NRL 2023 Round 26 – Betting tips & Predictions

Daniel Berson
Daniel Berson
NRL 2023 Round 26

Round 25 is in the books and what a round it was! The Sharks dominated the Cowboys while the Knights beat the Rabbitohs, who have now also likely lost Latrell Mitchell for their must win final game. Now onto round 26, packed with exciting games that have big implications on finals footy! Stay tuned as we help you find value across all 8 games.

Round 26 Fixtures

FixturesInfo (AEST)Home OddsAway Odds
Panthers vs EelsThursday, 24th August 7:50pm$1.10$7.00
Warriors vs DragonsFriday, 25th August 6pm$1.13$6.00
Dolphins vs CowboysFriday, 25th August 8pm$3.60$1.28
Storm vs TitansSaturday, 26th August 3pm$1.11$6.50
Roosters vs TigersSaturday, 26th August 5:30pm$1.15$5.50
Raiders vs BroncosSaturday, 26th August 7:35pm$2.90$1.42
Bulldogs vs Sea EaglesSunday, 27th August 2pm$2.90$1.42
Knights vs Sharks Sunday, 27th August 4:05pm$1.68$2.20

Panthers vs Eels

Kicking off the round we have the Panthers vs the Eels. The Panthers are coming off an impressive 26-point victory away at the Titans, while the Eels are coming off a poor 22-point loss at home to the Roosters. The Panthers have shown that they are the best team in the competition and have been for the last 3 years, currently sitting in first place, on an 8-game win streak. The Panthers have held this win streak despite resting players, namely To’o and Sorensen last week. 

The Eels on the other hand are on a rapid decline, losing 2 in a row, losing star halfback Mitchell Moses and out of finals footy contention. With the dejected Eels having nothing to play for against the premiership leaders in the Panthers, I expect this one to be a walk in the park. 

BookmakerDaniel’s TipOdds
Playup logoPanthers to win both halves$1.52
TopSport logoPanthers -19.5$1.87
Bet365 LogoPanthers -9.5 First Half$1.85

Official Squads

Penrith PanthersPanthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Tyrone Peachey 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Jack Cogger 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Scott Sorensen 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Soni Luke 15. Lindsay Smith 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Luke Garner

Parramatta EelsEels: 1. Clint Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Will Penisini 4. Bailey Simonsson 5. Sean Russell 6. Daejarn Asi 7. Dylan Brown 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Joey Lussick 10. Junior Paulo 11. Ryan Matterson 12. Bryce Cartwright 13. J’maine Hopgood 14. Luca Moretti 15. Shaun Lane 16. Wiremu Grieg 17. Joe Ofahengaue

Warriors vs Dragons

Our early Friday Night game sees the Warriors hosting the Dragons. The Warriors are coming off a 7-point win at home against Manly, while the Dragons are coming off a 10-point loss to the Storm. While the Warriors continue to win games, extending their winning streak to 6 and winning 9 of their past 10 games, their last 2 victories haven’t been overly convincing. The Warriors have edged the Tigers and Manly in consecutive weeks in New Zealand, games they’d be expected to win easily. 

The Dragons are on a 3-game losing streak, despite fighting valiantly against the Storm last week. The played extremely well for the majority of the game but the Storm switched it on late to win. While the Warriors do need a win for top 4 and are playing at home against a Dragons side with nothing to play for, I think this line is a little too big for a team not playing at their best.

BookmakerDaniel’s TipOdds
Playup logoWarriors 1-12$3.40
TopSport logoDragons +16.5$1.87
Bet365 LogoNeither team to win both halves$2.25

Official Squads

New Zealand WarriorsWarriors: 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. Bunty Afoa 11. Josh Curran 12. Marata Niukore 13. Tohu Harris 14. Dylan Walker 15. Jackson Ford 16. Bayley Sironen 17. Fredy Lussick

St. George Illawarra DragonsDragons: 1. Tyrell Sloan 2. Mat Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Francis Molo 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Billy Burns 12. Dan Russell 13. Michael Molo14. Connor Muhleisen 15. Ryan Couchman 16. Ben Murdoch-Masila 17. Zane Musgrove

Dolphins vs Cowboys

Our second game on Friday Night sees the Dolphins hosting the Cowboys. The Dolphins are coming off a brutal 1-point loss, thanks to a late Koroisau penalty goal, while the Cowboys are coming off a very disappointing loss against the Sharks. While the Dolphins were on fire earlier in the season, their lack of depth has caught up to them. They have been battling injuries and suspensions throughout the second half of the season, and it has really impacted them, with the Dolphins losing 5 in a row, the biggest loss streak in the league currently.

