NRL Finals Week 1: odds, schedule and times

NRL round 13: Dragons v Broncos

The first week of the NRL finals kicks off on Friday night, October 2, and runs until Sunday evening. Our NRL betting expert has examined the odds in our usual Monday column highlighting what league action is on for the week ahead. 

Finally it’s time for thing to get serious, and round 20 certainly threw a spanner in the works as far as the opening week of the finals is concerned.

The Melbourne Storm, Canberra and Cronulla fielded severely weakened teams in round 20, with the Storm not surprisingly losing to St George Illawarra while the Raiders were a little too strong for the Sharks.

Canberra and Cronulla will square off again this week on Saturday afternoon in Canberra, with so many key players to return, especially for the Raiders.

But the big questions marks from the most recent games are over title favourites the Sydney Roosters and Parramatta.

More: NRL betting guide
NRL betting previews, tips

The Roosters rested a couple of players but still fielded a strong team and were absolutely torn apart by a rampant South Sydney 60-8 and also have talismanic hooker Jake Friend (head knock) in doubt for week one. Not many pundits saw that result coming! The Chooks must now regroup before their Friday night blockbuster against Penrith, who have lost just one match all season.

Meanwhile, the Eels had to come from behind to snatch a win over Wests Tigers to finish in the top four. They will go into their Saturday night match-up against the Storm in Brisbane as heavy underdogs. The Eels fielded their best team at the weekend, while the Storm stars will be going in fresh.

The Sunday evening clash between Souths and Newcastle closes out the first week of the finals, with the Knights needing to regroup quickly after a 36-6 pasting at the hands of much-improved Gold Coast on Friday night.

NRL Premiership odds before finals, week 1

The finals teams had been decided several weeks and bookies still largely believe the NRL title will got to one of three teams: Sydney Roosters, Penrtih and Melbourne Storm.

Amazingly the Roosters still sit at the top of premiership betting despite their embarrassing 60-8 loss to arch rivals South Sydney on Friday night.

The Roosters drifted from $2.80 to $3.25, while Souths were the only significant inwards movers in title betting, from $31 to $17.

That puts the Bunnies on the fifth line of betting behind the big three and last year’s runners-up Canberra, who firmed from $12 to $11 with Unibet.

Parramatta struggled to lock up their top-four spot with a four-point win over Wests Tigers and are on the nose with bookies.

The Eels are out to $19 and that looks tremendous value considering they have the double chance. An upset win this weekend against Melbourne Storm and Brad Arthur’s men will be right back in the picture.

Betting websites give Newcastle Knights ($51 to $101) and Cronulla ($126 to $151) next to no hope of a shock run to the title.

NRL title odds 2020

$3.25 Sydney Roosters
$3.75 Penrith Panthers, Melbourne Storm
$11 Canberra Raiders
$17 South Sydney Rabbitohs
$19 Parramatta Eels
$101 Newcastle Knights
$151 Cronulla Sharks

NRL finals week one fixture, odds and times

Friday, October 2

  • 7:50PM: Penrith Panthers $1.79 v Sydney Roosters $2.05 at Panthers Stadium, Penrith

Saturday, October 3

  • 5.40PM: Canberra Raiders $1.20 v Cronulla Sharks $4.60 at GIO Stadium, Canberra
  • 7:50PM: Melbourne Storm $1.20 v Parramatta Eels $4.60 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Sunday, October 4

  • 4.05PM: South Sydney Rabbitohs $1.35 v Newcastle Knights $3.25 at ANZ Stadium, Sydney

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