NRL Finals Week 1 Betting Tips

The NRL finals are here! We have four exciting matchups on the weekend and it all starts in Penrith on Friday night. Let’s take a closer look at Week 1 of the NRL finals with thanks to Before You Bet.

Penrith Panthers vs Sydney Roosters

Friday October 2 | Panthers Stadium, Penrith | 7:50pm

The top of the table Panthers host the reeling Roosters on Friday night footy to kick off the NRL finals.

Penrith ended the regular season with their 15th straight win (42-0 over the Bulldogs) and celebrated an impressive minor premiership. So they’ll be looking to continue their winning ways at home on Friday and hopefully move into the Preliminary Final.

The Roosters were out-classed by a fired-up Rabbitohs team last week as they fell 60-8. It’s a huge loss coming into week one of the finals so it’ll be interesting to see how this team responds on Friday.

In team news, the Panthers welcome back Edwards, Crichton and Kikau from a rest. May and Capewell will move to the bench and Laurie/Burton/Leniu have been dropped. Meanwhile, Sydney have Morris, Manu, Liu and Collins returning from last week’s break. But they’ll miss Friend at hooker in what has been an injury-interrupted season.

Tough to back against the red-hot Panthers on their home turf and they’re pretty good value in the head-to-head markets at the moment. We do expect a better showing from this Roosters team but coming off a 60-8 loss before the finals is definitely not ideal.

Prediction: Panthers WIN @ $1.75

Canberra Raiders vs Cronulla Sharks

Saturday October 3 | GIO Stadium, Canberra | 5:40pm

The season is on the line for the Raiders and Sharks in Canberra on Saturday.

The Raiders head into the finals with a three-game winning streak and easily disposed of the Sharks last week 38-28. They’ll also have their big guns returning from a well-earned rest in the last week of the regular season.

Cronulla finished the regular season in 8th spot and will be at long odds to continue their 2020 campaign on Saturday night. They’ve got plenty of injury issues and they’ve struggled to stop top 8 sides all year.

The cavalry is back for Canberra as they’ve added ten players from last week’s starting 17. Meanwhile, Cronulla have Townsend returning from suspension along with six starters in the Sharks 17-man squad.

Canberra really shouldn’t have much trouble with the Sharks on Saturday. As mentioned, the Sharks are very poor defensively and the likes of Wighton and Nicoll-Klokstad will be a handful in the 20. Cronulla will also miss the experience of Johnson in the halves and there’s a lot of pressure on Townsend to lead them to victory. Ultimately, the Raiders should be able to score plenty of points throughout the 80 minutes and we like the chances of the points over, especially in likely dry conditions.

Prediction: OVER 42.5 Points @ $1.90

Melbourne Storm vs Parramatta Eels

Saturday October 3 | Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane | 7:55pm

The 2nd placed Storm host the 3rd placed Eels at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

A reserve grade Storm team almost produced an upset on Sunday afternoon and luckily we won’t have to watch Papenhuyzen’s woeful goal-kicking this week! With 2nd spot sealed up, the Storm were able to rest most of their starters last week and they’ll be back for this important final on Saturday night.

Parramatta were made to work for their top 4 spot against the Tigers last week in the 28-24 result. Wests were playing hard for Benji and Chris Lawrence in their last game for the club, but in the end, the Eels got the job done, and because of the Roosters defeat, avoided a trip to Penrith. Not that the Storm will be any easier at Suncorp.

As mentioned, Melbourne have all their starters back this week with a huge total of 13 changes. Meanwhile, the Eels have brought back Dylan Brown in a huge inclusion for their attack. They’ve also got Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Jennings and Niukore back from a rest.

Melbourne won’t be disappointed in a home final at Suncorp over AAMI Park because they love playing in Brisbane, and Queensland for that matter. Especially considering they smashed the Eels 64-10 in the magic round at this venue last season. However, we can’t see the Eels getting totally outplayed this time around in a massive final. So we like the chances of a fairly low scoring clash. Parramatta stood up against Penrith recently with their defence and Melbourne are one of the better defensive teams in the NRL. While they have given up a few points lately, they basically cruised through the last few rounds against bottom 8 teams.

Prediction: UNDER 38.5 Points @ $1.90

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Newcastle Knights

Sunday October 4 | ANZ Stadium, Sydney | 3:05pm

Souths host Newcastle in Sunday afternoon finals footy at ANZ Stadium.

The Rabbitohs will be priming with confidence after crushing the Roosters 60-8 last week. Cody Walker was in absolutely everything with a magical display and he’ll be the key for Souths in this final.

Meanwhile, the Knights are hitting the finals with some questionable form. They were smashed by AJ Brimson and the Titans in last week’s 36-6 defeat, but they will take confidence in their 20-18 win over Souths this season.

In team selections, Souths will get Jaydn Su’A back from suspension and that moves Murray to lock, and Knight to the bench. The Knights have Fitzgibbon returning in the back row and that pushes Mata’utia.

Sunday’s final gets the highest implied points total of the four games this weekend and we do like the chances of this being a high scoring final. For the Rabbitohs, they’re coming off a huge 60 points against one of the top defences in the league and should have no trouble scoring another big total against Newcastle. On the flip-side, the Knights did score 20 points against Souths this year and can score 30+ on their day, especially if Ponga comes to play.

Prediction: OVER 44 Points @ $1.90

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