NRL 2023 Round 21 – Betting Tips, Odds & Predictions

NRL 2024 Round 21
NRL 2023 Round 21

With a little over the month to go in the NRL season, just a couple of games separate third from ninth, and with a number of the teams in that logjam playing one another this weekend this could prove to be a pivotal couple of days in the 2023 season. It starts off with a not-so-important but still intriguing clash between the two teams competing for the Wooden Spoon in the Dragons and the Tigers on Thursday night, before Friday sees the Warriors take on the Raiders and the Rabbitohs face the Broncos in a huge night of footy. Later in the weekend, the Cowboys take on the Eels while the before the Sharks take on the Sea Eagles to conclude the round. We’ve detailed each and every game set to take place this weekend below.

Round 21 Fixtures

FixturesInfo (AEST)Home OddsAway Odds
Dragons vs TigersThursday July 20 at 7.50pm$1.65$2.25
Warriors vs RaidersFriday July 21 at 6.00pm$1.42$2.90
Rabbitohs vs BroncosFriday July 21 at 8.00pm$1.65$2.25
Titans vs RoostersSaturday July 22 at 3.00pm$2.15$1.70
Knights vs StormSaturday July 22 at 5.30pm$3.20$1.36
Cowboys vs EelsSaturday July 22 at 7.35pm$1.45$2.75
Panthers vs BulldogsSunday July 23 at 2.00pm$1.03$12.00
Sharks vs Sea EaglesSunday July 23 at 4.05pm$1.37$3.10

St. George Illawarra Dragons vs Wests Tigers

The battle for the Wooden Spoon appears to be a race in two, and Round 21 of the NRL season kicks off with a game which may very well end up deciding it. The Tigers and Dragons have been comfortably the worst two teams throughout the course of the year, and as a result find themselves sitting last and second last with 3 and 4 wins respectively. In their last games, at least, they both managed to retain an element of competitiveness, the Dragons in particular – they lost their third game in a row coming up against the Raiders, but the 36-26 defeat was far better than what they’d shown the fortnight prior. The Tigers, meanwhile, lost their sixth game on the trot, and though a 34-18 loss is nothing to write home about, it was also better than what they’d displayed the two weeks prior, during which they lost by a combined total of 98 points. This will be their best chance in a while to record another victory, but more so than the Dragons they appear to be limping meekly towards the end of the season. In a game which certainly won’t be the best edition of Thursday night NRL that we see this year, the Dragons can snag their fifth win of the season and likely resign the Tigers to the Wooden Spoon in the process.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Dragons to win$1.65
Dragons/Dragons half-time/full-time$2.25
Dragons -3.5$1.87

Predicted Squads

St. George Illawarra DragonsSt. George Illawarra Dragons: 1. Zac Lomax 2. Tautau Moga 3. Moses Suli 4. Mat Feagai 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Francis Molo 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Ben Murdoch-Masila 12. Jack Bird 13. Jack de Belin 14. Moses Mbye 15. Michael Molo 16. Toby Couchman 17. Dan Russell

Wests TigersWests Tigers: 1. Jahream Bula 2. Asu Kepaoa 3. Starford To'a 4. Tommy Talau  5. Charlie Staines 6. Will Smith 7. Brandon Wakeham 8. Stefano Utoikamanu 9. Api Koroisau 10. David Klemmer 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. John Bateman 13. Fonua Pole 14. Jake Simpkin 15. Shawn Blore 16. Alex Twal 17. Alex Seyfarth

New Zealand Warriors vs Canberra Raiders

After a mundane Thursday night matchup, Friday more than makes up for it, beginning with a pivotal clash between the Warriors and the Raiders. The Warriors gave their prospective hopes for the season a big boost in perhaps their best performance of the season last weekend, knocking of the Sharks 44-12 in a dominant display which pushed them up into fifth spot and on the same number of wins as both the Storm and the Raiders above them. Their top four chances are very much alive now, and given they’re playing the team in fourth this weekend they will likely jump into that top four with a victory. With the Raiders having won ten of their last 12 games the Warriors will certainly have their work cut out, but one of those defeats that the team from the nation’s capital has suffered during that period came at the hands of the Warriors – and comfortably. The Warriors were terrific in that game, winning on the road 36-14 in a performance which perhaps went close to last week’s for their best of the year. Now back on home turf and with some excellent form behind them, they can again prove too good for the Raiders and jump into the top four by the beginning of the weekend.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Warriors to win$1.42
Warriors 13+$2.55
Warriors -7.5$1.87

