivals meet at ANZ Stadium as the Bulldogs and Eels clash on Sunday afternoon.
The Bulldogs got a much-needed victory last week as they outlasted the Knights 18-12 in dreadful conditions.
Parramatta returned to the winners’ list with a 26-16 victory over the Tigers at Bankwest.
In team selections, the Bulldogs have named Tim Lafai in the centres for Holland. Jack Cogger comes onto the bench for Wakeham. The Eels get Evans and Kafusi back from injury on the bench for Takairangi / Utoikamanu.
The Under is usually a great bet with these two sides involved. As such in the last 2 meetings, the total has not reached over 18 points!
Prediction: UNDER 42 Points @ $1.90
Melbourne Storm vs Newcastle Knights
Sunday August 2 | Sunshine Coast Stadium | 4:05pm
We finish off Round 12 with a top 8 contest on the Sunshine Coast.
Melbourne started slowly against the Broncos last week but found top gear in the second half as they cruised to a 46-8 victory.
Newcastle had a shocker against the Bulldogs last week in an 18-12 home loss and to make matters worse, the injury bug has struck again.
As mentioned, the Knights lost McCullough, Watson and Sione Mata’utia to injury last week. So Chris Randall will start at hooker and Aidan Guerra comes into the starting side. Melbourne also has injury problems with Brenko Lee and Momirovski out. Seve will play in the centres and Tom Eisenhuth returns on the bench.
Tough ask for the Knights are losing plenty of experience to injury last week and they also really struggle against the Storm. So we just can’t look past the Storm to beat the line here, especially after beating the Knights 26-12 in mid-June.
Prediction: Storm -12.5 @ $1.90
For more free sports betting picks, head to www.beforeyoubet.com.au where you’ll also find an independent PlayUp review.