North Queensland Cowboys v Brisbane Broncos Thursday, August 9, 7:50pm 1300SMILES Stadium, Sydney
The Cowboys and Broncos have played in some thrillers in previous years, none bigger than the 2015 NRL Grand Final won by the Cowboys 17-16. Thursday night’s match will also mark Johnathan Thurston final match against the Broncos, a team he has built up a strong rivalry with over the years. The Cowboys are in a dog fight to avoid the wooden spoon, while the Broncos need to keep winning to secure their spot in the Top 8.
Recent FormNorth Queensland are 15th on the ladder with a 5-15 record. They rank 11th in defence and 14th in scoring. The Cowboys have won just two of their last 11 but only two of those nine losses were by double digits. Brisbane are seventh on the ladder with a 12-8 record. They rank seventh in scoring but rank 10th in defence. The Broncos have won nine of their last 13 and have not lost two straight since Rounds 4-5.
Stats That Matter– North Queensland are 8-12 ATS with a 13-7 under record while Brisbane are 9-11 ATS with an 11-9 over number. – The Cowboys have won 7 of the last 12 against the Broncos but the teams have a remarkable recent history of close games with seven of the last eight decided by six points or fewer. – The Cowboys have won five of the last six between the teams in Townsville. – The Broncos have scored 16 or more in 11 straight against the Cowboys with three of the last four totalling 40 points or more. – The under has hit in eight of 10 Cowboys home games this year. – North Queensland have covered just three of 10 as a home underdog since 2015 with just a single victory. – The under is 8-2 in those matches. – The under has hit in 11 straight when the Cowboys have played at home after scoring 20. – North Queensland have covered just one of their last six after allowing 24 or more points. – Brisbane have covered four of six away from Suncorp but are 10-16 ATS as a favourite away from the ground since 2015. – The Broncos are 8-4 ATS as a road favourite off a loss though and are 14-5 ATS on the road off a loss overall. – The Broncos are 5-10 ATS on the road as a favourite of 4 or more. – Brisbane are 7-3 ATS on the road off conceding 30 or more points.
Final ThoughtsThe Wolf isn’t expecting much to separate these sides at the end of 80 minutes. The Broncos will be missing Josh McGuire, while Tevita Pangai Jnr looks set to miss the clash as well. The Broncos have more to play for and it should prove the difference despite the big outs in the forward pack. However, the best betting angle is the unders. The unders has hit in eight of 10 Cowboys home games this year, while the unders has saluted in 11 straight when the Cowboys have played at home after scoring 20 points.
How It Shapes UpBrisbane by 4
Recommended Bets Best: Under 41.5 ($1.91) Value: Brisbane 1-12 ($3) First Tryscorer: James Roberts