We now take a break from our regular programming to be totally engrossed in a side show for the best part of two months.

State of Origin is about to cast its annual prolonged shadow over the NRL but for true footy tipsters, the week to week results are still of prime importance.

It doesn’t matter if there’s not as many games some weeks, that just means you’ve got a better chance at snaring a rare perfect round.

Word to the wise for those who play the double-points joker round, this week is not the time to use it.

Only five games on the schedule this week but they are all tricky to tip in their own way.

Parramatta have two big guns back against a depleted Sharks side but the Eels did lose to Souths last weekend so how much can Mitchell Moses and Clint Gutherson really do to turn around that trainwreck?

Newcastle should be too strong at home for a Canterbury team missing Matt Burton, Stephen Crichton and Josh Addo-Carr but you wouldn’t put your house on it.

The Panthers are decimated but the Dragons are missing three key Origin reps, the Dolphins and Raiders is a toss-up and with several players missing on each side, the Roosters vs Cowboys match on Sunday could go either way.

Here’s how the experts see Round 13 unfolding.

Stuart Thomas

Eels, Knights, Panthers, Dolphins, Roosters

The Panthers welcome back a host of players for their clash with the Sharks, who lose Nicho Hynes and Cameron McInnes. A shock win for the Eels, although is it really a shock after what Cronulla produced last time out?

Both the Knights and the Dogs have changes galore and the losses of Matt Burton, Stephen Crichton and Viliame Kikau will leave an immense hole in the Canterbury team. Knights in a thriller.

The Panthers are at half strength and the Dragons without Ben Hunt and Zac Lomax. Seriously, why do we play these games? Disrespectful to rugby league in my view. Penrith to win based on…..well, I’m not sure.

Just a few miss for the Dolphins and the Raiders and plenty are back into the fray for both teams. Bennett’s boys to bounce back after dropping two points they probably thought were theirs last weekend.

The Roosters will hammer the depleted Cowboys in the final match of the round on Sunday afternoon. There is simply no way the Queenslanders can perform to standard with their Origin outs. Chooks by 36.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 26: Herbie Farnworth of the Dolphins is tackled during the round 12 NRL match between New Zealand Warriors and Dolphins at Go Media Stadium Mt Smart, on May 26, 2024, in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Herbie Farnworth. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Nick Wasiliev

Eels, Knights, Panthers, Dolphins, Roosters

Ahh, the dreaded reduced rounds begin. Many a time my tips have been thrown off by this dreaded period of the season. Here we go.

I mean, maybe the Eels have a shot here? Losing personnel to Origin is never fun and it’s the case for Cronulla, but then add in Mitchell Moses and Clint Gutherson and there is a lot of grey area here. I’m wary it would take more to turn this side around… but it’s Origin week, throws everything off.

Newcastle at home is always a harder prospect, but then throw in the Doggies losing key players to Origin, which is a massive compliment to their resurgence but also a pain in the arse. Knights should get it done. 

I once backed myself that the Panthers would go down. Last week, against Cronulla. Never again. Their depth is filth. Even a mate of mine told me off for doing so, and he was right!

Dolphins have a tough turnaround after the Warriors, but there was plenty of stuff to like in Auckland despite going down. Plus, Kayo Stadium just does something to the boys.

Roosters, at home – they’ll win by a landslide.

Mary Konstantopoulos

Eels, Knights, Panthers, Dolphins, Roosters

I keep tipping the Eels and they have to win a game eventually, right? The Eels will no doubt be better with the return of Mitch Moses and Clint Gutherson. I’m tipping them because I am a foolish supporter, but after a really disappointing loss against the Panthers and missing players like Cam McInnes and Nicho Hynes, perhaps this is the Eels opportunity to strike at a depleted Sharks team. 

The Bulldogs are back in the realms of understanding what it means for a team to be depleted by Origin. Without Matt Burton, Stephen Crichton and Viliame Kikau, who have been three of the Dogs most damaging players, I’m struggling to see where their points will come from. Knights to win in a close one. 

Even when the Panthers lose player to injury or Origin, they just seem to call the next player up. Even with Origin impacting their lineup, they will steal beat an inconsistent Dragons side. 

The Dolphins are back home this week and that I think is enough to give them the edge over the Raiders.

The Roosters have been on a role lately and the Cowboys are severely depleted by Origin. Roosters to win by 12+.

Paul Suttor

Sharks, Knights, Panthers, Dolphins, Roosters. 

Parra have been putrid but Cronulla are depleted. Sharks can overcome the absence of a few key players while the return of a couple for the Eels won’t be enough.

Newcastle are sneaking up the ladder without Kalyn Ponga due to a combination of grit and some poor opposition – perfect time to get the Dogs with three players in Origin camp and no Knights on rep duty.

Penrith’s NSW Cup team will be smarter than St George Illawarra who have shown flashes of the Anthony Griffin reign of error with some of their decision-making in recent weeks.

The Dolphins will bounce back after a flat effort in Auckland on Sunday by beating Canberra at their geographical base of Redcliffe, also known as the location of The.

North Queensland are terrible when they’ve got all their players and even though the Roosters are also below strength, they are a clever side.

Dylan Edwards of the Panthers is tackled during the round seven NRL match between Penrith Panthers and Wests Tigers at Carrington Park on April 20, 2024, in Bathurst, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Dylan Edwards of the Panthers is tackled during the round seven NRL match between Penrith Panthers and Wests Tigers at Carrington Park on April 20, 2024, in Bathurst, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

AJ Mithen

Eels, Knights, Panthers, Raiders, Roosters

Time for some Origin CHAOS! Let’s get this done quickly. Eels will beat the Sharks in a massive Origin affected upset. Knights will beat the Bulldogs in a massive Origin upset. 

The people’s team your presumptive champion Canberra Raiders will head to Redcliffe and lay a casual 56 on the hapless Dolphins. Panthers will still get past the Dragons. Roosters will blast past the Cowboys. That is all!

Mike Meehall Wood

Parra, Knights, Panthers, Phins, Roosters

You thought you’d got rid of me… No Hynes, no McInnes against a side returning both Mitch Moses and Clint Gutherson to the side…I’ll be taking Parramatta in the first example of why Origin football is rubbish. This should be the Sharks all day long but won’t be. 

Part 2 is the Knights, who are missing nobody and thus will defeat a Bulldogs side without their best two players. At least they’ve picked Toby Sexton, though he won’t be enough to move the needle here.

No amount of Origin outs could convince me to pick the Dragons against the Panthers. Penrith walk this one.

I’m not sure how much of a loss Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow is for the Phins given they did so well without him before, so I’ll host fast and tip them with very little confidence against the Raiders. Don’t be surprised by a shock, however.

There’ll be no shock at Allianz. The Cowboys inexplicably keep getting players picked even though they’re allergic to the defence, while the Chooks just call in a few more ringers. Easts to win and by plenty.

Round 13 Stuart Thomas Nick Wasiliev Mary Konstantopoulos Paul Suttor AJ Mithen Mike Meehall Wood The Crowd
PAR v CRO Eels Eels Eels Sharks Eels Eels ?
NEW v CBY Knights Knights Knights Knights Knights Knights ?
PEN v SGI Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers ?
DOL v CBA Dolphins Dolphins Dolphins Dolphins Raiders Dolphins ?
SYD v NQC Roosters Roosters Roosters Roosters Roosters Roosters ?
Last Round 4 6 5 4 5 5 5
2024 tally 61 64 54 63 57 64 63

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