NRL 2024 Round 1 – Betting tips & Predictions

NRL 2024 Round 1

Six months after one of the more memorable Grand Finals in recent times, the NRL is already set to return this weekend, with the early start a result of a major revamp of the fixture. The addition of the league’s 17th team, the Dolphins, has created the need for a few changes in the NRL, and this year’s season is set to run for longer than ever before. What’s more, the opening round will kick off in Las Vegas, of all places, with a double header in Sin City set to begin the season this Sunday, before the rest of Round 1 takes place as normal next weekend. With summer still in full swing it feels strange to be talking NRL, but here we are, so let’s dive right in and take a look at how each game which will take place across the course of Round 1 is shaping up. 

Round 1 Fixtures

FixturesInfo (AEST)Home OddsAway Odds
Sea Eagles vs Rabbitohs Sunday, 3rd March at 1.30pm $2.05$1.77
Roosters vs BroncosSunday, 3rd March at 3.30pm $2.40$1.58
Knights vs Raiders Thursday, 7th March at 8.00pm $1.44$2.80
Warriors vs Sharks Friday, 8th March at 6.00pm $1.60$2.35
Storm vs Panthers Friday, 8th March at 8.05pm $2.12$1.72
Eels vs Bulldogs Saturday, 9th March at 5.30pm $1.44$2.80
Titans vs Dragons Saturday, 9th March at 7.35pm $1.50$2.60
Dolphins vs Cowboys Sunday, 10th March at 4.05pm $2.75$1.45

Manly Sea Eagles vs South Sydney Rabbitohs

Tip

Under the bright lights of Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, the Sea Eagles and Rabbitohs will get the 2024 season going this Sunday, with the game kicking off at 1.30pm AEDT. In isolation, this is a game which the Rabbitohs would be expecting to win, but the trip across the Pacific Ocean brings up a few added question marks. Playing in a foreign environment and on the back of a trip which puts the difficulty of travelling from New South Wales to Queensland in an entirely different light, it’s difficult to predict how each team will perform, particularly in Round 1 – which as we know, is renowned for tossing up all sorts of surprising results. The Rabbitohs enter the year with Premiership ambitions despite having missed the finals last year, and fair enough too – at their best they are a damn good team, as they showed for extended periods of last season. The Sea Eagles, meanwhile, again fell short of the finals in Anthony Seibold’s first year in charge, with the health – or lack thereof – of Tom Trbojevic again wreaking havoc on their finals aspirations. Whether their star full back can stay healthy this year will have a huge outcome on how their season pans out, but while 12 games or less in four of his last five seasons isn’t a great track record, he will be there for this game. With the 2021 Dally M Medallist there and former Tigers halfback slotting in alongside Daly Cherry-Evans, this has the potential to be a dangerous team and they should be able to keep their opponents on their toes in this game, but the fact remains that the Bunnies are the better side wherever in the world this is being played. They can get their season off to a good start with a solid win. 

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Rabbitohs to win $1.80
Rabbitohs -1.5 $1.91
Under 42.5 total match points $1.90

Predicted Squads


Manly Sea Eagles
: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Jason Saab 3. Tolutau Koula 4. Reuben Garrick 5. Jaxson Paulo6. Luke Brooks 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Taniela Paseka 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Josh Aloiai 11. Haumole Olakau'atu 12. Ben Trbojevic 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Karl Lawton 15. Corey Waddell 16. Ethan Bullemor 17. Nathan Brown


South Sydney Rabbitohs
: 1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Isaiah Tass 4. Richard Kennar 5. Jacob Gagai 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Sean Keppie 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jai Arrow 13. Cameron Murray 14. SilivaHavili 15. Jacob Host 16. Davvy Moale 17. Thomas Burgess 

Sydney Roosters vs Brisbane Broncos

Tip

If you’re only going to watch half of the Las Vegas double header, the second leg is certainly the one to tune into. The Roosters and the Broncos both enter the 2024 with lofty ambitions; the Roosters, after a strange old 2023 season which they entered as one of the Premiership favourites, then collapsed in a proverbial cow heap only to charge home and make a semi, will be banking on a few less injuries and a bit more consistency enabling them to make a more legitimate run at this year’s flag. The Broncos, meanwhile, are coming off the back of a remarkable ascent last year which saw them jump from ninth to within 20 minutes of winning a Premiership, only to fall into a cow heap of their own largely on the back of Nathan Cleary’s heroics for the Panthers. They would have been having nightmares about that 20-minute period for the last six month, and will be desperate to go one step further this season. But the Roosters certainly won’t make things easy for them to start off the season. This should be an intense game between two heavyweights of the league, both of whom are genuine chances to raise the Provans-Summons Trophy aloft at the end of the year. There will be plenty of bruised bodies making the long trek home from Nevada after this game, after a match which I’m banking points to be pretty hard to come by. But the Broncos are likely going to be extremely difficult to beat this year, as they were last, particularly with the added element of a summer of discontent behind them. In a tight affair, they can get their season off to a strong start with a close win.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Broncos to win $1.58
Broncos 1-12 $2.90
Under 40.5 total match points $1.90

