NRL Finals Preview: Broncos v Panthers

NRL Betting
NRL Preview – Semi Finals
Brisbane Broncos v Penrith Panthers
Friday, September 15, 7:55pm (AEST) at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Best: Over 38.5 ($1.90)
Other: Brisbane 1-12 ($3.00)

The Broncos and Panthers will face off in a mouth-watering semi-final clash to determine who will meet minor premiers, Melbourne Storm, in next week’s preliminary final in a bid to make the 2017 NRL Grand Final. The Broncos have been slow out of the blocks in two of their past three matches and it will be something that coach Wayne Bennett has no doubt worked on this week. The Broncos were blown off the park in Round 25 by the Eels, trailing 24-0 early in the contest, while it was a repeat in Week 1 of the finals when they fell behind 14-0 to the Roosters. The Broncos will also have to decide if they risk skipper Darius Boyd this week as he attempts to make a comeback from a hamstring injury. If Boyd doesn’t take his place in the side it will be any one of Jordan Kahu, Kodi Nikorima or David Mead to play in the Broncos No.1 jersey. Meanwhile, the Panthers will be high on confidence after putting the disappointment of their Round 26 loss to the Sea Eagles behind them by getting revenge over Manly when it mattered most, a 22-10 victory in last week’s elimination final. The Panthers were boosted by the early return of fullback Dylan Edwards last week, while they’ll need to decide if Matt Moylan has overcome his off-field issues to take his spot in the side.

History
Penrith have won four of the last six clashes against Brisbane but the Broncos won the only meeting this year 32-18. The Broncos have won four of the last five meetings at Suncorp Stadium. Five of the last six meetings have all topped 40 points.

Form
Brisbane finished the season third on the ladder with the second best attack and the fourth ranked defence. Brisbane went down 24-22 in the opening week of the finals after finishing the season with four wins in their final five matches. The Broncos have scored at least 20 points in six straight matches. Penrith finished seventh on the ladder with the sixth ranked attack but the ninth rated defence. The Panthers advanced to the second round of the finals thanks to a gritty 22-10 win over Manly in what was a real grind. The Panthers have conceded 16 or fewer in six of their last eight.

Stats That Matter

– Brisbane are 14-11 ATS with a 17-8 over record while Penrith are 13-12 ATS with a 15-10 under record.
– Penrith have won four of the last six clashes against Brisbane but the Broncos won the only meeting this year 32-18.
– Five of the last six meetings have all topped 40 points.
– The Broncos have won four of the last five meetings at Suncorp.
– Brisbane are 33-20 ATS at Suncorp since 2014 with a 34-19 over record.
– Brisbane are 19-11 over at Suncorp after scoring 22 or more points.
– Penrith have covered just four of their last 14 interstate games.
– The home team has covered 7 of 10 week two finals since the finals system changed in 2012.

Final Thoughts
The Wolf recommends keeping an eye on late team news. If Boyd doesn’t play and Moylan does, this contest will be tighter than the 7.5 line suggests. The Wolf is backing the overs, with five of the last six meetings topping 40 points, while the winning side has scored at least 30 points in three of the past five matches.

How It’s Shaping Up
Brisbane by 6

Best Bet
Over 38.5 ($1.90)

Other Recommended Bets
Brisbane 1-12 ($3.00)

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