NRL Friday: Wests Tigers v Panthers free tips & odds, round 13, 2021

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Welcome to our Wests Tigers-Penrith match preview, prediction and odds update for their NRL clash at Leichhardt Oval, Sydney, on Friday night, June 4.

Given the lofty standing of the Panthers as unbeaten after 12 rounds and the Tigers’ record of four wins from 12 matches, you would think this would be a massacre. But at this time of year, with State of Origin sucking up the best 40-odd players in the game, nothing can be taken for granted.

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The Panthers are missing seven of their best players for this clash, yet still come up as short-priced favourites to make it a remarkable 13 consecutive wins for the season.

Wests Tigers have won only one of their past eight contests against the Panthers. The teams played twice in 2020, with Penrith winning 19-12 in round eight and 30-6 in round 16.

Panthers coach Ivan Cleary has said he is excited about the challenge of playing this game with a heap of raw youngsters coming in and it will be fascinating to see how they handle all the upheaval. Teams such as the Storm and Roosters have been dealing with this issue for a decade and more; the Panthers have entered that elite pantheon, although they do not yet have any of the silverware the other teams mentioned have hoarded.

Tigers v Panthers team news for round 13

The Tigers had good news at the judiciary with powerful runner Luciano Leilua being cleared of a shoulder charge and dodging a two-match ban.

They have lost Joe Ofahengaue to Queensand Origin duty, with Alex Seyfarth coming into the starting side and Stefano Utoikamana coming into the 17th on the bench.

Wholesale changes for the ladder leaders Penrith with seven players in the Origin set-up: halves Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai, winger Brian To’o and forwards, Isaah Yeo, Liam Martin, Api Koroisau and second-rower Kurt Capewell, with Capewell the only one of the seven playing for the Maroons.

On the positive side of the ledger, star Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards returns after a hamstring strain, while Robert Jennings comes in on the wing, and Mitch Kenny at hooker.

The bench features a stack of new faces in former Eel Jaeman Salmon, J’maine Hopgood, Lindsay Smith and Izack Tago, with the latter two making their NRL debuts.

It will certainly be a fascinating glimpse into the depth that exists at Penrith.

Tigers v Panthers

Kick-off: 7.55pm local time
Venue: Leichhardt Oval, Sydney
Head to head odds: Wests Tigers $2.85, Penrith $1.44
Line: Wests Tigers (+6.5 points) $1.90, Penrith (-6.5 points) $1.90
Match total: 46.5 points: over $1.90, under $1.90

Tigers v Panthers free betting tips

Our NRL betting expert has highlighted his free tips for Friday’s game.

Wests Tigers +8.5/match total under 44.5

This alternate line option at TopSport is paying $3.50. With wet weather forecast in Sydney for Friday the points could be harder than normal to come by for the free-scoring Panthers. Also, no team can lose seven players and play with fluency from the get go. In fact, the option of the Tigers leading at half-time with the Panthers to win at full-time has its attraction as well at a healthy $6.75.

David Nofoaluma to score 2+ tries

The Wests Tigers winger is having another productive season with eight tries from 12 games even though the Tigers have had only four wins. He is the best finisher in the business along with Souths’ Alex Johnston and should do well against the reshuffled Panthers back line.

Wests Tigers v Penrith Panthers prediction 4-6-2021

We suspect this one will go down to the wire. The Panthers are a phenomenal team and we will see just how good their young reserves are in a match like this. But they head into this without the NRL’s form halfback and five-eighth and that is going to prove a real challenge The Wests Tigers are a fringe finals contender but the good news for them is they are closer to full strength. In the end though, the belief of the Panthers this season might just help them grind out a win in a close one. Our Tigers v Panthers prediction: Panthers to win by 2 points.

Tigers v Panthers lowdown

How can I watch the Wests-Penrith clash?

Nine, Fox League and KAYO will telecast the game.

How can I bet on the Tigers-Panthers match?

All of the top International betting sites will offer markets on the NRL.

What time does the NRL Round 13 Tigers v Panthers game start?

The match kicks off at 7.55pm AEST

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