Fri, Sep 26, 12:00pm by Rob Sheeley
THEY have been in the top eight virtually all seaon long, but punters have continually showed little or no interest in the Penrith Panthers as genuine title chances.
This week they enter a match against the Canterbury Bulldogs, just one win away from a Grand Final berth and possibly their first premiership in 11 years.
Yet in keeping with the season-long trend, the Panthers remain the despised outsiders of the four remaining teams at $5.50. Also, despite knocking off the minor premiers in the first week of the 2014 finals, the Panthers are not the punters’ elect to win this week.
The Canterbury Bulldogs will start favourites in the match and are currently $1.76 with Sportsbet.com.au to advance to the big dance next weekend.
The Bulldogs are undeniably on a roll but they come up against a team who has crept along under the radar all season, this is likely to be a real gem of a game.
AustralianGambling will look at the Tri bet market for this game.
Panthers (-6.5) – $3.50
Either team by 6 or less – $2.70
Bulldogs (-6.5) – $2.46
The two teams come into this match on the back of one point victories. The Panthers reeled off a never-say-die 19-18 win over the Roosters a fortnight ago, while the Bulldogs controversially scraped home 18-17 over the Sea Eagles last week in a spiteful affair.
The Penrith Panthers have defeated the Canterbury Bulldogs on both occasions that they have met in 2014.
The first encounter was in Round Three when the Panthers stormed home late and a Matt Moylan sideline conversion saw them salute 18-16.
The second clash was in Round 21 where the Panthers did it slightly easier with a 22-16 win. Although that match may have been much closer with the Bulldogs unlucky not to score one or two more tries in the first half.
The key factor in the outcome of both of those is that they were decided by a margin of six or less.
This match-up looks closer than a set of Siamese twins. It’s the sort of game that should continue the trend of close matches from last week. The two sides look very evenly matched on paper and results from 2014 have shown that there is not a lot between them.
Both sides have the propensity to fight for the full 80 minutes and can never be written off.
It would be a surprise to see either team blow the other off the park in this one. Based on that, the “either team by 6 or less” looks to be the best way to invest here.
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