Wed, Sep 14, 10:43am by Staff Writer
Melbourne and Cronulla have earned a week off after stunning displays in the opening week of the NRL Finals. They can sit back and watch the remaining sides fight it out for the right to face them in the Preliminary Finals. The Cowboys, Broncos, Raiders and Panthers will all be battling to be the lucky ones to survive for another week of finals footy.
Cowboys v Broncos, Friday September 16, 7:55pm AEST
The first semi-final sees the North Queensland Cowboys hosting the Brisbane Broncos, guaranteeing Queensland will have one representative in the Preliminary Finals. The Cowboys head into this fixture on the back of a hard-fought loss to the Minor Premiers, the Storm in Melbourne. When factoring in travel time and distance alongside an extremely competitive match. It could easily be expected that they would struggle here. Back in Townsville, however, they are a completely different prospect and will be confident of their price with William Hill of $1.48.
A home victory over the Titans in week one was expected to be achieved by most from the Brisbane Broncos. At times in that match they appeared as if they might let it slip but they simply had too much for the Gold Coast to contend with. They must now travel to face a wounded Cowboys side. Last year’s Premiers will take an epic performance to be beaten but the Broncos certainly have the potential to overcome the odds. They are priced at $2.76, something that will simply spur Brisbane on.
Bet of the Match: North Queensland to Win by 1-12 at $2.75
Raiders v Panthers, Saturday September 17, 7:45pm AEST
Canberra and Penrith meet in the second semi-final for the chance to travel to Melbourne to take on the Storm in a Preliminary Final. The prices are a lot closer for this fixture with it being a tough match to call. The Raiders entered the finals flying high on confidence after a stunning finale to the season. They came down to earth with a bang as the Sharks beat them in a brutal contest in Canberra. They now face the task of picking themselves up to beat the Panthers. William Hill have the Raiders priced at $1.86, giving them the edge in this clash.
Penrith, meanwhile, backed up their end of season form with a thrilling display of rugby league as they overpowered the Canterbury Bulldogs in a thrilling display. The Panthers will no doubt believe that they are capable of overturning their price of $2.01. They are one of only a handful of teams who have beaten the Raiders this year with an epic one-point victory. Despite losing last time they were in Canberra, Penrith’s current form suggests that there could be a surprise on the cards in this semi-final.
Bet of the Match: Penrith to Win at $2.01
WATCH: We pick out the Best Bets for the NRL semi-finals
Odds from William Hill:
Cowboys v Broncos
North Qld $1.48
North Qld (-6): $1.92
Brisbane (+6): $1.92
North Qld (1-12) $2.75
North Qld (13+) $3.00
Brisbane (1-12) $3.90
Brisbane (13+) $7.50
Raiders v Panthers
Canberra (-1.5) $1.92
Penrith (+1.5) $1.92
Canberra (1-12) $3.10
Canberra (13+) $4.25
Penrith (1-12) $3.25
Penrith (13+) $4.50
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