Brisbane Broncos v Melbourne Storm Friday, April 20, 7:50pm (AEST) Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
The Broncos broke a two-match losing streak with an upset win over the Warriors last week and will now relish the chance to play five of their next six matches at Suncorp Stadium. The Storm also ended a two-match losing streak by thumping the Knights by 40-14 and will be looking to build on that effort against the Broncos, who they have a strong record against, winning 25 of the last 31 matches between the sides. Melbourne will also welcome back centre Will Chambers from suspension.
FormBrisbane are eighth on the ladder with a 3-3 record. They rank 13th in scoring but ninth in defence. They had lost two straight before an upset road win against the Warriors. Melbourne are up to fifth on the ladder following their domination of Newcastle. They have the fourth best defence this year while they have the fifth best attack. The Storm have not conceded more than 14 in their last five.
Key MatchupAnthony Milford v Cameron Munster: It’s been a quiet start to the year for Anthony Milford other than a scintillating performance against the Knights in Round 5. He had a new halves partner in Jack Bird and the combination was able to get the job done against the Warriors. Milford is at his best when he is running the ball and needs to start taking the line on more often. The Broncos play five of their next six matches at Suncorp and it could be Milford’s time to shine. Speaking of running the ball, it’s something that Cameron Munster has started to do over the past two rounds. There’s no question he is a better fullback, but with Ryley Jacks in the side now and capable of directing the side around (two try-assists v Knights), it will allow Munster to focus on running the ball. Both of these players will also want a strong performance in front of the Queensland selectors with State of Origin only around the corner.
Stats That Matter– Brisbane are 2-4 ATS with a 3-3 total record while Melbourne are 3-3 ATS with a 3-3 total record. – Melbourne have won 25 of the last 31 against Brisbane dating back to 2004. – The Broncos have topped 14 points in just one of their last 10 against the Storm while Melbourne have won seven straight at Suncorp, three of the last four by 22-plus. – Eight of the last 10 matches have tallied 42 or fewer. – Home underdogs of 4 or more in the first eight rounds of the season are 83-34 ATS since 2008 (66% Rounds 5-8). – Off a win those teams are 28-10 ATS. – The Broncos are 25-19 ATS with a 27-17 over at Suncorp since 2015 including a 3-2 ATS with a 5-0 over record as an underdog at the ground. – Brisbane are 19-10 ATS with a 19-10 over number at Suncorp off a win. – The Storm are 22-14 under interstate with a 21-15 ATS record. – Melbourne are 18-12 ATS as an interstate favourite since 2015, including a 7-2 ATS off a win of 18-plus. – The Storm are 10-6 ATS with an 11-5 under record interstate after scoring 30. – The Storm are 19-12 ATS with a 19-12 under record after conceding 14 or fewer.
Final ThoughtsThe Wolf is tipping that the Storm turned a corner against the Knights last week and might finally have their season back on track. They have an impressive record against the Broncos, especially at Suncorp. The Wolf is keen to play the unders here and a Storm victory by 1-12. Eight of the last 10 matches between the sides have tallied 42 or fewer, while the Broncos have topped 14 points in just one of their last 10 against the Storm.
How It’s Shaping UpMelbourne by 8
Recommended BetsBest: Under 38.5 ($1.91) Value: Melbourne 1-12 ($3) First Tryscorer: Suliasi Vunivalu