Is the four-peat on?
Can the Broncos improve again?
What about the record-breaking Knights?
As we approach the 2024 NRL season, BetDeluxe breaks down those in line for premiership success.
Best Bet: Brisbane Broncos
So close, yet so far.
The Broncos had the sweet taste of premiership glory in their mouths during last year’s decider before a Nathan Cleary masterclass led the Panthers to 18 consecutive points and the largest comeback in NRL grand final history.
While they didn’t hold the silverware aloft in 2023, the improvement of the Broncos proved they are a team on the rise. The performances of Ezra Mam, Reece Walsh, Payne Haas, and Selwyn Cobbo were instrumental to Brisbane’s success, with all four signed to multi-year contracts as the Club looks to sure up its stocks and claim its first premiership since 2006.
Kevin Walters’ team lost England international Herbie Farnworth and Maroons State of Origin star Tom Flegler to the Dolphins over the offseason. However, with Fletcher Baker (Roosters) and Jaiyden Hunt (Dragons) coming in to strengthen their list, there’s no doubt the $4.30 on offer for the Broncos is the most enticing price of any team at this stage of the season.
There is far too much to be excited about with this Broncos unit, and 2024 could certainly be the year they snap their 18-year premiership drought.
Next Best: Penrith Panthers
We couldn’t piece together an NRL Futures piece without including the all-conquering Penrith Panthers. It seems unlikely, given the length of time since a team has won four flags in a row, but can one really ignore the Panthers at this stage of the season? Haven’t we all learnt yet?
The topic of four in a row will follow Ivan Cleary and his men throughout the season as they attempt to become the first team since 1966 to complete the fairytale.
After winning their third minor premiership from the past four seasons, the Panthers bulldozed their way through the finals against the Warriors (32-6) and Storm (38-4) before pulling off the greatest comeback in grand final history against the Broncos (26-24).
Losing superstar centre Stephen Crichton (Bulldogs) will undoubtedly hurt, as will the loss of fellow premiership players Spencer Leniu (Roosters) and Jack Cogger (Knights). But with Clive Churchill Medallist and the game’s #1 player, Nathan Cleary, leading the charge alongside Brian To’o and Jarome Luai in his final season, it would take a brave punter to bet against the champs.
Best Value: Newcastle Knights
OK, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. The Knights have lost their leading scorer, and that hurts.
After topping the table with 25 tries in 2023, Dominic Young defected to the Roosters during the offseason. He left the Knights needing to find other scoring avenues alongside Greg Marzhew and Bradman Best.
But the market seems to have forgotten that the Knights were arguably the form side during the back end of the season with a record-breaking 10 consecutive wins from Round 18. Dally M Medallist, Kalyn Ponga, was an unstoppable force at fullback, while the likes of Tyson Gamble, Tyson Frizell, Dane Gagai, Best & Marzhew helped them to fifth on the ladder and an unlikely Week 2 finals appearance.
With the addition of Panthers premiership player, Jack Cogger, and England internationals, Kai Pearce-Paul and Will Pryce, there’s no doubt that Adam O’Brien can replicate the last-season form from the get-go in 2024.