NRL finals week 1, 2020: Storm v Eels betting tips, prediction & odds
Welcome to our Melbourne Storm v Parramatta Eels preview, prediction and odds update for their NRL finals clash at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night, October 3.
This is NRL qualifying final 2, with the winners to advance to a preliminary final in a fortnight and the losers to play the winners of Sunday’s 2nd elimination final between South Sydney and Newcastle Knights.
Melbourne Storm have been a powerhouse of the competition for the past 20 years, while Parramatta are trying to recapture the glory days of the 80s. The Eels have not won a title since 1986, and they also won titles in 1981, 1982 and 1983.
The Eels come in to this match after back-to-back wins against the cellar-dwelling Broncos 26-12 and Wests Tigers 28-24 last week.
That latter win ensured they finished in the top four but it was far from impressive and their form all round has been patchy in the past month. The Eels were soundly beaten 20-2 by Penrith three weeks back and a fortnight before that were crushed 38-0 by the hot-and-cold Rabbitohs.
Melbourne, meanwhile, are coming into this off a loss to also-rans St George Illawarra 30-22, but Storm coach Craig Bellamy rested almost his entire run-on side for that match. Before that they had a string of four solid wins.
The last time these two teams met was in round 15 and the Eels won 14-0 against a depleted Melbourne side missing superstars Cameron Munster and Cameron Smith and halfback Jahrome Hughes, among others. That classy trio is all available this time with the Storm close to full strength.
Melbourne had won their previous four matches against the Eels by an average of more than 20 points.
The last time the teams clashed in the finals was last year when the Storm won 32-0. In fact, the teams have played six times in finals and the Storm have won them all.
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: Canberra Raiders v Cronulla Sharks betting preview, tips
NRL Sunday: South Sydney v Newcastle Knights betting preview, tips
The cavalry has certainly arrived for Melbourne for this match, with top-tier players Cameron Smith, Cameron Munster, Felise Kaufusi, Jahrome Hughes, Jesse Bromwich, Josh Addo-Carr, Justin Olam, Kenneath Bromwich, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Suliasi Vunivalu, Tino Faasuamaleau and Brenko Lee all back in the run-on side after resting up watching the Dragons match.
The Eels also have some important inclusions, especially five-eighth Dylan Brown, along with forwards Marata Niukore and Reagan Campbell-Gillard, and veteran centre Michael Jennings.
Read on for our Storm v Eels tips and winner prediction for their NRL clash on Saturday, October 3.
Storm v Eels odds
Kick-off: 7.50pm local time
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Head to head odds: Melbourne $1.19, Parramatta $4.70
Line betting: Melbourne (-13.5 points) $1.90, Parramatta (+13.5 points) $1.90
Match total: 37.5 points: over $1.87, under $1.93
Storm v Eels free betting tips
Below our NRL betting expert has highlighted his free Melbourne-Parramatta betting tips for Saturday night’s game.
Parramatta +13.5 points/match total under 37.5 points
The Eels have been plain in recent times but this is finals and we expect them to ramp things up again. Given the match is played in Brisbane, there is no real home-ground edge for the Sunshine Coast-based Storm. The return of Kiwi five-eighth Dylan Brown from an ankle injury could also lift the Eels as he was outstanding in the weeks leading up to his injury. At the very least he should be able to add something to their struggling attack.
Parramatta/Storm half-time/full-time double
This bet requires the Eels to lead at half-time but the Storm to win the match. This option is paying around $6.75 with Unibet. We expect the Eels to come out blazing after their narrow win last week sealed their top-four spot. Their relief was palpable and now they can play with some freedom. But the Storm are a highly professional outfit and we think will win the big moments in the second half.
Melbourne Storm v Parramatta Eels prediction 3-10-2020
While their form has fallen away the longer the season has gone, Parramatta finished third on the ladder and the season effectively starts again now. They have a result over a weakened Storm to their credit earlier this season. When they are at their best, they play a brutal style of league and we expect their defence to stand up well in this match. The Storm though have hardly missed a beat this season and will be fresher for this clash after resting so many players last round. We expect them to finish the stronger. Our Storm v Eels prediction: Storm by six points.
Storm v Eels 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 Storm-Eels match will kick off at 7.50pm local time.
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