** 2021 preview and predictions are shown below – 2022 predictions will be updated on the Monday before the round starts! **
We have expert betting tips for NRL Finals Week Three which features the Rabbitohs vs Sea Eagles and Storm vs Panthers.
A spot in the Grand Final is up for grabs, so it should be an exciting Friday and Saturday of rugby league action.
We preview both games to find the best betting value for punters.
NRL Preliminary Finals (Week 3) Tips
7:50pm South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Manly Sea Eagles @ Suncorp Stadium
The Manly Sea Eagles were nowhere to be seen two ago in a loss to the Melbourne Storm, but they bounced back in fine style last week.
A different defence played by Sydney Roosters was enough to see the Sea Eagles run rampant, scoring a 42-6 victory. The likes of Tom Trbojevic and Daly Cherry-Evans dominated proceedings, but it’s going to be tougher against the Rabbitohs.
South Sydney got the week off following its impressive win over the Penrith Panthers. That form stacks up nicely as the Panthers have since defeated the Eels, but did they play too well too early?
There is no doubting the Rabbitohs have the talent to go all the way, but with Latrell Mitchell on the sidelines, it gets harder. They have a master coach in Wayne Bennett at the helm, so they can never be discounted.
Bookmakers have given the Rabbitohs the slight edge, but we’re leaning towards the Manly Sea Eagles. They couldn’t have been more impressive last week, and a repeat effort would see them beating the Rabbitohs.
$2.05 is a value price for a quality team and we expect those odds to firm throughout the week. Punters often rally around the Sea Eagles, so we could see the odds flip.
For a little bit more value, punters can take the alternative line of Manly –3.5 at $2.31. There is more risk in this play, but we think the Sea Eagles can win by an unconverted try.
Betting tip: Manly Sea Eagles @ $2.05 – Bet @ Sportsbet
Sea Eagles by 6
4:00pm Melbourne Storm vs Penrith Panthers @ Suncorp Stadium
The second semifinal is being played in the afternoon, so we should see a fast and high scoring affair.
Melbourne enjoyed a week off following its smashing of the Manly Sea Eagles and there is good news with Brandon Smith being cleared to play despite early signs of a fracture.
The Storm have been the best team throughout the season, which includes winning the minor premiership and being well-prepared for this game.
Penrith looked excellent throughout the year, but it has played some of its worst football in recent weeks. An 8-6 win against the Parramatta Eels left a lot to be desired last week, and the offence will need to play much better to put up points against Melbourne.
Due to Penrith’s Week One loss in the playoffs, they now play Melbourne in the semis instead of a Grand Final replay. It looked like they would meet in the final, but now the Panthers must recoup and get ready for the tough Storm a week early.
It comes as no surprise to see the Storm as favourites at $1.37. There isn’t much value in that price, so most punters will look to the points spread markets for value.
Melbourne is the –7.5 favourite, which should see an even betting market. We think the Storm are the much better team, and although we respect the Panthers, it looks like they’ve come to the end of it.
Take the Storm –7.5, which could push out to 9.5 at game time.
Betting tip: Melbourne Storm –7.5 @ $1.90 – Bet @ Sportsbet
Storm by 10
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🏉 What is the fixture for the NRL Preliminary Finals?
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After graduating from the University of Auckland (BA – English), Daryl was thrown into the world of sports and horse racing journalism.
Having worked as a racing journalist for two years, he decided to move into the online world of horse racing and sports writing. After years of honing his craft, Daryl became a professional punter in 2009 – with a focus on horse racing, NRL, AFL, NBA, Rugby, NFL, and US college sports. Daryl’s tips have been featured on various websites around the world before joining the GoBet team. When he’s not working, Daryl tries to avoid making bogeys on the golf course.