Alright, folks.

You should all know the drill by now.

There are 16 teams playing in eight games this weekend, and because nothing in this life is either perfect or complete, we here at Zero Tackleย still believe each of these aforesaid combatants come with a question marks.

So, before the third month of the regular season kicks off on Thursday night, we have sought to answer the most pressing queries ahead of Round 9.

SEE ALSO: Blythy's Round 9 Rev Up

4. Is the Raiders and Knights clash on Saturday afternoon an elimination final in May?

As dramatic as it may sound, I genuinely believe it to be, as on current form, only one of this pair is likely to squeeze into the eight by September.

According toย Stats Insider,ย neither Canberra or Newcastle has a greater than 60% chance of making the finals again this season, but the Green Machine's proportional odds remain higher at 59% compared to 31.9%.

This same chasm in probability is also evident for Saturday afternoon's clash in the bush, with the number crunchers perceiving the Raiders as favourites by a staggeringly similar margin.

Although this talk of finals surrounding two teams that have collectively managed just one win over the past month will have some scoffing, you can be sure that the heat will be on for the side that runs cold in Wagga Wagga this weekend.

For someone that has previously raved about the Raiders' chances this season - and is also yet to sell their stock - I am tipping 'Sticky's' side in a close one.