NRL 2024 Round 2 – Betting tips & Predictions

James Salmon
NRL Betting Tips
NRL 2024 Round 2
NRL 2024 Round 2

Round 1 is in the books, and as there is every year it was a weekend (or two) filled with upsets, and a little bit of drama. Both of last year’s Grand Finalists went down in disappointing showings while the Titans put in a shocker and the Cowboys flexed their muscle, but of course, one week does not make a season. Round 2 kicks off with what should be a high quality game between the Rabbitohs and Broncos on Thursday night, with the winner to be resigned to a 0-2 start, and there are plenty of other intriguing matchups over the course of the weekend. Below, we take a look at all eight of them.

Round 2 Fixtures

FixturesInfo (AEST)Home OddsAway Odds
Broncos vs RabbitohsThursday, 14th of March at 8.00pm$1.38$3.05
Sharks vs BulldogsFriday, 15th of March at 6.00pm $1.32$3.35
Panthers vs EelsFriday, 15th of March at 8.05pm$1.40$2.95
Raiders vs TigersSaturday, 16th of March at 3.00pm$1.44$2.80
Cowboys vs KnightsSaturday, 16th of March at 5.30pm$1.45$2.75
Storm vs WarriorsSunday, 17th of March at 4.05pm$1.42$2.85
Sea Eagles vs RoostersSunday, 17th of March at 4.05pm$2.05$1.75
Dolphins vs DragonsSunday, 17th of March at 6.15pm$1.90$1.90

Brisbane Broncos vs South Sydney Rabbitohs


Two teams widely tipped to be at the pointy end of the ladder come the end of the season, both the Broncos and the Rabbitohs got off to disappointing starts in Round 1. The Rabbitohs kicked the season off in Las Vegas against the Sea Eagles, and despite taking just six minutes to score the first try of the season through Richard Kennar, their defence was very leaky and the 36 points they conceded proved too much for them to match. The Broncos followed immediately after in Sin City and traded tries with the Roosters, but a failed conversion to them and a penalty goal to the Roosters saw them trailing throughout, and a 71st minute try to Victor Radley sealed the win for Sydney. Though not an ideal start to the season for either team they won’t exactly be hitting the panic button just yet, but they will both be pretty keen to get off the mark, particularly given they each face other top sides in Round 3. For the loser of this game, things could begin to get out of hand relatively quickly, so expect plenty of spice in the Round 2 opener. The Broncos will be mighty pleased to be playing this one on their home turf, though last year it wasn’t exactly the sanctuary they would hope – they went 7-5 in Brisbane, but lost just a solitary game on the road. Still, that’s likely an anomaly and they are still a much more fearsome prospect at Suncorp Stadium. In front of their fans for the first time this season, the Broncos can secure their first win and send the Bunnies to 0-2.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Broncos to win$1.38
Broncos 1-12$1.80
Broncos/Broncos half-time/full-time result$1.80

Predicted Squads

Brisbane Broncos: 1.Reece Walsh 2. Jesse Arthars 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Selwyn Cobbo 5. Deine Mariner 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Corey Jensen 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Brendan Piakura 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan 14. Tyson Smoothy 15. Fletcher Baker 16. Kobe Hetherington 17. Martin Taupau

South Sydney Rabbitohs: 1. Latrell Mitchell  2. Alex Johnston 3. Isaiah Tass 4. Richard Kennar 5. Jacob Gagai 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Sean Keppie 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jai Arrow 13. Cameron Murray 14. Siliva Havili 15. Jacob Host 16. Davvy Moale 17. Tom Burgess

Cronulla Sharks vs Canterbury Bulldogs


It’s a big season for the Sharks, and 12 minutes into it there must have been plenty of Cronulla fans feeling a little concerned about how it was going to start off. They were down 12-0 in the blink of an eye in their Round 1 clash against the Warriors, but once they settled into the game they were excellent. After that initial onslaught from New Zealand, the Sharks didn’t concede another point, and with three tries of their own they were able to secure an impressive 16-12 victory. Things didn’t go so well for the Bulldogs. They really need to show some improvement this season, but the signs weren’t great in their first clash of the year. They were down 20-0 early in the second half, and while they managed to recover slightly and end the game as 26-8 losers, it was nonetheless a pretty uninspiring performance from a team which many believe has some scope to finally improve this season. Stephen Crichton scored in his first game with his new club, but overall the new recruits weren’t able to steady the often wonky ship that is the Bulldogs. Of course, that doesn’t mean they won’t, and there is a long season ahead. But it was undoubtedly a very disappointing start, and with a tough game in Cronulla to come this weekend they look likely to find themselves winless two games into the year.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Sharks -8.5$1.95
Sharks to win$1.32
Sharks/Sharks half-time/full-time result$1.83

