MATCH UP STATS
Season record:Brisbane Broncos: 1-2Canberra Raiders: 1-2
First try-scorer:Brisbane Broncos: James Roberts ($15 @ Crownbet)Canberra Raiders: Jordan Rapana ($10 @ Crownbet)
Friday, March 24, 8.05pm at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.
PUNTERS weren’t expecting to see both the Brisbane Broncos and the Canberra Raiders sitting with only one win from three games to start the season.
One of these storied franchises will notch its second win of the season this Friday night and one team will be left scratching their heads and fending away the wolves.
The Broncos opened its account with a win against the Sharks in round one before suffering narrow one and two-point losses to the Cowboys and the Storm. They played well in those games, but ultimately came up short.
The Raiders started the season with a close loss to the Cowboys before being thrashed 16-42 against the Sharks. They were quick to rebound with a thrashing of their own against the Tigers last week, but will face stiffer competition this Friday.
Broncos forward Josh McGuire knows all too well that the Canberra forwards pack a punch, something the Broncos will need to prepare for.
“It’s no hidden fact that they’ve got a big team and they’re a team that likes to run hard so it would be smart to make those big guys work hard and to run hard and make sure that they’re working and keeping the ball in play,” McGuire said.
“When you look across their pack they’ve got a big team so we’ve got to make sure that they’re working hard and that you’re making them work hard.”
Establishing dominance in the forwards could decide the game between the Broncos and Raiders. Getting good go-forward ball gives the outside backs a chance to shine and cross the line for a four pointer.
This week we look at the best try-scoring players for each team and punters are spoiled for choice when it comes to star power.
Broncos team lineup and first try-scorer tips
1. Darius Boyd – $15
2. Corey Oates – +750
3. James Roberts – $15
4. Tautau Moga – $14
5. Jordan Kahu – $10
6. Anthony Milford – $12
7. Ben Hunt – $20
8. Korbin Sims – $41
9. Andrew McCullough – $36
10. Adam Blair – $41
11. Sam Thaiday – $41
12. Matt Gillett – $36
13. Josh McGuire – $46
James Roberts is starting to live up to the hype and he’s our top first try-scorer tip for the Brisbane Broncos this week.
The former Gold Coast centre has scored three tries already this season, which holds him in good stead for this Friday night and he’s currently at great odds.
Roberts has electric speed, a low error count and he has seemingly got his desire back to score tries. We think the $15 at Sportsbet.com.au is great value for a noted speedster which has hit top form this season.
The current favourite to score first is Corey Oates. The Broncos winger has scored only one try this season, but the support continues to come and it’s not hard to see why.
He’s not the most prolific scorer, but his work throughout the game is admirable. He’s one of the hardest working wingers in the game and punters are hoping to get rewarded.
$8.50 is a touch short for our liking, but we suggest taking the $1.72 for Oates to score at any time during the match. He usually does his best work when the defense is tired, so look for Oates to take over the game late.
Another player who can take over the game late is Anthony Milford. Having scored once this season, Milford is a good chance to score again and the $2.40 is a solid price from bookmakers.
Add Milford to NRL multi-bet selections this weekend.
Raiders confirmed team and try-scoring bets
1. Jack Wighton – $18
2. Nick Cotric – $13
3. Jarrod Croker – $15
4. Joseph Leilua – $18
5. Jordan Rapana – $10
6. Blake Austin – $21
7. Aidan Sezer – $34
8. Junior Paulo – $61
9. Josh Hodgson – $36
10. Shannon Boyd – $31
11. Josh Papalii – $26
12. Elliott Whitehead – $26
13. Luke Bateman – $51
The Raiders focus heavily on their offensive weapons and there’s some good try-scoring picks among the bunch.
Both Jack Wighton and Jordan Rapana have scored three tries a piece this season and we think Jordan Rapana is the best selection for the Raiders.
With a quality halves pairing of Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer, the outside backs for the Raiders get plenty of opportunities and Rapana is cashing in.
He has scored three tries in three games and he has a team-leading 49 all runs. That’s a big number for a winger, which goes to show how much quality ball he gets on the wing.
Rapana is the favourite for the Raiders at +900 with CrownBet.com.au and we’re predicting the star player to have another big game.
Joseph Leilua is one of the bigger centres in the game and we don’t envy anyone trying to tackle him. He has scored twice already this season and although he makes his fair share of errors, he’s a good try-scoring threat.
At $18 with Sportsbet, Leilua is a good option for punters and the $3.30 to score at any time is another great punting option.
Broncos vs. Raiders game tip
The Broncos are paying great money in the head-to-head market. The $1.64 is value price offered from bookmakers and we can’t see them losing three on the bounce.
The Raiders might have hit top form with a win against the Tigers, but they looked average for the first 40 35 minutes and breaking the Broncos defensive line won’t come with ease.
We’re expecting this game to be a highlight-reel type game, but the Broncos should come away with the win.
Our match prediction: Broncos 24 – Raiders 20
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