|Penrith Panthers vs Cronulla Sharks NRL Betting Odds and Game Info|
|NRL betting odds||Panthers $1.10 at PlayUp | Sharks $7.25 at BetOnline|
|When||Friday, May 7 at 6pm AEST|
|Where||BlueBet Stadium – Penrith, New South Wales|
|Last time they met||Panthers 38-12 Sharks (R15, 2020)|
|Watch live||Foxtel, Kayo|
The Cronulla Sharks will head to the foot of the mountains on Friday night to see if they can take down the undefeated Penrith Panthers at BlueBet Stadium in round nine of the 2021 NRL season.
The Panthers are looking to win their 13th consecutive game in Penrith and are once again extremely short in the betting at $1.10 with NRL bookmakers. They did have their hardest game since round three against Manly last week, but they proved again that they have enough talent across the park to win based on that alone.
The Sharks have not won a game since unceremoniously sacking John Morris as their coach. They were blown out in the second half by the Storm last week, so the $7.25 almost feels like it should be closer to $17.25 based on how they’re going at the moment.
Panthers vs Sharks betting preview
Cronulla’s left edge has been a turnstile in recent weeks for the right edge of their opposition, so Stephen Crichton and Charlie Staines should get the bulk of the cash in the first tryscorer market. If you can’t decide which of the two Penrith Panthers guns to get on, just toss a coin.
The -18.5 line for Penrith is long but not out of reach, as Cronulla got worse the longer the game went against the Storm and failed to show much resilience without the ball. The Panthers will win in a canter, even though there are some suggestions from members of the media believing they are getting close to a loss. That might be true, but it won’t come against this Sharks side at home.
It’s almost impossible to talk even the most ardent Cronulla Sharks fan into thinking they can win this game, so we may have to get a little funky to find some value on the underdogs. Mawene Hiroti has been getting plenty of chances from Shaun Johnson on the right wing, and if he can have a better night than he did against the Bulldogs a fortnight ago, he shapes up as a good option to cross the stripe for the Sharks. Briton Nikora has bagged tries in two of Cronulla’s last three games, and he might boost the value of some same-game multis as well.
Key matchup: Jarome Luai vs Shaun Johnson
Jarome Luai would have grown up idolising Shaun Johnson, and if you can’t be excited to watch these two try and generate points for their respective teams, then maybe rugby league isn’t the game for you. Luai plays with a certain pizazz and panache that makes him a joy to watch, while Johnson in any footy team leads to points or, at the very least, an exciting pursuit to find them. These two five-eighths going toe-to-toe is more than enough reason to watch this game, even if the outcome does feel like a fait accompli.
Panthers vs Sharks match predictions
Match line: Penrith Panthers -18.5
Penrith will win by 20 points as the last half hour of the game devolves into a bit of an error-a-thon. The juice will be out of the game by that point, and the Panthers – if they’re serious about winning it all – should be looking to avoid injuries.
Penrith Panthers -18.5
Same game multi: 4 legs @ $21.75
Panthers -18.5 with Stephen Crichton, Charlie Staines and Mawene Hiroti to score at any time gets you $21.75 at Sportsbet.
Panthers -18.5 / Crichton anytime / Staines anytime / Hiroti anytime
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