NRL PreviewNorth Queensland Cowboys v Brisbane Broncos
Thursday, August 31, 7:50pm (AEST) at 1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville

It will be a repeat of the 2015 NRL Grand Final when the Cowboys host the Broncos in Thursday Night Football. The Cowboys will control their own finals destiny with a win over the Broncos, but could miss out if they lose to the Broncos and the Dragons beat the Bulldogs. It could also come down to for and against depending on the outcome of the Panthers and Sea Eagles clash. The Broncos were blown off the park by the Eels last week and The Wolf is expecting a strong response in Townsville by Wayne Bennett’s men. They’ve lost Korbin Sims for the season with a broken arm, but should get Jordan Kahu, Tevita Pangai Junior and Joe Ofahengaue back for the clash against the Cowboys. Ben Hunt should start at hooker, with Sam Thaiday moving into the front row.
HistoryThe Cowboys have won three straight and seven of their last 10 against the Broncos. It is worth noting that Johnathan Thurston has featured in plenty of these victories when looking at the recent history and statistics. The Cowboys have also won five straight against the Broncos in Townsville.
FormNorth Queensland are seventh on the ladder with a 13-10 record but could miss out with a loss and some bad results so need a win here. They ended a four-game losing streak with a gritty road win over the Tigers. The Cowboys have not scored more than 24 points in their last seven games. Brisbane enter this off their most embarrassing loss of the year and one of their worst ever, a 54-34 home loss to Parramatta. Brisbane sit third on the ladder with a 15-8 record and are assured a Top 4 berth. The Broncos have scored at least 24 points in eight of their last 10 games.
Stats That Matter– North Queensland are 15-8 ATS with a 15-8 under record while Brisbane are 12-11 ATS with a 17-6 over number.
– The Cowboys have won three straight and seven of their last 10 against Brisbane.
– The Cowboys have won five on end against the Broncos in Townsville.
– The last four matches have all topped 37 points.
– The Cowboys are 28-22 ATS at home since 2014 with the under hitting in 10 of the last 11.
– Home underdogs of 4 or more in the final seven rounds of the year cover at 59% while off a win they are 12-4 ATS.
– Brisbane are 10-14 ATS away from Suncorp since 2014 as a favourite (5-8 ATS when favoured by 4 of more).
– Road teams who conceded 50 last start are 16-10 ATS since 2008 while road favourites who conceded 40-plus are 11-8 ATS.
Final ThoughtsThe Wolf is expecting a close affair, with the Cowboys’ season potentially on the line, while the Broncos will have a strong focus on defence this week after conceding 52 points against the Eels last week. The biggest margin between these sides in their last six encounters has been 6 points. It will be tight again and the Broncos 1-12 is the The Wolf’s recommended play here.
How It’s Shaping UpBrisbane by 4
Best Bet
Brisbane 1-12 ($2.90)

Other Recommended Bets
Under 40 ($1.88)

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