Predicted Squads


Sydney Roosters
: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Billy Smith 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii 6. Luke Keary 7. Sam Walker 8. Spencer Leniu 9. Brandon Smith 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Siua Wong 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Victor Radley 14. Sandon Smith 15. Naufahu Whyte 16. Nat Butcher 17. Terrell May


Brisbane Broncos
: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Jesse Arthars 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Selwyn Cobbo 5. Deine Mariner 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Corey Jensen 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Brendan Piakura 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan 14. Tyson Smoothy 15. Fletcher Baker 16. Kobe Hetherington 17. Xavier Willison

Newcastle Knights vs Canberra Raiders

Tip

After the league’s little sojourn to the other side of the world, a four-day break will ensure before normal programming resumes on Thursday night with the season’s first game in Australia set to take place between the Knights and the Raiders. For the Raiders, this will be their second consecutive game against the Knights in the season proper; their 2023 season memorably ended at the hands of Newcastle in one of the best finals we’ve seen in recent times, an overtime thriller which had late tries, two overtime periods and a biting allegation. After opening up a ten-point halftime lead the Raiders conceded four tries in 15 minutes to lose their handle on the game, but a couple of consecutive tries – including one in the 77th minute – tied the game up. Unfortunately, they would go on to lose anyway courtesy of a Kalyn Ponga field goal in the 88th minute. The Knights subsequently went on to get absolutely hammered in the semi, so it all came to nought anyway, but it was certainly a fiery encounter which will ensure there is plenty of spice in the sequel. The Raiders, of course, did pretty well to get as close as they did in that game – though they were in the top eight for much of the season they benefited a lot from an unsustainable number of close wins, while the Knights were one of the best teams in the league in the back half of the year. That bodes pretty well for them this season. Newcastle showed what they are capable of over an extended period in 2023, and on their home turf they should be too good for a Raiders side which might slide a little this season.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Knights to win $1.44
Knights -6.5 $1.91
Knights 13+ $2.55

Predicted Squads

Newcastle Knights
Newcastle Knights
: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Enari Tuala 3. Dane Gagai 4. BradmanBest 5. Greg Marzhew 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Jackson Hastings 8. Daniel Saifiti 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Leo Thompson 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Dylan Lucas 13. Adam Elliott 14. Phoenix Crossland 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Jack Hetherington 17. Jack Cogger 

Canberra Raiders
Canberra Raiders
: 1. Jordan Rapana 2. Xavier Savage 3. James Schiller 4. Matt Timoko 5. Nick Cotric 6. Ethan Strange 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Josh Papali'i 9. Zac Woolford 10. Joseph Tapine11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Morgan Smithies 14. Tom Starling 15. Emre Guler 
16. Pasami Saulo 17. Zac Hosking 

  • The Storm went 9-3 at home last year and harking back over the past six years, have lost only 11 games there. 
  • The Knights went 9-3 at home last year as well, and also beat the Raiders three times out of three meetings – and aside from the aforementioned Elimination Final, both were by double digit margins.
  • 11 of the Dragons 19 losses last season were by double figure margins, including eight of their last ten. 

Multi of the Week

LegsOdds
Storm to win outright $2.12
Knights -6.5 $1.90
Titans -5.5 $1.90
Bet $10 for $76.53 with PlayUp

New Zealand Warriors vs Cronulla Sharks

Tip

After just one game in Australia, the NRL action will again head back overseas to kick off Friday’s action, though this time not quite as far as Las Vegas. Auckland will play host to the first game of Friday night’s double-header, with the Warriors hosting the Sharks in an intriguing clash between two more finalists from last year. The Warriors, of course, had a hugely impressive 2023 campaign which saw them catapult into the top four, and while they ultimately proved no match for the top two teams in the finals – they lost to both the Broncos and Panthers by a combined total of 56 points – they did secure a dominant 30-point win against the Knights in the semis. The Sharks, meanwhile, again failed to win a final after exiting in straight sets in 2022, though no one could fault their effort in a one-point Elimination Final loss to the Roosters. Both of these teams will enter the 2024 season with the expectation of once again playing finals, though realistically they are both a little way back from the top tier – at least on face value they appear to be. The Warriors in particular, however, know all too well that pre-season predictions can be a long way off – they proved as much just last year. They might have overachieved last year, but the Warriors have also added Roger Tuivasa-Sheck after a stint in rugby union to their squad, which could be just what they need to take the extra step. I tend to think the Warriors have more scope to improve this season than the Sharks, and particularly given they are playing on their home turf they should be able to get their season off to a strong start with a hard-fought win. 

