NRL 2023 Premiership Winner Betting Preview – Odds, Tips & Predictions

After 27 home and away rounds and three weeks of finals, our Grand Finalists are set. And, as so many predicted, it’s the Panthers and the Broncos who will go head to head on Grand Final Day. The two best teams throughout the course of the year, they’ve both been dominant throughout the finals series, and are well and truly deserving of their place on the biggest day of the year. Were it not for the other, each of these teams would be the red-hot favourite to win the Grand Final, but as it is we’ve got what the bookmakers are pegging as a reasonably close games. But will those odds prove justified? Let’s take a look at how both teams are shaping up in the lead-in to the big game.

Updated: 25 September, 2023

NRL 2023 Premiership Winner Odds

NRL 2023 Premiership Winner Favourites

Penrith Panthers

The Panthers were always going to be tough to beat this season. After three consecutive Grand Finals, the latter two of which resulted in Premierships, they entered the season as the Premiership favourites, and nothing they’ve done throughout the course of the year has done anything to change that. They’ve been clinical all year; they weren’t at their absolute best to start, but they did enough to win a lot more often than not and have gradually worked their way into some of the most imposing form they’re capable of mustering up as the season has worn on.

After finishing on top of the ladder, they destroyed the Warriors in the first week of finals 32-6, and after a week off enjoyed an even more comprehensive win in their Preliminary Final, knocking off the Storm 38-4 to secure their spot in a fourth consecutive Grand Final. They are truly firing on all cylinders, scoring with consummate ease against the best teams in the league, and that’s not even the end at which they’re the most dominant. Defensively they are absurdly good, very rarely conceding more than a try or two, and it’s that defensive dominance through which they’ll be hoping to make it three flags in as many years.

Importantly, they will head into the Grand Final with virtually a full list to choose from as well. Jarome Luai returned from a few-week layoff in the prelim without a hitch, while IzackTago also emerged from that game unscathed. They’re probably as good as they’ve been throughout the course of this period of dominance, and realistically if it weren’t for the rapid emergence of the Broncos this season, the Panthers would have been a very short-priced favourite to take out the whole thing for much of the season.

As it is, they’ve got a really good team that they need to overcome, and one which will likely give them much more of a challenge than what both the Warriors and the Storm could manage over the past few weeks. But still, the Panthers have the experience in this game that their opposition doesn’t, anddeserve to be favourites. If anyone can stop them it’s the Broncos, but this is perhaps the most consummately professional outfit we’ve seen in the league in a long time, and they are well-placed to secure a third consecutive Premiership on Sunday.

  • What brings them here? The Panthers have been the best team in the league for years, and this year they’ve been as dominant as ever, as evidenced by a 26-point Qualifying Final win and a 34-point Preliminary Final win.
  • What has changed? The losses of Viliame Kikau and Apisai Koroisauwere significant, though these have been somewhat offset by the acquisition of Mitch Kenny and the return of Tyrone Peachey.
  • Injury update: The Panthers have pretty much a clean bill of health, with Taylan May the only name on their injury list. Jarome Luai returned without a hitch in the prelim, as did IzackTago.

Bet on the Penrith Panthers to win the Premiership at $1.62

Brisbane Broncos

After improving drastically last season only to collapse late in the year to miss the finals, some improvement from the Broncos this season was to be expected. But the level to which they’ve taken their game was nearly impossible to predict. A great start to the year was expected by many to eventually hit a hurdle, and though they did have a patch in the middle stages which was a little less impressive, they quickly bounced back and proved that they are a whole lot more than a flash in the pan – they are a legitimately excellent team.

Come finals time they had to prove that they could do it outside of the home and away season – they were every bit as good as the Panthers for the first 27 weeks of the year, but Penrith has well and truly proven their wares on the big stage in a way that the Broncos haven’t. But they rapidly proved that they had no issues converting home and away season form into finals form, demolishing a Storm side against which they had a truly woeful record 26-0 in the first week of finals. After a week off, they came out against the Warriors and, though they were a little leaky early, scored with absolute ease and ultimately ran out dominant 42-12 winners to secure a first Grand Final berth since 2015.

The Broncos are a really exciting team to watch, capable of scoring as well as anyone, while their defensive capability has also seen them concede less points than everyone in the league with the exception of the Panthers. That translated to the finals, too, with only 12 points being conceded to both the Storm and the Warriors combined over their first two finals.

Their biggest challenge now will be converting that offensive capability into scores against a team whose defence is so far ahead of the pack that it’s like they’re playing a different game. So far this season, the Broncos have scored just 13 and 4 points in their two games against the Panthers – though in those two games the Panthers have scored just 12 and 15 points, too, so it’s not as though they were high-scoring games. But nonetheless, the pressure of Grand Final Day invariably makes putting together try-scoring passages more difficult, and the Panthers won’t exactly be letting up from a defensive perspective. It’s hard to imagine the Broncos putting up a huge score in the Grand Final, so if they’re to get the job done they’ll likely need to grind it out in a low-scoring affair. They are more than capable of doing that, and a Premiership would be well-deserved considering how good they’ve been this year. But beating Penrith on Grand Final Day has proven pretty tough over the last couple of years, and this incarnation of the Panthers is as good as any. The Broncos are certainly not without a chance, but they’ll have to be at their absolute best.

  • What brings them here? A dominant first final followed a terrific season, before the Broncos continued their blistering year with a 30-point Preliminary Final win to lock up a Grand Final spot.
  • What has changed? TesiNiu will be one name missing from last year’s squad after he moved to the Dolphins, while experienced Martin Taupau should slot straight into the 17.
  • Injury update: The Broncos hardly have a worry in the world from an injury perspective – Xavier Willison is the only name on their injury list, and he’s only played a handful of minutes off the bench this year anyway. 

Bet on the Brisbane Broncos to win the Premiership at $2.30

Our Prediction

The Panthers and the Broncos both deserve their spots in the Grand Final. They’ve been the best teams all year, and they’ve each confirmed that with a couple of dominant finals performances apiece. The Panthers cumulative finals score to date is 70-10, while for the Broncos it’s 68-12. Clearly, these are the best two teams, and that they’ve both made the Grand Final means we should be in for a compelling game. But as good as the Broncos have been this year, the Panthers have been here before, and have an aura of inexorability about them. They’ll likely keep the Broncos from scoring much at all, as they do virtually everyone, and with just enough scoring of their own they can get the job done in a bruising, low-scoring encounter to usher in a dynasty with their third consecutive flag.

The Penrith Panthers to win the 2023 NRL Premiership

Statistics

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.