The business end of the season is upon us and yet, it is still so hard to be able to pick the winners when it comes to tips. Some teams are flying, some teams need wins, and there’s plenty of quality games this week, many of which are hard to tip. Our tipping guru Tipping Point will try and help you out.
Round 16 Tips
Season: 66/116 (57%) â€“ Last week: 6/7
At a glance: Broncos, Souths, Warriors, Cowboys, Dragons, Tigers, Roosters, Bulldogs
Broncos v Knights, Suncorp Stadium
This is one of those games thatâ€™s such an overwhelming lock you half expect an upset to materialise â€“ but I donâ€™t think it will happen. The Broncos are in ominous form, have five wins on the trot at Suncorp and are playing a team very low on morale and confidence. I reckon the Knights will have a decent dig after last weekâ€™s capitulation to the Sharks, but other than that thereâ€™s absolutely no reason to tip Newcastle in this game.
Souths v Manly, ANZ Stadium
Souths were poor in their last FNF fixture against the Tigers, but I think we can excuse that performance as they were without GI and backing up after the dreaded Perth road trip. I expect them to be pretty fired up for this game; fresh off the bye and with Reynolds back on deck and Luke a rumoured late inclusion, I reckon theyâ€™ll get the job done. Manly are poor travellers, losing 11 of their last 12 on the road and I think their lightweight pack will get monstered.
Warriors v Raiders, Mt Smart Stadium
This game is a lot closer than the betting would make you think. While the Warriors look the more likely, donâ€™t discount Canberra: with 5/7 on the road in 2015 their away form is behind only the Cowboys and the Broncos, and no side has scored more points than them this season. The Warriors on the other had have been pretty hit and miss all year, and even at home theyâ€™re only 3/6 which is well down on their usual record. Both sides like to throw the footy around so expect some points, but I have the Warriors just ahead â€“ Tomkinsâ€™ availability was a key factor, as was their good record over the Raiders.
Cowboys v Sharks, 1300Smiles Stadium
The Cowboys have opted to rest JT which makes an otherwise straightforward tip slightly awkward. Their record without JT isnâ€™t great, and with 11 straight theyâ€™re surely edging closer to a loss â€“ but youâ€™d be a brave tipster to take the Sharkies in Townsville. This game essentially picks itself, but it wouldnâ€™t surprise to see the Sharkies get up, especially if Gallen plays.
Eels v Dragons, Pirtek Stadium
Boardroom dramas, recruitment woes, fans in revolt, injuries galore: can things possibly get worse for the Parramatta Eels? Yes, starting with this Saturdayâ€™s game against the Red V. I do not think the Eels are good enough to knock over the Dragons, who will be desperate to get their season back on track after a couple of losses. To me, the Dragons look like a side that can dispatch of non-top eight sides and based on recent performances, the Eels will give them plenty of chances. Interestingly, the Eels have lost four in a row at Pirtek while the Dragons havenâ€™t won there since 2010. Someoneâ€™s going to break a run of outs, and I expect it to be the Dragons quite comfortably.
Tigers v Panthers, Leichardt Oval
This is a really close call, the toughest of the week in my opinion. The Tigers have showed some improvement in the last few weeks with a good win over the Bunnies and a close loss to Manly at Brookie, whereas the Panthers just cannot get their season started: Segeyaro went down last week (much to the chagrin of thousands of Supercoach players) which robs them of one of their best players, and with Moylan also out â€“ possibly for the season â€“ I think the Tigers are slightly ahead, despite the game being at Leichardt where they have, surprisingly, a poor record. Farahâ€™s inclusion is massive â€“ without him playing, Iâ€™d probably take the Panthers.
Roosters v Titans, Central Coast Stadium
This game can also be filed under â€œoverwhelming lockâ€; thereâ€™s just no way the Titans can win this game. Not with their injury toll, not without Sezer, and not against a side starting to flex its premiership muscle. The Roosters will win this, and should win it easily.
Bulldogs v Storm, Belmore Sports Ground
The Doggies return to Belmore for the first time since 1998, rekindling memories of the likes of Craig Polla-Mounta, Rod Silva and Daryl Halligan. The Dogs have a good record over the Storm with four straight wins, and I expect them to make it five on Monday night. With massive doubts over Cronkâ€™s availability I canâ€™t take the Storm here, and I really like the look of the Doggies line-up when the Morris twins play. The Storm are solid enough when one of the Big 3 goes down, but missing two is just a bridge too far, as they showed last week against Brisbane when they were unable to break the Broncosâ€™ line despite having all the ball and territory.
As a side note, if your tipping comp has a joker round where you get double points, now would be the time to play it. I reckon there are at least four bankable tips and even if you bat at 50% for the other four, youâ€™re still going to come out with a decent score. Touch wood.