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Warriors to win $1.60
Warriors -3.5 $1.91
Warriors 1-12 $3.00

Predicted Squads

New Zealand Warriors
New Zealand Warriors
: 1. Taine Tuaupiki 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Rocco Berry  4. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 5. Marcelo Montoya  6. Luke Metcalf 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake  9. Wayde Egan 10. Mitch Barnett 11. Jackson Ford 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Tohu Harris 14. Dylan Walker 15. Jazz Tevaga 16. Marata Niukore 17. Tom Ale 

Cronulla Sharks
Cronulla Sharks
: 1. Will Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Braydon Trindall 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Toby Rudolph 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Braden Hamlin-Uele 11. Briton Nikora 12. Teig Wilton 13. Dale Finucane 14. Cameron McInnes 15. Oregon Kaufusi 16. Royce Hunt 17. Jack Williams 

Melbourne Storm vs Penrith Panthers

Tip

It’s safe to say that it’s a pretty enthralling start to the NRL season, with a number of high quality matchups taking place over the initial days of the season, and this one is probably the best of the bunch. The perennially dominant Storm and Panthers will face off at AAMI Park in Friday night’s second game, a clash which we have, of course, seen take place very late in the season in recent years. In 2024, this may once again be a rivalry which we will see in the postseason, with both of these teams entering the season with high hopes. The Panthers, of course, are looking to make it four on the trot after an incredible Nathan Cleary-inspired comeback led them to their third consecutive flag last year, and while they have invariably had to bear the brunt of the salary cap as their Premierships stars continue to require more money, they will still be a pretty damn good team this season. The Storm, meanwhile, will be looking to go one further than the Preliminary Final which they made last year, though the absolute drubbing they copped at the hands of the Panthers themselves in this game suggested they were a little way off the mark. But write off the Storm at your own peril. With Ryan Papenhuyzen returning they will be a much, much better side, and anything less than a top four finish will be an underachievement for them. Tipping against the Panthers never feels like a particularly smart thing to do, but AAMI Park has been a fortress for the Storm for many years, and with Papenhuyzen back in the picture they can claim the first upset of the year in a tight, tense affair. 

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Storm to win $2.15
Storm +2.5 $1.91
Storm 1-12 $3.30

Predicted Squads

Melbourne Storm
Melbourne Storm
: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. Will Warbrick 3. Nick Meaney 4. Reimis Smith 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Tui Kamikamica 9. Harry Grant 10. Christian Welch 11. Trent Loiero 12. Eliesa Katoa 13. Josh King 14. Tyran Wishart 15. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 16. Shawn Blore 17. Aaron Pene

Penrith Panthers
Penrith Panthers
: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Izack Tago 4. Taylan May 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. Soni Luke 15. Lindsay Smith 16. Tyrone Peachey 17. Liam Henry

Parramatta Eels vs Canterbury Bulldogs

Tip

Saturday kicks off with a clash between two teams facing no shortage of pressure in season 2024. The Eels might have overachieved in making it to a Grand Final in 2022 and the result in that game suggested as much, but dropping all the way back to tenth last season was a wildly disappointing response to that Grand Final defeat. They lack depth and talent in the outside backs and probably don’t have too high a ceiling this year, though the fact that they lost plenty of close games early in the 2023 season and then hit some strong form could give them some cause for optimism. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, have been gradually upturning their roster under Coach Ciraldo, but the changes haven’t yet manifested into the results that they are after and the inconsistency in effort that they have displayed at times in recent years means they face plenty of pressure to improve this season. What they have done is bring in a number of hard-nosed players from whom they know what they will get on a weekly basis – will that be enough to straighten this squad out and finally put them in a position to play finals football? There are a huge number of questions facing both of these teams this year and this game alone obviously won’t answer them, but with so much pressure on them both teams will be eager to avoid a bad first round result and the pitchforks which will no doubt accompany it. If both teams bring their best this could be a really good game, and though the Eels will be expecting a victory, I think the Bulldogs look like a value bet here at longer odds. 

