Friday, September 16 from 7.55pm at 1300Smiles Stadium.
Points spread market:
Cowboys -6 ($1.91 at Sportsbet)
Broncos +6 – $1.91
THE Broncos survived against the Gold Coast Titans last week, but it’s about to get much harder in another barnstorming all-Queensland showdown.
Last season’s premiership-winning North Queensland Cowboys couldn’t quite match the minor premiership-winning Melbourne Storm last week, but home ground advantage is a big assist in the NRL, which is why bookmakers have the Cowboys as firm favourites.
Currently quoted at $1.47, the Cowboys are looking to rebound after a narrow loss to the Storm in a game that could have gone either way. They played tough defense, but were ultimately beaten by a more well-rounded outfit.
The Broncos haven’t been the best defensive team this season and the Cowboys will be looking to capitalise on the gaps in midfield. With players such as Kyle Feldt and Antonio Winterstein, the Cowboys will look to overpower the soft Broncos midfield and score the home win.
Brisbane come into this game as the underdogs and rightfully so, but it made the best of the wet conditions last week and it enters this game on a significant winning streak. The Broncos scored 44 points in the victory against the Titans, but did allow a concerning 28 points.
That defense will have to be more stern against the Cowboys, who have scored 32 and 34 points in its last two home games and given the Cowboys home ground record of 32 wins from 38 games, playing up in North Queensland doesn’t come easy.
Reasons the Cowboys can win
Not only do the Cowboys own a fantastic home record, but the Broncos have never won at 1300Smiles Stadium in four attempts, which isn’t a good sign heading into a sudden death game.
They did lose Kane Linnett to injury which is a concern, but in his place comes Javid Bowen, who has played eight games and scored four tries. The young centre is more than a capable replacement and shouldn’t have any negative affect on the Cowboys’ winning chances.
The last time these two sides met, the match went in favour of the Cowboys (19-18) and given most of the Cowboys squad have experience winning a premiership last season, that will give them plenty of confidence in beating the Broncos again.
The main flaw in the Broncos defense is their midfield and that’s where the likes of Jason Taumalolo and James Tamou will flourish. Both players are tough to stop, especially Taumalolo, who has 11 line breaks this season.
Reasons the Broncos can win
The Broncos hold the all-time record of 27 wins and 13 losses against the Cowboys which will give them plenty of confidence heading into this do-or-die game.
Riding a lengthy win streak, the Broncos may have weaknesses in defense, but they have scored over 20 points in their last five games and the Cowboys, in the same stretch, have failed to score above 10 points on two occasions.
Beaten finalists last season, the Broncos have put aside a poor run which saw it slip down the NRL ladder, and rebounded nicely. Recent wins over the Bulldogs, Roosters and especially the Storm puts them in a great position here and bookmakers would have had a tough time splitting the two sides had it been played at Suncorp Stadium.
Anthony Milford showed last week why he’s highly-regarded in the NRL and loyal Broncos punters will be jumping for joy at the $2.75 being offered at Sportsbet.
Not easy to win in North Queensland, but the Broncos have to weapons to strike.
Cowboys vs. Broncos first try scorer market
Cowboys confirmed team and odds:
1. Lachlan Coote – $20
2. Kyle Feldt – $10
3. Justin O’Neill – $15
4. Javid Bowen – $14
5. Antonio Winterstein – $7.50
6. Michael Morgan – $14
7. Johnathan Thurston – $26
8. Matthew Scott – $46
9. Jake Granville – $26
10. James Tamou – $46
11. Gavin Cooper – $20
12. Ethan Lowe – $20
13. Jason Taumalolo – $26
14. Rory Kostjasyn – $46
15. Coen Hess – $26
16. Scott Bolton – $46
17. Ben Hannant – $46
The Cowboys have plenty of try scoring threats and none more so than Kyle Feldt and Antonio Winterstein.
Both players have scored 13 tries this season which shows just how key the Cowboys wingers are against the Broncos this week. Kyle Feldt has a knack of scoring either the first or last try in the game so he’s good value at $10 with CrownBet.com.au.
Broncos team list and try scoring tips:
1. Darius Boyd – $20
2. Corey Oates – $9
3. Tom Opacic – $17
4. James Roberts – $15
5. Jordan Kahu – $12
6. Anthony Milford – $15
7. Ben Hunt – $31
8. Josh McGuire – $71
9. Andrew McCullough – $46
10. Adam Blair – $71
11. Sam Thaiday – $34
12. Matt Gillett – $26
13. Corey Parker – $56
14. Jarrod Wallace – $56
15. Jai Arrow – $46
16. Alex Glenn – $26
17. Tevita Pangai Junior – $56
Corey Oates started the season very well in the try scoring ranks, but has tailed off a touch towards the end of an arduous season which has included Origin duty.
Oates has scored 17 tries this season and boasts an excellent strike rate which makes him a threat, but his odds have been drifting this season and he has been paying as low as $7 to score first. The $9 is good value here and the $1.91 for Oates to score at any time is worth a multi-bet inclusion.
Cowboys vs. Broncos game tip
Both teams have reasons for winning this game, but ultimately we’re giving the advantage to the home side which has a great statistical advantage at 1300Smiles Stadium.
The Cowboys ($1.47) have shown the ability to defend the line which will be needed against the Broncos, but we’re confident they will battle out a close game and come out on top.
It’s unlikely either team will win this by a margin, so take the Cowboys 1-12 at $2.75 for a touch of value.
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