NRL Tips Round 22: Betting preview, odds and predictions

The NRL is heating up as we approach the finals, with the top eight far from settled. 

An in-form Broncos side will host the Roosters to kick off the round before the Storm and Eels look to get back in the winners’ circle when they face off on Friday.

On Saturday, the Panthers will hope to maintain their spot on top of the ladder when they welcome the Sharks to Penrith, with the Titans and Cowboys to play out a Queensland derby to conclude the weekend.

Below are The Sporting News’ predictions and best bets for Round 22.

MORE: Eels stars compare Cleary clan to Arthur and Moses

Brisbane Broncos vs. Sydney Roosters prediction, tip, best bet

The Broncos and Roosters are coming off strong wins, so we can expect both sides to have plenty of confidence heading into Thursday night.

Reece Walsh’s return ignited Brisbane’s attack last week against the Rabbitohs, and his explosiveness will be key again. 

History isn’t on their side though, having lost their past three encounters with the Tricolours.

For the Roosters, this is almost a must-win match as they chase an unlikely finals berth with a tricky schedule ahead of them. Could the pressure be too much?

Playing in front of their home fans in Brisbane, albeit at the Gabba, we’re predicting the Broncos to win comfortably and put pressure on Penrith at the summit of the ladder. 

BEST BET: Brisbane Broncos -8.5 ($1.95)

Melbourne Storm vs. Parramatta Eels prediction, tip, best bet

Melbourne suffered a surprise defeat to the Knights this week and will be hoping to bounce back at home against the Eels. 

Justin Olam’s underwhelming form has seen him dropped, with Marion Seve coming into the centres. 

They’re also going to be without Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Reimis Smith through injury.

Parramatta aren’t exactly in scintillating form either, so Friday could be a tight, scrappy affair. 

It’s tricky to predict which way this match goes, but it’s unlikely to be a blowout for either side. 

BEST BET: Either team to win 1-12 ($1.74)

Penrith Panthers vs. Cronulla Sharks prediction, tip, best bet

The Panthers are unsurprisingly strong favourites for this clash, priced at just $1.11. 

The Sharks have seriously struggled against top-eight opposition this season and were very poor defensively last week against the Sea Eagles.

Despite this, a 16.5-point handicap feels a little generous, and something that Cronulla can realistically cover.

Attack isn’t too much of a problem for Craig Fitzgibbon’s side, so if they can focus on their defence for the full 80 minutes, they can keep themselves within touching distance of the reigning premiers. 

BEST BET: Cronulla Sharks +16.5 ($1.85)

Gold Coast Titans vs. North Queensland Cowboys prediction, tip, best bet

The Titans were stunned last week by the Roosters, leaking five tries in the first half alone.

Finals are looking increasingly out of reach for the Gold Coast this season, whilst the Cowboys still have plenty to fight for as they jostle for position in the top eight.

Todd Payten’s side are also riding a six-game win streak, scoring at least 24 points in five of those matches. 

A leaky Titan’s defence and in-form Cowboys side should mean we see plenty of points on Sunday as North Queensland likely extend their streak.

BEST BET: North Queensland Cowboys to win and over 44.5 points ($2.15)


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