The Cowboys have also been struggling, losing their last 3 games in a row after being the form team in the competition. They had their moments against the Sharks, but the Sharks defense was just too good for them. I think Drinkwater and Dearden possess too much flair and firepower for this Dolphins defense to deal with, and I expect them to win comfortably.

BookmakerDaniel’s TipOdds
Playup logoHalftime/Fulltime Double – Cowboys/Cowboys$1.72
TopSport logoCowboys -9.5$1.83
Bet365 LogoCowboys to win both halves$2.15

Official Squads

DolphinsDolphins: 1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Tesi Niu 4. Robert Jennings 5. Jack Bostock 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Harrison Graham 10. Mark Nicholls 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Connelly Lemuelu 13. Kenny Bromwich 14. Jarrod Wallace 15. Josh Kerr 16. Euan Aitken 17. Herman Ese’ese

North Queensland CowboysCowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Zac Laybutt 4. Peta Hiku 5. Semi Valemei 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan Mclean 9. Reece Robson 10. Jason Taumalolo 11. Luciano Leilua 12. Heilum Luki 13. Reuben Cotter 14. Jake Granville 15. Coen Hess 16. Griffin Neame 17. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki

Storm vs Titans

Kicking off Super Saturday we have the Storm hosting the Titans. The Storm are coming off a 10-point win against the Dragons, while the Titans are coming off a 26-point loss to the Panthers. While the Storm did win last week, they did not look great, struggling against the Dragons. They were saved due to some poor defense on the Dragons left edge, allowing for a Warbrick hattrick as well as Katoa earning a double of tries and assists. 

While the Titans lost by 26, they were very good for most of the game. The Panthers piled on 18 points in the last 15 minutes, undoing all of the hard work the Titans put into the game. The big news here is the loss of Jayden Campbell. However, with the Storm not playing at their best, I think the line here is a little bit too big.

BookmakerDaniel’s TipOdds
Playup logoTitans to score 3+ tries - Yes$1.87
TopSport logoTitans +18.5$1.87
Bet365 LogoTitans +9.5 First Half$1.89

Official Squads

Melbourne StormStorm: 1. Nick Meaney 2. Will Warbick 3. Marion Seve 4. Young Tonumaipea. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Tui Kamikamica 9. Harry Grant 10. Christian Welch 11. Trent Loiero 12. Eliesa Katoa 13. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 14. Bronson Garlick 15. Tom Eisenhuth 16. Tepai Moeroa 17. Alec Macdonald

Gold Coast TitansTitans: 1. AJ Brimson 2. Alofiano Khan-Pereira 3. Brian Kelly 4. Aaron Schoupp 5. Jojo Fifita 6. Kieran Foran 7. Tom Weaver 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 9. Chris Randall 10. Jaimin Jolliffe 11. David Fifita 12. Klese Haas 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 14. Kruise Leeming 15. Isaac Liu 16. Joe Stimson 17. Jacob Alick 

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Roosters vs Tigers

Our second game of Super Saturday sees the Roosters hosting the Tigers. The Roosters are coming off a 22-point victory away to the Eels, while the Tigers are coming off a heroic 1-point victory. The Roosters looked tremendous last week, particularly James Tedesco and Joseph Suaalii, who tormented the Eels edge defense all night. While James Tedesco is due to miss this week after suffering a concussion, Manu will slot in at fullback, another elite replacement. Despite the Tigers winning, they did not look great against a severely undermanned Dolphins side.

The Roosters will likely make the top 8 if they win their last 2 games, against Tigers and Rabbitohs, and will not want to end their campaign next week. With the Roosters finally seeming to find form, at such a crucial point in the season, I have to back them here.

BookmakerDaniel’s TipOdds
Playup logoRoosters 13+$1.68
TopSport logoRoosters -14.5$1.87
Bet365 LogoRoosters to win both halves$1.75

Official Squads

Sydney RoostersRoosters: 1. Joey Manu 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Billy Smith 4. Corey Allan 5. Joseph Suaalii 6. Luke Keary 7. Sam Walker 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Brandon Smith 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Siua Wong 12. Nat Butcher 13. Victor Radley 14. Sandon Smith 15. Fletcher Baker 16. Terrell May 17. Angus Crichton

Wests TigersTigers: 1. Jahream Bula 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Triston Reilly 4. Asu Kepaoa 5. Junior Tupou 6. Daine Laurie 7. Will Smith 8. Stefano Utoikamanu 9. Api Koroisau 10. David Klemmer 11. Isaiah Papali’I 12. John Bateman 13. Fonua Pole 14. Justin Matamua 15. Shawn Blore 16. Alex Twal 17. Alex Seyfarth 

Raiders vs Broncos

Our final game of Super Saturday sees the Raiders hosting the Dragons. The Raiders are coming off a 12-point victory against the Bulldogs, while the Broncos will be well rested after the bye. The Raiders looked great in attack, particularly Jordan Rapana who was involved in absolutely everything, however, they were shaky in defense, conceding 24 points. The Broncos attack is one of the silkiest in the competition, and the Raiders will not beat them, going shot fot shot. 

