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NRL finals week 1 match ups and betting tips

NRL finals 2020 - Week 1 betting tips

There are 8 teams left standing after 20 rounds, and things are set to really heat up in the Telstra Premiership. In round 20 we witnessed shock losses by the Knights and Roosters, which has setup some unexpected matchups in NRL Week 1 finals footy action.

We’ve taken a look at the key angles and here’s our tips for your NRL betting this week:

Qualifying final: Penrith Panthers (1st) v Sydney Roosters (4th)

Friday Oct 2nd, 7:50pm EST @ Panthers Stadium

The Roosters will have a point to prove after their 5-game winning streak came to a screeching halt by a 52-point thumping at the hands of the Rabbitohs last week. Making matters worse, hooker Jake Friend was injured early due to a nasty head clash with Campbell Graham. The loss setup this week’s finals encounter with the inform minor premiership champion Penrith Panthers, who haven’t tasted defeat since Round 5.

Both teams possess high power offenses, leading the league in team line breaks and points scored, averaging over 26.9 points per outing. The key stats separating the two sides are errors and possession. The Panthers are clinical when they have the ball, which is why they have won 15 on the trot.

The Roosters will see the return of key outside backs Brett Morris and Joey Manu, but Penrith get back some fire power of their own in the form of rested players Viliame Kikau, Stephen Crichton and Dylan Edwards.

Expect Sydney to bounce back from last week’s poor performance, but still fall short as the Panthers starve the Roosters of possession and get the win by the smallest of margins. The Roosters will get another chance the following week and may very well still become the first team to win the championship despite conceding 50+ points in a match.

Winner tip: Panthers win 22 – 20

Elimination final: Canberra Raiders (5th) v Cronulla Sharks (8th)

Saturday Oct 3rd, 5.40pm EST @ GIO Stadium

After already playing to a 38 – 28 Raiders win last week, these two teams get to do it all again in Canberra with a little extra spiciness in the form of elimination on the line.

The Raiders are bringing back the A-Team, with wholesale changes to the line-up including the addition of key playmakers Jack Wighton and George Williams. The Sharks get back Chad Townsend who returns from a 3-round suspension for a shoulder charge on Knights fullback Kalyn Ponga.

There’s two key points to this matchup. First, Cronulla’s defence is bad, as in averaging over 35 missed tackles a game bad. In contrast, the Raiders give up the 4th least points in the NRL, averaging 15.85 per game. Second point, Canberra is good, as in possibly good enough to recreate what their hometown counterparts achieved in the 15-man game. They are peaking at the right time, winning 6 of their last 7, playing good all-round footy in every facet of the game.

The Sharks won’t be able to contain what a high-powered Raiders outfit will throw at them in front of 9,600 energized fans doing the Viking clap.

Our prediction: Raiders win 28 – 10

Qualifying final: Melbourne Storm (2nd) v Parramatta Eels (3rd)

Saturday Oct 3rd, 7:50pm EST @ Suncorp Stadium

The Storm will be looking to maintain their consistent form as they take on the less consistent Eels this Saturday at a forecasted sunny Suncorp Stadium.

On paper, you could make a pretty good case for Parramatta to come away with the win. They lead league in post contact meters and offloads, with big man Junior Paula individually accounting for 49 of the teams 276. The Eels make few errors and only give up an average 14.4 points per game. The problem is they can’t score consistently, scoring 10 or less points in 4 games this season.

Melbourne score tries, and they do it consistently, scoring more than 20 points on 15 occasions in round competition. The Storm did record a goose egg in a 0 – 14 loss the Eels in round 15, holding Melbourne scoreless for the first time since 2014. The Storm were missing a retinue of players that day, including inspirational and best ever hooker Cameron Smith.

The Storm have made 13 changes to their line-up, including the welcome additions of the one and only Cameron Smith, halfback Jahrome Hughes and fullback Cameron Munster. Parramatta welcome back Dylan Brown to five-eighth after recovering from ankle surgery.

The Storm will show up on Saturday, but who knows if Parramatta will. I wouldn’t count on it. If you want to be smart with your bets this week, put your money down on the Melbourne Storm. Check out the top Australian betting sites for all your NRL wagering needs.

Match winner: Storm win 24 – 16

Best bet:

Storm to win


Elimination final: South Sydney Rabbitohs (6th) v Newcastle Knights (7th)

Sunday Oct 4th, 4:05pm EDT @ ANZ Stadium

Newcastle’s disappointing loss to the North Queensland Cowboy’s is cause for concern. They have beat some quality outfits this season, but also lost some games handily that they shouldn’t have, including an 18 – 12 loss to the Bulldogs.

The Rabbitohs attack is potent, with league leading try scorer Alex Johnston (20) and top point scorer Adam Reynolds (191). Scattered showers in the region Saturday are not expected to linger into Sunday, so expect some fine weather footy. Dry conditions will work slightly in the Knights favour as they do like to chuck the ball around more.

Second rower Jaydn Su’A returns from suspension for the Rabbitohs, as Cameron Murray returns to lock. Brodie Jones is out for Newcastle, and Lachlan Fitzgibbon slots into the back row.

If the Knights can get through set completions and keep the Rabbitohs down their end of the field, they will have a shot at staying alive until next week. It’s just so hard to ignore how good South Sydney played last week, beating back-to-back NRL premiers Sydney Roosters by a massive 52-point margin. I expect both teams to carry over much of last weeks form into this final, which will result in the end of Newcastle’s season.

Tipping: Rabbitohs win 26 – 18

Best bet:

Rabbitohs -8.5

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