The race to the NRL’s Top 8 received another boost in Round 22 with the Broncos, Sharks and Knights all claiming points to stay in the hunt.

Favourites Fly

Despite the two massive upsets on Saturday evening, it was a week for the favourites.

The Sea Eagles Eels, Broncos and Knights won while covering the spread in the buildup to the back-to-back upsets.

With the Raiders and Bulldogs claiming straight up wins as underdogs, the tide turned for a moment. However, the Roosters and their thrashing of the Warriors put things back in order before the Sharks scrapped home against the Dragons.

Overall, it was another week for the favourites going 6-2 straight up and 5-3 against the spread. Favourites had covered at 56% in the buildup to Round 22 with the trend continuing for another week.

Rabbitohs Reeling

Round 22 was meant to be the week “Souths will kickoff their premiership push“.

Instead, they were knocked off by the Bulldogs 14-6 at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night. The scoreline might not show it, but the Doggies handled them fairly comfortably.

As a result, the Rabbitohs have dropped to the fifth line of betting in the premiership winners market at $13.

Wayne Bennett has his work cut out for him here. His side looked lethargic and disinterested over the weekend. He lost Braidon Burns to a potential season-ending hamstring injury too.

With how the other teams are travelling and ahead of a massive game against the Broncos next week, that $13 could soon jump higher.

Are The Knights…Back?

Probably not.

The Knights looked the goods on Saturday night. However, they looked good against a terrible Cowboys team missing Josh McGuire and Jason Taumalolo. Their absence in the middle was painfully evident for those watching in North Queensland.

If they can comfortably deal with the Tigers at Campbelltown Stadium as they should ($1.80) then maybe, just maybe, we can restart the conversation around the Knights and the Top 8. They’ve not done enough to be trusted yet, though. Too often we see the flat-track bully Knights fall flat themselves.

Highlight Play of the Round

It’s not a perfect play, but it’s one plenty will remember.

The Roosters didn’t need any luck to beat the Warriors. The good teams create it anyway, though.

Here, Cooper Cronk’s mistimed leap produces a powerful falcon straight into the hands of Victor Radley who completes the first past of an easy shift to the right to score.

NRL Against The Spread Rankings

Once one of the better teams for punters to get behind, the Sharks have covered just one of their last seven games. They look great at times. An 18-0 lead went begging on Sunday before the Dragons eventually drew level at 12-12. The Sharks are one to avoid until they can play a full 80 minutes.

There is a tough decision to be made at the top this week, though. Number one and two on the NRL ATS ladder go head-to-head. The Raiders open the week as $1.54 and -4.5 favourites.

Sea Eagles15-6Broncos10-1-10