2022 NRL Round 20 Preview & Tips | BlueBet

NRL Round 20 Preview


After a week filled with many negative headlines, it will be great to focus on the football once again, with many of the fixtures in Round 20, having huge finals implications.

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles ($6.20) v Sydney Roosters ($1.12)

Thursday 28th July 7:50PM, 4 Pines Park


Manly and Sydney Roosters are tied for eighth spot on the NRL ladder and will be the biggest game of the season for both clubs. As has been well documented, the Sea Eagles are significantly understrength and will field two debutant wingers in Pio Seci and Alfred Smalley, while Taniela Paseka and Kurt De Luis will be the starting front-rowers. Meanwhile, the Roosters may have hit their straps after scoring dominant over the Dragons and Knights in the past fortnight and should they continue their red hot form will be a danger in this years finals. The Roosters have won five of their last seven against the Sea Eagles, including a 14 point victory in round 2 and with Manly’s odds continuing to drift, I can’t see them getting close to the tricolours on Thursday.


Recommended Bet: Roosters 13+ $1.60


New Zealand Warriors ($4.20) v Melbourne Storm ($1.23)

Friday 29th July 6:00PM, Mt Smart Stadium


Melbourne Storm are desperate to snap a four-match losing streak and have now dropped to 5th on the ladder, while the Warriors will look to put in another strong performance in front of the Mt Smart faithful. The Warriors blew a 14-0 halftime lead in Canberra last Saturday and will be desparate for some wins late in the year to put some respectability on their season. The Storm won the ANZAC Day clash between the two sides by 60 points, their twelfth straight win against the Warriors and I’m expecting them to continue their strangle hold over the New Zealand based side on Friday.

Recommended Bet: Storm 13+ $1.82


Parramatta Eels ($3.40) v Penrith Panthers ($1.23)

Friday 29th July 7:55PM, CommBank Stadium


The battle for the West of Sydney main events the Friday night fixtures, with the Eels hosting the Panthers from CommBank Stadium. The teams line up for their second showdown of the season after the Eels produced a 2 point win away from home – the Panthers only loss of the season. The Panthers however, have recorded a nine-match winning streak after that loss a, highlighted by their 318 points differential, almost 140 points clear of the next best. The Eels unquestionably have the quality and experience right across, to not only challenge the Panthers, but also win the Premiership and hopefully they can bring their A game on Friday night. 

Recommended Bet: Eels +9.5 $1.90


Gold Coast Titans ($2.95) v Canberra Raiders ($1.40)

Saturday 30th July 3:00PM, Cbus Super Stadium


The Canberra Raiders are one of the clubs battling it out for a spot in the top 8, which has been punctuated by two close wins over the Storm and the Warriors. Conversely, the Gold Coast Titans sunk to an eighth straight loss courtesy of a 36-26 result against the rejuvenated Bulldogs, but they showed some fight to win the second half after falling 26-6 behind and once again will rue their defensive efforts. The Raiders haven’t played well away from in 2022, but the Titans are also on a 6 game losing streak at Cbus Super Stadium, so I’m going with the Raiders by a 1-12 point margin.

Recommended Bet: Raiders 1-12 $3.15


Cronulla Sharks ($1.70) v South Sydney Rabbitohs ($2.15)

Saturday 30th July 5:30PM, PointsBet Stadium


Sixth-placed South Sydney have the opportunity to draw level with third-placed Cronulla, should they win at Shark Park on Saturday evening. The Rabbitohs  24-12 victory over the Storm was their most impressive this season and saw the ever consistent Alex Johnston record his 19th from his last 12 games down their threatening. The Sharks’ five-match winning tear was halted at Penrith last weekend, going down 20-10 after leading 10-0 but will be extremely pleased with their performance, drawing confidence that they can match it with the heavy Premiership favourites. However, Souths present great value being away from home and I’m siding with them to continue their resurgence with Latrell Mitchell in the side. 

Recommended Bet: Rabbitohs $2.15


Brisbane Broncos ($1.11) v Wests Tigers ($6.70)

Saturday 30th July 7:35PM, Suncorp Stadium


The Wests Tigers remain in Queensland to take on the Broncos after going agonisingly short against the Cowboys last weekend, going down by a solitary point. Despite the controversial refereeing decision, the Tigers must ignore that as they come up against one of the form sides in the competition, the Broncos who have lost only 2 games in the past 3 months. Interestingly, the Tigers have won their last three against the Broncos, but that was against a very different Broncos side and although the form lines of both clubs is mismatched, I can’t ignore the line on offer for the Tigers.


Recommended Bet: Tigers +17.5 $1.90


Newcastle Knights ($2.60) v Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs ($1.50)

Sunday 31st July 2:00PM, McDonald Jones Stadium


A clash between 12th-placed Canterbury and 14th-placed Newcastle wouldn’t typically carry much interest at this time of season, but the Bulldogs’ form turnaround has seen them competing in most games throughout the back half of the year. The Bulldogs have averaged over 25 points a game since Mick Potter was hired as interim coach including wins against the Eels, Tigers and Titans, and hard-fought losses to Premiership contenders the Sharks and Rabbitohs, in their past five outings. Meanwhile, the Knights have lost five of their last six and leaked 40-plus points in their last three games, including back-to-back 42-12 losses to Manly and the Roosters and despite winning the corresponding clash at magic round in round 10, will not be good enough for the Bulldogs.

Recommended Bet: Bulldogs -6.5 $1.90

St George Illawarra Dragons ($3.00) v North Queensland Cowboys ($1.39)

Sunday 31st July 4:05PM, Netstrata Jubilee Stadium


St George Illawarra continue to linger near the top 8, earning a share of the four-team tie for eighth spot with a 14 point win over Manly in round 19. Ben Hunt continues to star for the Dragons, with the Origin star in career best form and looks likely to secure the Dally M medal at the end of the year. Second-placed North Queensland made it 11 wins from their last 13 games courtesy of a late penalty to Valentine Holmes. The Cowboys’ ability to produce a great escape, similar to their miracle win against Manly last month, holds them in good stead for the finals.  The Cowboys were 31-12 victors between the sides earlier this season but are up against a Dragons side who are formidable team at home, winning their last four. 

Recommended Bet: Cowboys 1-12 $2.90