A battle of the west looms as one of the games of the round as both sides are desperate to get some momentum.
Parramatta finally broke a four-game losing streak but left it late to beat the Tigers 26-22 and now they are looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since Rounds 1 & 2.
Penrith, meanwhile, continues to struggle with off-field indiscretions and injuries hampering their start to the season. They come into this having been humbled by the defending premiers Cronulla 28-2.
Parramatta played some good football in the second 40 minutes against the Tigers and were handsomely rewarded.
The problem coach Brad Arthur has is getting his team to play for the entire 80 minutes.
Another issue they have is their leaky defence which concedes 21.14 points per game. That means just six teams have copped more points than them and considering their attack, barring last week, has been off in recent times that definitely isn’t going to win them more games than they lose.
Penrith have blown in premiership betting out to $15 with Unibet and why not?
They were held tryless, at home, to Cronulla last week and look way off some of the better teams in the competition. In recent weeks they have been belted by not only the Sharks, but Storm as well while they lost a winnable game against Souths.
The Panthers have played four times at home this year and lost three times while their only two wins of the season were against the hapless Knights and Tigers, albeit by big margins.
Penrith has the slight edge over the Eels in recent times with five wins to three.
Five of the past eight games and the last four have all been decided by seven points or less with the past four encounters having an average winning margin of just 4.5 points.
The concerning thing for Penrith fans is their poor record at ANZ Stadium against all opponents. They have lost on 10 of their past 12 visits to the venue including their last four games.
Off the back of that stat, a Parramatta win by 1-6 points @ $4.50 with Sportsbet could be value.
Neither side is in form so it is hard to predict, however, we are going for the Eels ($2.25 @ Topbetta).
That comeback performance last week will give them a big boost for this against a side that is struggling for points and form. Penrith are too good a side on paper to continue on this slide so we are definitely wary of them.
In a tight match-up though we are going for Parramatta but won’t be putting the house on them.
PARRAMATTA 1-6 WINNING MARGIN