|Parramatta Eels vs Canberra Raiders NRL Betting Odds and Game Info|
|NRL betting odds||Eels $1.30 at BetOnline | Raiders $4 at Sportsbet|
|When||Thursday, July 22 at 7:50pm AEST|
|Where||Cbus Super Stadium – Gold Coast, Queensland|
|Last time they met||Raiders 10-35 Eels (R6, 2021)|
|Watch live||Nine, Foxtel, Kayo|
A bumper edition of Thursday Night Football will kickstart Round 19 of the 2021 NRL Premiership as the Parramatta Eels take on the Canberra Raiders at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast.
Both clubs are coming off impressive wins in Round 18, and the Raiders will be motivated to avenge a horror loss from earlier in the season against the Blue and Golds. The two clubs have excelled in first halves in 2021, and it could well be a case of getting to the front and grinding the opposition into the dirt.
Parramatta will welcome back Junior Paulo into their starting line-up, but Mitchell Moses is still missing. Raiders star Jack Wighton is out after picking up a rib injury in the win over Cronulla, while rookie fullback Xavier Savage will miss the rest of the season with a shoulder problem.
The Raiders have won five of their last six games on the Gold Coast, while the Eels are looking to win their fourth consecutive game at the venue.
Eels vs Raiders betting analysis
The Parramatta Eels are 13-4 so far this season and on paper should have no problems getting the two points in this game, but there is just something in the air that suggests this will be a tight one. Perhaps their lack of killer instinct against the Titans last week has punters a little cautious with them, but Canberra are a team who get a groundswell of support behind them quickly for whatever reason. Parramatta were a missed goal away from beating Penrith, but there is just a real lack of belief in the Eels outside of their fanatical supporters.
In the Round 6 clash it was the Isaiah Papali’i show as he scored two tries in a dominant performance, so is he destined to repeat his efforts? If he gets one-on-one with Sam Williams, you’re going to back the young tearaway to score every time. The big-priced tryscorer option fans should get around is a refreshed Junior Paulo against his old club. Reed Mahoney loves playing short to his big men close to the line, and Paulo is a nightmare from close range.
Incredibly, the Eels have won 11 in a row at the 13+ margin. Is it time for them to grind out a win in a close one?
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The Canberra Raiders are on the verge of the top eight despite horribly underperforming so far this season, but this game on Thursday will be a great test to see if they have turned their fortunes around for real. They have a fantastic record at Cbus Super Stadium, and on the back of two straight wins, it is going to be easy to convince fans and punters they should take them at the +13.5 line. They are a long price in the head-to-head market, but the improvement in recent weeks suggests they’ll push the Eels all the way in what should be a terrific Thursday night game.
With Matt Frawley replacing Jack Wighton in the halves, expect Canberra to base their game completely on field position and waiting for the Eels to make mistakes, so it could be a game to get on the unders of the 49.5 total points line. Semi Valemei and Jordan Rapana will be well backed in the tryscorer markets, but Corey Harawira-Naera could be worth investing in on the back of his terrific form in recent weeks.
Key matchup: Clint Gutherson vs Jordan Rapana
We were hoping to see 19-year-old Xavier Savage take on Clint Gutherson, but Canberra’s growing injury list means Jordan Rapana will instead start at fullback. While a reliable performer on the wing, the Kiwi international is going to have a hard day matching the output of Gutherson for Parramatta. The Eels skipper has long been regarded as the fittest player in the competition, so Rapana will struggle to keep up with him on that front, but can the Raiders man produce enough with ball in hand to give his side a fighting chance?
Eels vs Raiders predictions & value bets
Winning margin: Parramatta Eels by 1-12 points
Parramatta should come away with the two points, but we see Canberra covering the +13.5 line. The 1-12 margin is a rare result in 2021, so perhaps the $3.20 you can get for Parramatta to win by that margin is the better way to go.
Parramatta Eels by 1-12 points
Same game multi: 4 legs @ $24.50
Canberra +13.5 with Maika Sivo and Junior Paulo to both cross for a try can get you a very handy return of $24.50 at Sportsbet.
Canberra +13.5 / Paulo anytime / Sivo anytime
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