Mon, May 12, 12:40pm by Rob Sheeley
Match: Parramatta Eels vs. Cronulla Sharks – NRL Round 9
When/Where: 7:00pm, Monday, May 12 at Pirtek Stadium
AUD $100 Free Bet: www.IASbet.com
IT’S the Monday night football match with a certain kitchen utensil theme.
The 2013 wooden-spooners, the Parramatta Eels, take on the 2014 wooden-spoon favourites, the Cronulla Sharks.
The Eels sit just one win outside the top-eight heading into the match on eight competition points. The Sharks sit on the bottom of the ladder with just two wins to their name.
To add to the Sharks woes, they are still missing their star five-eighth and former Dally M medallist, Todd Carney. On the upside, he will be replaced by international Luke Lewis this week, who makes his long awaited return from injury.
Head-to-head betting suggests that the Eels will be winning this one. They are currently $1.67 to the Sharks $2.25.
Margin betting shows the most popular option to be the Eels 13+ at $2.88, that selection holds sway over a 1-12 Eels victory which is $3.25.
Eels 1-12 – $2.88
Eels 13+ – $3.25
Draw – $26.00
Sharks 1-12 – $3.60
Sharks 13+ – $5.50
The sides met twice last season with one win apiece. The Eels snuck home by seven points early in the season, with the Sharks saluting by 18 later in the year.
Three of the four games prior to that were decided by 1-12 points, with both sides winning two of those each.
The Sharks have been handed some heavy defeats in 2014. Three of their six losses have been by 20 points or more. Both wins have fallen in the 1-12 bracket.
Their recent form points towards improvement with a narrow win over the Panthers and a close loss to the Roosters in the last fortnight.
The Eels are currently staring down the barrel of three losses in a row. They copped a 42-14 hiding from the Cowboys last week and went down by three to the Tigers a week earlier. Before that, they scraped home by two against the Roosters and by seven over the Broncos.
This looks more likely to be a close match than a run-away victory for either team.
The Eels are going to meet a big Sharks forward pack who are more than capable of providing stiff competition.
Parramatta do have the home ground advantage, but, if the Sharks can control the battle in the forwards, they could well spring an upset.
Should the Eels manage to hold firm up front, they look to have the better backline to put on points.
The Eels 1-12 @ $3.25 with IASbet.com (better than $3.20 with Centrebet) looks to be the best bet in what should be a tight match.
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