NRL Preview: Raiders v Eels


NRL Preview
Canberra Raiders v Parramatta Eels

Sunday, August 21, 2pm (AEST), Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Best Bet: Over 42.5 ($1.90)
Other: Parramatta +13.5 ($1.90)
Canberra 1-12 ($3.10) 

The red-hot Raiders look to continue their surge up the ladder with a big home clash against a Parramatta team that is starting to show some wear after a torrid season.

Selection Notes
Canberra will be without star hooker Josh Hodgson who will miss through suspension. Adam Clydesdale replaces him. Beau Scott and Semi Radradra return for the Eels in place of Rory O’Brien and Vai Toutai.

Canberra and Parramatta are locked dead-even on 26 wins apiece in their rivalry that dates back to 1982. The Raiders have had the best of it of late with six wins in the last eight matches though the Eels won 36-6 when the teams met back in Round 6. Canberra have won the last five at Canberra Stadium, four by margins of 13-plus. The last three matches between the sides have topped 42 points. Canberra coach Ricky Stuart and prop Junior Paulo former Eel. Michael Jennings has scored five tries in his last four games against the Raiders.

NRL betting odds database

Canberra are the form team of the premiership, up to third on the ladder with a 14-6-1 record following their highly impressive win over Melbourne on Monday. Since Round 11 the Raiders rank as the top attacking team by a significant margin while defensively they rate third. Canberra have now won seven straight and 10 of their last 11. Parramatta have an 11-10 record but sit 14th on the ladder following their salary cap penalty. They have just one win in their last five, conceding 22 points or more in their four losses.

Round 24 NRL Odds

Key Matchup
Jordan Rapana v Semi Radradra. Wing battles rarely excite so much. Rapana has been the best winger of the year, leading the NRL in tackle breaks. Radradra has been the elite winger of the last three seasons and returns from injury this week. This will be a mighty battle.

Stats That Matter
Canberra are 13-8 ATS with a 13-8 over record while Parramatta are 11-10 ATS with a 14-7 under number. Canberra have covered 10 of their last 13 while they have gone over in 9 of their last 11. The Eels have covered just 1 of their last 4. The overs hit at 59% in day matches over the final seven rounds of the season since 2011 while Canberra day matches since 2013 are 31-15 over. The Raiders have covered 5 of their last 7 when favoured by more than a converted try and their last two as a double digit fave. Home double digit favourites off 5 or more wins are 6-11 ATS since 2013. Road double digit outsiders who conceded 38 or more are 18-13 ATS since 2008 while in the final seven rounds of the season they are 9-5 ATS with an 8-6 over record.

In-Play Stat
Canberra have lost the 20 minutes after halftime just five times this year. Parramatta have overcome 3 of 9 halftime deficits.

Behind The Curtains

Final Thoughts
The over is always a bet in Raiders day matches and so it is here. Late-season matches only add to the confidence of the over as does Parramatta’s leaky defence. There should be plenty of points on Sunday afternoon. The Eels also look a bet with the big start. Parramatta get some big names back, the Raiders lose Josh Hodgson and Canberra could be in a flat spot after a brutal Monday match.

How It’s Shaping Up
Canberra by 6

Best Bet
Over 42.5 ($1.90)

Best Exotic
Canberra 1-12 ($3.10)

Best First/Last Tryscorer
Michael Jennings ($14.00)

Other Recommended Bets
Parramatta +13.5 ($1.90)