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NRL Finals Week 1 Tips and Predictions - 4 best bets and a $391 multibet

Steve Bennett 6 Sep 2017
  • Four tips for week one of the finals
  • Combine them in a multibet

It’s week one of the finals and our last chance to nail a multibet for the season. Here are our selections for the weekend. Try them in a four-leg multibet.

SYDNEY ROOSTERS vs BRISBANE BRONCOS

Its second vs third to kick off week one of the finals and both sides have been playing well below their best in recent weeks. Both teams however are last start winners but will be hoping to lift their respective games to earn a week off until their next match.

The Roosters were all but impressive in their 20-16 win over the struggling Gold Coast Titans. Trailing for most of the game, the Roosters found what they needed in the last ten minutes to take home the points in an utterly unimpressive performance.

The Broncos travelled north to Townsville to take on the North Queensland Cowboys on the back of an embarrassing 52-34 belting by the Parramatta Eels at Suncorp Stadium the week prior. 

They managed to turn things around with a 20-10 victory however it was a patched up Cowboys side that took the field minus both co-captains and several other players who took the field carrying injuries.

Things have been made worse for the Brisbane side with the news that their captain and fullback Darius Boyd will miss this match after he suffered a hamstring injury on the halftime siren which saw him sitting on the bench for the remainder of last week’s game. Coach Bennett has named utility Kodi Nikorima as Boyd’s replacement with the veteran Benji Marshall coming in as halfback. 

The Roosters will welcome back Aiden Guerra and Dylan Napa to strengthen their forward pack which was clearly lacking their usual go forward last week. The clash of the halves will prove interesting to say the least with Marshall locking horns with Mitchell Pearce and Anthony Milford out to get on top of the fiery Luke Keary.

If both these sides were race horses, it would so difficult to line up their form against each other, based on their performances over the past four weeks. We see this one as the most competitive of all the matches this weekend and believe the mastery of Wayne Bennett will get the Broncos across the line in a close one.

MELBOURNE STORM vs PARRAMATTA EELS

First vs Fourth and a week off awaits the winner. It seems strange to see a Parramatta side coming off a huge win against the Broncos two weeks ago and having beaten the Storm on both occasions this season starting as underdogs in this match. 

Under other circumstances that would be the case, however the Eels were far from impressive in their 22-16 win over a depleted South Sydney side. It’s also worth noting that their 22-6 win over Storm in round 18 was against a Melbourne side missing six regular first graders including their International ‘spine’ of Smith, Slater and Cronk.

The Storm on the other hand are coming off two very big wins in their last two matches where they amassed an incredible 96 points and leaked only 12 in defence. Its statistics like this that explain why they go into this match as very hot favourites.

The Eels will field an unchanged side whilst the Storm have Tim Glasby returning on the bench in place of Nate Myles. 

It’s this time of year where the big game players have to step up and both sides have their share of these. The Eels will be looking to playmaker Corey Norman to weave his magic and be fully supported by new kid on the block Mitchell Moses who has settled into his new club nicely with some big performances this year.

The Storm have done all this before and will again look to that famous spine of Smith, Slater and Cronk to take control of proceedings early and dictate the match to suit them.

If a hungry Eels side take the field this could go down to the wire provided they put in for the entire 80 minutes. The likes of Michael Jennings and Semi Radradra can turn a game very quickly with an even share of possession. It’s because of this we think this game will end up a lot closer than many others believe it will. However, experience and a partisan home crowd should be enough to ensure the Storm will earn the week’s rest after this encounter.

MANLY SEA EAGLES vs PENRITH PANTHERS

Not totally unexpected, as we see a case of déjà vu with these two sides lining up against each other for the second time in two weeks. Its sixth vs seventh with the season over for the loser in this elimination final. 

The Sea Eagles have been up and down with their form and some would say lucky to be here after scraping home in golden point against the Warriors two weeks ago. However, they put it together last week and really gave it to the Panthers who looked gone by half time. 

The Panthers lost their last two matches of the season and have had their finals preparation even further disrupted with in-house dramas concerning captain Matt Moylan. Troubled this year with an on-going hamstring complaint, Moylan missed both those games and has been ruled out for of the finals series which has put the Panthers in a very vulnerable position.

Meanwhile, Manly will line up as per program and will have arguably their best 17 available to take the field. The halves combination of Cherry-Evans and Blake Green just gets stronger with every game and they will be looking to control the match with their ball running and kicking game.

The Panthers have Trent Merrin in the starting 13 this week and have named Bryce Cartwright on the interchange bench.

Being an elimination match where there’s no tomorrow for the loser, we are expecting an improvement from the Panthers who were comprehensively beaten last week by their opposition here. However, we believe the Sea Eagles will adopt a similar game plan in this and continue to dominate the match with their big forward pack and speed out wide.

CRONULLA SHARKS vs NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS

The football gods were certainly with the Cowboys on Sunday afternoon as the Dragons bowed out of finals contention and left them with a second life and a chance to play finals football.

Despite going down to the Broncos last week, they secured a top eight spot and now have the daunting task of facing the reining premiers on their home soil. 

The Cowboys have put up a strong fight over the past couple of months without their co-captains Thurston and Scott available but have been just missing out on vital victories that could have seen them finish in the top four. They have been riddled with injuries to key players most of the season and have done so well to be here this week. 

The Sharks have finished off this season almost as they did last year where they actually lost five of their last six games. This year, they lost three of their last five games with unconvincing victories over the Cowboys and a very lack-lustre performance against wooden-spooners Newcastle. 

For this week’s elimination final however, the Sharks welcome back Jack Bird and Wade Graham from injury which gives them increased strike power across the park. The Cowboys on the other hand will still be missing Thurston and Scott with centre Justin O’Neil also out. Winger Antonio Winterstein is battling a hamstring complaint but is expected to play. 

Led by halfback Michael Morgan, the Cowboys will be out to prove a point and with his leadership out wide and even around the ruck they will prove worthy contenders on Sunday afternoon. However, with a team that is all but at full strength and their title on the line, we believe the Sharks will finish too strong for the North Queensland side and will survive for another week.

Our NRL Multibet pays $391 for a $10 bet at Ladbrokes.

*State exclusions apply to some offers. NSW Residents are excluded from bonuses and offers. Please read the T&Cs of each offer with each bookmaker. 


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NRL Finals Week 1 Tips and Predictions - 4 best bets and a $391 multibet

The finals are now upon us and we've picked out the best four bets and a multibet to be backing.

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