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NRL Tips & Previews, Round 3

BetDeluxe takes an in-depth look at four games across Round 3 of the NRL season, including the highly anticipated grand final re-match between the Panthers and Broncos.

NRL is back for Round 3 and it doesn’t get any bigger than a grand final re-match between Penrith and Brisbane.

BetDeluxe takes a look at four blockbuster match-ups and provides best bets for each game.

Panthers vs. Broncos

21st March 8:00PM

While last year’s grand final was one of the most competitive and memorable in recent memory, the market certainly doesn’t expect history to repeat itself.

The reigning premiers, Penrith, enter the game as short-priced $1.25 favourites with BetDeluxe after they returned to form with a 26-18 victory over Parramatta last week. After going scoreless against the Storm in Round 1, Ivan Cleary’s men recaptured their winning ways thanks to a Sunia Turuva double either side of the half-time break.

The ninth-placed Broncos will be up against it after losing skipper Adam Reynolds and star forward Payne Haas, with Jock Madden and Fletcher Baker set to start. They too found their mojo in Round 2 with a Reece Walsh-inspired victory over the Bunnies.

$1.25 seems unders considering both teams have had their issues to start the season, but the Panthers should get the job done, nonetheless.  

TIP: Same Game Multi

  • Leg 1: Panthers to win
  • Leg 2: Over 37.5 points
  • Leg 3: B. To’o score anytime
  • Leg 4: J. Arthars score anytime
  • Total: $9

Roosters vs. Rabbitohs

22nd March 8:00pm

One of the great rivalries in NRL will reignite on Friday night when the Rabbitohs attempt to snap a two-game losing streak on the road against the Roosters.

It’s been a disappointing start to the season for Jason Demetriou and his chargers following losses to the Sea Eagles and Broncos over the first two rounds. They’ve now lost 11 of their past 15 games. After giving up 64 points (36 and 28), Demetriou is expected to mix things up for their trip to Sydney, starting with Dean Hawkins being named at No.7 and Lachlan Ilias omitted to the reserves.

As for the Roosters, they’re looking to bounce back from a seven-point loss to the Sea Eagles on Sunday. Their 20 errors were the story of the game and something they’ll need to clean up against Souths. Luke Keary has been sidelined with concussion, but Nat Butcher and Kangaroos forward Angus Crichton are two helpful inclusions in the starting side and on the bench, respectively.

With three wins from their past four matches against the Bunnies, the Tricolours should maintain their recent dominance and hand their opponents to a 0-3 record.  

TIP: Roosters to win @ $1.68

Eels vs. Sea Eagles

24th March 4:05pm

Are we all on the Sea Eagles bandwagon yet?

Sitting fourth with an unblemished record, they’ll get another chance to impress when they travel to Parramatta on Sunday as $1.98 outsiders.

It’s been an incredible start to the season for Manly, with wins over the Rabbitohs and Roosters proving they’re a finals contender. Tom Trbojevic has picked up where he left off prior to his pectoral injury in 2023, running for a game-high 223m in their 21-14 victory over the Roosters.

Having won eight of their past 10 games at home, the Eels will want to impart their dominance in front of their fans and move on from their eight-point loss to the Panthers. They were far too strong for the Bulldogs (26-8) in Round 1, but they’ll get a much better indication of how well they’re going against an undefeated Manly outfit.

One of the hardest games to split this weekend, we’re taking the home side in a tight one. Really tight.

TIP: Eels 1-12 @ $2.90

Knights vs. Storm

24th March 6:15pm

It’s not often a game between a 0-2 team and a 2-0 team is referred to as a blockbuster, but that is what we’ve got between the Knights and the Storm.

The Knights will go into the match as narrow favourites (currently $1.85) but will need to bounce back from losses to the Raiders and Cowboys over the past two weeks. While they were incredibly disappointing against Canberra at home, Adam O’Brien would have been far more impressed with their 21-20 loss to the Cowboys up north.  

As for the Storm, they’ve come into $8.50 for this year’s premiership after backing up their Round 1 victory over the Panthers with a 30-26 thriller over the Warriors. Ryan Papenhuyzen was back to his best with a double, but it was the heroics of Xavier Coates in the 79th minute that will live long in every NRL fan’s memory.

However, with Christian Welch (HIA) and Jahrome Hughes (suspension) unavailable this week, the Knights should have enough firepower to win their first game of the season.

TIP: B. Best anytime try scorer @ $2.25

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