St George Illawarra Dragons – $1.85 at Sportsbet
Parramatta Eels – $1.95
Something has to give in Sunday’s round-closing clash at Jubilee Stadium.
Nobody is quite sure how it happened, but the St George Illawarra Dragons have slumped to within two games of last place after starting the season as potential premiership contenders.
Despite boasting five State of Origin reps, two England internationals and one of the hardest-working hookers in the league, the Red V have leaked more points than any other team except the Gold Coast Titans.
SEE ALSO: NRL ROUND 20 BETTING PREVIEW
That does not bode well for their matchup with a Parramatta Eels side that has one of the best scoring records in the competition.
But while Brad Arthur’s men have won five of their last seven games, they are notoriously shaky away from their new fortress at Bankwest Stadium.
That fact sees Parra start as slight outsiders this weekend as they look to close the gap on the top four.
St George Illawarra Round 20 team news
Dragons coach Paul McGregor is sticking with the same 13 that went down to South Sydney last week, but there are two changes on the bench. Matt Dufty and Josh Kerr both drop out of the side, with Patrick Kaufusi and Jeremy Latimore coming in.
Out: Matt Dufty, Josh Kerr (both reserves)
In: Patrick Kaufusi, Jeremy Latimore
Parramatta Eels Round 20 team news
Michael Jennings and Shaun Lane missed the win over the NZ Warriors, but both are back in the starting lineup for Sunday. Brad Takairangi moves out to the wing and Marata Niukore shifts to the interchange, while Oregon Kaufusi and Ethan Parry drop out.
Out: Oregon Kaufusi, Ethan Parry (both omitted)
In: Michael Jennings, Shaun Lane
Dragons vs Eels first tryscorer odds
Jason Saab – The Dragons might have found a player in Saab, who bagged a brace against the Bunnies on his NRL debut. The 18-year-old winger is paying $1.91 in the anytime tryscorer market at Sportsbet.
Maika Sivo – This guy is the biggest weapon in Parra’s arsenal, which is high praise when you look at the depth of their attack. The Fijian flyer has 14 tries for the year and is offering $8 at Sportsbet to open the scoring.
Dragons vs Eels NRL stats and trends
- St George Illawarra have lost four games in a row and 10 of their last 12
- The Dragons have conceded an average of 23.6 points per game this year
- Six of Parramatta’s eight defeats have come away from Bankwest Stadium
- Only Melbourne (463) and Sydney (439) have scored more points than the Eels’ 411
Dragons vs Eels NRL Round 20 predictions
When you pit the second-worst defence against the third-best attack, there is only one logical outcome. The Dragons have something like a full-strength side for the first time all season, but they have little to play for now. If Parra cannot win this one on the road, it is hard to see them making any kind of impact in finals.
Parramatta Eels by 13+ points – $4.50 at Sportsbet
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