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Cowboys vs. Sharks NRL odds, tips & betting specials


    NRL Round 1 - Cowboys vs. Sharks

    • 2017 ladder result

      North Queensland Cowboys: Eighth (13-11)
      Cronulla Sharks: Fifth (15-9)
    • Premiership odds

      North Queensland Cowboys: $5.50 at Sportsbet
      Cronulla Sharks: $15 at Sportsbet

8pm AEDT Friday, March 9 at 1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville

THERE is a lot of love for the North Queensland Cowboys right now.

Punters have backed last year’s losing grand finalists onto the second line of NRL Premiership betting at most online bookmakers. has reported some huge sums dropped on the Cowboys in the lead-up to round one, including a monster bet of $35,000 at +600 odds.

The reason is clear: if they can make the granny without Johnathan Thurston, they can probably win it with JT fit, firing and unencumbered by representative duties.

North Queensland have an excellent chance to justify that support on Friday when they kick off their campaign against the Cronulla Sharks.

The 2016 premiers travel to Townsville with revenge on the brain after falling to the Cowboys in the first week of finals last year.

They have made a few personnel changes since then, most notably Matt Moylan in at five-eighth with James Maloney now at Penrith.

Jack Bird has gone to the Brisbane Broncos, but the exciting Sione Katoa will make his first-grade debut on the wing after an impressive pre-season.

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Kyle Feldt tryscorer tips

Odds courtesy of CrownBet

Feldt came home like a wet sail last year, crossing the line 12 times in the last 14 rounds of the home-and-away season. He finished a solid pre-season with a hat-trick in the trial win over the Melbourne Storm, so the form is there for all to see.

Best odds for Sione Katoa

Odds courtesy of William Hill

The Shire is buzzing over this kid, as are the punters who have lifted him to the upper end of betting for top tryscorer in 2018. A return of 24 tries from 26 games in the 2017 Holden Cup suggests the former Parramatta junior is ready to explode on the big stage.

Who wins – Cowboys or Sharks?

JT and Matthew Scott are back. Michael Morgan and Jason Taumalolo both finished top 10 in last year’s Dally M count. Rising stars Coen Hess and Te Maire Martin can only find space on the bench. Everything points to a great year for the Cowboys, and it starts with a win at home.

Top tip: Cowboys -5.5 handicap (-111.11 at Sportsbet)