Predicted Squads

Cronulla SharksCronulla Sharks: 1. Will Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Sifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Braydon Trindall  7. Nicho Hynes 8. Oregon Kaufusi  9. Blayke Brailey 10. Braden Hamlin-Uele 11. Briton Nikora 12. Teig Wilton 13. Cam McInnes 14. Dale Finucane 15. Jack Williams 16. Toby Rudolf 17. Royce Hunt

Canterbury BulldogsCanterbury Bulldogs: 1. Blake Taaffe 2. Blake Wilson 3. Jacob Kiraz 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Connor Tracey 6. Matt Burton 7. Drew Hutchison 8. Max King 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Poasa Faamausili  11. Villiame Kikau 12. Jacob Preston 13. Jaeman Salmon 14. Kurt Mann 15. Sam Hughes 16. Josh Curran 17. Kurtis Morrin

Penrith Panthers vs Parramatta Eels


It was only a couple of short years ago that the Panthers and the Eels were going at it in the 2022 Grand Final, but their fortunes since have diverged fairly significantly. While the Panthers continued their reign as the best team in the league last season, the Eels fell off a cliff and missed the finals, and they enter the season with pretty different expectations on their shoulders. But while the Panthers are again the Premiership favourites, they have lost a number of players over the off-season and in their first game of the season, they certainly didn’t look like the force that they have been for so many years. They failed to score against the Storm, going down 8-0, but this is a team that knows as well as any that Premierships aren’t won and lost in the home and away season, so they won’t be too concerned just yet. The Eels, meanwhile, enjoyed a great start against the hapless Bulldogs, securing what they were unable to do in the early stages of last year in an easy victory. But things won’t come so easy this weekend. The Panthers certainly won’t be putting all their eggs in the regular season basket this year but they will be pretty keen to bounce back from a really disappointing opening round effort. Expect them to put the defensive breaks on against the Eels, who will struggle to get near the 26 points they managed against the Eels. Penrith should be able to keep them to a low score, and pick up their first win of the season.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Panthers to win$1.40
Eels under 13.5 total points$1.90
Under 36.5 total match points$1.90

Predicted Squads

Penrith Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Izack Tago 4. Taylan May 5. Brian To'o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Luke Garner 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Tyrone Peachey 15. Lindsay Smith 16. Liam Henry 17. Matt Eisenhuth

Parramatta Eels Parramatta Eels: 1. Clint Gutherson 2. Bailey Simonsson 3. Will Penisini 4. Morgan Harper 5. Sean Russell 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Joey Lussick 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Bryce Cartwright 13. J’maine Hopgood 14. Brendan Hands 15. Ryan Matterson 16. Joe Ofahengaue 17. Wiremu Greig

  • It’s been ten years since the Warriors last beat the Storm in Melbourne, with the Storm having beaten them eight times on their home turf in that time.
  • 13 of the 20 games that the Tigers lost last year were by at least eight points.
  • The Cowboys won eight of their 12 games at home last year, compared to four of their 12 on the road.

