The home and away season is done and now it’s time for the pointy end. BetDeluxe previews the premiership chances for this year’s finalists.
The familiarity of last year’s premiership places the Panthers in good stead ahead of this year’s finals campaigns. While they rested most of their senior players in the final round of the regular season, Penrith will be close to full strength to launch into their finals campaign. They have had another exceptional season and sit nicely and are justified as favourites to take out the title this year.
Suggested Bet: Penrith to win premiership at $2.24
The perennial contenders must take the long unfamiliar road to contend for the premiership, but it would be a fool to write them off.
Cameron Munster has led the way every chance he has had, while Brandon Smith has shown the ability to make things happen with his crafty playmaking. It might not be the halcyon days of seasons past, but Melbourne knows winning better than most.
Suggested Bet: Melbourne to win premiership at $9.50
There is a monkey on the back with a 36-year premiership drought hanging over the Eels, but if ever they are a chance to return to premiership glory, it is this year.
Skipper Clint Gutherson has shown the way numerous times, with a multi-faceted Parramatta outfit a force to be reckoned with. One X-factor is hooker Reed Mahoney, who could be the one delivering hard-won points that could be the difference in the end.
Suggested Bet: Parramatta to win premiership at $6
They say there are no prizes for finishing second, but that’s not the case for the Sharks, who have won the title every time they go into the finals in the second position. An inspiring finish to the season has them in a solid place to contend.
Briton Nikora has some strong form after an impressive recent period and shapes as a player to watch for the upcoming finals series.
Suggested Bet: Cronulla to win premiership at $7
North Queensland Cowboys
Every season throws up an unlikely scenario that looks more and more realistic as the year progresses. This year, the Cowboys have surprised everyone with a consistent year resulting in a finals berth. Coach Todd Payten has his team humming as they enter the finals with the double chance and a real threat to taking out their second premiership.
Suggested Bet: North Queensland to win premiership at $8
With one of the rising stars of the NRL hitting his straps, Sam Walker holds the key to any hope the Roosters have of raising the silverware at season’s end. With support for Walker coming from the experienced Luke Keary, the Roosters are a tough match-up and could be a genuine contender when the whips are cracking.
Suggested Bet: Sydney to win premiership at $11
South Sydney Rabbitohs
It hasn’t been an ideal lead-up to the finals campaign, with issues on the other side of the fence affecting Latrell Mitchell. Couple that with an untimely COVID case hitting Damien Cook and the Rabbitohs have their work cut out for them coming from seventh place. But stranger things have happened, and South Sydney is no stranger to rising to success from worse positions than this. But they need everything to go right when so far it hasn’t.
Suggested Bet: South Sydney to win premiership at $19
Jamal Fogerty and Jack Wighton have led the way in getting Canberra back into contention after a horror start to the season that was reflected at times in the demeanour of coach Ricky Stuart. A stirring win over Melbourne in round 18 was the signal to the league that the Raiders are here and they are not just going to make up the numbers.
Suggested Bet: Canberra to win premiership at $67