NRL Thursday: Eels v Storm betting tips, prediction & odds, round 2, 2021
Welcome to our Parramatta Eels v Melbourne Storm match preview, prediction and odds update for their NRL clash at Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta, on Thursday, March 18.
It was case of no Cameron Smith, no problem for the Storm in the opening-round match against South Sydney as they raced out of the blocks and carved up the Rabbitohs before standing firm in the face of a late rally. Big guns Ryan Papenhuyzen and Cameron Munster were sublime early for Craig Bellamy’s defending premiers.
In contrast, the Eels were jumped in the first half by the Broncos in Brisbane before finishing powerfully to win, as forecast in our preview of the Broncos-Eels match.
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The Parramatta-Melbourne clash promises to be a lot tighter early than either of those first-round contests, not least because of the big wet forecast to arrive in Sydney this week which could make for difficult conditions.
The Eels did the unthinkable in round 15 last year when they held the Storm scoreless in a 14-0 win at Bankwest Stadium. However, that was their only win in their past six outings against the Melbourne Storm. When they met later last season in the first week of the finals, the Storm were 36-24 winners.
The Eels have scored 20 points or more in only nine of their past 29 matches against the Storm, and in none of those matches dating back to 2002 have they reached 30. The chances are they will again need to rely heavily on their powerful forward pack and their offload game to trouble the Storm defence.
Eels v Storm team news for round 2
Parramatta have powerful back-rower Marata Niukore available again for selection after serving a two-match ban for a crusher tackle in last year’s finals. His return means Keegan Hipgrave starts on the bench.
The Storm have premiership centre and Queensland Origin star Brenko Lee, who missed the opening match with a hamstring strain, available but have decided to stick with the 17 from the opening game. They are still missing dynamic young hooker Harry Grant (knee) but Brandon Smith is a quality hooker in his own right and they will give the youngster plenty of time to get back to 100 per cent fitness.
Read on for our Parramatta v Storm tips and winner prediction for their NRL clash on Thursday, March 18.
Eels v Storm
Kick-off: 8.05pm local time
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
Head to head odds: Parramatta $2.75, Melbourne $1.44
Line betting: Parramatta (+6.5 points) $1.91, Melbourne (-6.5 points) $1.89
Match total: 39.5 points: over $1.90, under $1.90
Eels v Storm free betting tips
Below our NRL betting expert has highlighted his free Eels-Storm Tigers betting tips for Thursday’s game.
Either team wins by 6 or less (including draw)
This option is paying $2.85 with leading bookmaker Unibet Australia. Parramatta and Melbourne both pride themselves on their defence and this one could really turn into a grind. The Eels shut down the Broncos totally after half-time last week and Melbourne are always tough to crack. We don’t think there will be much in it.
Josh Addo-Carr to score two tries or more
The Melbourne winger looked in great shape to start the season and he was constant threat against the Rabbitohs. He does not need an invitation to score a four-pointer and our many is on the Fox to be the man in the right place in the big moments.
Parramatta Eels v Melbourne Storm prediction 18-3-2021
The Storm were dynamic in the opening half against Souths, against whom they have a formidable record. They rode a lot of emotion into that game, with the retirement and honouring earlier in the week of favourite son Cameron Smith. Now they must back up against a battle-hardened side which is desperate to gain some credibility after falling short in the past few finals series. Eels coach Brad Arthur should have no trouble motivating his team for this one but it’s doubtful the Eels have the firepower in attack to get the points. Our Eels v Storm prediction: Storm by 4 points.
Eels v Storm lowdown
Channel Nine, Fox League and KAYO will telecast the game, or it can be streamed at NRL.com.
All of the top International betting sites will offer markets on the NRL.
The Eels v Storm match kicks off at 8.05pm local time.
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