Gold Coast Titans v Penrith Panthers
Saturday, August 27, 5.30pm (AEST), CBus Stadium, Gold Coast
|Best Bet: Gold Coast ($1.78)
Other: Gold Coast/Under 41.5 ($3.60)
Konrad Hurrell First Try ($12.00)
Gold Coast and Penrith can lock in an unlikely finals berth with a win in this all-important fixture between two strong teams on the up. The Titans and Panthers are both flying making this a compelling affair.
Neil Henry welcomes back Ash Taylor into the halves with Jarryd Hayne moving to fullback and David Mead dropping out. Penrith are unchanged.
Gold Coast and Penrith have played 14 times with the Panthers winning 8 to the Titans’ 6. The Gold Coast have won the last two though including a 28-24 comeback win in Round 11. Eight of the last nine matches between the two sides have topped 38 points. The six matches played at CBus Stadium have been split evenly. Five of the last seven matches have been decided by a margin of 18 or more.
Gold Coast are eighth on the ladder with an 11-10-1 record and a +28 differential. They rank 4th in attack since Round 11 while they rate 5th in defence. Gold Coast have won 4 of their last 6 but since Round 5 they are 1-5-1 against Top 8 opposition. Penrith are a spot higher on the ladder with a 12-10 number. Since Round 11 they rank 2nd in attack and 7th defensively. They have won three straight and 5 of the last 6. Penrith have scored 38-plus in three straight.
Greg Bird v Trent Merrin. Two decorated veterans, Bird and Merrin are both in tremendous form. Bird has been thriving as the Titans have added talent to their roster while Merrin has really found his feet at Penrith. This should be a great battle between two quality locks.
Stats That Matter
Gold Coast are an NRL-best 16-6 ATS with an 11-11 total record while Penrith are 10-12 ATS with an 11-11 total record. The Titans have covered 6 of their last 7 and gone under in four straight while the Panthers have covered three on the trot. Road dogs less than 6 are 22-15 ATS off a win in the final seven rounds of the season with a 22-15 under record. Small home favourites off a double digit win are 13-23 ATS since 2013 but small home favourites who conceded single digits last start are 8-4 ATS. Outsiders who scored 40 the last start are 14-17 ATS with a 19-12 under number. Penrith have gone under in 7 of their last 10 road games.
Gold Coast are 8-0 when leading at halftime. Penrith have comeback from 4 of 11 halftime deficits.
Tough game from a betting perspective but there is a lean to the Titans here. Penrith have been hammering some teams of late but not sure how they will dig in for the fight against a tough team like the Titans. The Titans are the best betting team in the NRL and that is enough to stick with them here.
How It’s Shaping Up
Gold Coast by 6
Gold Coast ($1.78)
Gold Coast/Under 41.5 ($3.60)
Best First/Last Tryscorer
Konrad Hurrell ($12.00)
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