The second NRL match on Friday night is a blockbuster between the Eels and the Panthers. The competition-leading Panthers have suffered just one loss this season and that was to the Eels back in Round 9 on their home turf. They will be out for revenge and this game appears to be an early preview of what is ahead in the Finals.
The NRL guru himself, Scooby, is back with his NRL Betting Preview to hopefully get your weekend off to the right start and build a bank to use over the next few days.
Parramatta Eels vs Penrith Panthers Betting Tips
Friday 7:55pm AEST, CommBank Stadium
1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Will Penisini 4. Waqa Blake 5. Bailey Simonsson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Isaiah Papali’i 13. Ryan Matterson Interchange: 14. Makahesi Makatoa 15. Bryce Cartwright 16. Oergon Kaufusi 17. Marata Niukore 18. Jake Arthur
1. Dylan Edwards 2. Taylan May 3. Izack Tago 4. Robert Jennings 5. Brian To’o 6. Sean O’Sullivan 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Matthew Eisenhuth 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo Interchange: 14. Jaeman Salmon 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Charlie Staines 18. Sunia Turuva
The inconsistent Eels disappointed in their 36-14 loss to the Broncos last week in an upset that further casts doubt on their title aspirations. Aside from completion rate, errors and metres gained, this game was even. When it mattered, their opponents took their chances, and the Eels were unable to consistently compete with them. The Panthers had no such issues in their 20-10 win over the Sharks at home. Behind 10-nil after 13 minutes and 10-8 at HT, the Panthers took their opportunities and backed their defence to remain solid. It further supported their standing on the ladder and just how much better they are than the rest of the competition.
The Panthers head into this game as strong favourites ($1.33 vs $3.35), although it's easy to overlook the Eels performance from earlier in the season. Their recent form is inconsistent; they lost to the Bulldogs yet beat the Roosters, lost to the Rabbitohs, and had two underwhelming efforts against lesser opponents before last week. They appear capable of rising to the standard of their opponents, but this clouds judgement on them; they are just as likely to grind out a tough victory as to lose by 13+. Tread carefully.
The loss of Luai in the halves for the Panthers will take an edge off their attack. His contribution to this team is often overshadowed; do not underestimate the impact his presence has on Cleary’s performance. A lot more will need to go right for the Eels though if they are going to win this fixture. That isn’t to discredit their chances. Last week’s effort against the Sharks would’ve taken a toll on the Panthers; the Sharks pack is big, strong, and physical. That game also came on the back of a busy Origin period. Rather than take the Panthers in a margin market, the safer option appears to be the home side with the line. If they are serious about extending their season deep into the Finals, the Eels should aim to push the Panthers over 80 minutes.
Props: Panthers 1-12/Under 41.5 - $4.80 at Ladbrokes (1 unit)
Sivo & Tago to score - $5 at Ladbrokes (0.5 units)
Parramatta Eels +8.5
$2 (2 Units)