NRL PreviewBrisbane Broncos v Parramatta Eels
Thursday, August 24, 7:50pm (AEST) at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

A top 4 finish could be on the line when the second-placed Broncos host the fifth-placed Eels at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night. The Eels will force their way into the Top 4 with a win over the Broncos and rely on a Sharks loss to the Roosters. The Eels will be missing a few key troops for this clash, with Manu Ma’u suspended for a shoulder charge, while fullback Bevan French has re-injured his hamstring. The Broncos should name the same 17 which defeated the Dragons 24-12 last week.
HistoryThe Broncos have won three of their last four against the Eels, although the Eels won the Round 21 clash 28-14 at ANZ Stadium only a few weeks ago. Eels winger Kirisome Auva’a scored a double in the 14-point win. Four of the last five matches have topped 42 points.
FormBrisbane are second on the ladder with a 15-7 record with the best attack in the NRL. They have won their last three and seven of their last nine, winning their last three by a combined score of 110-22. The Broncos have posted 24 or more points in 14 of their 15 wins. Parramatta are fifth on the ladder with a 14-8 record. They rank fifth defensively but are a poor 12th in scoring. The Eels have won seven of their last eight, conceding single digits in three of their last six.
Key MatchupJosh McGuire v Nathan Brown: The battle between the halves would be the obvious choice here, but The Wolf is looking forward to the clash between Josh McGuire and Nathan Brown. McGuire has been a rock for the Broncos all season in both attack and defence. McGuire led the Broncos forwards against the Dragons last week, with 140 metres from 15 hit-ups and made 45 tackles. Meanwhile, Brown has been a revelation since joining the Eels from the Rabbitohs and has been their most consistent player this season. He had 18 hit-up for 130 metres and made 38 tackles in the Eels big win over the Titans last week. The statistics are almost identical and they play the game in a very similar style. Another similarity is that neither player will take a backward step!
Stats That Matter– Brisbane are 12-10 ATS with a 16-6 over record while Parramatta are 12-10 ATS with a 16-6 under record.
– The Broncos have won three of their last four against the Eels.
– Four of the last five matches have topped 42 points.
– Brisbane are 33-19 ATS at Suncorp since 2014 while they are 16-8 ATS when favoured by 8.5 or more at the ground with an average winning margin of 18.17 points.
– The Broncos are 7-3 ATS at Suncorp as a favourite of 8.5 or more off conceding 12 or fewer points while they are 12-4 ATS with a 12-4 over record as a favourite at Suncorp after conceding 12 or fewer.
– The Eels are 8-16 ATS after conceding 12 points or fewer and 8-14 ATS interstate since 2014.
– The Eels are 2-10 ATS with a 10-2 over record as an interstate underdog of 6.5 or more.
Final ThoughtsThe Wolf can’t back against the Broncos in their current form and especially at a packed Suncorp Stadium. Other than Andrew McCullough sitting on the sidelines, the Broncos are near-full strength, whereas the Eels will be missing key personnel in Ma’u and French. Broncos to cover in a high-scoring affair.
How It’s Shaping UpBrisbane by 14
Best Bet
Brisbane -10 ($1.91)

Other Recommended Bets
Over 39.5 ($1.88)

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