Predicted Squads

New Zealand WarriorsNew Zealand Warriors: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Rocco Berry 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Luke Metcalf 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan
10. Mitch Barnett 11. Jackson Ford 12. Marata Niukore 13. Tohu Harris 14. Dylan Walker 15. Bunty Afoa 16. Josh Curran 17. Bayley Sironen

Canberra RaidersCanberra Raiders: 1. Sebastian Kris 2. Albert Hopoate 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Matthew Timoko 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Emre Guler 9. Zac Woolford 10. Joe Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Corey Horsburgh 14. Tom Starling 15. Josh Papalii 16. Ata Mariota 17. Pasami Saulo

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Brisbane Broncos

The big games continue later on Friday night, with the Rabbitohs hosting the Broncos as they attempt to solidify their spot in the top eight and work their way back into the top four conversation. After a bye last week which followed a hugely disappointing loss to the Bulldogs, the Bunnies find themselves sitting in eighth spot on the ladder – not exactly where they want to be given their lofty aspirations this season. But while they’re only ahead of ninth spot on points difference, they’re also just a win away from the Warriors in fifth and two back from the Storm in third. The Broncos are a further couple of points ahead of that in second and with the most wins of any team so far this season after they knocked off the Bulldogs last weekend. But as impressive as they’ve been throughout the course of the season, it’s worth noting that they have no byes left and a tough draw to come, and with so many teams jostling for position just below them, a loss or two could see their situation change drastically very quickly. That’s even more the case with all but one of the teams they play over their remaining six games in that mess of teams just below them. There is a lot on the line for both of these teams this Friday night, with the Broncos able to solidify their spot in the top two with a win or find themselves just a couple of games clear in the top eight with a loss, while the Bunnies could end the round anywhere from fifth to ninth depending on the result. Expect plenty of intensity from both teams and a close game, but on their home turf the Rabbitohs can get the job done.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Rabbitohs to win$1.65
Rabbitohs/Rabbitohs half-time/full-time$2.25
Rabbitohs -3.5$1.87

Predicted Squads

South Sydney RabbitohsSouth Sydney Rabbitohs: 1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Isaiah Tass 4. Campbell Graham 5. Tyrone Munro 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jacob Host 13. Cameron Murray 14. Siliva Havili
15. Hame Sele 16. Davvy Moale 17. Jai Arrow

Brisbane Broncos

Brisbane Broncos: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Jesse Arthars 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Keenan Palasia 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Brendan Piakura 13. Patrick Carriga 14. Tyson Smoothy 15. Kobe Hetherington 16. Corey Jensen 17. Martin Taupau

  • The Panthers haven’t won a game by 28 points or more, the line for this weekend’s game, since early in May.
  • The Sea Eagles average 9 points per game over the past month
  • The Tigers have lost six games in a row.

Multi of the Week

Bulldogs +27.5$1.90
Manly Sea Eagles to score 3+ tries - No$2.70
Dragons to win$1.65
Bet $10 for $84.65 with PlayUp

Gold Coast Titans vs Sydney Roosters

With so little separating so many teams fighting for spots in the top eight, 2023 is a season which looks set to be decided by moments, and the Titans are the latest victim of one of those. Their clash with the Eels last weekend had the capacity to potentially make or break their season, and they found themselves on the wrong side of a one-point defeat to put them two games in arrears of the top eight. All hope is not lost, but they will need to start winning this weekend if they want to keep themselves in the mix for finals. Fortunately for them, they come up against a Roosters team which is a shadow of the side they were expected to be this season. Their 14-point defeat at the hands of the Storm last weekend was their third in succession and sent them tumbling to 14th, an extraordinary spot for a side most expected to be competing for a Premiership this year to find themselves with just a few weeks to go. Theoretically they’re still in the finals hunt too – they’ve got the same record as the Titans after all – but the way they’re playing it’s really hard to see that manifesting. With their Premiership aspirations well and truly gone the Roosters are struggling to give much of a whimper at the moment, and the Titans can capitalise on that to keep their own finals hopes alive with an important win.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Titans to win$2.15
Titans 1-12$3.50
Titans +3.5$1.87

