New Zealand Warriors v Penrith Panthers
Saturday, July 30, 3pm (AEST), Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
|Best Bet: Penrith +3.5 ($1.90)
Other: Under 41.5 ($1.90)
Penrith 1-12 ($3.85)
The battle for eight spot cranks up this week with the two teams most likely to be fighting for that last playoff berth – New Zealand and Penrith – squaring off at Mt Smart on Saturday afternoon. This match will have a huge bearing on the makeup of the finals this year.
New Zealand are unchanged from their golden point loss to Canberra but mercifully Tuimoala Lolohea starts at fullback with David Fusitua shifted to the centres and Blake Ayshford to the bench. Penrith are unchanged after defeating Brisbane with Te Maire Martin returning in NSW Cup this week.
New Zealand are ninth on the ladder with an 8-10 record. Their -21 differential is 10th in the NRL while they rank 8th in attack and 12th in defence. The Warriors have dropped three of their last four, all incredibly in golden points. New Zealand conceded less than 20 in five straight before letting in 26 against Canberra. Penrith are one spot higher on the ladder, their 9-9 record good for eighth. Their -13 differential ranks 9th while they are 8th in attack and 9th in defence. The Panthers enter this off their most impressive performance of the year, a 31-18 win in Brisbane. The Panthers have won their last two and four of their last six.
Issac Luke v Peter Wallace. Two hookers of contrasting styles, the Luke-Wallace battle will be central to this match. Luke is a damaging runner who has been found out defensively this season while former half Wallace has been a rock in the middle of the paddock for the Panthers. Whoever wins this arm wrestle will win the middle of the ruck for their team.
Stats That Matter
New Zealand are 8-10 ATS with a 11-7 over record while Penrith are 7-11 ATS with a 9-9 total number. Penrith have covered just 1 of their last 5 matches. Road underdogs up to 6 points off a win are 33-21 ATS since 2011 R20-26. Away teams that scored 20-plus the week prior cover at 55% R20-26 since ’11. The Warriors have covered just 1 of their last 6 as a favourite at Mt Smart while they are 4-7 ATS as a home favourite off a loss since 2013. Penrith have covered 2 of their last 3 as a small road underdog. The Panthers are just 4-7 ATS interstate as an underdog since 2013. Interstate outsiders are 33-26 ATS off scoring 30 with a 35-24 under number.
The Warriors have played four golden point games this year, winning just one. The Panthers are a very good 4-6 when trailing at halftime.
Canterbury should win this and win it easily. They were awful against the Cowboys but up to that their form was good with the best attack. The Dragons cannot score points with their predictable attack the easiest to stop in the NRL. The angles here are strong for a Bulldogs cover while there is plenty to say the over is a bet. St George Illawarra may not win another game again this year.
How It’s Shaping Up
Penrith by 4
Penrith +3.5 ($1.90)
Penrith 1-12 ($3.85)
Best First/Last Tryscorer
Tyrone Peachey ($15.00)
Other Recommended Bets
Under 41.5 ($1.90)