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Penrith Panthers v Wests Tigers
Sunday, August 6, 4pm (AEST) at Pepper Stadium, Penrith

It will be an interesting week in the Cleary household this week, with Panthers halfback Nathan Cleary taking on his father and Tigers coach Ivan Cleary for the first time. The Tigers coach spent plenty of time at Penrith as head coach and is in the unusual position of attempting to plot his son’s downfall this week. In another strange twist of fate, brothers Dallin Watene Zelezniak and Malakai Watene Zelezniak will be on opposing sides as well. The Panthers have named skipper Matt Moylan on an extended bench as he attempts to make his return from injury.

The Panthers have won four of the last five against the Tigers after dropping seven straight. The Panthers blew away the Tigers at Campbelltown in Round 2 earlier this season. Winger Dean Whare crossed for a double in the big win.

Penrith are on the fringe of the Top 8 with a 10-9 record, outside on only differential. The Panthers have won four straight and eight of their last 10, taking advantage of a soft draw late in the season that has seen them play eight of their last 10 games against teams outside the Top 8 and none inside the Top 4. The Panthers have conceded 16 or fewer in four of their last six. The Tigers remain second last on the ladder with a 5-14 record but have been in good form with road wins over Newcastle and Gold Coast sandwiching respectable losses to Top 8 teams Manly and Parramatta. The Tigers are conceding just 15.25 points per game over the last month.

Key Matchup
Nathan Cleary v Luke Brooks: Nathan Cleary has been brilliant this season, scoring eight tries and setting up another 11. He’ll have a point to prove this week not only against his father, but against Tigers halfback Luke Brooks. Brooks has started to take more ownership of the Tigers side and is definitely taking the line on more often. He still needs to make improvements to his short kicking game to build pressure when the Tigers are in the opposition 20. The rumours won’t go away that Cleary could end up in Tigertown when his current contract expires and Brooks will be determined to remind Ivan Cleary of what he currently has on his books.

Stats That Matter
– Penrith are 9-10 ATS with an 11-8 under record while the Wests Tigers are 10-9 ATS with a 13-6 under record.

– The Panthers have won four of the last five against the Tigers after dropping seven straight.

– The Tigers have covered 10 of their last 12 getting a start of 10 or more.

– The Wests Tigers have gone under in five straight.

– The Panthers are 4-5 ATS with a 7-2 under record when favoured by double digits.

– The Tigers have gone under in 8 of their last 10 day games.

Final Thoughts
The Wolf is playing the unders here. The Tigers defence has improved over the past month, while the Panthers are 7-2 under when favoured by 10 or more.

How It’s Shaping Up
Penrith by 7

Best Bet
Under 42.5 ($1.88)

Other Recommended Bets
Penrith 1-12 ($3.10)

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