NRL Betting Preview: Newcastle Knights the bet on Handicap No Draw +16.5 points at Parramatta Eels
Handicap No Draw – Newcastle Knights +16.5 points @ 17/20 (1.85) at Sportsbet
Two in-form teams clash at the ANZ Stadium on Friday evening, although the Parramatta Eels and the Newcastle Knights have very different goals.
The Eels, fresh from a 20-4 win at Cronulla-Bankstown Bulldogs last week are now on a six-match winning streak (and eight wins in nine) that has lifted them to the point where a top four finish is now well within their reach.
As for the Knights, well they might still be propping up the NRL Premiership, but back-to-back victories at home to St. George Illawarra Dragons (21-14) and New Zealand Warriors (26-10) has lifted confidence in the camp as Nathan Brown’s team secured a two-match winning run for the first time in two years.
The Eels secured narrow victories on the last two occasions these teams met, but the Knights won each of the seven previous meetings.
With regards to team news, Brad Arthur’s Eels have named Bevan French at fullback after a hamstring injury restricted him to just half the game against the Bulldogs, while Tepai Moeroa is back after missing the last game with a rib injury. Will Smith and Josh Hoffman have been named on an extended bench, should French be unable to take the field.
As for the Knights, Nathan Ross (back) is likely to miss the rest of the season, so Dane Gagai is set to be given the chance to come in as his replacement at fullback. Joe Wardle (illness) returns at centre, while Shaun Kenny-Dowall (hamstring) comes in for Chanel Mata’utia on the wing.
With the current top four teams all facing each other over the weekend, this is a massive opportunity for the Eels to take advantage by claiming the win that would see them break into a play-off spot for the Qualifying finals.
Despite the Knights recent upturn in form, the Eels are strong favourites to prevail here and certainly should do so. However, the Eels are not the biggest scorers and the majority of their victories tend to be by relatively narrow margins. So, with the Knights not lacking in self-belief, they look capable of staying within 16.5 points of the hosts on the Handicap No Draw market at 17/20 (1.85) with Sportsbet.