Penrith Panthers vs Parramatta Eels prediction and odds: NRL 2023 Round 26

The sprint to the finish is here in the NRL. With just two rounds to go in the regular season, the calculators are out, and teams are desperately working to secure their playoff positions. None more so than the Eels, who face off against the Panthers in a must-win fixture to kick off Round 26 this Thursday. Read on for our Panthers vs Eels predictions.

Penrith Panthers vs Parramatta Eels – Match Predictions

There’s a lot on the line in this contest, with Parramatta playing for their season, and Penrith looking to put one hand on the Minor Premiership. Here are our top predictions ahead of the Panthers vs Eels this Thursday:

Eels/Panthers Half Time/Full Time @ 8.00 (7/1)

This is a must win for the Eels–and more than likely, they’ll need to win by a decent margin as well. With Penrith on an eight game winning streak, and Parramatta having only two ugly wins from their past six matches, it’s a big ask.

However, Parramatta did defeat Penrith earlier this year, and have at times matched up well with the Panthers. Expect them to come out all guns blazing here, throw the kitchen sink at the hosts, and get something to show for it initially. We say they’ll flame out and lose, but betting on the half time/full time split is lucrative, and could well pay off.

Penrith Panthers to Win by 1-12 @ 3.25 (9/4)

It’s tempting to think that Penrith will drop a match ahead of the playoffs, purely because winning streaks have to end at some stage. However, with the Panthers and Broncos locked on 40 points each and the Minor Premiership still very much up for grabs, it’s unlikely that Penrith will go off the boil this week.

Expect the home side to weather an initial storm from the Eels, before delivering a second half clinic that all but secures them the top spot heading into the playoffs.

Penrith Panthers vs Parramatta Eels preview

Heading into this match, here’s a look at how both teams’ seasons have gone so far in the NRL 2023:

Penrith Panthers

It’s been another dominant season for the Panthers, who after starting slow, have done what they do best and consistently put teams away. Currently on an eight game winning streak, they sit in top spot with 17 wins and five losses, and are ever so close to locking up the Minor Premiership. However, the work is not done yet, as the Broncos are breathing down their necks, and they’ll need to win here.

Parramatta Eels

After making the Grand Final in 2022, it’s been a disappointing season from the Eels so far. With 11 wins and 12 losses, Parramatta are precariously poised in 11th position on the NRL ladder. However, with a bye next week, a win here would still leave them with a shot of making the cut–provided that it’s by a big margin, the Roosters deal the Rabbitohs a big defeat next week, plus a handful of other results go their way.

Penrith Panthers vs Parramatta Eels head to head

It’s been a spicy head to head between these two over recent years–the Eels won earlier in 2023, gaining revenge for the Panthers’ double success in last year’s playoffs. Overall, the Panthers hold a slight edge at 26-24 in the head to head.

Penrith Panthers vs Parramatta Eels match details

Penrith Panthers vs Parramatta Eels Prediction and Odds

  • Date and time: Thursday 24 August, 10:50 am GMT
  • Venue: BlueBet Stadium, Penrith, Australia
  • How to watch: Sky Sports

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