Newcastle Knights v Penrith Panthers
Sunday, August 14, 2pm (AEST), Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
|Best Bet: Newcastle +15.5 ($1.90)
Other: Newcastle +10.5 ($2.43)
Jake Mamo First Try ($15.00)
Newcastle have already been consigned to the wooden spoon but with pride and some potential energy heading into the 2017 season, they will not be a cakewalk for a Penrith side well in contention for a finals berth.
Newcastle have lost Jeremy Smith and Danny Levi with Mitch Barnett back from suspension and Tyler Randell returning from injury. Anthony Griffin has named an unchanged Penrith team but Te Maire Martin is some chance to return.
Newcastle holds a 26-16-3 all-time advantage over Penrith but the Panthers have wno three of the last four over the last two seasons. Newcastle won last year at Hunter Stadium 26-14 and have won 4 of the last 5 at the venue. The last three and five of the last seven matches have topped 40 points. Josh Mansour has scored five tries in his last four games against the Knights.
Newcastle are last on the ladder with just a single win and a draw from 20 matches. Their -415 differential is historically bad while they have the worst attack and defence in the premiership. The Knights have lost their last 10 but three of their last four have been by 14 or less. Penrith are seventh on the ladder with a 10-10 record and a +3 differential, ninth best in the NRL. They rank 9th in attack and 11th in defence. The Panthers have won three of their last four and have won four of their last five against teams outside the Top 8.
Trent Hodkinson v Nathan Cleary. The former NSW halfback goes head-to-head with potentially a future Blues No.7. Hodkinson has been in fairly solid form with an assist in each of the last two games but it is Cleary who has set tongues wagging with his try, two assist blitz against the Roosters.
Stats That Matter
Newcastle are 8-12 ATS with an 11-9 over record while Penrith are also 8-12 ATS with a 10-10 total record. Home underdogs in the final seven rounds of the season since 2008 getting 6.5 or more are 34-17 ATS while those getting 8.5 or more are 20-11 ATS. Overs in day matches Rounds 20-26 are 57-43 since 2011. Newcastle are 5-4 ATS at home this year but 3-1 ATS getting 12 or more on home turf. Home underdogs of 10 or more in day matches are 9-6 ATS since 2013. Penrith have covered just 1 of their last 4 as a road favourite while road favourites of 6.5 or more who scored 35 last start are 7-14 ATS since 2013 and 11-26 ATS since 2008.
Newcastle are 0-14 when trailing at halftime this year.
Newcastle with the big start are one of the best bets of Round 23. The Knights have been great cover bets at home of late with big starts and huge home favourites this time of year are money for jam. The best angle though is playing against road favourites off a big attacking performance, which are 11-26 ATS since 2008.
How It’s Shaping Up
Penrith by 7
Newcastle +15.5 ($1.90)
Newcastle +10.5 ($2.43)
Best First/Last Tryscorer
Jake Mamo ($15.00)
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