Roosters v Eels

NRL Betting: Our recomendation is to back over 35.5 points between Parramatta Eels and Sydney Roosters

Recommended bet: Total Points – Over 35.5 points @ 1.91 with bet365

Despite their lofty position of fifth in the NRL Premiership table, Parramatta Eels will almost certainly slide down the table after this game whether they win, lose or draw, as they’re finally about to be hit with the long anticipated 12 competition points deduction for breaching the salary cap with undisclosed payments to players.

It means that the Eels go into this game in the knowledge that, whatever the result at the Parramatta Stadium, they now have almost no chance of qualifying for the Finals Series.  Indeed, depending on the result of Friday’s game with the Sydney Roosters, the Eels could find themselves below their opponents in the table once the points have officially been deducted.

The Roosters have long been out of the running for the Finals Series, sitting 15th of 16 teams going into this match and having won just three of their 15 games to date.  They’ve yet to register a victory against a team in the top eight.

The Eels welcome back Brad Takairangi back from injury to replace Michael Jennings who is on Origin duty.   Jeff Robson and Tim Mannah also return.  The Sydney Roosters have Blake Ferguson and Aidan Guerra on Origin duty, but Ryan Matterson, Chris Smith and Joseph Manu come into the team and there could be a possible return from injury for Boyd Cordner.

It’s testament to the spirit in the Eels camp that they have continued to perform despite numerous off-field issues this term, with the salary cap, player walk-outs, criminal charges against players and captain Kieran Foran suffering a personal breakdown all taking their toll.

Parramatta Eels were leading 18-0 against table-topping Cronulla Sutherland Sharks last time out, before eventually succumbing 34-24.  Despite their current standing in the table, only four teams have registered fewer points than the Eels this season and as a consequence the Total Points market is priced for a low-scoring encounter.  

It could be that the points line is too low though and with neither team under any real pressure in terms of challenging for the Finals Series, this could be more open than the price suggests.  Backing over 35.5 points could be a decent option.