|Newcastle Knights vs Parramatta Eels NRL Betting Odds and Game Info|
|NRL betting odds||Knights $3.75 at Sportsbet | Eels $1.35 at BetOnline|
|When||Sunday, June 6 at 4:05pm AEST|
|Where||McDonald Jones Stadium – Newcastle, New South Wales|
|Last time they met||Knights 4-10 Eels (R9, 2020)|
|Watch live||Nine, Foxtel, Kayo|
The Newcastle Knights will play host to the Parramatta Eels on Sunday afternoon to close out Round 13 of the 2021 NRL season in what will double as the 20th anniversary of their 2001 premiership win. Newcastle went into that grand final as the rank outsider and will do so once again at McDonald Jones Stadium this weekend.
Parramatta are one of the lucky clubs who haven’t been decimated by State Of Origin selection, losing only Junior Paulo for this game. They have also swung the selection axe on Blake Ferguson, following 11 tries in two games being leaked down his side of the field.
Newcastle will be without Kalyn Ponga, Mitchell Pearce, David Klemmer, Tyson Frizell, Hymel Hunt and Edrick Lee, who make up half of their best starting 13 when the squad is healthy. Jake Clifford is likely to make his club debut for the Knights despite being named in jersey no.18, having moved down from North Queensland less than a week ago.
The home side will be confident after defending superbly against Manly just seven days ago, but they’ll need to go up a level to get an all-important two points over the Eels.
Knights vs Eels betting analysis
The Newcastle Knights defence was stout last week, but they showed that without the likes of Kalyn Ponga and Mitchell Pearce in the side, scoring points is difficult. The one area they should be looking is down their left side – or Parramatta’s right, to be more accurate. Blake Ferguson may have been dropped as a result of Parramatta’s poor defending in that corridor over the past fortnight, but there is a theory that the struggles have come since Marata Niukore went back to the forwards to accommodate Waqa Blake.
If you’re buying into that, Bradman Best is overdue to score a try and looks a good bet at $2.80 with Sportsbet to cross at any time. Parramatta did start to fall over a bit mid-season last year and in the last three weeks they have shown huge signs of vulnerability, so perhaps taking the Knights at the +12.5 line is the way to go.
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Parramatta may have won in Newcastle last year, but their overall record against the Novocastrians leaves a lot to be desired. They’ve only managed four wins in total from their last 15 clashes, and only three wins in the Steel City since 2009.
Haze Dunster will replace Ferguson on Parra’s right wing and Niukore will move into the prop role vacated by Junior Paulo. They also have the injection of Dylan Brown returning from suspension in what is shaping up as a formidable side that will travel up the M1.
Maika Sivo should be the man everyone backs to score the first try at $7, as the right edge of Newcastle has been troublesome for them all year. Even though the price is low, the outcome of a return feels high. Old Boys Day for the Knights and a venue that hasn’t been kind to the Eels over the years feels more like a Parramatta 1-12 win than a 13+ margin, so take the $3.50 while you can.
Key matchup: Jake Clifford vs Mitchell Moses
Jake Clifford seemed to be the fall guy for the Cowboys whenever they had a lean trot, weirdly falling out of favour despite his obvious talents. He is set to make his debut for the Knights this weekend and will instantly find himself up against one of the best halves in the competition in Mitchell Moses.
Clifford’s all-around kicking game makes him an attractive player to watch from a purist’s point of view, so is he able to get enough space from his forwards to show off that terrific asset? He has seven forced drop-outs this season, which puts him behind only Nathan Cleary and Luke Brooks in the league rankings, but to his credit he has played in four less games.
Moses’ biggest improvement over the last 18 months has been his work with the boot, previously relying on a strong running game. One feels that if Moses is able to get his radar on and force Newcastle into making two and three sets of tackles on their line, it will be a long afternoon for the Knights.
Knights vs Eels predictions & best bets
Result: Parramatta Eels by 1-12 points
The Parramatta Eels at the 1-12 margin is the way it will go. They are starting to get a case of the mid-season yips but will have enough star power to get over a Knights team who will front up with plenty of steel. Maika Sivo will get the first try and Mitchell Moses will finally break through to get off the nudie run.
Parramatta Eels by 1-12 points
Same game multi: 4 legs @ $70.50
Have a bit of fun with this one and take the Eels 1-12 with Maika Sivo, Mitchell Moses and Bradman Best to all score a try, which pays a cool $70.50 at Sportsbet.
Eels 1-12 / Best anytime / Moses anytime / Sivo anytime
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