The 2020 NRL Finals have lived up to expectations and we’re now down to the four best teams in the competition. Friday night footy will see a mouth-watering clash between the Storm and Raiders in Brisbane. Then, the first-placed Panthers will look to end the Rabbitohs impressive run at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.
The team at Bet King are back with their best bets for the finals this weekend.
Melbourne Storm vs Canberra Raiders
Friday October 16 | Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane | 7:50pm
Craig Bellamy vs Ricky Stuart battle for a place in the 2020 Grand Final!
Melbourne would’ve enjoyed the week off after their 36-24 victory over the Eels at Suncorp in the first week of the finals. After falling behind 12-0, the Storm rallied with six tries in the space of 32 minutes as the likes of Papenhuyzen & Addo-Carr ran riot over the injury-riddled Eels backline. However, the comeback victory was soured by another knee injury to important playmaker Cameron Munster and this will be something to monitor before kick-off.
Canberra are coming off a massive upset over the Sydney Roosters last week and exacted some revenge for the 2019 Grand Final defeat. The key for the Green Machine was early scoreboard pressure as they raced to a 16-0 lead in just 22 minutes. They also finished with an excellent 90% completion rate and made just six errors for the 80 minutes. So they’ll be very confident of continuing their form against Melbourne, a team they’ve had success against in recent years.
In team news, Cam Munster has been declared fit but he’ll surely be less than 100% with a lingering knee issue. The Storm could also spring a late chance with Dale Finucane available. That would likely see a bench switch with Eisenhuth missing out. For the Raiders, they’ll run with the same 17 but will likely make a few bench adjustments before kick-off.
The two sides also met in last season’s finals series and the Raiders came away with a huge 12-10 upset in Melbourne. So Canberra are offering good value at the underdog line if you believe their form of last week can continue. But the week off factor will be a good advantage for the Storm, especially after the Raiders have played in two tough finals. Ultimately, we believe the Raiders really have great momentum at the moment and we love their trend of close games in away finals. Currently, their last four away finals have been decided by 6 points or less, which includes last week’s win over the Roosters, the 2019 GF and their last finals meeting with the Storm.
Prediction: Either Team Under 6.5 Points @ $2.90
Penrith Panthers vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
Saturday October 17 | ANZ Stadium, Sydney | 7:50pm
The minor premiers take on red-hot Bunnies at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.
Penrith survived a truly crazy week one finals matchup with the Roosters in the 29-28 victory, which earnt them a week off before this final. Nathan Cleary was the star with a rare hat-trick and the Panthers defence just held on as the Roosters stormed home in the second half. The key was mainly their discipline with the footy as they recorded an impressive 95% completion rate. But they’ll be looking to clean up in such areas as missed tackles and penalties conceded against South Sydney.
Meanwhile, the Rabbitohs are proving to be a tough team to beat when they get momentum after two interesting finals. They fell behind 14-0 against Newcastle and proceeded to smash them 46-20. Last week against Parramatta, the Eels headed to half-time with an 18-8 lead but Souths stormed home with 30 points to 6 in another impressive attacking display. Damien Cook capped a brilliant game out of dummy half as usual with one of his best tries as well. But after making 16 errors against the Eels, the Rabbitohs will need to clean up their act against the red-hot Panthers.
In team selections, the Panthers will miss Viliame Kikau in the back row as he’ll be out with suspension. So Kurt Capewell will take his place. Souths are unchanged at this stage.
This is going to be a very interesting final. We have the disciplined Panthers that haven’t lost in the NRL since mid-June against a very unpredictable South Sydney team that can turn on their attack when needed. But we feel the key to this matchup will be defence, where the Panthers have been superb all season. Especially since they kept Souths scoreless in the first half of their only meeting in 2020. So we’ll be predicting that the Panthers defence will be the team to stop the Rabbitohs attack in what should be a fairly low scoring affair at ANZ.
Prediction: Under 44.5 Points @ $1.90