It says plenty about where the Bulldogs are at that against a decimated Panthers team they are still big outsiders.
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Canterbury have topped 20 in two games under Mick Potter having not done so in the previous 10 weeks under Trent Barrett but those were against the Tigers and the Dragons. Penrith are a different kettle of fish, even without so many stars.
In their last four against Penrith, Canterbury have managed a mere combined 16 points. It is hard to see them breaking down this Panthers team even with six Origin absentees.
The Panthers attack is a little harder to predict. Key playmakers Nathan Cleary, Jarome Luai and Isaah Yeo will all be missing as will Brian To’o, Stephen Crichton and Liam Martin. They should still have too much talent but the line of 9.5 is large for a team missing so many key players.
That leads us to the under. The Panthers defence should hold. Their attack is likely to regress. In the last 16 between these two teams, the total has gone under in 13. The under is 14-3 when the Bulldogs are off scoring 20+ and is 18-8 when the Panthers are off a win of 20-plus.
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Dylan Edwards scored in his last meeting with Canterbury and will play a much bigger role in the Panthers attack on Friday.
Izack Tago has eight tries in 12 games this year.
Kikau is headed to the Bulldogs next season but is in a highly positive matchup against an inept defensive side in Canterbury. He is in good tryscoring form too, crossing twice in the last five weeks.