The Penrith Panthers set out to make another NRL Grand Final when they meet the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Saturday.
NRL odds have the Panthers favored to win at -350 in their bid to win back-to-back championships, but beating the Souths won’t be easy.
Rabbitohs Upset Bound
Knowing what the South Sydney Rabbitohs, will bring week-to-week is a mission, but we were impressed with their effort last week.
They scored a 38-12 win over the Sharks, which followed an insane win over the Sydney Roosters. However, they have struggled to beat teams like the Panthers and that’s why they’re outsiders.
The sportsbook has the Rabbitohs at +225 to win outright and +8½ in spread markets. It’s a fair line given their last two wins, but beating the Panthers is another step up in opposition.
There’s another concerning sign for the Rabbitohs and it’s the loss of try-scoring freak Alex Johnston, who has been ruled out.
“[Johnston] was never really going to be a chance to play but we gave him every opportunity. If we get the job done, he’ll be back next week,” coach Jason Demetriou told Nine.com.au.
“We can’t afford a winger coming off the field. We made the right decision. I’m sure he’s gutted, but he is putting the team first and we move on.”
There’s a chance the Rabbitohs could beat the Panthers but it needs to be a season-best performance.
Panthers on the Prowl
Despite losing two of their last five games, most of the betting online action has come for the Panthers.
They are the defending champions and their losses came with many top players sitting on the sidelines, so they had excuses.
Having beaten the Eels 27-8, they deserved a week off last week and they’ll be fit and ready to fire against the Rabbitohs.
Their spine is back in fit order with Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai, who are crucial to the Panthers’ success.
A huge crowd is expected, which can only help the Panthers.
“Our fans have been unbelievable this season – they’ve turned up in droves week in, week out,” Panthers coach Ivan Cleary said. “We’re hoping as many Panthers members and fans can turn up to Accor Stadium on Saturday night to cheer us on.”
The odds of -350 is a short quote but the line could move significantly with the Johnston news.
Rabbitohs vs Panthers Head-to-Head
The Panthers have a lifetime 23-16 advantage over the Rabbitohs, including a 26-22 win in August.
It was a close contest but the class of the Panthers shone through.
Rabbitohs vs Panthers Game Information
- Game: Rabbitohs (16-10) vs Panthers (21-4)
- Location: Accor Stadium, Sydney
- Day/Time: Saturday, Sept. 24, 5:50 a.m. ET
- Rabbitohs vs Panthers Live Stream: RugbyPass
Rabbitohs vs Panthers Betting Lines
|Penrith Panthers||-8½ -135||-350||+225|
|South Sydney Rabbitohs||-8½ -135||+225|
Rabbitohs vs Panthers Prediction
The Panthers should be too strong and the Rabbitohs are without some weapons.
They should start strong and defend their way to a victory, so take the favorite to win and cover the spread, which is likely to move.