NRL 2024 Premiership Winner Betting Preview – Odds, Tips & Predictions

For much of the 2023 NRL Premiership season, it looked to be a race in two for the flag, with the Panthers and Broncos establishing positions which they would never relinquish at the top of the ladder. Looks can be deceiving, but on this occasion they were anything but; those two made their way into the Grand Final with ease, where they played out a thrilling final game in the year which culminated in the Panthers winning their third flag on the trot. Entering the new season those two sides were the comfortable favourites to repeat that performance, though a slow start to the season for the Broncos has seen things tighten up a little at the top of the list of Premiership favourites. Below, we take a look at the chances of both those two teams and those most likely to challenge them in the race for the 2024 NRL Premiership.

NRL 2024 Premiership Winner Favourites

Penrith Panthers

The Panthers suffered from an inevitable salary cap crunch after winning their third consecutive Grand Final last season, farewelling a number of Premiership stars including Stephen Crichton, Jaeman Salmon and Zac Hosking.  But this remains the best team in the league, and though they dropped a couple of games early in the season they have still flexed their collective muscle on a couple of occasions, most notably when they rubbed salt into the wounds of the Broncos which they created last Grand Final Day with a 34-12 drubbing in Round 3. An 8-0 loss to the Storm in Round 1 wasn’t a great way to start while a 32-18 loss to the Sea Eagles a few weeks later took their record to 3-2, but a team which has made the Grand Final for four consecutive years and won the last three of them is invariably not going to peak early in the season. They did the same last year, cruising through much of the home and away season before ramping up as the finals neared and playing some of their best footy when it mattered most. Expect them to do the same this year. A top four finish will be the expectation to ensure the double chance and a top two finish which will give them a pathway to the Grand Final without having to leave Penrith would be ideal. If they fail to lock up that double chance then they will have their work cut out winning their fourth in a row, but it seems more than likely that they’ll be able to finish right up the pointy end of the ladder without even necessarily having to put their best foot forward. A number of their stars, most notably Nathan Cleary, still have plenty of good years ahead of them, and there is no reason to think that they won’t once again be the best team in the league in 2024.

  • What brings them here? The Panthers have been the best team in the league for years, following up a 2020 Grand Final defeat to the Storm with three more Grand Final appearances, all of which they won.
  • What has changed? As mentioned, there have been a couple of big names leave the club; Crichton and Salmon aside, they have also lost Spencer Leniu, Jack Cogger, Thomas Jenkins and Zac Hosking. Coming into the team are Daine Laurie from the Wests Tigers, Brad Schneider from the UK and Paul Alamoti from the Bulldogs.
  • Injury update: Nathan Cleary is a notable name on the Panthers’ injury list having injured his hamstring early in the season, but it’s only a standard hammy and shouldn’t have him out beyond about Round 7. Scott Sorensen should be back around the same time from a knee injury. 

Bet on the Panthers to win the NRL Premiership at $3.75 with PlayUp

Brisbane Broncos

After a fantastic 2023 campaign which saw them jump from outside of the finals into the top two and within just a couple of points of a Premiership, the Broncos are again expected to go deep into the finals this season. But while they remain the second favourite to win the flag at the time of writing, an indifferent start to the season has seen their odds already drift a little. They traded losses for wins over the first five weeks of the season, but a disappointing, tight loss to the Storm in Round 5 took their record to 2-3. It’s a long season and they certainly won’t be hitting the panic button just yet, but if they lose too many more quickly their top four hopes will rapidly diminish. Typically teams need 16 or 17 wins to give themselves the double chance, which equates to seven or eight losses, so at already close to half of that number after just five weeks they have set themselves a big task. But as they showed throughout the course of last season, they are more than capable of achieving it. Unlike the Panthers, who lost a number of players from their Grand Final team, the Broncos have been able to retain the vast majority of their list, and having only been up for one season there is every reason to think they should be even better this year. Their start to the year might not have been what they wanted, but they are more than capable of working their way back up the ladder and having another genuine crack at the Premiership.

  • What brings them here? The Broncos have rapidly climbed up the ladder over the past couple of seasons, and in 2023 went within a whisker of the Premiership. They should once again be in the mix this season.
  • What has changed? Not too much. Keenan Palasia has headed to the Gold Coast while both Herbie Farnworth and Tom Flegler will suit up for the Dolphins, and Kurt Capewell for the Warriors. Coming in are Fletcher Baker from the Roosters, and Jaiyden Hunt from the St. George Illawarra Dragons.
  • Injury update: The Broncos have a pretty hefty injury report which certainly hasn’t helped their cause early in the year. An Adam Reynolds hamstring will have him out till about Rounds 8 or 9 while Payne Haas is due back about a week earlier from a knee. Brendon Piakura and Deine Mariner are both scheduled to return at a similar time while Reece Walsh and Xavier Willison are virtually ready to go from their own injury concerns.

