Round nine saw some big movement in the major NRL futures markets, not least in the premiership betting. Let’s take a look at the latest NRL betting trends and odds at Sportsbet.com.au.
Panthers and Eels show different paths to NRL Premiership contention
On Monday morning after the conclusion of round nine, the Penrith Panthers were $7 to win the premiership. Barring a disaster in the back half of the competition, they should stay south of that mark for the rest of the season.
Penrith’s performance against Cronulla at the weekend was breathtaking. They have somehow picked the eyes out of country NSW and found fantastic players like Liam Martin, Isaah Yeo, Brent Naden and Billy Burns to couple with some big-name recruits and talented local Penrith juniors. Then they put a kid from Forbes by the name of Charlie Staines on the wing and he scored four tries on debut.
Whatever the Panthers are doing in player development is working a treat and it’s put them in the premiership window. Only points differential is keeping them in second place on the ladder and they have just three more games against teams currently in the top eight.
The Parramatta Eels have often been a laughing stock given how many talented young players they have let go. Yet despite their mismanagement in that department, they have found a way to flag contention in a very different way to the Panthers.
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While Penrith have produced enough talent in recent years to become a feeder club for the competition, Parramatta have recruited extremely well. They had to pay a premium to get Junior Paulo to return to the club, but he’s been worth every cent. Shaun Lane is one of the best bargain buys in recent seasons, while Reagan Campbell-Gillard has resurrected his career after a disastrous 18 months at Penrith. Three years ago they pried Mitchell Moses away from the Wests Tigers, then found Dylan Brown in New Zealand and Reed Mahoney in Queensland.
Both teams are an interesting look at how to build a premiership contender and show the big upsides when both are done right.
The Eels sit at $4.20 to win the title and have earned every piece of that. Their latest triumph was a gritty win away from home against a good Newcastle team where they came up with several last-ditch efforts to jump on a loose ball or some tremendous defence to keep the Knights at bay. Newcastle a fortnight ago were $2.75 to finish top four, but that frustrating loss could come back to haunt them and will no doubt see that price drift.
Parramatta have five games left against top-eight opponents but will have the advantage of playing a lot of fixtures at Bankwest Stadium. Forget the premiership for a moment; the race for the minor premiership between these two should go right down to the wire, and their clash in round 18 will be one to look forward to come September.
Could the Raiders and Sea Eagles miss the 2020 NRL Finals?
With back-to-back games against the Roosters and Rabbitohs, the Canberra Raiders can thank their lucky stars Tom Trbojevic is out for the Sea Eagles and keeping them comfortable inside the eight. But is there anyone from the bottom eight good enough to cause a shock and knock either Manly or Canberra out of contention?
Without Josh Hodgson, the Raiders face a tough road to just finish in the eight. They should still do enough given their schedule in the back half, but it won’t be easy.
The Manly Sea Eagles have now lost three in a row after pulling off one of the club’s gutsiest wins in history just a few short weeks ago. The aforementioned Trbojevic went down with a hamstring injury during that clash and they haven’t won since.
Considering they face the Eels and Panthers in the next three weeks, Manly will soon start running out of games to cement a spot in the eight. The Wests Tigers, on the other hand, play the Warriors and Broncos over the next three weeks, so they could be well settled in the finals places after 12 rounds.
To cut a long story short, perhaps some thought should be given to Manly and Canberra missing the eight. Both teams were in single figures for the premiership a few weeks ago, but now the Raiders are paying $19 and the Sea Eagles $20. It may seem crazy that one or both of these clubs misses finals this year, but right now it feels like every chance of happening.
2020 NRL Premiership odds
$3.25 – Sydney Roosters
$4.20 – Parramatta Eels
$6 – Melbourne Storm
$7 – Penrith Panthers
$17 – Newcastle Knights, South Sydney Rabbitohs
$19 – Canberra Raiders
$20 – Manly Sea Eagles
$51 – Cronulla Sharks
$67 – Wests Tigers
$81 – St George Illawarra Dragons
$101 – Brisbane Broncos
$151 – North Queensland Cowboys
$501 – Gold Coast Titans, New Zealand Warriors
$1001 – Canterbury Bulldogs
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