Storm v Panthers betting prediction, tips and odds; NRL Rd 20 preview

NRL finals week two: Penrith v Parramatta

Here we look at Melbourne Storm v Penrith Panthers betting tips, prediction and odds update for their NRL round-20 clash at Mackay on Saturday night. 

This match has been circled in the calendars of league aficionados for many months as a clash between the two most dominant teams of this season.

But a lot of the gloss has been taken off by a horrendous Origin-time injury run for the Panthers, with Melbourne Storm at an incredibly short quote of around $1.13 to win the match.

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If you had told us six weeks ago that the Storm would head into this match marked with an -18.5 point line at $1.90, we would have thought you had taken leave of your senses.

This is the third and final match on NRL Super Saturday, and the second match of a double-header at Suncorp Stadium, with the Newcastle Knights and Canberra Raiders clashing from 5.30pm in another vital match.

The opening match on Saturday is St George Illawarra Dragons v South Sydney Rabbitohs from Browne Park, Rockhampton, at 3pm, a contest the third-placed Rabbitohs are expected to win easily.

Penrith have won three out of the past five meetings against the Storm, including a fighting 12-10 win when they met earlier this season in round three at Panthers Stadium.

But the Storm, of course, won the one that counts, the 2020 NRL grand final, 26-20, and they have won their past 15 matches. A win here would give them a club record of 16 consecutive wins.

In team news, the Storm regain Maroons Origin stars Cameron Munster and Felise Kaufusi, plus NSW rep Dale Finucane.

On the flip side the injury news was all bad for the Panthers, who have lost winger Brian To’o (ankle), lock Isaah Yeo (head knock) and stand-in halfback Tyrone May (knee).

When you add in the fact that star halfback Nathan Cleary (shoulder) won’t be back for at least another week, and hooker Apisai Koroisau (suspension) is also sidelined, you can see why the Panthers’ depth is stretched to the limit.

Read on for our free Storm v Panthers betting tips, predictions and odds analysis for their NRL round 20 clash from 7.35pm on Saturday, July 31. 

Start:7.35pm AEST, July 31
Venue:Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Head-to-head odds:Melbourne Storm ($1.13) v Penrith ($6.25)
Line betting:Melbourne -18.5 ($1.90) v Penrith +18.5 ($1.90)
Premiership odds: Melbourne Storm $2.30; Penrith $3.50

Storm v Panthers tips

Our NRL betting expert has cast his eye over the odds for some Melbourne-Penrith tips:

Josh Addo-Carr to score 2+ tries

The Storm flyer has scored an incredible 21 tries from 16 games this season. Amazingly that puts him only second on the list of NRL try-scorers as Souths’ Alex Johnston has 24 four-pointers from 17 matches. With Johnston sidelined, this is a chance for The Fox to catch up and we think he will.

Match total over 44.5 points

This is a conservative bet but we think it’s a good one for multi-bets, as the line of 18.5 points seems extreme, even given the Panthers’ woes. The weather forecast is clear and with the Panthers’ much vaunted defence suffering so many key injuries it will be tough to stop the points flowing from the rampant Storm.

Storm v Panthers prediction 31/7

This will still be a fascinating contest to watch, even if it will be a very different Panthers line-up come finals time. If they can avoid a thrashing at the hands of the hot title favourites, it will be as good as a win as we look ahead. Still, the Storm look formidable and have been easily the hottest team in the comp for the past two months. They should celebrate re-signing master coach Craig Bellamy with a big win against their greatest rivals for the title. Our final Storm v Panthers prediction? Storm by 14 points. 

How can I watch the Storm v Panthers NRL clash?

Subscription TV: Foxtel; Streaming/IPTV: Kayo

How can I bet on the Storm v Panthers round 20, 2021 NRL game?

All of the best Australian bookmakers will offer markets on the NRL.

What time does the Storm v Panthers game start?

The game starts at 7.35pm AEST, Saturday, July 31, 2021.

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