Bet on the Broncos to win the NRL Premiership at $5.50 with PlayUp

Melbourne Storm

Excluding the salary cap breach years, the Storm haven’t finished outside of the top six since 2002, and have only finished outside of the top four twice since 2005. The most consistently successful team in the league, their presence at the top of the ladder is a virtual certainty every year, and 2024 is no different. Following a third place finish which they managed last year without their best player in Ryan Papenhuyzen, they are well placed to challenge once again this season, and have started the season better than any of the rest of the top handful of Premiership favourites. In their first four weeks their solitary loss came by just two points in Newcastle, while their three wins in that time came against the three other Preliminary Finalists last year in the Broncos, Panthers and Warriors. They could have been forgiven for picking up a few losses early in the year, but instead they have come out of the blocks and immediately established themselves as one of the teams to beat this season. Papenhuyzen is fit and firing and, pivotally, so is the rest of their side, and with a full list to choose from they have flexed their muscles early in the season. This is a new era for the Melbourne Storm, but while the likes of Cameron Smith and Billy Slater are now much-loved relics of a bygone era, with Papenhuyzen, Cameron Munster, Harry Grant and co leading the charge, they once again look set for an extended period towards the top of the NRL ladder.  

  • What brings them here? They are the Storm – they’re always here. Even without Papenhuyzen they were right up there last season, and with him healthy they look even better this year.
  • What has changed? Quite a lot. The Roosters have lost Fletcher Baker, Jaxson Paulo, Paul Momirovski, Drew Hutchison, Jake Turpin, Corey Allan and Ben Thomas to other teams, though Spencer Leniu comes across from the Panthers, Dominic Young from the Knights and Lewis Murphy from the UK.
  • Injury update: The Storm have close to a full bill of health at the time of writing. The only name on their injury list is Sua Fa’alogo, who is just about ready to return from an ankle injury.

Bet on the Storm to win the NRL Premiership at $7.00 with PlayUp 

Sydney Roosters

The Roosters’ 2023 campaign was a disaster until it wasn’t, but once they hit the form that saw them storm into the finals they’d left themselves too much to do to become a genuine contender. A semi-final finish was a good result given how far back they were a few weeks out from the final, but their aspirations heading into that season were higher than that, and they are again this year. Unfortunately they have not started the season particularly well; a 20-10 win over the Broncos in Round 1 in Vegas was an excellent opening while a 48-6 drubbing of the Rabbitohs a couple of weeks later would have been very satisfying, but with a loss sandwiched in between and two more after – including one to the Bulldogs – they’ve put themselves behind the eight ball early in the season. Of course, there is a long way to go and after a number of changes in the off-season, some early season growing pains could have been predicted, and numerous injuries and suspensions to key players haven’t helped. A 2-3 start to the year was far from ideal, but in beating the Broncos as well as the Bunnies by 42 points, they’ve certainly shown what they’re capable. Even in their loss to the Bulldogs they had a phenomenal second half, but unfortunately their first was as bad as the second was good and they were unable to nudge their noses in front. The Roosters need to bridge the gap between their best and their worst if they want to win enough games to finish top four, but their best is good enough.   

  • What brings them here? The Roosters have been in the mix for years and though most of last year didn’t go as planned, they showed what they can do at the back end of the season.
  • What has changed? Quite a lot. The Roosters have lost Fletcher Baker, Jaxson Paulo, Paul Momirovski, Drew Hutchison, Jake Turpin, Corey Allan and Ben Thomas to other teams, though Spencer Leniu comes across from the Panthers, Dominic Young from the Knights and Lewis Murphy from the UK.
  • Injury update: A pair of concussions to James Tedesco and Sam Walker has had them on the sidelines till Round 7, while Sandon Smith is due back from an elbow a week or two later. Dom Young and Spencer Leniu have both missed games to suspension, returning in Rounds 8 and 10 respectively, while Billy Smith is out indefinitely with an ankle injury.

