NRL Round 13 starts on Thursday night, June 3, with the clash between St George Illawarra and Brisbane, but this is a reduced round with only four matches, with the opening Origin match looming on Wednesday, June 9. Our NRL betting expert examines the NRL action for the week ahead.
Of course, with so many players out of the equation this round for their club teams, it will pay to keep a close eye on which teams will be most affected in the lead-up to Origin I. We have you covered this week.
More: NRL betting guide
NRL match betting previews and tips
Eight teams will enjoy a bye as the season hits the halfway mark, but in the opening match-up between St George and Brisbane, the teams have lost only three players between them to Origin duty.
The Broncos have front-rower Payne Haas in the NSW side and powerhouse Xavier Coates in the Maroons, while the Dragons miss only Tariq Sims to NSW.
For the match on Friday, however, the Wests Tigers have had good support at big odds to end the unbeaten run of the powerhouse Penrith, who have lost seven players to Origin.
Winger Brian To’o, halves Jarome Luai and Nathan Cleary, forwards Isaah Yeo and Liam Martin, and hooker Apisai Koroisau were all named in the Blues squad, while Kurt Capewell is back to try to recreate his heroics of last season for the Maroons. In contrast the Tigers are missing only Maroons selection Joe Ofahengaue.
Melbourne are red-hot favourites to beat the Titans on Saturday and that is no surprise. Even though the Storm have winger Josh Addo-Carr, hooker Harry Grant, big men Felise Kaufusi and Christian Welch, and five-eighth Cameron Munster away, they have been winning easily without most of those players for weeks now.
The Titans also have a big representation in Origin through fullback AJ Brimson and forwards Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, David Fifita and Moeaki Fotuaika.
The Sunday clash between Newcastle and Parramatta is not so badly affected, as the Knights seek to build on the momentum of their surprise win over the Sea Eagles.
They will be without prop Daniel Saifiti and superstar Kalyn Ponga, while Parramatta have hooker Reed Mahoney and prop Junior Paulo in the Origin frame.
NRL Premiership odds before Round 13
Again there was not a lot of inward movement near the top end of betting for the NRL title.
Melbourne Storm firmed a little from $3.70 into $3.40 with TopSport, to sit second behind the rock-solid Panthers, who must now deal with having a large number or their players called into Origin action.
The decisive match from the weekend as far as title betting goes was Souths v Parramatta, with the Rabbitohs’ comfortable win bringing them into $7 from $7.50, and sending the Eels out to $10 from $7.50.
Hype team Manly eased from $16 to $18 after their disappointing reversal against the Knights in Newcastle on Sunday.
Elsewhere, bookies can’t write a ticket on the Canberra Raiders ($41 to $51) or the Gold Coast Titans ($41 to $101) after their poor form continued at the weekend.
NRL title odds 2021
$2.70 Penrith Panthers
$3.40 Melbourne Storm
$7 South Sydney Rabbitohs
$10 Parramatta Eels
$12 Sydney Roosters
$18 Manly Sea Eagles
$51 Canberra Raiders
$81 New Zealand Warriors, St George Illawarra Dragons
$101 Newcastle Knights, North Queensland Cowboys, Gold Coast Titans, Cronulla Sharks, Brisbane Broncos
$251 Wests Tigers
$1001 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
NRL Round 13 fixture, odds and times
Thursday, June 3
- 7.50pm: St George Illawarra Dragons $1.55 v Brisbane Broncos $2.45
Friday, June 4
- 7.55pm: Wests Tigers $2.75 v Penrith Panthers $1.44
Saturday, June 5
- 7.35pm: Melbourne Storm $1.11 v Gold Coast Titans $6.40
Sunday, June 6
- 4.05pm: Newcastle Knights $3.05 v Parramatta Eels $1.35
BYES: Sydney Roosters, Manly Warringah, South Sydney, Canterbury-Bankstown, North Queensland, Canberra, Cronulla, NZ Warriors.
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