NRL PreviewPenrith Panthers v North Queensland Cowboys
Saturday, August 12, 7:30pm (AEST) at Pepper Stadium, Penrith

The Panthers forced their way into the Top 8 after their win over the Tigers and the Dragons loss to the Rabbitohs. The Cowboys currently sit in sixth position and could keep their Top 4 hopes alive with an upset win here. The Panthers have named Matt Moylan on an extended bench as he nears a return from a hamstring injury. The Cowboys will be without Gavin Cooper and Antonio Winterstein, who both picked up injuries in last week’s loss to the Storm.
HistoryThe Cowboys have won seven of the last eight against the Panthers including three of the last four in Penrith. The Cowboys defeated the Panthers 14-12 in Townsville back in Round 16. Johnathan Thurston missed the clash, while the Panthers had Matt Moylan and Trent Merrin in their line-up.
FormPenrith have moved into the Top 8 following their ninth win in their last 11 matches. The Panthers have an 11-9 record and rank seventh in scoring and eighth in defence. Penrith have been gifted an easy run of late though with a 1-1 record in their two matches against Top 8 opposition over that run. North Queensland are down to sixth on the ladder with a 12-8 record following back-to-back losses against the Roosters and Storm where the effort was there but the attacking execution wasn’t. The Cowboys are 6-4 on the road this year.
Key MatchupDylan Edwards v Lachlan Coote: Edwards has been outstanding for the Panthers this season and his form is one of the reasons why Matt Moylan has been shifted into the halves this season. Edwards ran for over 200 metres and scored a try in the win over the Tigers last week. It’s the consecutive week he has made over 200 metres and The Wolf is a big fan of this youngster who is making the Panthers No.1 jersey his own. Lachlan Coote is no stranger to the Panthers No.1 jersey and will be looking for a big performance back at his former stomping ground. He had limited involvement in last week’s loss to the Storm and Cowboys coach Paul Green will be demanding more of the Cowboys fullback this week.
Stats That Matter– Penrith are 10-10 ATS with a 12-8 under record while North Queensland are 14-6 ATS with a 14-6 under number.
– North Queensland have won seven of the last eight against Penrith including three of the last four in Penrith.
– The total has topped 40 points in 10 of the last 12.
– The Panthers are 0-6 against teams in the top six this year.
– Penrith have covered six straight at home when favoured by more than a converted try.
– The Cowboys have covered 7 of their last 8 road games and are 9-2 ATS interstate getting 4.5 or more.
– North Queensland have covered 6 of their last 8 after being held to 10 or less.
Final ThoughtsThe Wolf is backing the Cowboys as outsiders here. The Panthers have had a soft run and are 0-6 against teams in the Top 6 this year. Throw in the Cowboys strong recent record against the Panthers and they start to look a great bet, not only with the +6.5 start but straight up.
How It’s Shaping UpNorth Queensland by 2
Best Bet
North Queensland +6.5 ($1.91)

Other Recommended Bets
Over 38 ($1.88)

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