There are going to be some nail biters in the upcoming week’s action in the 2017 Telstra NRL Premiership competition.
The Cronulla Sharks will be playing the Melbourne Storm in a game that the bookies have posted as a dead heat.
The Gold Coast Titans are listed as $1.70 favourites to the New Zealand Warriors at $2.15, but that match could well be tighter than the odds would lead you to believe.
Penrith Panther are $1.80 favourites over the $2.00 Canberra Raiders in head-to-head markets.
The other dead heat for the week will be the Parramatta Eels against the North Queensland Cowboys, with both squads quoted at $1.90.
Rugby viewers would have a conflict over which contest to watch, were it not for the fact that the marketing gurus of the NRL, along with their TV broadcast partners in crime, had not lit upon the clever strategy of staggering the games all across the week and at various times.
The rematch of the 2016 NRL Grand Final would seem, on the surface and beneath, to be the game on which to focus, for any who have to pick one and just one to watch.
The Sharks won that Grand Final, but the Storm will be highly motivated to atone. The Storm holds a narrow 22 – 20 points lead over the Sharks and they have been obliterating their competition after 12 rounds, holding a 101 advantage over their opponents in points differential.
The Sharks, after a less than stellar start, have risen to the surface to feed on NRL chum and have climbed to an overall record of 9 – 3. They will hold home ground advantage on the south shore of Botany Bay.
Jason Bukuya will likely return for Cronulla after missing time with a dinged ankle. For the Storm, they will get Cameron Smith back after his Origin-following spell.