Bet on the Roosters to win the NRL Premiership at $11.00 with PlayUp

New Zealand Warriors

The Warriors had a fantastic 2023 season which culminated in a Preliminary Final appearance, but many expected a couple of sides to slide past them this year and make it tough for them to repeat that effort. That may still be the case, but they’ve started the season pretty positively. Two consecutive losses to start wasn’t ideal, but they were both by just four points, one against the Storm and one against the Sharks, and they followed that up with three wins on the trot which got more impressive by the week. Round 5 was their best performance of the season to that point as they beat a Rabbitohs team which has quickly tumbled down this list by 30 points. The Bunnies have been really bad to start the year, but nonetheless that was a powerful performance by the Warriors who are quickly going about proving to the NRL world that last year was no fluke. With a pretty easy schedule to come throughout April they can get themselves off to a really good start a couple of months into the season, and put themselves in a great position to repeat the top four finish that they managed last year. They’ll no doubt remain below at least a couple of the above teams in the pecking order, but if they earn the double chance, they’ll be in the mix.

  • What brings them here? After last year’s improvement, the Warriors lost a few players but gained a couple of big names too, namely Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, and look capable of being even more dangerous this year than they were last. 
  • What has changed? The Warriors will be without a few players from last year’s list, with each of Viliami Vailea, Bailey Sironen, Josh Curran and Ronald Volkman finding new homes, while Brayden Wiliame retired. As mentioned, they have a big inclusion in the form of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, while they also picked up Kurt Capewell from Brisbane and Chanel Harris-Tavita.
  • Injury update: The Warriors have a reasonably hefty injury list early in the season. Luke Metcalf has no timeline on a return from a fractured leg, while Demitric Sifakula is also out indefinitely with a knee injury. Bunty Afoa should be available around Round 11 from a hamstring, while Marata Niukore is expected to be available a couple of weeks after that.

Bet on the Warriors to win the NRL Premiership at $13.00 with PlayUp

North Queensland Cowboys

The Cowboys are a dangerous team. After finishing top four in 2022, they were about as frustrating as any side in the NRL last year, playing really poorly for large parts of the first half of the season, before hitting a patch of form which saw them knock off a number of the best teams in the league in quick succession. Just as quickly as that form arrived, however, it disappeared, and they fell back out of the top eight and missed the finals. The gap between their best and worst is really, really big, but hey – in terms of Premiership capability, it’s better to be a team like that than a consistently good-but-not-good-enough one. And unlike last year, the Cowboys have started 2024 in some strong form. Admittedly their draw has not been particularly difficult, but they did win four of their first five games. That solitary loss wasn’t a great one – a 38-12 defeat at the hands of the Broncos – but four strong performances out of their first five is a whole lot more than what they managed early last year. At longer odds the Cowboys certainly don’t look like the worst value pick for the flag on the table. They’ve got some work to do to consistently compete with the likes of the Panthers, Storm and Broncos, but their best is really good. If they can find a way to show it a lot more often than they did last year, they can pose a threat later in the season.

  • What brings them here? A team capable of going deep into the finals, as they showed in 2022 and for periods of last year. A strong start to 2024 has put them in a good position to return to September action.
  • What has changed? There are a few outs for the Cowboys, probably most notably Peta Hiku, who has gone to the UK, while Riley Price, Jake Bourke and Taniela Sadrugu have also found new homes and Mitch Dunn and James Tamou have retired. Viliami Vailea is their only acquisition, coming across from the Warriors.
  • Injury update: The Cowboys have a relatively short injury list, but the names on it will remain there for some time. Zac Laybutt and Coen Hess are both out for the season with knee injuries, while Jamayne Taunoa-Brown is expected to return mid-season from an Achilles. Heilum Luki is due back a little sooner, hoping to return from an ankle injury in Round 9.

Bet on the Cowboys to win the NRL Premiership at $15.00 with PlayUp

Manly Sea Eagles

The Sea Eagles have been a mid-tier team for years now, with their top-end talent not enough to see them compete at the pointy end of the season. But admittedly, persistent injuries to Tom Trbojevic have been a major reason for that, and perhaps unsurprisingly, with him fit and healthy and playing well, they have started season 2024 very positively and their odds to win the flag have shortened fairly rapidly as a result. They started the season with a couple of solid wins over first the Rabbitohs in Las Vegas and then the Roosters, and though that was followed up with a close loss against the Eels and then a really disappointing loss to the Dragons, a 32-18 victory over the Panthers the next week put them back on track. That two-week period which saw them lose to the Dragons and then beat the Panthers demonstrated a divide between their best and worst which, like many teams on this list, they would like to bridge. But most importantly it showed their ability to compete with the best teams in the league. Through five rounds the Roosters and Panthers are the best two teams that the Sea Eagles have played and they’ve knocked them both off. They still have some work to do to get themselves in the conversation with some of the above teams, but if they – and particularly Tom Turbo – stay fit and healthy, they are certainly capable of playing finals and potentially giving a few more highly fancied teams a scare.

