The schedule makers drew it up to perfection when they had the Melbourne Storm visiting the Parramatta Eels in round 25. These two teams are tied on the ladder with 32 points, so the winner will earn a top-four berth.
Getting a spot in the top four earns a double chance in the finals, an extra game following a loss, so this is a heavyweight clash with huge implications. Parramatta was victorious 28-24 when these two clubs met way back in round three.
Parramatta Eels and Melbourne Previous Scoreboards
Melbourne has only themselves to blame for the Eels vs. Storm betting prediction to be so meaningful. The Storm could have clinched their spot in the top four with a win last week but ended up falling 18-14 to the Roosters.
Last Friday’s loss was a crushing one for Melbourne, mostly because they had been playing so good as of late.
Hiccups for Midseason
There were some hiccups in midseason, but the Storm recently handed Penrith their first shutout loss in four years (16-0) and looked in top form in a 60-12 stomping of Brisbane.
The Eels tripped up in a 26-0 shutout loss to the Rabbitohs on August 12th, but otherwise, they have been playing well with wins in four of their last five contests.
Parramatta has looked especially good the last two weeks with a 42-6 victory over the Bulldogs and then topping the Broncos 53-6 last Thursday.
Parramatta did pick up the big win over Melbourne earlier in the season, which was their fourth victory in the last five head-to-head matches. The Storm had won 8 of 10 head-to-head bouts prior to that.
Parramatta Eels vs. Melbourne Storm Betting Analysis
Melbourne is a -3.5 favorite for Thursday’s rugby schedule, somewhat surprising considering how bad the Storm looked last week in the loss to the Roosters.
Parramatta has also been dominant in the head-to-head series in recent years, so the Eels have value as +128 underdogs.
Games between these two teams have been fairly close in recent years, including the four-point victory by Parramatta earlier in the season.
The Eels had a 16-12 win in 2021, but the only time the Storm came out victorious in the last three years was a 36-24 win in 2020.
There will be a playoff atmosphere on Thursday at CommBank Stadium, so the fact that Parramatta is getting +3.5 points in front of their own fans seems strange. That is something to take into account when betting on rugby in round 25.
Eels Hot at the Right Time
Parramatta has played their way into top-four contention, and they’ve won their last two games by a combined 95-12 margin. The Eels stayed healthy in their big win over Brisbane last weekend, so coach Brad Arthur returns with the same lineup.
Mitchell Moses continues to lead Parramatta heading into the Eels vs. Storm betting prediction, and he’s coming off one of his best games of the season, scoring 21 points against Brisbane. Moses is up to third in the NRL with 178 points on the year.
Eels Dynamic Duo
Moses and Clinton Gutherson make quite a dynamic duo as the latter is 18th in the NRL with 72 points. Gutherson tallied eight points last week against Brisbane.
Overall, Parramatta is the sixth-ranked scoring team in the league, with a total of 586 points. Even that ranking is a bit inflated, though, coming off the two high-point contests the last couple of weekends.
Melbourne Trying for Top Four
The Storm looked like they were going to be locked in with Penrith in a battle for the top spot on the ladder early in the season, but a midseason lull put that out of the question.
Melbourne can still salvage some of their year by getting into the top four with a win in Thursday’s rugby picks.
It’s not Melbourne’s fault they faded so much, as this team has been ravaged by injuries this season. There’s no bigger loss than Ryan Papenhuyzen, who could miss time into next season with a fractured kneecap.
Papenhuyzen still ranks ninth in the NRL in scoring, even though he’ll end up missing over half the games this year.
Jahrome Hughes has picked up a lot of the slack in Papenhuyzen’s absence, and he’ll be a key player to watch in the Eels vs. Storm betting prediction.
Nick Meaney has been key, too, as he’s climbed Papenhuyzen on the NRL scoring sheet, recently scoring 20 in the win over Brisbane.
The injury bug continues to hit Melbourne as Tom Eisenhuth’s 2022 season has ended with a syndesmosis injury suffered last weekend. At this point, Melbourne is numb to these types of losses.
Parramatta Eels vs. Melbourne Storm Betting Preview
This game has seismic implications, but it’s still interesting that Melbourne would be the -3.5 favorite in this matchup. When the Storm are on, they are great, but that’s also a hit-or-miss occurrence.
Eels vs. Storm Betting Prediction
The Eels have been a thorn in Melbourne’s side in recent seasons, and there’s no reason to think that doesn’t continue in round 25. Take Parramatta +3.5
NRL Pick: Eels +3.5 (-120)