Multi of the Week

Storm to win$1.42
Raiders -7.5$1.90
Cowboys to win$1.45
Bet $10 for $38.85 with PlayUp

Canberra Raiders vs Wests Tigers


The Raiders entered this season predicted by many to struggle despite making the finals last year, with their incredible run of tight victories likely unsustainable for another year. But they certainly put a sock in the collective mouths of their critics in Round 1, beating the Knights 28-12. New recruit Zac Hosking scored their first try of the season, and with four more for the team in the second half they were able to start the year on a high note. The Tigers, meanwhile, were the recipient of the bye in Round 1, meaning they will start their season this weekend nearly two weeks after the first games of the year. Life under Benji Marshall will hopefully be very different for the Tigers compared to what it’s been like of late, but more than likely they are in for yet another tough year. Come season’s end the Raiders may well be one of the teams in their vicinity in the bottom few spots on the ladder, but the team from the nation’s capital started the year in impressive fashion and should be able to make it two from two this weekend.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Raiders to win$1.91
Raiders -7.5 $1.91
Raiders 13+$2.65

Predicted Squads

Canberra Raiders: 1. Jordan Rapana 2. Albert Hopoate 3. Matt Timoko 4. Seb Kris 5. Xavier Savage 6. Ethan Strange 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Josh Papalii 9. Danny Levi 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Zac Hosking 13. Morgan Smithies 14. Tom Starling 15. Emre Guler 16. Ata Mariota 17. Pasami Saulo 

Wests Tigers: 1. Jahream Bula 2. Brent Naden 3. Justin Olam 4. Starford To’a 5. Junior Tupou 6. Jayden Sullivan 7. Aidan Sezer 8. David Klemmer
9. Api Koroisau 10. Stefano Utoikamanu 11. John Bateman 12. Isaiah Papali’i 13. Fonua Pole 14. Jake Simpkin 15. Asu Kepaoa 16. Alex Seyfarth 17. Alex Twal

North Queensland Cowboys vs Newcastle Knights


The Cowboys might have as big a gap between their ceiling and floor as any team in the league this year, but they started off the year like one capable of doing some damage. Granted it was only against the Dolphins, but they looked terrific from the outset, scoring 31 points in the first half en route to a 43-18 win. The Knights, meanwhile, looking to carry their momentum from the back half of last year into 2024, did not start in the manner they would have liked. They were no match for the Raiders, and with a couple more tough matches to come they will be very eager to get their first win of the year on the board and avoid having to do what they did last year to play finals again. But the Cowboys in Townsville is not an easy task. Even last year, when they split their 24 games at 12 apiece, they went 8-4 at home. It’s a long trip from Newcastle, and the visitors will need to far more closely resemble the team that charged into the semi-finals last year than the one which was flogged by the Raiders last week. But even if they improve significantly on what they dished up last weekend, the Knights will likely struggle in this one. The Cowboys should be able to make it two from two, and send the Knights to the opposite record.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Cowboys to win$1.45
Over 46.5 total match points$1.91
Cowboys 1-12$2.90

Predicted Squads

North Queensland Cowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Zac Laybutt 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Jason Taumalolo 11. Heilum Luki 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Rueben Cotter 14. Jake Granville 15. Griffin Neame 16. Sam McIntyre 17. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki

Newcastle Knights Newcastle Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Tom Jenkins 3. Dane Gagai 4. Bradman Best 5. Greg Marzhew 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Jackson Hastings 8. Jacob Saifiti 9. Phoenix Crossland 10. Leo Thompson 11. Kai Pearce-Paul 12. Tyson Frizell 13. Adam Elliott 14. Jack Cogger 15. Daniel Saifiti 16. Jack Hetherington  17. Jed Cartwright

Melbourne Storm vs New Zealand Warriors


Saturday night will see two teams whose 2023 seasons finished in very similar fashion, with the Storm hosting the Warriors at AAMI Park. These two sides finished third and fourth last year and ultimately made it through to the Preliminary Finals, but each of them was demolished once by the Panthers and once by the Broncos in that finals series. Each of them will be looking to replicate that effort and then some this year, but it’s the Storm who have more runs on the board and look more likely to again go deep into the finals. They started their year like a team capable of doing exactly that, keeping the three-time reigning Premiers to exactly zero points in a defensive, finals-like game. In contrast, the Warriors, after a great start to their season with a couple of early tries, hit a wall offensively and began to leak at the other end of the field, conceding three consecutive tries to ultimately go down 16-12 to the Sharks. It doesn’t get any easier for them as they head across the pond to AAMI Park, one of the toughest venues to win at in the league. They should be able to keep pace with Melbourne for some of this game, but it’s hard to imagine the Storm dropping this one after the way that they played last week.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Storm to win$1.42
Under 40.5 total match points$1.82
Storm 1-12$2.80

