Canberra Raiders v North Queensland Cowboys Saturday, July 14, 7:35pm GIO Stadium, Canberra
The Raiders pulled off a ‘Houdini’ act to record an unlikely win against the Bulldogs last week and in the process kept their finals hopes alive for another week. The Green Machine will welcome back Jordan Rapana, but have lost Brad Abbey, Shannon Boyd and Joseph Tapine for the clash against the Cowboys. Last week’s super sub, Blake Austin remains on the bench here. It’s a tough road trip for the Cowboys in what has been a difficult season, but they’ll be looking for revenge in Canberra after the Raiders defeated them by 18-8 in Townsville back in Round 8.
Recent FormCanberra are ninth on the ladder with a 7-9 record. They have won 3 of their last 5 after and defeated the Bulldogs 32-28 after trailing by 14 with six minutes to play. The Raiders have conceded 20 or more in 6 of their last 7. Canberra rank fourth in scoring but 12th in defence. North Queensland are 14th on the ladder with a 4-12 record. They have lost their last three and 6 of their last 7. All those losses have been by eight points or fewer. The Cowboys rank 14th in scoring and ninth in defence.
Stats That Matter– Canberra are 6-10 ATS with a 9-7 over record. – The Raiders have gone over in four straight. – North Queensland are 7-9 ATS with an 11-5 under number. – North Queensland have won 10 of the last 14 against the Raiders including 4 of the last 7 in Canberra. – The Raiders defeated the Cowboys 18-8 when the teams met in Townsville in Round 8. – Three of the last four matches have failed to top 38 points. – The over is 26-12 when the Raiders are favoured by more than a try (10-8 over at night). – Canberra have covered just 5 of their last 16 home games and just 3 of their last 15 as a home favourite. – The under is 14-9 in Canberra home night matches. – The Raiders are 5-8 ATS at home after scoring 30 or more and also 5-8 ATS after conceding 28 or more. – The Cowboys are 30-23 ATS on the road but just 3 of their last 9. – As an interstate underdog of more than a try the Cowboys are 8-4 ATS. – The Cowboys are 7-3 ATS on the road off three straight losses. – Over the last four seasons road underdogs of 4.5 or more off three straight losses are 32-23 ATS.
Final ThoughtsThe Raiders will consider themselves extremely fortunate to leave Belmore with the two competition points last week and won’t be throwing away their finals hopes with a loss over the struggling Cowboys. There’s still a six-point gap from the Raiders in 9th place to the Warriors in 8th, so they simply can’t afford to slip up. Josh Hodgson holds the key here, while Blake Austin will be looking to provide plenty of spark off the bench like he did against the Bulldogs last week. The Cowboys have a strong record against the Raiders, so they can’t be written off completely, but the Raiders have more incentive and should win by a margin of 1-12 points.
How It Shapes UpCanberra by 4
Recommended Bets Best: Canberra 1-12 ($3.10) Value: HT/NT Double – North Queensland/Canberra ($7.50) First Tryscorer: Elliott Whitehead ($17)