Are the Penrith Panthers the real deal?
After two years in the lower half of the eight, people are expecting to see further improvement from the western suburbs club in 2019.
Will Penrith lift again with Ivan Cleary back at the helm? Let’s see how the NRL outright betting markets are shaping up at the bookies.
About the Penrith Panthers
|Home ground:||Panthers Stadium|
|Premierships:||Two – 1991, 2003|
|2018 ladder finish:||Fifth (15-9)|
Best bookies for Penrith Panthers betting
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Updated Penrith Panthers futures odds
Best NRL odds for the Panthers come courtesy of Sportsbet, where new punters can claim up to $501 in bonus bets upon joining. Sign up now for free.
|2018 Premiership||Make Finals||Make Top 4||Dally M Odds||Top Tryscorer Odds|
|Mar||$15||$1.55||$3||N Cleary – $21||J Mansour – $26|
|Apr||$10||$1.16||$1.80||J Maloney – $13||W Blake – $67|
|May||$8||$1.12||$1.80||J Maloney – $8||W Blake – $101|
|Jun||$5.50||$1.05||$1.50||J Maloney – $6||D W-Zelezniak – $126|
|Jul||$5.50||$1.05||$1.50||J Maloney – $6||D W-Zelezniak – $126|
|Aug||$10||$1.01||$4.50||J Maloney – $15||N/A|
|Sep||$21||N/A||N/A||J Maloney – $67||N/A|
Best Penrith Panthers bets for NRL 2018
There are dozens of NRL futures markets for Penrith, but where are they likely to return some real value?
Click on the tabs below to get more analysis on these markets:
- Panthers went into 2017 with plenty of support in the outright betting, but a dreadful start saw them mired in the bottom half for most of the campaign. The trials and tribulations of skipper Matt Moylan did nothing to help the club’s situation. His move to Cronulla eliminates that problem, but there are four or five very good teams ahead of Penrith in the queue for the flag.
- Can the Panthers build on a strong finish to last season and push for a spot in the top four? They belong to a group of three or four sides that are hoping the Brisbane Broncos or the Melbourne Storm fall off the pace and leave a double chance for the taking. Smart punters will settle for the Panthers to make the top eight again.
- Nathan Cleary was the NRL’s breakout star of 2017 and starts the new season as Penrith’s best bet for the Dally M Medal. Two-time premiership winner James Maloney could also come into the reckoning if he hits the ground running after his move from Cronulla.
- Josh Mansour’s 2017 campaign did not start until round 13, but he finished the season with five tries in 13 appearances. The Australia, Lebanon and NSW rep should be Penrith’s biggest tryscoring threat if he stays on the park, but it would be a surprise if he outranked the likes of Vunivalu, Rapana and French in the overall charts.
2018 Penrith Panthers NRL draw
|1||Parramatta Eels||Panthers Stadium||Sunday, March 11||4:10pm|
|2||South Sydney Rabbitohs||Panthers Stadium||Saturday, March 17||5:30pm|
|3||Canterbury Bulldogs||ANZ Stadium||Friday, March 23||6pm|
|4||North Queensland Cowboys||1300SMILES Stadium||Thursday, March 29||8:05pm|
|5||Parramatta Eels||ANZ Stadium||Sunday, April 8||4:10pm|
|6||Gold Coast Titans||Panthers Stadium||Sunday, April 15||2pm|
|7||Cronulla Sharks||Southern Cross Stadium||Sunday, April 22||4:10pm|
|8||Canterbury Bulldogs||Panthers Stadium||Friday, April 27||7:50pm|
|9||North Queensland Cowboys||Carrington Park||Friday, May 4||7:50pm|
|10||Newcastle Knights||McDonald Jones Stadium||Friday, May 11||6pm|
|11||Wests Tigers||Panthers Stadium||Thursday, May 17||7:50pm|
|12||St George Illawarra Dragons||Panthers Stadium||Saturday, May 26||7:35pm|
|14||Canberra Raiders||GIO Stadium||Friday, June 8||6pm|
|15||Sydney Roosters||Allianz Stadium||Friday, June 15||7:50pm|
|16||Manly Sea Eagles||Panthers Stadium||Saturday, June 30||3pm|
|17||New Zealand Warriors||Panthers Stadium||Friday, July 6||7:50pm|
|18||Cronulla Sharks||Panthers Stadium||Friday, July 13||6pm|
|19||Brisbane Broncos||Suncorp Stadium||Friday, July 20||7:50pm|
|20||Manly Sea Eagles||Lottoland||Saturday, July 27||3pm|
|21||Canberra Raiders||Panthers Stadium||Sunday, August 5||4:10pm|
|22||Gold Coast Titans||Cbus Super Stadium||Saturday, August 11||3pm|
|23||Newcastle Knights||Panthers Stadium||Saturday, August 18||3pm|
|24||New Zealand Warriors||Mt Smart Stadium||Friday, August 24||6pm|
|25||Melbourne Storm||AAMI Park||Friday, August 31||7:50pm|
Panthers players to watch in 2018
Cleary has played only two years of first-grade footy, but already he is a bone fide star of the competition. Last season, at the ripe old age of 19 years, he rammed home 228 points to become the youngest player since 1913 to top the overall point-scoring tables. Expect more of the same in 2018 and beyond.
This is the other half of the trade deal that sent Matty Moylan to the Shire. Nobody can doubt Maloney’s credentials after 200-odd games across four clubs, but are his best years behind him? One way or another, the 31-year-old NSW rep has a big role to play as Cleary’s partner and mentor in the Penrith engine room.
Edwards starts the season as Penrith’s first-choice fullback after making the role his own in 2017. Can he step up again and lift the Panthers backs to new heights? The answer to that question will be key in determining whether or not the club can match (or better) last year’s run to the semis.
Penrith Panthers records and stats
- Most games: 244 – Steve Carter (1988-2001)
Most career points: 1572 – Ryan Girdler (1993-2004)
Most points in a match: 30 – Michael Gordon (2010)
- Most consecutive wins: Eight (2003)
Most consecutive losses: 10 (1972)
Biggest winning margin: 72-12 (vs. Sea Eagles, 2004)
Biggest losing margin: 7-70 (vs. Sea Eagles, 1973)
Biggest comeback win: 8-31 to 32-31 (vs. Tigers, 2000)
- The Penrith Panthers were one of three teams vying for admission to the New South Wales Rugby League in 1967. The others were the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and the Wentworthville Magpies. Maybe it was only because Western Suburbs already had ownership of the black and white, but the Panthers and the Sharks got the nod.
Penrith’s outer-west location proved problematic in the early years. The league’s best players preferred to stay and play in the inner city and beachside suburbs, so the Panthers had little choice but to develop their own talent at grassroots level. Those efforts began to pay dividends in 1985 when the likes of Greg Alexander and Royce Simmons helped the club to its first-ever finals campaign.
The best was yet to come. Sustained improvement in the late ’80s allowed Penrith to attract star talents such as Brad Fittler, Mark Geyer and John Cartwright. A maiden NRL Grand Final appearance arrived in 1990, but it was the Canberra Raiders who emerged victorious on that occasion. The mourning period was a short one, however, and in 1991 the Panthers broke their duck and reaped revenge all at once with a 19-12 win over the Raiders.
Penrith have endured plenty of ups and downs since then. The likes of Fittler and Geyer left the club soon after the ’91 flag, while coach Phil Gould only lasted until ’94. A second premiership arrived in 2003 – to date, the Panthers’ last appearance in the big dance.
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