NRL 2023 Grand Final – Betting tips & Predictions

NRL 2023 Grand Final

Check out everything you need to know about the biggest game of the 2023 NRL season, the Grand Final between the Panthers and the Broncos, including a preview, predicted teams and odds.

Round X Fixtures

FixturesInfo (AEST)Home OddsAway Odds

Panthers vs Broncos

Sunday, October 1 at 7.30pm$1.62

Penrith Panthers vs Brisbane Broncos

The nature of the finals system in the NRL means that it’s not always the best two teams that play off in the Grand Final, but this year it certainly is. The Panthers and the Broncos were comfortably the best sides throughout the course of the home and away season and locked up the top two spots weeks out from the finals, and since those finals have arrived they proved that their ladder positions were well and truly justified.

The Panthers, as they seek to win a third consecutive Premiership, have been nothing short of clinical all year and have only got better as the season has worn on. Their defence is far, far better than that of any other in the league, and they’ve shown as much by conceding a paltry ten points in their two finals games to date. But they’re a whole lot more than just a defensive juggernaut – with ball in hand they are as good as anyone, and the 70 points they’ve scored against two fellow top four teams in the Storm and the Warriors over the past three weeks highlights that, too. After beating New Zealand 32-6 in their Qualifying Final it was hard to imagine them exceeding that performance in the Preliminary Final, but a third minute try to Brian To’o set the scene for an even more dominant performance to earn a spot in the Grand Final – they knocked off the Storm, who beat them in the Grand Final three years ago, 38-4.

They are a hell of a lot better than 15 other teams in the NRL, and were it not for the Broncos it would be pretty hard to imagine them failing to win their third consecutive flag. As it is, however, the Broncos have been every bit as dominant as the two-time reigning Premiers, both in the home and away season and the finals series. They’ve played the same two teams as the Panthers albeit in reverse order, and the results have been much the same. After destroying the Storm 26-0 in their opening final, they showed their offensive wares with four tries in the first 23 minutes against the Warriors in the Preliminary Final. Unfortunately for them they also conceded three tries in that time, but they subsequently locked down defensively while continuing on their merry way at the other end of the field to eventually run out dominant 42-12 winners and set up their first Grand Final appearance since 2015. 

This is the quintessential clash of the titans, two dominant teams who, were it not for the other team, would be the runaway favourite to win this year’s flag and would have been for many weeks. They’ve played each other twice so far this season, and a similar trend has emerged in both – scoring has been very, very difficult. They’ve split those games one apiece, with the Broncos winning the first way back in Round 1 by a solitary point, 13-12, while a couple of months later the Panthers got their own back with a 15-4 win. Expect a similarly low scoring game this time around. The Panthers certainly won’t be giving up a whole lot – they very rarely do – so for the Broncos to win, they’ll almost definitely need to avoid giving up much of a score too. 

And therein may lie the difference. These two teams score as well as anyone in the league – in fact, they were literally ranked one and two in that metric over the course of the regular season. But while the Broncos can seriously put the brakes on – they’ve conceded just 12 points in the finals and were second in the league in the home and away season – the Panthers are just on another planet entirely when it comes to keeping their opposition from scoring. Defensive dominance has been a cornerstone of their current period of success, and theirs is now as good as it’s ever been. This Sunday, they can turn that period of success into a genuine dynasty in a low-scoring win.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Under 39.5 total match points$1.90
Panthers 1-12$3.00
Panthers to win$1.62

Predicted Squads

Penrith PanthersTeam: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To'o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Scott Sorensen 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Jack Cogger 15. Lindsay Smith 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Luke Garner

Brisbane BroncosBrisbane Broncos: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Jesse Arthars 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Tom Flegler  9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan 14. Tyson Smoothy 15. Brendan Piakura 16. Kobe Hetherington 17. Keenan Palasia

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Multi of the Week


Broncos -1.5

Over 41.5 Points$1.90
First Try Scorer – Reynolds$8.75
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