NRL Preview: Eels v Tigers

NRL Preview
Parramatta Eels v Wests Tigers

Saturday, July 30, 5.30pm (AEST), ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Best Bet: Parramatta +8 ($1.90)
Other: Parramatta ($2.85)
Parramatta +4.5 ($2.26)

The beleaguered Parramatta Eels have mercifully had their season ended and they will need to dig deep to compete with a Wests Tigers team mired in controversy itself but still well in the hunt for a finals berth.

Selection Notes
Beau Scott returns for the Eels replacing Cody Nelson while Vai Toutai is in for Bureta Faraimo. The Tigers have no changes with Robbie Farah again in NSW Cup.

Round 20 Team of the Week

Parramatta have won 18 of 32 against the Wests Tigers including an 8-0 win when the teams met on Easter Monday this year. The Eels have won the last two but prior to those wins the Tigers had won 8 of 10. Parramatta hold a 7-2 all-time edge at ANZ Stadium. Three of the last four matches have tallied less than 39 points. Kevin Naiqama has scored 4 tries in 5 games against Parramatta. Tigers coach Jason Taylor is a former Parramatta mentor.

NRL betting odds database

Parramatta are now 14th on the ladder and out of the finals race despite a 10-8 record. The Eels rank 4th in defence conceding just 17.2ppg while they rate 11th in attack. Parramatta have won just 1 of their last 4 games, conceding 3 if their 4 highest scores over the last month. The Tigers are up to 10th on the ladder with an 8-10 record. Their -74 differential ranks 12th in the NRL with the Tigers 10th in attack and 15th in defence. The Tigers have won 5 of their last 8 while they have won 5 of the last 6 against teams outside the Top 6.

Round 21 NRL Odds

Key Matchup
Clint Gutherson v Mitchell Moses. Gutherson is doing a solid job in the halves but there is no question he is still learning the position after shifting from the three-quarters. The Eels attack was awful against the Titans and without much surrounding him Gutherson will need to do much on his own. Moses had a fine game against the Dragons but has again been weak defensively. He is a livewire but will need to be on-song defensively if the Tigers are to get the chocolates.

Stats That Matter
Parramatta are 10-8 ATS  with a 12-6 under record while the Wests Tigers are 8-10 ATS with a 10-8 over record. The Tigers have covered three straight while the Eels have gone over in 4 of their last 5. Home underdogs of 6.5 or more R20-26 since 2011 are 45-30 ATS while home underdogs of 8-plus cover at a rate of 68%. The over hits at 57% in matches with home underdogs R20-26. Since 2008 home underdogs getting 8 or more are 67-34 ATS overall. The Tigers have covered four straight and 10 of their last 14 at ANZ while the Eels have also covered their last four at the fround and 6 of their last 7. The Tigers have covered just 1 of their last 5 when favoured by more than a converted try.

In-Play Stat
The Eels are 6-3 when leading at the break while the Tigers are 0-6 when behind at halftime.

Behind The Curtains

Final Thoughts
There could be an upset brewing in this one with the Parramatta plus the best bet of the match. The Eels despite their predicament have not given up all year and their resilience should hold them in good stead against a fairly fragile Tigers team. The Tigers got the job done against the Dragons but only just despite the final scoreline. The Tigers are totally unreliable as a big favourite while home underdogs getting big starts are always a play at the backend of the season.

How It’s Shaping Up
Parramatta by 2

Best Bet
Parramatta +8 ($1.90)

Best Exotic
Parramatta +4.5 ($2.26)

Best First/Last Tryscorer
Michael Gordon ($15.00)

Other Recommended Bets
Parramatta ($2.85)