Parramatta v Newcastle Saturday, June 2, 7.30pm ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Parramatta sit last on the ladder but go in heavily favoured against a Newcastle team who have been a defensive disaster over the last month and are staring down the barrel of another lost season if they don’t toughen up in the middle.
Recent FormParramatta are anchored to last place on the ladder with just two wins from their first 12 games. The Eels have lost their last four. They rank bottom in scoring and 13th in defence. The Eels are 1-4 against teams outside the Top 8 this year. Newcastle are 10th on the ladder with a 5-7 record despite having an NRL worst -132 differential. They have the worst defence in the NRL and have conceded 29 or more in four straight. The Knights are 4-1 against teams outside the Top 8 this year.
Key MatchupBevan French v Kalyn Ponga. With Corey Norman dropped French gets a great opportunity to solidify the fullback role at the Eels. The has been no lack or trying to find a solution from coach Arthur with Hayne, Gutherson, Smith, Norman and French all given a chance. It will be some challenge for French this week with his opposing number in sensational form. He is a single point behind Maloney in Dally M voting and gas consistently polled votes – even when his side loses. He will get plenty of room to show his wares against the Eels and The Wolf suspects we will see the pair face to face several time in this one.
Stats That Matter– Parramatta are 3-9 ATS with a 7-5 under record while Newcastle are 5-7 ATS with an 8-4 over record. – The Eels have failed to cover three straight, going under in all three games, while Newcastle have failed to cover four on end with all four games going over the total. – The Knights have won eight of the last 10 against the Eels. – The Knights have won both all-time games against the Eels at ANZ. The last four matches have all topped 38 points. – The Eels have covered just 2 of their last 9 at ANZ. – Parramatta are 21-10 under at ANZ since 2015, including a 15-6 under record at night. – The Eels have failed to cover their last six as a favourite while they under is 23-11 with Parramatta as a favourite since 2015. – The Eels are 8-12 ATS with a 14-6 under record when favoured by 4 or more. – The Eels are 7-12 ATS after scoring 10 or fewer. – The Knights are 17-26 ATS on the road since 2015, including a 6-14 ATS record at night. – Road teams who concede 40 or more are 24-15 ATS with a 25-14 under record over the last four seasons.
Final ThoughtsLaying four points and backing the Eels here is laughable. Newcastle have a horrid road record and have been abhorrent defensively but they look plenty of value, particularly with the angle of road teams who concede 40 or more the start prior. There are some strong under angles at play here as well. The Eels are a major under team at ANZ and as a favourite of four or more while the under is well ahead when a road team conceded 40-plus in their previous game.
How It Shapes UpNewcastle by 2
Recommended Bets Best: Under 39.5 points ($1.90) Value: Newcastle WIN ($2.50) First Try: Lachlan Fitzgibbon ($17.00)