Storm v Panthers NRL preliminary final tips, prediction and betting preview

Storm v Panthers preliminary final preview, free betting tips

Welcome to our preview of the blockbuster Melbourne Storm v Penrith Panthers preliminary final at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, on Saturday, September 25.

This match has been brought forward to 4pm AEST so as not to clash with the AFL grand final on Saturday night. The winner of this will play the winner of the Souths-Manly clash in the NRL grand final at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, October 3.

READ: NRL finals week three betting guide
Souths v Manly NRL preliminary final betting predictions, tips

Melbourne Storm and Penrith were expected to face off in the 2021 GF, as they did in 2020, but someone forgot to tell master coach Wayne Bennett and his Souths side, who stunned the Panthers in the opening week of the finals.

The Storm and Panthers have split their past six matches with three wins apiece but it’s interesting to note Storm’s win have come by an average of 21 points and the Panthers’ wins by an average of five points.

Melbourne won the 2020 grand final 26-20 after jumping the Panthers at the start, while in their two matches this season, Penrith won the first 12-10 and the Storm the second match 37-10 in round 20.

Melbourne will head into this clash at the peak of their powers after having last weekend off to rest up, while the Panthers were pushed to the brink of elimination by Parramatta in a taxing semi-final encounter.

Panthers coach Ivan Cleary has insisted his team has plenty of young legs and that backing up is no problem, but that is easy to say.

The one thing Penrith must do to have any chance is start well; we can’t see them running down the Storm if the Melbourne side make their usual blistering start.

It’s a real concern for Penrith that they have scored only two tries total in their opening two finals. We would expect they would need to add at least four in this match to have any chance.

Team news for the Storm-Panthers preliminary final

The Storm are fresh after a 14-day break between games and will welcome back electric winger Josh Addo-Carr from a hamstring injury, with impressive stand-in Isaac Lumelume making way.

Fearless hooker Brandon Smith has also been clear to play after a clash of heads in the match against Manly.

Penrith are a little battered and bruised but are expected to risk dynamic winger Brian To’o (ankle), even though he was named as a reserve this week. They need his metre-eating style.

Meanwhile, giant Viliame Kikau (ankle) is OK to play, while Mitch Kenny should be back after a knee problem. The question will be how the Panthers can overcome a lot of other bruises and knocks suffered against the Eels.

Continue reading for our free Storm-Panthers betting tips and winner prediction for their NRL preliminary final on Saturday, September 25, 2021.

Start:4pm AEST, September 25
Venue:Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Head-to-head odds:Melbourne Storm ($1.31) v Penrith ($3.55)
Line betting:Melbourne Storm -9.5 ($1.80) v Penrith +9.5 ($2)
Premiership odds: Melbourne Storm $1.80; Penrith $5.50

Melbourne Storm v Penrith Panthers tips – NRL PF 2021

Our NRL betting expert has examined the markets and found value Storm-Penrith tips:

Penrith +10.5 points/match total under 40.5 points

Penrith have been the best defensive team all year and they will need to lean heavily on that as they seek to stun the high-flying Storm. We expect tries will be tough to come by in what should be a high-quality affair with few defensive errors from either side.

Ryan Papenhuyzen first try-scorer at $9.75

The Melbourne Storm fullback has been back to his brilliant best and he is the sort of player to terrorise opposition defences right from the start. This is not a bet we often delve into but Papenhuyzen is red-hot right now and worth a small wager. The one thing we are hoping does not happen though is that he takes another high shot. He gets himself so low when attacking the line and it’s difficult for opposition players to not hit him high sometimes. A sin-bin or send-off for a high hit would ruin the match and it also could leave Papenhuyzen with another head knock worry.

Melbourne Storm v Penrith prediction 25/9/2021

This match-up is one many thought would take place on grand final day but it still promises to be a wonderful contest. The Storm are quite rightly extremely short with Australian betting sites to win this match and also the grand final. As a neutral fan we are hoping the Panthers can bring their best and that would give them some sort of chance but all the cards seem stacked in favour of the defending premiers this time. Our final Storm-Panthers prediction? Storm by 8 points. 

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