2023 NRL Grand Final - Panthers v Broncos
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 01: The Panthers players celebrate victory after winning the 2023 NRL Grand Final match between Penrith Panthers and Brisbane Broncos at Accor Stadium on October 01, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Winning another grand final would cement their status as the greatest rugby league team of all-time and it would be a brave move to wager against the achieving the feat.

The best NRL betting sites rate the Panthers as the $3.75 favourites to get the job done – the only question remaining is who can stop them next season? The most likely answer is Brisbane Broncos.

Broncos will be on a mission

The Broncos are rated as $4.20 shots to knock the Panthers off their perch having come agonisingly close to upsetting the odds in this year's Grand Final.

They held a 16-point lead with 26 minutes remaining, but were unable to resist a late Panthers surge and ultimately suffered a heartbreaking 26-24 defeat.

Bouncing back from that disappointment will be no easy task and it will be intriguing to see if the result has a negative impact on the team's mindset next season.

The departures of Thomas Flegler, Keenan Palasia and Herbie Farnworth could hit the Broncos hard, although they have plenty of other players who will be eager to impress.

They include new signings Jaiyden Hunt and Fletcher Baker, while Deine Mariner has been widely tipped to establish himself in the starting line-up next season.

NRL Rd 23 - Dragons v Roosters
TOOWOOMBA, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 22: Fletcher Baker of the Roosters celebrates during the round 23 NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Sydney Roosters at Clive Berghofer Stadium, on August 22, 2021, in Toowoomba, Australia. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

There will be plenty of pressure on halfback Adam Reynolds to lead the Broncos' title charge, with his experience likely to be crucial to their hopes of going one step further.

Reynolds was a standout performer for most of last season, but ultimately did not produce his best form when the chips were down against the Panthers.

However, if Reynolds can continue to impart his wisdom on the rest of the Broncos' squad, they may well have the ability to get their hands on the title this season.

Reece Walsh and Ezra Mam benefitted massively from Reynolds' presence in the team last term and will be eager to continue their upwards trajectory next year.

A possible complication for the Broncos could be improved performances from the Dolphins, whose addition to the ranks created a new NRL rivalry last season.

The Broncos triumphed in both their regular season meetings in 2023, but winning margins of six and eight points highlighted the potential possessed by the Dolphins.

Having snapped up Flegler and Farnworth from the Broncos during the close season, the Dolphins could prove to be a thorn in their side next term.

Despite having new ‘noisy neighbours' to contend with, the Broncos look the team most likely to push the Panthers during the 2024 campaign.

Panthers remain the team to beat

Although the Panthers have lost Spencer Leniu and Stephen Crichton, their 32-man squad is still packed with hugely talented players in every position.

Isaiah Iongi, Preston Rikki, Luke Sommerton and Ryley Price have joined the senior ranks from the development squad, to continue the club's policy of evolution rather than revolution.

Grand Final Man of the Match Nathan Cleary remains the Panthers' headline performer and he will once again be the man tasked with making the team tick.

Retaining five-eighth Jarome Luai's services could be crucial to their title hopes, with the player attracting plenty of interest with just one year left on his contract.

NRL Rd 23 - Panthers v Storm
PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 04: Jarome Luai of the Panthers runs the ball during the round 23 NRL match between Penrith Panthers and Melbourne Storm at BlueBet Stadium on August 04, 2023 in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Wests Tigers have reportedly considered making Luai a big-money offer, which could tempt him to jump ship if is it significantly above what the Panthers are prepared to offer him.

The Panthers are willing to pay Luai around $850,000-a-season from 2025, but the Tigers' offer would likely be north of the $1 million mark.

While the uncertainty over his future is concerning, the Panthers will undoubtedly have a contingency plan in place if he decides to leave the club.

They also have plenty of other top talents in their squad including fullback Dylan Edwards, whose ‘human dynamo' running style caused endless problems across the NRL last season. 

The Panthers' status as the bookmakers' favourites to win another title is well-deserved and recent history shows that backing against them is an exercise in futility.

The outcome will ultimately hinge on two factors – will they be able to handle the pressure of trying to win four in a row and can they avoid injuries?

The history of sport is littered with examples of top-class teams who eventually cracked in their pursuit of glory. Opponents raise their game and it becomes much tougher to win.

However, if they have luck with injuries and their top players keep performing, a remarkable fourth NRL Grand Final success may well be on the cards.