Can the two-time defending champion Sydney Roosters cover the huge spread against the lowly Brisbane Broncos? Will the Newcastle Knights get the big road win to stay inside the top eight when they visit desperate New Zealand? Last, but not least, can the league-leading Penrith Panthers cover the spread as a double-digit home favorite against the visiting Wests Tigers? With the 2020 NRL season heading into round 16 of its 20-week schedule, it’s time to find out where the best betting value lies in the coming week of footy action so you can make your bets against their NRL odds.
NRL Betting Round 16 Events Preview – Odds and Picks
Sydney Roosters (10-0-5) vs Brisbane Broncos (3-0-12)
Sydney is in third place in the NRL ladder with a league-leading 392 points scored and 214 points allowed defensively. The Roosters have won four of their last five games and got back in the win column on Saturday by taking down the Wests Tigers 38-16 despite being on the road.
Now, heading into this clash, captain Boyd Cordner (concussion) and winger Daniel Tupou (ankle) will return from injury with Matt Ikuvalu and Daniel Fifita out and Nat Butcher dropping to the bench. Not only that, but Sydney has gone a stellar 11-2 in their last 13 home dates at Sydney Cricket Ground.
Brisbane is sitting in 15th place in the 16-team AFL ladder with just 210 points scored and a league-high 465 points allowed. The Broncos have dropped six straight games and come into this affair off a narrow 28-24 home loss against the Dragons on Friday. Not only that, but head coach Anthony Seibold called it quits on Wednesday.
“I think the final straw was hopping back on the plane from Sydney, when I wanted to be with my daughter,” Seibold said.
Now, heading into this matchup, Anthony Milford (hamstring) is out with Sean O’Sullivan at five-eighth for his first game of the year. Cory Paix starts at hooker for the suspended Issac Luke with Brodie Croft getting a recall on the interchange. Winger/second-rower Corey Oates has been included on the extended bench six weeks after suffering a leg injury.
Sydney recorded a record-breaking 59-0 road win over Brisbane in round 4 and that means, the 25.5-point spread in this affair definitely isn’t too big for the Roosters to cover.
New Zealand Warriors (6-0-9) vs Newcastle Knights (9-1-5)
New Zealand is sitting in 12th place in the NRL standings with 221 points scored and 352 points allowed defensively. The Warriors however, have recorded three of their six wins in the last four weeks and come into this matchup fresh off a 20-14 road win over the last place Bulldogs on Saturday one week after narrowly falling against league-leading Penrith 18-12 at home. Now, as they get set for round 16, halfback Chanel Harris-Tavita returns from a week off due to a head knock in place of Paul Turner. Eliesa Katoa is back and starting in the second row with Isaiah Papali’i moving down to the reserves.
Newcastle is in sixth place in the NRL ladder with 317 points scored and 232 points allowed. The Knights have won three straight games and come into this matchup off a low-scoring 12-0 shutout win over the Cowboys on Sunday. Newcastle is within a point of fourth place and have just two games remaining against teams currently ranked inside the top eight.
Mason Lino comes in at five-eighth after the season-ending knee injury to late-season recruit Blake Green. Star To’a has been named despite failing a HIA last week but will need to pass protocols. Tex Hoy provides cover in the reserves. Prop Daniel Saifiti (knee) will miss another week with coach while enforcer David Klemmer will make his 150th NRL appearance.
The bottom line for this matchup is that Newcastle has too much riding on the line to lose to a clearly inferior New Zealand squad. Yes, the Warriors are playing well coming into this clash, but Newcastle is playing even better and they are, by far, the better on both, offense and defense. The Knights get it done while covering the manageable 5.5-point spread.
Penrith Panthers (13-1-1) vs Wests Tigers (6-0-9) at 4:35 AM
Penrith sits atop the NRL ladder with 388 points scored and 206 points allowed defensively. More importantly, the Panthers have won a stellar 10 consecutive games including their 38-12 smackdown home win over the Sharks on Friday. Now, as they get set for this matchup, second-rower Viliame Kikau is suspended and hooker Api Koroisau is out with a calf injury. Moses Leota starts at prop with James Fisher-Harris moving to lock and Isaah Yeo to an edge with Billy Burns called up on the bench and Mitch Kenny at dummy half. Brian To’o makes his comeback on the wing from an ankle injury while Brent Naden shifts to center. Tyrone May will come off the bench and Daine Laurie drops to 18th man. Back-rower Kurt Capewell, who has been out with a knee injury since round five, is named on the extended bench.
The Tigers are in ninth place in the NRL ladder with 330 points scored, but 339 points allowed defensively. Not only that, but the Tigers have lost four of their last five games and come into this affair off a humbling 38-16 home loss against the two-time defensig champion Roosters on Saturday. Now, as they get set for this matchup, Harry Grant returns from a knee injury at hooker with Jacob Liddle dropping to the bench and Josh Reynolds moving to the reserves. Alex Twal starts at lock with Matt Eisenhuth going back to the bench. Tom Mikaele starts at prop with Russell Packer dropped and Shawn Blore recalled on the bench. Penrith is by far, the better team at both ends of the pitch. The Panthers have won six of their past seven games against Wests Tigers, who have not won at Panthers Stadium since 2013. Penrith ranks second to Sydney in points scored this season and they should easily cover the spread as an 11.5-point home favorite.
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