NRL Round 5 odds and schedule; Knights lose Pearce, regain Ponga
Round five of the 2021 NRL season kicks off on Thursday, April 8, with South Sydney hosting Brisbane Broncos at Stadium Australia. Our NRL betting expert has examined the odds in our usual Monday column highlighting what rugby league action is on for the week ahead.
The round runs from Thursday until Sunday, when the round concludes with the Parramatta v St George Illawarra match at Bankwest Stadium.
The Thursday opener looks like a one-sided affair, with the Rabbitohs in red-hot scoring form and the Broncos struggling to stop teams scoring against them.
New Brisbane coach Kevin Walters will be desperate for his team to show some spine in defence, with the Broncos looming large in discussions for the dreaded wooden spoon once again.
The best match of what is largely a round of seeming mismatches could easily be the Panthers-Raiders clash from BlueBet Stadium on Friday night.
While the bookies have made unbeaten premiership favourites Penrith the $1.41 favourites, the Raiders have shown real steel so far this season and loom as a serious threat if they can avoid last season’s horror run with injuries.
The Super Saturday match-up between the Titans and Knights also looms as a great match-up that will shape the fortunes of these two finals hopefuls even this far out from finals.
The Knights have lost playmaker Mitchell Pearce for an extended period to injury but the good news for coach Adam O’Brien is that they regain their best attacking weapon in Kalyn Ponga.
O’Brien though is struggling to name a competitive team as they have also lost Tex Hoy (hamstring), Kurt Mann (concussion) and most likely David Klemmer (knee) from the weekend’s defeat.
NRL Premiership odds before Round 5
There was not too much change at the sharp end of NRL title betting after round 4, when nearly all the favourites scored comfortable wins.
At the top the Panthers formed from $4.50 to $3.75 with most bookies after they continued on their winning ways with a minimum of fuss by beating the Sea Eagles 46-6.
Six sides, the Panthers, Rabbitohs, Storm, Roosters, Raiders and Eels, have opened up a huge gap on the rest of the competition in terms of odds for the title. All those teams are under $10, while the seventh team in the betting, the Gold Coast Titans, are at a massive $21.
The Titans eased from $17 to $21 after a disappointing display against the Raiders.
Elsewhere, bookmakers don’t like the chances of the Knights ($21 to $34) after another dismal loss tot he Dragons and a growing injury toll that now includes veteran halfback Mitchell Pearce (pectoral). Pearce is expected to miss around three months after having surgery.
The odds-makers also see grim times ahead ahead for Wests Tigers ($51 to $81) and the once mighty Manly ($67 to $101). That paid have firmed up in betting for the wooden spoon.
NRL title odds 2021
$3.75 Penrith Panthers
$5 South Sydney Rabbitohs
$5.50 Melbourne Storm
$8.50 Sydney Roosters
$9 Canberra Raiders, Parramatta Eels
$21 Gold Coast Titans
$26 New Zealand Warriors
$29 Cronulla Sharks
$34 Newcastle Knights
$41 St George Illawarra Dragons
$81 Wests Tigers
$101 Manly Sea Eagles, Brisbane Broncos
$151 North Queensland Cowboys
$251 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
NRL Round 5 fixture, odds and times
Thursday, April 8
7:50PM: South Sydney Rabbitohs $1.09 v Brisbane Broncos $8.50
Friday, April 9
- 6PM: New Zealand Warriors $1.37 v Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles $3.15
- 7:55PM: Penrith Panthers $1.41 v Canberra Raiders $2.90
Saturday, April 10
- 3PM: Gold Coast Titans $1.36 v Newcastle Knights $3.20
- 5.30pm Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs $11.50 v Melbourne Storm $1.05
- 7:35PM: Sydney Roosters $1.38 v Cronulla Sharks $3.05
Sunday, April 11
- 4:05pm Wests Tigers $1.32 v North Queensland Cowboys $3.35
- 6:15PM: Parramatta Eels $1.30 v St George Illawarra Dragons$3.50
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