Penrith Panthers vs New Zealand Warriors Predictions and Betting Tips
🏈 NRL Final Round Week 1 Match Preview
⏰ 9 September 2023 - 16:05 AEST
🏟 Stadium - BlueBet Stadium (Penrith)
The Penrith Panthers will host the New Zealand Warriors this Saturday night in an exciting NRL finals clash from BlueBet Stadium. Rugby league fans are in for a terrific showdown between these two sides.
According to the odds at AusBetSites, the Panthers have been installed as overwhelming 1.06 favourites to get the win on home soil. The Australian betting sites have Penrith priced at extremely short odds across the 39 sportsbooks offering markets on the match.
This will be the Warriors' first finals appearance since 2018 and they face a monumental task taking on the two-time reigning premiers. The Panthers have proven to be a juggernaut in recent seasons.
New Zealand will need to pull off one of the biggest finals upsets in recent memory if they are to get past Penrith and earn a week off with a prelim finals berth. The Warriors have not won a finals match since all the way back in 2011.
While the Warriors have certainly had a strong 2022 campaign, it's fair to say they benefited from an easy draw during the back half of the regular season. Resting key players last round may also come back to bite them here.
The Warriors saw a seven-match winning streak halted with a 34-10 loss to the Dolphins. Their narrow victories over the Dragons, Sea Eagles, Tigers and Titans in prior weeks were far from convincing as well.
Meanwhile, the Panthers got their mojo back last Friday by demolishing the Cowboys 44-12 in a game North Queensland needed to win. It was an ominous performance made even more impressive with gun halfback Jarome Luai sidelined by injury.
Penrith Panthers vs New Zealand Warriors Head-to-Head
Over the past 8 years, the head-to-head matchups between the Panthers and Warriors have been extremely one-sided in favor of Penrith. Since 2015, the two clubs have faced off 18 times with the Panthers dominating the rivalry by winning 14 of those games. The Warriors have managed just 3 wins over that span, with a single draw in 2016 rounding out the results. Clearly Penrith have had the Warriors' number in recent seasons, barely losing to their opponents from across the Tasman Sea. The Panthers' utter dominance in the head-to-head record exemplifies the gulf between the consistent premiership contenders from Penrith and the rebuilding franchise from New Zealand. Based on the lopsided history between these sides, the Panthers will enter their upcoming clash with plenty of psychological edge over the Warriors.
Penrith Panthers Performance
🟩🟩🟩🟥🟩 The Penrith Panthers come into this match having won four of their last five games, with just a single loss to blemish their recent record. Despite a shock upset defeat, the back-to-back premiers have shown they remain the team to beat by stringing together several imposing victories. Their lone loss has not derailed momentum, with the Panthers responding emphatically each time. Boasting both the premiership's best attack and defence, Penrith have underlined their credentials as an intimidating finals force over the past month. With an array of attacking weapons and a steely resolve without the ball, the Panthers look primed for another deep September run based on their form guide.
New Zealand Warriors Performance
🟥🟩🟩🟩🟩 New Zealand Warriors have also notched four wins from their past five outings to build momentum leading into the finals. The Warriors enjoyed a seven-match winning streak before it was halted abruptly last week when they fielded a weakened team. Prior to that loss, their four victories came with guts and determination, highlighted by an ability to win the close ones. With confidence and self-belief growing throughout the squad, the Warriors are shaping as a dangerous wildcard entering the playoffs. If they can recapture their best form, an upset win is not beyond them. But consistency remains the key.
📋 Players to watch:
- Brian To'o has been a try-scoring machine at home this season, crossing for 12 tries in 10 games at BlueBet Stadium.
- Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is in hot form, scoring 19 tries in his last 13 appearances.
- Stephen Crichton has found the line in four of his previous five matches.
⚡ Match Facts:
- The Panthers have won the last seven straight meetings between the teams.
- The Warriors have not won a finals match since way back in 2011.
- Five of Penrith’s last six victories have come by margins of 13+ points.
- The Panthers' last four wins at home have been by margins of 13+ points or greater.
- The Warriors' last two losses have been by 13+ point margins.
- Eight of the past nine clashes between the sides have produced 46 points or less.
💡 Match Prediction:
The Panthers have dominated the Warriors in recent years, winning 14 of the last 18 meetings. They have also won 7 straight against New Zealand. As defending premiers playing at home, Penrith deserve their short odds to advance.
The Warriors will need to produce something special to cause an upset. While they had a strong regular season, their record against top sides is concerning. Their last start loss when resting players is also worrying coming into a brutal matchup with the Panthers.
Recommended bet: Panthers -16.5 handicap
With Penrith's class edge across the park, they should win comfortably by 17+ points on their home turf. Lay the big handicap on the Panthers to cover it.
Other predictions: Total match points: Under 46.5 points
These teams have trended under recently when playing each other, with 8 of the last 9 meetings having 46 points or less. Expect a relatively low-scoring grind.
Correct score: Panthers 28 - Warriors 10
Penrith's defence will likely restrict the Warriors' scoring while piling on a comfortable lead themselves. A 28-10 result in favour of the Panthers seems a likely outcome based on the stats.
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