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Bulldogs to win $2.60
Bulldogs +5.5 $1.91
Bulldogs 1-12$3.60

Predicted Squads


Parramatta Eels
: 1. Clint Gutherson 2. Bailey Simonsson 3. Will Penisini 4. Morgan Harper 5. Sean Russell 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitch Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Joey Lussick  10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Bryce Cartwright  13. J'maine Hopgood 14. Joe Ofahengaue 15. Ryan Matterson 16. Wiremu Greig 17. Brendan Hands 


Canterbury Bulldogs
: 1. Blake Taaffe 2. Josh Addo-Carr 3. Bronson Xerri 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Jacob Kiraz 6. Matt Burton 7. Drew Hutchison 8. Max King 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Poasa Faamausili 11. Jacob Preston 12. Viliame Kikau  14. Kurt Mann 15. Samuel Hughes 16. Josh Curran  17. Liam Knight 

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Gold Coast Titans vs St. George Illawarra Dragons

Tip

The NRL has loaded the front half of the opening round with the best teams and some quality games, which invariably means that the last couple of games don’t look quite as exciting. On Saturday night, the Titans and the Dragons will face off in the Gold Coast in a matchup between two teams trying to tear themselves away from the lower reaches of the ladder, and it’s the home team that clearly has the best chance of doing so. The Titans will enter this season under the guidance of new coach Des Hasler, and if the off-season chatter is anything to go by he has already ingratiated himself with a group of players which is capable of causing a lot more damage than their 14th place finish last year would suggest. With a soft start to the season, they have the chance to make an immediate impression under their new coach, and a big win against the Dragons would be a great way to do just that. The Dragons, too, will enter this season with a new coach at the helm, with Shane Flanagan taking over, but he doesn’t have quite the talent of Hasler to work with. More than likely this will be another difficult season for the Dragons, and it looks likely to begin with a comfortable loss at the hands of a Titans team hoping to improve significantly this season. 

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Titans to win $1.50
Titans -5.5 $1.91
Titans 13+ $2.60

Predicted Squads

Gold Coast Titans
Gold Coast Titans 
: 1. Keano Kini 2. Alofiana Khan-Pereira 3. AJ Brimson  4. Brian Kelly 5. Phil Sami 6. Kieran Foran 7. Tanah Boyd 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 9. Chris Randall 10. Keenan Palasia  11. Joe Stimson 12. Beau Fermor 13. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui 14. Sam Verrills 15. Erin Clark 16. Iszac Fa'asuamaleaui 17. Klese Haas 

St. George Illawarra Dragons
St. George Illawarra Dragons
: 1. Tyrell Sloan 2. Zac Lomax 3. Moses Suli 4. Jack Bird 
5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Kyle Flanagan 7. Ben Hunt 8. Francis Molo 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Luciano Leilua 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Jack de Belin 14. Jesse Marschke 15. Tom Eisenhuth 16. Hame Sele 17. Raymond Faitala-Mariner

Dolphins vs North Queensland Cowboys

Tip

The drawn out Round 1 fixture means that there will be just one game on the second Sunday of the split opening round, with the Dolphins hosting the Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium late in the afternoon. The Dolphins will enter the season hoping to improve on what was already a surprisingly successful first season in the league, with Wayne Bennett once again wielding his magic wand to get them off to an incredible start to a year in which they were widely tipped to finish last. They did, unsurprisingly, fade off as the year progressed, but they have added to their depth in the off-season and with just one more year under Bennett’s guidance, will be hoping to improve and make a potential charge at the finals in 2024. As for the Cowboys, it’s any guess where they will finish up. After an excellent 2022 they went and missed the finals last year, looking at various points in the season like both one of the worst teams in the league and one of the best. With not a whole lot having changed in their off-season, it’s tough to know which end of the spectrum they will end up on this year, but the form they showed towards the end of the season – before they again tailed off just when they couldn’t afford to – must give them some reason for hope. Expect the Dolphins to be a plucky team which nobody will take lightly this season, and they should be able to challenge the Cowboys in this one, but the visitors should be able to get their season off to a good start with a solid win on the road here. 

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Cowboys to win $1.48
Cowboys -5.5 $1.87
Cowboys -6 $1.95

Predicted Squads

The Dolphins
The Dolphins
: 1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Jake Averillo 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Jack Bostock 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Jesse Bromwich 
9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Thomas Flegler 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Euan Aitken 13. Ray Stone 14. Jarrod Wallace 15. Max Plath 16. Connelly Lemuelu 17. Mark Nicholls 

North Queensland Cowboys
North Queensland Cowboys
: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Zac Laybutt 4. Valentine Holmes 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jason Taumalolo 9. Reece Robson 10. Jordan McLean 11. Jeremiah Nanai 12. Heilum Luki 13. Reuben Cotter 14. Jake Granville 15. Sam McIntyre 16. Griffin Neame 17. Thomas Mikaele

Your Full Sports Betting Experience at BettingTop10

Hopefully some of the above tips get you off to a good start this NRL season, but at BettingTop10 it gets even better. On our site, you can find information about all of the best NRL betting sites, as well as the best betting apps if you prefer to be able to place a punt from work, the train or wherever else you may be. And if you want a look at all of the details about many of the biggest bookies in Australia, take a look at our huge range of bookmaker reviews! 
 
What’s more, if you want to hone in on some different sports, we’ve got pages just like this one for many other major leagues, too. Whether you’re into AFL or cricket, NBA or horse racing, we’ve got it covered. 

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