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Brisbane Broncos v Penrith Panthers

Thursday, April 27, 7:50pm (AEST), Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

The Broncos definitely got the rub of the green in their controversial 25-24 win over the Rabbitohs in Round 8 and won’t want to slip up against the struggling Panthers. Meanwhile, the pressure continues to build on Broncos former coach Anthony Griffin and the 2-6 Panthers, who were installed as premiership favourites during the pre-season and haven’t lived up to expectations. They’ll be hoping to get a few troops back for the clash at Suncorp Stadium, with TeMaire Martin and James Fisher-Harris a chance to return from injury. Panthers prop James Tamou will also have to prove his fitness after limping off the field with a knee injury in last week’s loss to the Eels.
The Panthers have had the best of the Broncos in their last five meetings, winning four including a 31-12 win at their last meeting at Suncorp in 2016. The Panthers also won last year’s Round 3 clash 23-22 at Penrith, courtesy of a Te Maire Martin field goal. The Broncos have won 6 of the last 9 at Suncorp.
Brisbane have a 5-3 record and have won three on the trot after their one-point road win against South Sydney. The Broncos have incredibly played in six games decided by one score in their last seven outings, going 3-3 in them. Brisbane have conceded 22-plus in their last two after not conceding that score in the first six weeks. Penrith have dropped their last four and come into this off a disappointing 18-12 loss to rivals Parramatta. The Panthers have been kept to 12 points or fewer in three of their last four while they have conceded at least 18 in each of their last four defeats.
Key Matchup
Darius Boyd v Matt Moylan. Boyd was outstanding in the Broncos one-point win over the Rabbitohs and chimed in from the back to have a hand in two of the Broncos four tries. The captaincy has taken his game to a new level and he is making life easier for the Broncos spine in the absence of Ben Hunt. Things have been the complete opposite for Matt Moylan and his spot as an incumbent in the NSW side is in jeopardy. Moylan has found himself in a form slump since he was stood down after breaking team protocol after the loss to Melbourne in Round 5. If anything he has been guilty of trying to overplay his hand and needs to let the halves in Te Maire Martin or Bryce Cartwright, alongside Nathan Cleary take control of the match.
Stats That Matter
Brisbane are 3-5 ATS with a 5-3 over record this year while Penrith are 2-6 ATS with a 6-2 under record. Penrith have had the best of Brisbane in their last five meetings, winning four including a 31-12 win at their last meeting at Suncorp. The Broncos have won 6 of the last 9 at Suncorp. There has been four straight clashes with a field goal. The Broncos have covered 16 of their last 25 at Suncorp when favoured by more than a converted try but they have covered just 1 of their last 5 as a home favourite after conceding 24. Penrith have covered just 6 of their last 16 interstate games but have covered 3 of their last 4 when getting 6.5 or more.
Final Thoughts
The Wolf can’t ignore the Panthers good recent record against the Broncos, despite their current form slump. The +6.5 start looks like a good start for the Panthers, especially if Martin returns and Tamou takes his place in the side. The Panthers/Broncos HT/NT double looks the value play with the Panthers sure to come out all guns blazing in the first half, but are lacking the composure and confidence to grind out a win over 80 minutes.
How It’s Shaping Up
Brisbane by 2
Best Bet
Penrith +6.5 ($1.90)

Other Recommended Bets
Penrith/Brisbane ($7)

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