NRL Finals Week 3 Previews and Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for the Preliminary Finals of the 2022 NRL season.

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Panthers v Storm

Friday, September 22, 7:50pm AEST
Accor Stadium

Form guide for Panthers vs Storm


Week three of the finals will kick off with a massive clash between the reigning premiers and Melbourne Storm this Friday after the Victorian club scrapped to a solid victory against an understrength Roosters outfit to keep their season alive last week. Like much of their season, Melbourne have endured enormous injury hardship and it is a testament to Craig Bellamy’s supercoach pedigree that his club are still contesting the 2023 premiership. Penrith enjoyed a week off after their powerful victory over the Warriors in week one and will welcome some key troops back at the perfect time.

Melbourne will welcome Jahrome Hughes back from a troublesome calf injury in a massive boost, particularly with their attack looking so scrappy in recent weeks. Tyran Wishart will revert to the bench at the expense of Bronson Garlick in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, Penrith’s rest last week has given some key players time to recover, with Izack Tago and Jarome Luai set to return at centre and five-eighth respectively in a huge boost for Ivan Cleary’s only changes.

Having scored only three tries in the whole finals series, Melbourne will be working overtime on their spluttering attack – particularly coming up against the best defensive outfit in the competition. Penrith have been solid in the absence of a key playmaker in Jarome Luai but fans will be hoping their premiership-winning combinations gel quickly given Luai will be mercilessly targeted by Melbourne’s intimidating forward rotation. Melbourne will struggle to match Penrith’s physical intensity over 80 minutes, so a fast start will be absolutely crucial for Craig Bellamy’s troops if they want to win. Melbourne are certainly capable of producing an upset but it will require almost perfect football from the Victorians. Expect the Panthers to absorb plenty of pressure but their superb defensive systems and the restoration of their preferred playmaking combinations should see them qualify for their fourth consecutive grand-final.

Betting Tip: Panthers -12.5 @ $1.96 (Picklebet)



Broncos v Warriors

Saturday, September 23, 7:50pm AEST
Suncorp Stadium

Form guide for Broncos vs Warriors

Brisbane fired a huge warning shot to the competition with their 26-nil domination of Melbourne in week one of the finals series, but the Warriors answered in kind with an impressive 30-point victory over a red-hot Newcastle squad last week. It has been a meteoric rise for Andrew Webster’s Kiwi outfit but with his team bursting with big-game experience, do not expect the visiting team to be over-awed at Suncorp Stadium, particularly with the healthy contingent of fans they will attract to the Queensland capital.

Brisbane are fortunate to name an unchanged 17 this week after an invaluable rest, with Jesse Arthars retaining his place on the wing over veteran Corey Oates. Meanwhile, the Warriors have also named an unchanged squad, although Josh Curran and Marata Niukore suffered troublesome injuries last week and will need to pass a fitness test before being cleared to play.

Much of the Broncos’ domination this year can be attributed to the enormous speed, size and athleticism across their squad – but the Warriors are one of the most uniquely placed clubs to meet that challenge head on boasting an intimidating forward rotation and one of the best back-three combinations in the competition. Expect a brutal physical contest that could go either way, but the fresher team in Brisbane could hold a crucial fatigue advantage at the back-end of each half that will give them a massive boost. While the Warriors have every chance of producing an upset, expect the sheer class and playmaking potency in this Broncos’ spine to prove the difference.

Betting Tip: Warriors +10.5 @ $1.91 (Unibet)


Best Bet

Betting Tip: Panthers -12.5 @ $1.96 (Picklebet


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