Predicted Squads

Gold Coast TitansGold Coast Titans: 1. AJ Brimson 2. Alofiana Khan-Pereira 3. Brian Kelly 4. Jojo Fifita 5. Phillip Sami6. Kieran Foran 7. Tanah Boyd 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 9. Sam Verrills 10. Chris Randall 11. David Fifita 12. Klese Haas 13. Isaac Liu 14. Jayden Campbell 15. Joe Stimson 16. Erin Clark 17. Jacob Alick

Sydney Roosters

Sydney Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Billy Smith 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph Suaalii 6. Luke Keary 7. Sandon Smith 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Jake Turpin 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Egan Butcher 12. Nat Butcher 13. Victor Radley 14. Brandon Smith 15. Nathan Brown  16. Siua Wong 17. Terrell May

Newcastle Knights vs Melbourne Storm

The Knights were always going to need a big past fortnight to keep their finals hopes alive, and they well and truly capitalised on an relatively friendly couple of weeks of games. After knocking off the Bulldogs by 66 points and then enjoying a week off, they disposed of the Tigers relatively comfortably last weekend, beating them 34-18 to remain just a game and a half outside the top eight. They won’t have it quite so easy this weekend though, with the Storm set to pose a far greater test than the bottom-three Bulldogs and Tigers the couple of games prior. The Storm are beginning to hit their straps at the right time of the season, notching up their fourth comfortable win in five weeks last week when they proved too strong for the Roosters and won 30-16. That kept them in third spot and within a game of the Panthers on top, though with just a couple of games separating them from ninth they can’t exactly afford to take their foot off the pedal. This is a game that they should be winning even on the road, and they should be able to take care of business up north to solidify their spot in the top four.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Storm to win$1.36
Storm 13+$2.50
Storm -8$1.87

Predicted Squads

Newcastle KnightsNewcastle Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Dominic Young 3. Dane Gagai 4. Bradman Best 5. Greg Marzhew 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Jackson Hastings 8. Daniel Saifiti 9. Phoenix Crossland 10. Leo Thompson 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 13. Adam Elliott 14. Kurt Mann 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Jack Hetherington 17. Mathew Croker

Melbourne StormMelbourne Storm: 1. Nick Meaney 2. Will Warbrick 3. Reimis Smith 4. Justin Olam 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Tui Kamikamica 9. Harry Grant 10. Christian Welch 11. Trent Loiero 12. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 13. Josh King 14. Tyran Wishart 15. Tom Eisenhuth 16. Tariq Sims 17. Alec MacDonald

North Queensland Cowboys vs Parramatta Eels

Two of last year’s Preliminary Finalists take centre stage on Saturday evening, each of whom are scrambling to make it back to the finals after spending much of this season in the bottom half of the ladder. The Cowboys, in particular, looked nothing like a finals team until just a few weeks ago, but the switch they flicked at the beginning of June has remained on and their 19-8 defeat of the Sea Eagles last weekend was their fifth in a row. They’ve gone from 5-8 to 10-8, and though they haven’t yet made it back inside the top eight they are out only on points difference and are just a game from fifth and two games from third. So too are the Eels, who are up in seventh also with ten wins courtesy of a nail biting one-point defeat of the Titans last weekend. That win was their sixth in seven weeks, a period which has put them right back in the mix not just for the top eight but the top four too, though they haven’t played at the level they’d like to in their last couple of games; the win against the Titans was not exactly convincing, and prior to that they lost to the Warriors by 36 points. With a tough run home, they’ll need to play better than that if they want to play finals. The Cowboys up north is never an easy task, and with the way they’re playing the home side should be able to get the job done.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Cowboys 1-12$3.00
Cowboys/Cowboys half-time/full-time$1.91
Cowboys to win$1.45