  • What brings them here? The Sea Eagles haven’t been a bad team for a while but they haven’t been a great one either. A good start to the season and a healthy list, however, has seen their Premiership odds shorten. 
  • What has changed? Quite a lot changed for the Sea Eagles in the offseason. They lost a number of players to other teams including Sean Keppie, Samuela Fainu, Morgan Harper, Kelma Tuilagi, Kaeo Weekes and Christian Tuipolulotu. Coming in, however, were former Tigers trio Luke Brooks, Tommy Talau, Aitasi James, as well as Jaxson Paolo, Corey Waddell and Bailey Hodgson.
  • Injury update: There are no long-injuries to worry about for the Sea Eagles at the time of writing. Reuben Garrick, Matt Lodge and Jason Saab have all had injury complaints but are expected to return by around Round 7.

Bet on the Sea Eagles to win the NRL Premiership at $15.00 with PlayUp

Cronulla Sharks

After finishing top four in 2022 the Sharks haven’t really been able to establish themselves as a really legitimate Premiership threat, and that may well be the case again this season. They did admittedly start the season pretty well with three wins from their first four games, but they were handed a pretty easy draw to kick off their year. A win over the Warriors in New Zealand was a really positive start before they backed it up with a big victory over the Bulldogs, though a 32-6 loss to the Tigers the next week was a little concerning. They bounced back with a comfortable win against the Raiders in Round 5, but things begin to get a little harder thereafter. A three week period in May during which they take on the Storm, Rosters and Panthers in successive weeks will be a real test and will likely give us a better idea of where they are at, and it would be no surprise to see them drop at least a couple if not all three of those. But you can only beat the teams in front of you and by and large so far this season, they have done that. They are most likely a little way behind the best teams in the league and it’s tough to see them legitimately contending for the flag, but they have, at least, got off to a fairly reasonable start.

  • What brings them here? The Sharks have been a top six team for a couple of years now, but they do need to improve this year if they’re to match it with the best of the best.
  • What has changed? The Sharks had a pretty quiet off-season, with Billy Burns the only addition after he came across from the Dragons. Matt Moylan and Connor Tracey both headed overseas, while Wade Graham retired.
  • Injury update: Jesse Colquhoun is the only long-termer on the injury list for the Sharks, with his foot injury set to keep him out indefinitely. Royce Hunt is expected back in Round 8 from a calf, while each of Toby Rudolf, Dale Finucane, Braden Hamlin-Uele and Briton Nikora are just about ready to go after injuries and suspensions of their own.

Bet on the Sharks to win the NRL Premiership at $21.00 with PlayUp

Our Prediction

The Panthers and Broncos were the clear favourites for good reason entering the season and still deserve to be viewed as the teams to beat, and more so the Panthers after an average start to the season for the Broncos. But considering how long there is to go in the season, their odds don’t look particularly appealing. Looking beyond those two, one team that there is a lot to like about is the Storm. They have a number of elite players who are, for once, all healthy, and have started the year in really good form. Arguably the most stable and consistently competitive team in Australian sport, they are almost a lock to finish in or around the top four, and if they’re fully healthy come finals time they will be tough to beat. At close to $7, they look like decent value at this point in the season.


Most NRL Premierships

  • South Sydney Rabbitohs – 21
  • Sydney Roosters – 15
  • St George Dragons – 15
  • Balmain Tigers – 11
  • Manly Sea Eagles – 8
  • Canterbury Bulldogs – 8

Longest Grand Final Winning Steak

  • 11 years – 1956 to 1966 – St George Dragons

Current clubs yet to win a NRL Premiership

  • New Zealand Warriors – 1995 to Present
  • Gold Coast Titans – 2007 to Present

Longest NRL Match Winning Streak

  • 19 matches – Eastern Suburbs Roosters (1975)

Most NRL games played

  • Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm) 430 games (2002 to 2020)

James is a sports writer from Melbourne, and has contributed to a variety of publications covering a range of sports including basketball, cricket, Australian Rules, golf and surfing to name a few. An avid fan of all of the above and more, James’ downtime is spent falling ungracefully off his surfboard, turning over footies and playing an out of tune guitar.

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