NRL finals betting (week 2): Broncos, Eels favoured to progress from semis

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Updated: September 15, 2017

NRL finals action continues tonight with the Penrith Panthers trekking to Suncorp Stadium to face the Broncos while the Eels will be on familiar turf at ANZ Stadium as the host the North Queensland Cowboys in Saturday night’s semi-final.

 

NRL semi-final: Brisbane Broncos (20-4) v Penrith Panthers (16-8)
Where: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Qld
When: Friday, September 15, 7.55pm (AET)
Line: Brisbane -6.5, O/U 40

Confirmed bet: Penrith +6.5 (two units @ $1.92)

TIW says: It does not get much bigger than finals football at Suncorp Stadium. Penrith coach Anthony Griffin returns to the venue he once called home and his Panthers side are sure to lift against the club that sacked him in 2014 to make way for Wayne Bennett. Bennett has struggled against his younger contemporary, winning just 18.2 per cent of meetings with the former Broncos coach. The two have coached against each other in one final, with Griffin coming out victorious way back in 2011. The Broncos will once again be without injured captain Darius Boyd, as he continues to battle a hamstring injury. Brisbane have been slow out of the blocks in two of their past three matches – they were blown off the park in round 25 by the Eels, trailing 24-0 early in the contest.

 

It was a repeat in week 1 of the finals when they fell behind 14-0 to the Roosters. The Panthers will be high on confidence after putting the disappointment of their round 26 loss to the Sea Eagles behind them by getting revenge over Manly when it mattered most, a 22-10 victory in last week’s elimination final. The Panthers were boosted by the early return of fullback Dylan Edwards last week, while they’ll need to decide if Matt Moylan has overcome his off-field issues to take his spot in the side. The stats favour Brisbane, with the Broncos having won four of the past five games against the Panthers at Suncorp Stadium. The winner of this match will play Melbourne for a spot in the Grand Final.

 

NRL semi-final: Parramatta Eels (14-10) v North Queensland Cowboys (13-11)
Where: ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park, NSW
When: Saturday, September 16, 7.40pm (AET)
Line: Parramatta -6, O/U 37.5

Confirmed bet: Parramatta -6 (one unit @ $1.92), +37.5/total (one unit @ $1.90)

TIW says: Few gave Parramatta a chance against the irresistible force of the Melbourne Storm last week but Brad Arthur’s team rose to the occasion, leading at half-time before going agonisingly close to a massive upset before falling 18-16. The Eels have been in blistering form in the latter part of the season, winning nine of their last 10 regular season matches. Likewise, few expected an injury-ridden Cowboys, with just one win from their final six games, to topple the premiers at a ground where North Queensland have struggled badly in recent times. But Paul Green’s line-up pinched a stunning 15-14 extra-time win after an amazing Jason Taumalolo try and a Michael Morgan field goal. Both coaches have named the same 17s they named last Tuesday.

 

For the Eels, that means fullback Bevan French is still not back from a hamstring strain, though his replacement Will Smith is improving with each outing. The Cowboys have had the wood over the Eels in recent years, winning eight of the last 11 matches between the two sides. They will be out to inflict similar misery on Parramatta as they did in their last meeting at ANZ Stadium, where they beat the Eels 29-0 in a 2005 preliminary final. The Eels won 26-6 in Townsville back in round 9, with the injured Clinton Gutherson scoring a double, while the Cowboys thrashed the Eels 32-6 in Darwin in round 14, with Kyle Feldt crossing for two tries. Three of the past four matches have tallied 38 or fewer. The winner of this match advances to a preliminary final against the Roosters.

 

 

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); best AU price available is quoted, correct at time of publication. Results/comments on this week’s games will follow in the next post.

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