Predicted Squads

North Queensland CowboysNorth Queensland Cowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Semi Valemei 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Peta Hiku 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Coen Hess 
11. Luciano Leilua 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Reuben Cotter 14. Jake Granville 15. Griffin Neame 16. Jason Taumalolo  17. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki

Parramatta EelsParramatta Eels: 1. Clint Gutherson 2. Waqa Blake 3. Will Penisini 4. Bailey Simonsson 5. Sean Russell 6. Daejarn Asi 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Joe Ofahengaue 9. Brendan Hands 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Bryce Cartwright 13. J'maine Hopgood 14. Luca Moretti 15. Makahesi Makatoa 16. Andrew Davey 17. Ryan Matterson 

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Penrith Panthers vs Canterbury Bulldogs

It wasn’t the Panthers at their absolute best, but the Premiership favourites did what they needed to do last week against the Dolphins to record their 12th win of the season. They’re on top of the ladder but only a couple of games ahead of the Sharks in sixth, but while they can’t afford to drop too many games, there’s not a whole lot of concern about the prospect of them doing that. They are cruising along and doing what they need to do until the games that really matter, and this weekend presents as a relatively straightforward to continue to do exactly that. The Bulldogs have found themselves mired to 15th for many weeks, clear of the Dragons and Tigers but a little way below everyone else. This weekend, with the two sides beneath them playing one another, it’s very possible that the Bulldogs drop down another spot. Following their 20-point defeat to the Broncos last weekend they’ve won just once in their past six games, and that will almost certainly extend to seven weeks this Sunday.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Panthers 13+$1.17
Panthers/Panthers half-time/full-time$1.12
Bulldogs +27.5$1.87

Predicted Squads

Penrith PanthersPenrith Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To'o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Scott Sorensen 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Soni Luke 15. Lindsay Smith 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Zac Hosking

Canterbury-Bankstown BulldogsCanterbury Bulldogs: 1. Jake Averillo 2. Blake Wilson 3. Hayze Perham 4. Jacob Kiraz 5. Jeral Skelton 6. Matt Burton 7. Bailey Biondi-Odo 8. Max King 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 11. Jackson Topine 12. Jacob Preston 13. Corey Waddell 14. Kyle Flanagan 15. Kurtis Morrin 16. Tevita Pangai Junior 17. Jayden Okunbor

Cronulla Sharks vs Manly Sea Eagles

After three big wins in a row, the Sharks came crashing back to earth with a big loss at the hands of the Warriors, a result which may well come back to haunt them come season’s end. They tumbled out of the top four and down to sixth as a result of the loss, and their position could hardly be more precarious. One win ahead of them is the Storm in third; a win below is the Cowboys in ninth. They have no choice but to get straight back on the winner’s list, and fortunately the Sea Eagles should provide a good opportunity for them to do that. Manly is theoretically still kicking, just a game and a half outside the top eight, but that belies their struggles, particularly now Tom Trbojevic is gone for the season. Their 19-8 loss last week marked the third time in four weeks that they’ve failed to score double figures, and unsurprisingly they’ve lost all three of those games. The Sharks’ defence is not what it was last year but they’re still capable of twisting the defensive screws when they need to, and against a Manly team which is struggling to put scores on the board they should prove too good. 

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Sea Eagles to score 3+ tries – No$2.70
Sharks to win$1.37
Sharks -8.5$1.87

Predicted Squads

Cronulla-Sutherland SharksCronulla Sharks: 1. William Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Connor Tracey 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Braydon Trindall 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Braden Hamlin-Uele 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Toby Rudolf 11. Briton Nikora 12. Jesse Colquhuon 13. Dale Finucane 14. Cameron McInnes 15. Oregon Kaufusi 16. Tom Hazelton 17. Siosifa Talakai

Manly Warringah Sea EaglesManly Sea Eagles: 1. Reuben Garrick 2. Jason Saab 3. Brad Parker 4. Tolutau Koula 5. Christian Tuipulotu 6. Josh Schuster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Taniela Paseka 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Aaron Woods
11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Kelma Tuilagi 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Dean Matterson 15. Josh Aloiai 16. Sean Keppie 17. Matt Lodge

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