The Parramatta Eels will be looking for their first win of the season when they play hosts to the Penrith Panthers in NRL Friday Night Footy. Going by the latest NRL Odds the bookies are indicating that they have about a 45% chance of opening their account for the season. The early NRL Head to Heads odds see the Eels at $2.18 and the Panthers at $1.769 with the Line Handicap set at Eels +2.5
There has been plenty of questions asked in the media regarding Parramatta's attacking ability, particularly in the absence of Jarryd Hayne. Averaging only 10.67 points per game over the first 3 rounds there is no denying that the Eels are struggling in attack. However maybe more worrying is their defensive efforts over the past 2 rounds, where they have conceded 78 points including 42 points to the Cowboys last Saturday in Townsville.
Over the last 5 years in regular season games the head to head record stands level at Parramatta 4 - Penrith 4. The two teams have played 3 times over the last 2 seasons with the Panthers winning both contests in 2011 and the Eels getting up in the game played in 2010.
From an NRL betting perspective we see that the head to head odds winner has covered the Line Handicap in 7 of the last 8 games. The away team has covered the line handicap 6 of 8 and won straight up 5-3, while the largest underdog victories were Penrith (22-16) at $3.14 in 2008 and the Panthers again in 2011 (20-6) at odds of $2.66. the average game total over the last 5 years is 47.75 and the median total is 44.5.
Both teams have started the season slowly and they should both be viewing this one as a perfect opportunity to get their seasons heading in the right direction.