Our first look at Sunday’s NRL action comes from GIO Stadium as the Canberra Raiders welcome Penrith Panthers for this Sunday afternoon encounter. Since we last covered Penrith two weeks ago, they’ve keep up their season long record of alternating wins and losses.
Despite that trend, bookmakers make Penrith clear favourites in the betting odds. The Panthers are 1.72 favourites with bookmaker Unibet, whilst stumbling hosts Canberra are priced up at a much juicier 2.30 with Sportsbet.
The handicap is currently set at -4 in favour of Penrith at a standard price of 1.90. The odds have begun to drop at some bookmakers with some early money going in favour of Penrith.
Canberra come in to this game of the back of their two most emphatic losses this season. the Sea Eagles and the Warriors have both put a monster 54 points on the board against Canberra in the past two weeks.
With the Raiders currently at a low point in their season, you have to imagine things can only get better from here. You’d expect a much better showing from Canberra now they’re back at home, and the Raiders have already made it clear they’ll be making a number of changes ahead of this weekends game.
Jack Wighton, Jarrad Kennedy and Josh Papalii are just several on the names that will be brought back in to the side on Sunday, whilst Mosese Pangai will make his Raiders debut out on the wing.
Penrith have little reason to make any adjustments, but if the above mentioned win-loss trend continues then this is set to be a losing week for the Panthers. Despite that, they’ve already surprised plenty of people as they continue to be a surprise package.
Although it’s a less than ideal scenario, I’m sure they’d settle for this trend continuing a little while longer with some tough fixtures coming up.
It’s trickier to put your finger on which side of the spread we should be on here. You can’t ignore two losses where a team gives up 54 points, but they are back at home now and you have to consider Penrith’s on and off form.
The longer the trend continues the more it becomes more than just an interesting coincidence. I’m sure Penrith are more than aware they haven’t put back to back wins together, and the possibility of losing this game will be on their minds after winning last time out.
We’re going to ignore the handicap and take a slightly risky bet, but I think there’s been an overreaction from the bookmakers in pricing this game up after Canberra’s last two outings.
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