Canberra Raiders captain Elliott Whitehead says they need to win all three of their remaining games to make the NRL finals.
But a look at the run home of the seven teams in contention for the final two spots in the top eight shows they could sneak in with just one - although two would be much safer.
The Green Machine have a tough run home with games against the Manly Sea Eagles, at Lang Park on Friday, and the Sydney Roosters bookending their clash against the New Zealand Warriors.
Newcastle has the easiest run home of any of the teams within striking distance of the eight and they should finish the season undefeated given they play bottom-two Canterbury and Brisbane - although they do face a potential banana skin in Gold Coast.
It means seventh place is the Knights' to lose, with the other six teams effectively fighting for one spot.
Cronulla and the Titans appear the Raiders' biggest threats for eighth spot - although the Warriors play the latter two giving them some hope of sneaking in.
If results go the way of ladder position, which would see Canberra win just one of their remaining three games, then it would be a three-way tie for eighth - with points differential becoming crucial.
Given the Sharks (-62) and Gold Coast (-32) have the edge on the Green Machine (-84) in that department, the Raiders need to win two of their last three to sneak above them.
Obviously, Whitehead's idea of winning all three's an even safer bet.
"We know we have [got a tough draw]. But if you're going to be the best you have to beat the best," he said.
"We've put ourselves in this situation where we need to win the last three games.
"We know what's on the line and we'll be doing everything we can to get the win this weekend, then we'll focus on the week after."
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Whitehead said while they didn't get the win against the ladder-leading Melbourne Storm they would take confidence out of it.
He pointed to the fact that apart from a 15-minute lapse they mostly kept the reigning premiers at bay.
"We've left it late, but we've still got that chance of the finals. Over the last 4-6 weeks we've really shown what we are capable of doing and just building on that," Whitehead said.
"We had a blip against Newcastle where we didn't turn up in the first 20 minutes and they got a good start, but apart from that we've really showed up in the other games and showed what we are capable of doing.
"Hopefully we can keep building on that and keep building into the finals."
NRL ROUND 23
Friday: Canberra Raiders v Manly Sea Eagles at Lang Park, 6pm.
Raiders squad: 1. Jordan Rapana, 2. Bailey Simonsson, 3. Sebastian Kris, 4. Matt Timoko, 5. Harley Smith-Shields, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. Sam Williams, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Josh Hodgson, 10. Joe Tapine, 11. Hudson Young, 12. Elliott Whitehead (c), 13. Ryan Sutton. Interchange: 14. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 15. Emre Guler, 16. Sia Soliola, 17. Matt Frawley. Reserves: 18. Dunamis Lui, 19. Trey Mooney, 20. Elijah Anderson, 21. Caleb Aekins.
Sea Eagles squad: 1. Tom Trbojevic, 2. Jason Saab, 3. Morgan Harper, 4. Moses Suli, 5. Reuben Garrick, 6. Kieran Foran, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans, 8. Josh Aloiai, 9. Lachlan Croker, 10. Martin Taupau, 11. Haumole Olakau'atu, 12. Josh Schuster, 13. Jake Trbojevic. Interchange: 14. Dylan Walker, 15. Karl Lawton, 16. Curtis Sironen, 17. Toafofoa Sipley. Reserves: 18. Jack Gosiewski, 19. Tevita Funa, 20. Kurt De Luis, 21. Cade Cust.