Penrith Panthers vs Parramatta Eels

Friday September 9 | BlueBet Stadium | 7.50pm AEST

A cracking Friday night showdown to kick off the finals series. While the reigning premiers Panthers were beaten just four times all season, the Eels know what it takes to topple the minor premiers. In round nine the Eels won 22-20 before running way with an even more convincing 34-10 round 20 victory. The Eels will now be looking to avenge last year’s controversial 8-6 loss to the Panthers in the semi finals. They’ll attempt to do it with an unchanged line-up from last week’s win over the Storm, while the Panthers are back to full strength with Nathan Cleary returning and Jarome Luai also back in the side. The winner of this lands an all-important week off and a spot in the preliminary finals. The plucky Eels with their positive recent record over the Panthers makes them the bet at the nice price.

Suggested bet: 1u Eels win at $3

Melbourne Storm vs Canberra Raiders

Saturday September 10 | AAMI Park | 5.40pm AEST

There is no shortage of recent history between these two sides, especially in the playoffs having met twice in the past three finals series. The Raiders scored a close away win over the Storm in week one of the finals back in 2019, then a year later Melbourne got revenge when smashing Canberra 30-10 in the preliminary final. It’s a different story here with the pair finishing outside the top four and now playing to keep their season alive. They’ve met twice this year, with the Storm prevailing early on in the season before the Raiders won 20-16 in Melbourne in round 18. Jahrome Hughes is back for the Storm while the Raiders regain Jack Wighton and Elliott Whitehead. Interestingly, both teams have a poor home record in this match-up, with the Raiders winning four-straight at AAMI Park and the Storm winning all four trips to GIO Stadium since 2017. Canberra go into this as the form side after winning 12 of their last 16 matches, while the Storm have been hit-and-miss in the second half of the season and their attack isn’t firing on all cylinders.

Suggested bet: 1u Raiders win at $3.25

Cronulla Sharks vs North Queensland Cowboys

Saturday September 10 | PointsBet Stadium | 7.50pm AEST

These two sides have been the success stories of the competition in 2022 and the winner of this clash will make a huge step towards a grand final berth. They both enter this clash with plenty of confidence but the Sharks will have an added spring in their step in front of a vocal home crowd. The Sharks also landed a 26-12 win over the Cowboys in Townsville in Round 18 which will give them the belief they have the game plan to win again. The Sharks have won 11 of their 12 games at PointsBet Stadium this season and have prevailed in the last eight meetings between the teams. The Sharks also have a swathe of big inclusions, led by centre Siosifa Talakai lock Dale Finucane, fullback Will Kennedy, prop Toby Rudolf and winger Connor Tracey.

Suggested bet: 2u Sharks win at $1.71

Sydney Roosters vs South Sydney Rabbitohs

Sunday September 11 | Allianz Stadium | 4.00pm AEST

Two old foes face off in a do-or-die elimination final, renewing their rivalry after last week’s encounter which saw the Roosters prevail 26-16 in a physical clash.

The Roosters got the jump on a Rabbitohs side which was sluggish early – and they’ll likely be searching for a repeat of that early intensity. There’s a number of injury concerns and likely personnel changes, most notably the Roosters losing Joey Manu but regaining wingers Daniel Tupou and Joseph Suaalii. Cameron Murray and Damien Cook return for the Rabbitohs. The Roosters have won their past eight, but it’s the Rabbitohs with the better record when these two teams meet. I think Latrell Mitchell will bounce back from last week’s below-par performance and lead the Rabbitohs to victory.

Suggested bet: 1u Rabbitohs at $2.45