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Canterbury Bulldogs v Penrith Panthers

Sunday, June 4, 4pm (AEST), ANZ Stadium, Sydney

It’s almost a must-win for both of these sides as they both sit on 10 points, two points outside of the Top 8. The Panthers have shifted Matt Moylan to five-eighth in a bid to kick start their season, while Dylan Edwards, Josh Mansour and Mitch Rein all come into the starting side. The Bulldogs have named Origin stars, Brett Morris, Josh Jackson and David Klemmer to take the field on Sunday, while skipper James Graham has been named despite leaving the field early last week in the loss to the Sharks.
 The Bulldogs have won 5 of the last 9 matches against the Panthers and have won 3 of the last 4 matches played at ANZ Stadium. Both teams shared the spoils in 2016, with the Bulldogs winning the Round 2 clash 18-16, with Moses Mbye scoring 2 tries, while the Panthers had the last laugh, winning the elimination final 28-12.
Canterbury have fallen to 11th on the ladder with a 5-7 record. The Bulldogs are a respectable sixth in defence but a shocking 15th in scoring. The Bulldogs have dropped their last three – all to teams in the Top 8. They were a touch unlucky going down to premiers Cronulla 9-8 in a grinder at Shark Park. Penrith are up to 10th on the ladder with a 4-7 record. The Panthers rank 8th in attack and 11th in defence. The Panthers went into the bye last week with wins in shootouts over the Warriors and Knights. Penrith have conceded at least 18 in seven straight games.
Key Matchup
Matt Frawley v Matt Moylan. Frawley has been steady at best for the Bulldogs, but has failed to cement his spot in the No.6 jersey and will most likely lose his starting spot once Josh Reynolds returns from injury. He needs a big performance and a win could be the perfect cure to save his spot in the side. Moylan plays like a second five-eighth, but the Panthers have made it official, handing him the No.6 jersey with Bryce Cartwright out for an extended period. The more he can get his hands on the ball, the better it will be for the Panthers. He’ll also be keen to remind the NSW selectors of what he is capable of.
Stats That Matter

  • Canterbury are 7-5 ATS with a 9-3 under record while Penrith are 3-8 ATS with a 6-5 under record.
  • The Bulldogs have won 5 of the last 9 matches against the Panthers.
  • The last seven matches have finished between 30 and 42 points with no team scoring single digits or 30-plus in that time.
  • Canterbury have won 3 of the last 4 played at ANZ.
  • Canterbury have covered 9 of their last 15 at ANZ and have covered five straight as an underdog at the ground.
  • Penrith are 1-6 with a 2-5 ATS record at ANZ since 2013.
  • The Panthers have covered just 5 of their last 12 as a road favourite. Penrith have covered just 3 of their last 9 on the road after scoring 30.
Final Thoughts
 The Wolf is keen on the Bulldogs as outsiders here with the proviso that their Origin players back-up and Graham passes a fitness test. Keep an eye on team news. The Panthers look disjointed around their spine and the injury to Peter Wallace cannot be underestimated. It won’t be pretty, but a weakened Dogs side showed enough in last week’s loss to the Sharks to grind out the win here.
How It’s Shaping Up
Canterbury by 4
Best Bet 
Canterbury +1.5 ($1.91)
Other Recommended Bets
Under 40.5 ($1.88)

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