NRL finals week 1, 2020: Raiders v Sharks betting tips, prediction & odds
Welcome to our Canberra Raiders v Cronulla Sharks preview, prediction and odds update for their NRL finals clash at GIO Stadium on Saturday evening, October 3.
This is NRL elimination final 1, with the winners to play the losers of the clash on Friday night between Penrith and Sydney Roosters.
Canberra and Cronulla played only a week ago of course, but the teams that run out with this weekend will bear little resemblance to the ones that played in the Raiders’ 38-28 win at Nestrata Jubilee Stadium last weekend.
Both teams rested many first-graders with an eye to the first final, though it was important for the Raiders to win to keep alive their slim hopes of finishing in the top four. Parrramatta’s narrow win in the match after that put paid to those hopes.
The last time Canberra and Cronulla teams met in a final, the Sharks won 16-14 at this ground in 2016. The teams have split their past 10 clashes 5-5, though the Raiders have won the past three.
The Raiders finished runners-up last season of course to the Roosters after a grand final which many felt Ricky Stuart’s team was unlucky to lose.
Things have not quite gone to plan this season as they have sought to go one better with a string of key injuries, but the Raiders will be desperate to get past this one and maybe get another shot at the Roosters.
READ: NRL match betting previews and tips
NRL finals week one schedule, title odds update
NRL Friday: Penrith v Sydney Roosters betting preview, tips
NRL Saturday: Melbourne Storm v Parramatta betting preview, tips
NRL Sunday: South Sydney v Newcastle Knights betting preview, tips
The Raiders have lost Ryan Sutton (knee) to injury from last week’s game against the Sharks, but this week regain fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Elliott Whitehead, halves George Williams and Jack Wighton, centre Jarrod Croker, John Bateman, Jordan Rapana, Joseph Tapine and Josh Papalii bak into the starting side.
The Sharks were dealt a hammer blow in the weeks before the finals when they lost star five-eighth Shaun Johnson to a serious achilles injury. At least this week they get back playmaker Chad Townsend from a three-match suspension for a shoulder charge. Other players coming back into the starting line-up include hooker Blayke Brailey, centres Jesse Ramien and Josh Dugan, winger Sione Katoa and young back-rower Toby Rudolf. Siosifa Talakai returns on the pine.
Read on for our Raiders v Sharks tips and winner prediction for their NRL clash on Saturday, October 3.
Raiders v Sharks odds
Kick-off: 5.40pm local time
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Head to head odds: Canberra $1.19, Cronulla-Sutherland $4.90
Line betting: Canberra (-13.5 points) $1.88, Cronulla (+13.5 points) $1.92
Match total: 42.5 points: over $1.89, under $1.91
Raiders v Sharks free betting tips
Below our NRL betting expert has highlighted his free Canberra-Cronulla betting tips for Saturday’s game.
Canberra to win/match total under 42.5 points
The Green Machine just have too many hardened finals players (the likes of Jack Wighton and Josh Papalii, to let this one slip, though we think the 13.5-point line is a bit too big a hurdle as the action tightens up for the finals, though the Sharks are not renowned for their defence. Tries will be harder to come by and we like the unders in match total betting.
George Williams try-scoring bet
Unibet is offering head to head betting between rival players in the try-scoring stakes. The market here is Canberra’s George Williams ($4) against rival halfback Chad Townsend ($9), with the third option that they score the same number of tries ($1.33) , including zero tries. The feisty Englishman has shown he is not afraid to try a dart at the line from close range.
Canberra Raiders v Cronulla Sharks prediction 3-10-2020
There is no doubt Cronulla are an exciting attacking unit, but the fact remains they have fallen short against top-eight quality opponents all season. We expect the Raiders to ratchet up the defensive pressure this week and turn it into a real finals slog. The Sharks have a slick back line, but the Raiders have a distinct edge in the engine room of the forwards. They will rumble their way into the next week of the finals. Our Raiders v Sharks prediction: Canberra by 12 points.
Raiders v Sharks lowdown
Channel Nine, Fox League and KAYO will telecast the game, or it can be streamed at NRL.com.
All of the top International betting sites will offer markets on the NRL.
The Raiders v Sharks match will kick off at 5.40pm local time.
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