The saga surrounding the Melbourne Storm continues to take up plenty of headlines, but despite the bad news – the Storm continues to soldier on, with increased memberships and solid support in Victoria.
Despite them not earning any points, â€œthe show must go onâ€ and Round 8 gets underway on Friday night with 2 big match-ups.
The Broncos after copping a dusting last week at the hands of the Dogs will like their chances against the Knights at Suncorp Stadium.
Bookies too think the Broncos are good things, at $1.50 and the Knights at $2.65 showing little value.
In Sydney, the big derby takes place with the Eels meeting the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium. These two teams were the best backed to win the competition in the off season, but early hiccups cost them points. Both teams have hit some form in recent weeks, but injuries to key personnel at the Bulldogs swings things in the Eels favour slightly.
Bookies have the Eels at $1.46 which is surprisingly short and the Bulldogs are great value and worth a nudge at $2.75
On Saturday expect the Warriors to be primed at home after their debacle against the Storm. The Raiders don’t travel well and the NZ road-trip is the toughest of the, this could be a big scoreline here – so look to take the home side at 13+.
The much anticipated clash of Round 8 is the Titans at home to the Panthers. The Titans enjoy playing at Skilled Park and were on the money defensively when sneaking a win over Manly last week, but they will need to repeat that performance against the Panthers who are on a winning streak and looking to make it five straight. This is a great test for Penrith, if they can win this game on the Coast – then they has seriously stamped themselves as the real deal in 2010.
Given that the Titans $1.75 have been patchy in some of their wins, Penrith $2.10 are a real shot at taking this game out.
The Cowboys are seriously desperate for a win and are at home to the Storm with the question being on how long the passion will remain with the under siege Melbourne? Even if Melbourne take this game lightly, I still cannot see where the next North Queensland win will come from. Stay with the Storm for this game.
North Queensland are paying $2.25 and the Storm remain favourites at $1.67. The Cowboys have not beaten the Storm since 2006 and the Melbourne men have a great record against the Cows.
The Dragons should handle the Sharks easily. With bookies chalking up the Saints at $1.17 and the Cronulla boys at an amazing $5.25. Given the long odds, it might be worth throwing a lazy $100 on Ricky Stuarts men as they do lift for the Southern Derby.
The Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Stadium are always a strong show. Despite plenty of injuries, the reshuffle by Tim Sheens in shifting Farah to the halves will help. The Roosters are without Pearce which takes away from their structure.
Wests $1.52 are solid with the bookies and the Roosters $2.70 on the outer.
For the 3rd week in a row Manly are on Monday Night Football and punters are expecting them to bounce back against the Rabbitohs although it wonâ€™t be easy, the â€œBunniesâ€ knowing a win here can send a clear message to the rest of the teams that should be taken seriously.
Given this games at ANZ Stadium and that Manly have had some bad blood at training, the Bunnies should just have the edge.
Bookies have the Sea Eagles $1.70 favourites, but the Bunnies are a good choice at $2.15