We have expert betting tips for all NRL Finals Week 1 games this week, which kicks off with the Panthers vs. Roosters blockbuster on Friday night.
The eight best teams in the NRL have made it to this position and now it’s all on the line. The top four all get one life, but it’s do-or-die for the bottom four teams this weekend.
We do the form for the Panthers vs. Roosters, Raiders vs. Sharks, Storm vs. Eels, and Rabbitohs vs. Knights.
7:50pm Penrith Panthers vs. Sydney Roosters @ Panthers Stadium
We couldn’t be more excited for this game as two of the best NRL teams do battle in Penrith on Friday.
The Panthers are riding an extremely long winning streak and they have looked like the best team in the league throughout.
Boasting a powerful forward pack and a classy back line, the Panthers are rolling like any other team. It has been incredible to watch and we have no doubting that form coming into the finals.
Coming up against the Panthers are the Sydney Roosters, who are on the back of a thrashing by the Rabbitohs.
The Roosters are a team that can beat anyone on their day, but inconsistency has troubled them. They looked awful last week and that won’t give them much confidence heading into this game.
Penrith could be the play of the round and punters are getting value odds.
Betting tip: Panthers to win @ $1.80
Panthers by 10
5:40pm Canberra Raiders vs. Cronulla Sharks @ GIO Stadium
For the second week running, the Raiders square off against the Sharks on Saturday night.
It was Canberra who came out ahead with a second-string team last week, and it was a win bookmakers weren’t expecting. The victory should give them confidence, knowing they’ll have their full roster at their disposal.
Going against the Sharks is not only last week’s loss, but also the loss of Shaun Johnson. The enigmatic playmaker was in great form before getting injured, and his replacement doesn’t come close to having his class.
The Raiders have been a hard team to follow this season, but they have the talent to win. Bookmakers have them as the $1.20 favourites and –13.5 in the line market.
The 13.5 is a lot of points to give away in the finals, so we’re going with the Sharks to cover and the Raiders to win.
Betting tip: Sharks +13.5 @ $1.90
Raiders by 12
7:50pm Melbourne Storm vs. Parramatta Eels @ Suncorp Stadium
Bookmakers have once again installed the Melbourne Storm as a big favourite against Parramatta, who aren’t getting much respect.
Melbourne are the better side and they are riding a long winning streak, but the Eels have had success against them this season.
Parramatta is a side good enough to push Melbourne to the limits, so getting 12.5 points with bookmakers is generous.
They will need to play good defense against the likes of Cameron Munster and Josh Addo-Carr, but they have some strike weapons of their own.
This season has been far too good for the Eels to suffer a heavy defeat on Saturday, so look for them to keep this one close in the second half.
Betting tip: Eels +12.5 @ $1.90
Storm by 8
3:05pm South Sydney Rabbitohs vs. Newcastle Knights @ ANZ Stadium
You never know what you’re going to get with the Rabbitohs and Knights, so this should be an exciting Sunday game.
The Rabbitohs are coming off their season-best performance against the Roosters, where they scored 60 points against one of the best defensive teams in the NRL.
Backing that up this week won’t be easy, but they are a confident side that is capable of beating the best teams on their day.
Newcastle is coming off a loss to the Titans, and they are struggling. They started the season well but have only been fair since.
We aren’t surprised to see the Rabbitohs as favourites and we are happy to take the –7.5 available. The Rabbitohs could blow the Knights off the park.