Predicted Squads

Melbourne Storm Melbourne Storm: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. Will Warbrick 3. Reimis Smith 4. Nick Meaney 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Tui Kamikamica 9. Harry Grant 10. Josh King 11. Joe Chan 12. Eli Katoa 13. Trent Loiero 14. Tyran Wishart 15. Christian Welch 16. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 17. Alec MacDonald

New Zealand Warriors: 1. Taine Tuaupiki 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Rocco Berry 4. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Luke Metcalf
7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Freddy Lussick 10. Mitch Barnett 11. Jackson Ford 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Tohu Harris 14. Jazz Tevaga 15. Tom Ale 16. Bunty Afoa 17. Dylan Walker

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Manly Sea Eagles vs Sydney Roosters


It was a terrific start to the season for the Sea Eagles, who nipped over to Las Vegas for the season opener and returned with two points on the board courtesy of an impressive win over the Rabbitohs. It was, of course, a long flight back to 4 Pines Park, but they’ve had two weeks to recover from that game. The Roosters, too, made the same trip and enjoyed the same result, their own win even more impressive. After an at times difficult, at times impressive 2023 campaign, they started 2024 as well as they could have hoped, knocking off last years Grand Finalists by ten points in a well-rounded performance. If they can maintain a relatively healthy list this year they should be every bit a Premiership contender, and they played like it over in Las Vegas. The Sea Eagles certainly looked impressive in their season opener and can also be a finals contender if their list – and mostly Tom Trbojevic – can stay healthy, but the Roosters are the superior side in this one and should be able to make it two wins from as many games to kick off their season.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Roosters to win$1.75
Roosters -2.5$1.90
Roosters 7+$2.50

Predicted Squads

Manly Sea Eagles: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Tommy Talau 3. Tolu Koula 4. Reuben Garrick 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Luke Brooks 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Taniela Paseka 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Josh Aloiai 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Ben Trbojevic 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Karl Lawton 15. Corey Waddell 16. Ethan Bullemor 17. Nathan Brown

Sydney Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Joseph Suaalii 4. Joey Manu 5. Dom Young 6. Luke Keary  7. Sam Walker 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Brandon Smith 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Siua Wong 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Victor Radley 14. Sandon Smith 15. Naufahu Whyte 16. Nat Butcher 17. Terrell May

The Dolphins vs St. George Illawarra Dragons


After a pretty entertaining weekend, the last game of Round 2 isn’t exactly the most intriguing of the season, but early in the year and with anything still possible, Dolphins and Dragons fans will no doubt still be taking a keen interest in this one. The Dragons, in particular, have the unexpected prospect of going 2-0 in a season in which they are widely tipped to finish in the bottom two, having surprisingly started their season with a win. And it wasn’t just any old win, either; they were dominant against the disappointing Titans, scoring a try in the second minute and never looking back. Well, that’s not entirely true – it was 6-4 at half-time in their favour, but a very impressive second half saw them race away with four more tries to a 28-4 victory. The same can’t be said for the Dolphins. In their second season in the league, they gave up the most points in the round, conceding 43 to the Cowboys in a 25-point loss. It certainly wasn’t the start to the season they needed in Wayne Bennett’s last year, but the veteran coach isn’t accustomed to suffering consecutive big losses. He will be looking for a big response after last week’s effort, and can galvanise his troops against what is realistically not going to be a great side this year to record the Dolphins first victory of the season.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Dolphins to win$1.90
Dolphins -1.5 $2.00
Dolphins 7+$2.70

Predicted Squads

The Dolphins The Dolphins: 1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Tesi Niu  4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Jack Bostock 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Tom Flegler 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Jarrod Wallace 14. Josh Kerr 15. Max Plath 16. Euan Aitken 17. Mark Nicholls 

St. George Illawarra DragonsSt. George Illawarra Dragons: 1. Tyrell Sloan 2. Zac Lomax 3. Moses Suli 4. Jack Bird 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Kyle Flanagan 7. Ben Hunt  8. Francis Molo 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Jack de Belin 14. Connor Muhleisen 15. Michael Molo 16. Tom Eisenhuth 17. Luciano Leilua

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