Adam Reynolds is out for the Broncos, but they have showed multiple times that they are an elite footy team that do not rely on 1 player. With Reynolds out, I expect Walsh and Mam to take over, being led by their forward pack. The Raiders should be no match for the Broncos who are in the hunt for the minor premiership. 

BookmakerDaniel’s TipOdds
Playup logoHalftime/Fulltime Double – Broncos/Broncos$1.80
TopSport logoBroncos -7.5$1.87
Bet365 LogoBroncos to win both halves$2.45

Official Squads

Canberra RaidersRaiders: 1. Jordan Rapana 2. Albert Hopoate 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Matthew Timoko 5. Nick Cotric 6. Matt Frawley 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Josh Papalii 9. Zac Woolford 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Ellot Whitehead 13. Corey Horsburgh 14. Tom Starling 15. Emre Guler 16. James Schiller 17. Ata Mariota

Brisbane BroncosBroncos: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Ezra Mam 7. Jock Madden 8. Thomas Flegler 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Pat Carrigan 14. Tyson Smoothy 15. Brendan Piakura 16. Kobe Hetherington 17. Corey Jensen

Bulldogs vs Sea Eagles

For our first game on Sunday, we see the Bulldogs hosting the Sea Eagles. The Bulldogs are coming off a 12-point defeat to the Raiders, while the Sea Eagles are coming off a 7-point defeat to the Warriors. Both sides come into this one with nothing to play for, both being ruled out of finals footy and safe from the wooden spoon. Both sides showed glimpses last week, with the Bulldogs remaining competitive against the Raiders until the last 25 minutes and the Sea Eagles being level until the 72nd minute.

While there is no doubt the Sea Eagles are the better side here, their injury toll is impacting them. They are down multiple middle forwards and Reuben Garrick suffered a knock and will likely not be at 100% even if he does play. The Bulldogs are at home and finally have a relatively fit team. I am expecting them to come out firing here and think this one will be close.

BookmakerDaniel’s TipOdds
Playup logoBulldogs +8$1.90
TopSport logoBulldogs to win$2.90
Bet365 LogoEither team by 1-12$1.90

Official Squads

Canterbury-Bankstown BulldogsBulldogs: 1. Jake Averillo 2. Blake Wilson 3. Jacob Kiraz 4. Braidon Burns 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Toby Sexton 8. Max King 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Liam Knight 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Corey Waddell 13. Harrison Edwards 14. Kyle Flannagan 15. Luke Thompson 16. Kurtis Morrin 17 Tevita Pangai-Junior

Manly Warringah Sea EaglesSea Eagles: 1. Tolotau Koula 2. Jason Saab 3. Brad Parker 4. Morgan Harpen 5. Raymond Tuaimalo Vaega 6. Jake Arthur 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Toafofoa Sipley 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Sean Keppie 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Ben Trbojevic 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Gordon Chan Kum Tong 15. Kelma Tuilagi 16. Aaron Woods 17. Ethan Bullemor

Knights vs Sharks

Closing out the round we have the game of the round as the Knights host the Sharks. The Knights are coming off an extremely impressive 19-point victory over the Rabbitohs while the Sharks are coming off an equally impressive 20-point victory away against the Cowboys. The Sharks are well and truly back in the battle for the top 4, sitting just 2 points behind and ahead on point difference. The Knights are the form team in the competition besides Penrith, winning their last 7 in a row!

While the Sharks have put to bed claims that they are flat-track bullies, I still expect them to struggle against this elite Knights defense. I expect this one to be a great game to watch, extremely close, but if I had to pick, I’d lean towards the Knights as they are the more all rounded side and are at home.

BookmakerDaniel’s TipOdds
Playup logoEither team by 6 or less$2.75
TopSport logoKnights -3.5$1.87
Bet365 LogoEither team by 1-12$1.75

Official Squads

Newcastle KnightsKnights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Dominic Young 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. Tyson Frizell 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 13. Adam Elliot 14. Kurt Mann 15. Daniel Saifiti 16. Jack Hetherington 17. Mat Croker

Cronulla-Sutherland SharksSharks: 1. Connor Tracey 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Braydon Trindall 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Toby Rudolf 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Braden Hamlin-Uele 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Cameon Mcinnes 14. Jack Williams 15. Royce Hunt 16. Tom Hazelton 17. Matt Moylan

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