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Penrith Panthers v Canterbury Bulldogs
Thursday, July 27, 7:50pm (AEST) at Pepper Stadium, Penrith

Times are tough at the Bulldogs and it won’t get any easier against a Panthers side, who are one win outside the Top 8 and must keep on winning to keep their finals hopes alive. The Bulldogs were thumped 42-12 against the Broncos last week, Josh Reynolds is in the headlines for an alleged incident at a Cronulla nightspot and coach Des Hasler is expected to face the board despite renewing his contract only a few months ago. Matt Moylan is out for the Panthers, while Bryce Cartwright has been named on an extended bench after a stint in NSW Cup last week. The Bulldogs will welcome back skipper James Graham from a neck injury.

The Panthers have won the last two against the Bulldogs including a 38-0 win earlier this season. Penrith have won six of the last nine against Canterbury at Penrith.

Penrith are ninth on the ladder with a 9-9 record. On the back of a fairly friendly draw, they have won seven of their last nine games. They have won three straight at home by margins of eight or more. Canterbury have fallen to 13th on the ladder with a poor 7-11 record. They have won just two of their last nine games and were embarrassed 42-12 by the Broncos last Thursday. The Bulldogs have the worst attack in the NRL and one of the worst attacks of the NRL era.

Key Matchup
Isaah Yeo v Josh Jackson: Yeo is one of the unsung heroes of the Panthers side and doesn’t get the accolades he deserves. He has played the full 80 minutes in the backrow in 15 of the Panthers’ 17 matches this season. He gets the job done with minimal fuss and is surely one of the first players picked each week by Panthers coach Anthony Griffin. It’s been a tough season for Josh Jackson although he controversially took out man of the match honours (in a losing side) in Game 2 of this year’s State Of Origin series. Jackson, like Yeo, is Mr Consistent and will churn up the tackles and hit-ups each week. The Wolf is expecting a good battle between two of the hardest workers in the game.

Stats That Matter
– Penrith are 8-10 ATS with a 10-8 under record while Canterbury are 9-9 ATS with a 14-4 under number.

– The Panthers have won the last two against the Bulldogs including a 38-0 win earlier this season.

– Penrith have won six of the last nine against Canterbury at Penrith.

– Four of the last five matches between the teams have topped 36 points.

– Penrith have covered seven of their last 10 at Pepper Stadium.

– Penrith have covered four straight when favoured at home by 6.5 or more.

– Penrith have gone under in six of their last seven at home after conceding 16 or fewer.

– The under has hit in five of the last six Penrith have been on a five-day turnaround with the Panthers 2-4 ATS.

– The Bulldogs have covered just four of their last 19 away from ANZ.

– Canterbury are 30-15 under away from ANZ since 2014.

– The Bulldogs have covered just 1 of 4 away from ANZ getting a start of 8 or more.

– The under is 16-7 when the road underdog gets 8 or more points and conceded 40-plus last start.

Final Thoughts
The Wolf can’t go anywhere near the Bulldogs, with all of the dramas surrounding the club on and off the field. The Panthers smashed the Bulldogs 38-0 earlier in the season and can’t afford to slip up with a finals spot within reach. Halfback Nathan Cleary is in career-best form and will lead the side to a comfortable win.

How It’s Shaping Up
Penrith by 12

Best Bet
Penrith -6.5 ($1.91)

Other Recommended Bets
Under 39.5 ($1.88)

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