A full slate of NRL matches will provide tipsters with plenty to think about this weekend.

As well as taking a close look at who the NRL.com experts are backing in Round 17, it is worth keeping an eye on the Late Mail to see which players are backing up for club duties after Origin III and who will miss out due to either injury or being granted a hard-earned rest.

Of the eight matches, Friday's Rabbitohs-Manly clash and the Wests Tigers-Eels match on Sunday loom as the closest fixtures this weekend.

Round 17 tips and previews

Panthers v Titans, Friday 6pm at Panthers Stadium

Brett Kimmorley says: People are a bit unsure on what is happening at the Titans with all the Kevvie Walters talk, so I expect a strong player response to that. Penrith have worked out the style of football Ivan Cleary would like them to play. It is has taken half the season but it looks like they are there now. A lot depends on whether James Maloney backs up after Origin. Panthers by 4

Match: Panthers v Titans

Round 17 -

Full Time
Panthers

Home Team

Panthers

Scored 24 points
Titans

Away Team

Titans

Scored 2 points

Venue: Panthers Stadium, Penrith

Match broadcasters:

  • Foxtel
  • LIVE PASS
  • KAYO

Knights v Bulldogs, Friday, 7.55pm at McDonald Jones Stadium

Brett Kimmorley says: Last weekend Newcastle again showed that they are playing a tough brand of football, they just lacked the quality talent needed to get the win in the end. If the Blues win Origin, Mitchell Pearce will jump out of that with his confidence sky-high. Canterbury played reasonably well against the Sharks. The Knights won't have it all their own way here. Knights by 6

Match: Knights v Bulldogs

Round 17 -

Full Time
Knights

Home Team

Knights

Scored 14 points
Bulldogs

Away Team

Bulldogs

Scored 20 points

Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle

Match broadcasters:

  • Nine Network
  • Foxtel
  • LIVE PASS

Rabbitohs v Sea Eagles, Saturday 3pm at ANZ Stadium

Brett Kimmorley says: This is where we start positioning ourselves for the semi-finals. South Sydney have had a little bit of a quiet period but it's time for them to hit their straps under Wayne Bennett. I don't think we’ve seen their best yet this year. Manly won't let them have things all their own way. This will be a great forward battle and there's a chance Manly will get on top of Souths in the forwards. Adam Reynolds' kicking could prove the difference. Souths by 2

Match: Rabbitohs v Sea Eagles

Round 17 -

Full Time
Rabbitohs

Home Team

Rabbitohs

Scored 21 points
Sea Eagles

Away Team

Sea Eagles

Scored 20 points

Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Match broadcasters:

  • Foxtel
  • LIVE PASS
  • KAYO

Broncos v Warriors, Saturday 5.30pm at Suncorp Stadium

Brett Kimmorley says: Maybe that victory last week will spur the Broncos on. Their forwards were really good against the Sharks. Pangai jnr, Haas, Lodge and Flegler were all so good. They are back home and they need to play tough again. For the Warriors, Kodi Nikorima is heading back to a venue at which he will know every blade of grass. If they are to win, he needs to star. Broncos by 4

Match: Broncos v Warriors

Round 17 -

Full Time
Broncos

Home Team

Broncos

Scored 18 points
Warriors

Away Team

Warriors

Scored 18 points

Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Match broadcasters:

  • Foxtel
  • LIVE PASS
  • KAYO

Storm v Sharks, Saturday 7.35pm at AAMI Park

Brett Kimmorley says: The Storm don't lose too many milestone games. There doesn't seem to be many records that Cameron Smith doesn't have. The Storm have been flexing their muscles of late and are leading by a fair way. Cronulla have been extremely poor for three losses in a row now, this will be a game they will lift for. They love playing Melbourne and this would be the upset of the round if they're able to do it. But I'll sway just towards Melbourne here. Storm by 1

Match: Storm v Sharks

Round 17 -

Full Time
Storm

Home Team

Storm

Scored 40 points
Sharks

Away Team

Sharks

Scored 16 points

Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne

Match broadcasters:

  • Foxtel
  • LIVE PASS
  • KAYO

Roosters v Cowboys, Sunday 2pm at Central Coast Stadium

Brett Kimmorley says: The Roosters are starting to get their team back together. Luke Keary was classy but still not at his best last week. Once the rep players are all back we will see the best team on paper in the league get some consistency and then get their brand of football to where they think they can win the competition. Roosters by 10

Match: Roosters v Cowboys

Round 17 -

Full Time
Roosters

Home Team

Roosters

Scored 12 points
Cowboys

Away Team

Cowboys

Scored 15 points

Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Central Coast

Match broadcasters:

  • Foxtel
  • LIVE PASS
  • KAYO

Tigers v Eels, Sunday 4.05pm at Bankwest Stadium

Brett Kimmorley says: I liked the way the Wests Tigers played last week. They looked great. As is the case with Ivan Cleary at Penrith, it looks like Michael Maguire has needed half the season to get his team playing the way he would like. Benji Marshall's 300th game is all the motivation they'll need. Parramatta will be fresh but I don't think that will be enough. Wests Tigers by 6

Match: Wests Tigers v Eels

Round 17 -

Full Time
Wests Tigers

Home Team

Wests Tigers

Scored 18 points
Eels

Away Team

Eels

Scored 30 points

Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney

Match broadcasters:

  • Nine Network
  • Foxtel
  • LIVE PASS

Dragons v Raiders, Sunday 6.10pm at WIN Stadium

Brett Kimmorley says: I've got no idea why they have the Dragons as favourites. The Raiders have been very good this year. They have minimal effect from State of Origin and will have a better preparation than the Dragons will. For the Dragons, Cameron McInnes was amazing last week, I thought he had his best game of the season. The Dragons may be heavily affected by Origin while the Raiders will have a cruisey preparation. Raiders by 8

Match: Dragons v Raiders

Round 17 -

Full Time
Dragons

Home Team

Dragons

Scored 14 points
Raiders

Away Team

Raiders

Scored 36 points

Venue: WIN Stadium, Wollongong

Match broadcasters:

  • Foxtel
  • LIVE PASS
  • KAYO