The 2021 NRL season is only a couple of weeks away, so we have our season predictions and betting tips for the futures markets.
All 16 teams enter with a realistic chance of winning and that’s what makes the NRL such a captivating competition.
We look at the best betting markets for value punters, including 2021 NRL Premiership winner, Top Try Scorer, and other exotic bets for NRL fans to enjoy.
2021 NRL Season Predictions
2021 NRL Premiership Winner – Penrith Panthers
Penrith lost in the Grand Final to Melbourne Storm last year, but going one better is well within its reach.
The Panthers have all the makings to become a successful team this season, including quality players and a fantastic coach in Ivan Cleary.
A halves pairing of Nathan Cleary and Jarome Lui should excite even casual NRL fans, and the Panthers have a lethal backline. Looking to cross the line for tries will be Brian To’o, Robert Jennings, Stephen Crichton and Brent Naden.
It also boasts a terrific forward pack with the likes of Isaah Yeo, James Fisher-Harris and Viliame Kikau.
It comes as no surprise that the Panthers are the favourites to win the 2021 NRL Premiership. There is still value in with $5 price and we expect another top season from the mountain men.
Bet: Penrith Panthers @ $5 – Bet @ Sportsbet
2021 NRL Premiership Winner Value Bet – Melbourne Storm
How do the Storm continue to be underrated in preseason markets? The same thing happened last season and we know how that turned out.
Cameron Smith has all but parted ways with the club, but there is still enough talent and a Hall of Fame coach at the club, so we have high expectations.
The Melbourne Storm feature players like Cameron Munster, Ryan Papenhuyzen and Brandon Smith. They are an exciting unit and there is plenty of room for improvement from this club.
Scoring back-to-back premiership wins in the NRL isn’t easy, but punters shouldn’t be put off by the generous odds available with bookmakers.
Bet: Melbourne Storm @ $7 – Bet @ Sportsbet
2021 NRL Premiership Long Shot – Gold Coast Titans
It’s not easy to bet on one of the worst NRL teams in recent history, but things are looking up for the Queenslanders.
If Cameron Smith doesn’t retire, he will likely head to the Titans. That would be a massive boost for this club, which has enough talent to win games this season.
The arrest of David Fifita has put a damper on the start of the season, and the Titans could face salary cap breaches. However, there is a sense of confidence around this Titans unit, which could result in a big 2021.
They will be on a short leash from NRL punters, but the value odds are there.
Bet: Gold Coast Titans @ $15 – Bet @ Sportsbet
2021 NRL Top Try Scorer – Josh Addo-Carr
Josh Addo-Carr gets one more season with the Melbourne Storm following a four-year signing with the Canterbury Bulldogs.
The NSW flyer wants to be closer to family in Sydney, but that won’t affect his form playing for the Storm this season.
He will be out to make a point and he could cross for a plethora of tries. The speedster is now the number one threat for the Storm, with Vunivalu heading to rugby to play for the Queensland Reds.
It gives Addo-Carr free rein on the wing and we like his chances to be the leading try scorer this season, after scoring 16 tries from 21 games in 2020.
Bet: Josh Addo-Carr @ $11 – Bet @ Sportsbet
2021 NRL Top Point Scorer – Nathan Cleary
We have picked the Penrith Panthers to win the NRL Premiership this season, so it’s only right that we have Nathan Cleary in this market.
The Panthers goal kicker is expected to boot plenty of conversions this season, which is always needed to win the top point scorer title.
Cleary was only 13 points behind Adam Reynolds in 2020, and he’s good enough to turn the tables. Reynolds is the second favourite at $4.50, but we expect the Rabbitohs to have a down year, which plays into the hands of Cleary.
Bet: Nathan Clealy @ $3.60 – Bet @ Sportsbet
Top Non-NSW NRL Team 2021 – Melbourne Storm
Punters get excellent value in this market as the Melbourne Storm should have another successful season.
There are six non-NSW teams in the NRL, including Canberra, Gold Coast, New Zealand, North Queensland and Brisbane. The latter three teams are in for a long season, so this option should be between three teams.
We like the chances of the Gold Coast Titans, but Melbourne has the experience edge and punters get fair odds.
Bet: Melbourne Storm @ $2.20 – Bet @ Sportsbet
Top Queensland NRL Team – Gold Coast Titans
The Cowboys and Broncos could be in for a long season, so the Gold Coast Titans are the team to back in this market.
We fancied the chances of North Queensland last season, but they couldn’t have been more disappointing. We can’t see their fortunes changing any time soon.
Gold Coast has had its fair share of problems as well, but there is hope for this club. We expect them to make the top eight and we can’t see the same fate for the other two Queensland clubs.
Bet: Gold Coast Titans @ $1.80 – Bet @ Sportsbet
🤑 Who should you bet with for NRL season?
💰 What is the best bet for the NRL season?
To find out our best bets for the upcoming NRL season for the Premiership, Dally M, top try scorer, and more – read our full NRL season preview and betting tips!
📺 How can I watch the NRL season matches?
For detailed information on how to watch and live stream all matches of the NRL season, read our guide on how to live stream NRL!
🏉 What is the fixture for NRL season?
Read our round-by-round previews to find out all of the fixtures and best bets for each round of the NRL season!
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.