Fri, Sep 16, 3:23pm by Staff Writer
Date and Time: Saturday September 17, 7:45pm
Venue: GIO Stadium
TV: Live on Channel 9, Fox Sports
The Raiders form in the closing stages of the season propelled them to a top four finish and a home Qualifying Final. Unfortunately for them they were not able to repeat that form against a determined Cronulla side. Meaning they must now take their Double Chance offered them by the playoff system and this week host the Penrith Panthers. With no more second chances, both sides must produce their best displays of the year if they are to be the ones facing Melbourne in the Preliminary Final.
Of the six teams still in contention to be the outright winners of this year’s NRL, Canberra and Penrith have the highest price. Both sides are priced with Sportsbet at $11.00. Significantly higher than the prices currently on offer for the teams in the other Semi-Final, the Broncos ($9.00) and Cowboys ($5.00).
There is not much to separate these sides as they head into action. With both finding form at the business end of the season this should be a close contest. The Raiders edge the Panthers who are priced at $1.85 to claim victory. An injury crisis has threatened to disrupt Canberra’s preparations for this match after a brutal encounter with Cronulla last week. Should the Raiders be able to field their best 13 then they certainly have the quality to succeed at this stage of the competition.
The Panthers currently stand at $2.00 with Sportsbet. Odds that don’t necessarily reflect the kind of form they are in. Penrith have won six games in a row and will head into this sudden death clash with plenty of confidence. They have shown repeatedly throughout the season that they can mix it with the best teams in the league. However, they will have to be at their best if they are to overturn the odds and a fiery Canberra crowd.
Sportsbet are backing a Little Win of 1-12 points for either side in this Semi-Final with a Canberra Little Win priced at $3.20 and Penrith at $3.40. In contrast a Big Win of 13+ points stands at $4.00 in the Raiders favour and $4.50 for the Panthers. With so much on the line for these teams it is likely to be a hard fought contest.
Jordan Rapana tops the prices for Sportsbet’s Win First Try Combo with him scoring combined with a Raiders win priced at $12.00. The best priced players for the Panthers are Josh Mansour and Dallin Watene Zelezniak at $15.00 with a Penrith win. Those three men are priced equally at $21.00 to score the first try but for their team to go on to lose the match.
There is nowhere to hide the Raiders and Panthers at this stage of the season. They need to produce their best performances and a little extra if they are to have the right to play for a chance in the Grand Final.
WATCH: We pick out the Best Bets for the NRL semi-finals
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