2015 NRL Round 3 Betting Preview for Brisbane vs Nth Queensland thanks to William Hill Australia.
8.35pm AEDT, Friday, March 20
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
The time-honoured Queensland derby looks a real special this year despite both teams starting slowly. Expectations are high for both sides in 2015 and the Broncos and the Cowboys are desperate to kick start their season with a win their fans can get behind.
Brisbane are unchanged after their dour win over Cronulla last weekend though Adam Blair is under pressure to keep his spot after four missed tackles and just one run for eight metres in 40 minutes of action. Paul Green has brought in Lachlan Coote at fullback for the Cowboys, shifting Michael Morgan to five-eighth and dumping Robert Lui.
This is the 40th time Brisbane and North Queensland will meet with the Broncos winning 27 matches while the Cowboys have claimed just 10. North Queensland have had the running lately though winning five of the last eight, including a 32-20 win in the opening week of the finals last season. Brisbane did win 16-12 at Suncorp last time though and have won five of the last seven in Brisbane v the Cows. Three of the last four between the two sides at the ground have tallied 30 or fewer points. Cowboys forwards Ben Hannant and Jake Granville defected from the Broncos last season.
Both Brisbane and North Queensland have disappointed over the first two weeks. The Broncos were routed by Souths at home in the season opener before an unconvincing win against the Sharks in Sydney last Friday. Brisbane have an NRL low one try assist in two games to go with just 13 offloads (last) showing their attack is clearly not working. Discipline has also been an issue with the Broncos leading the NRL in penalties as well as missed tackles. Brisbane are probably flattered with a 1-1 record. The Cowboys have been stunned twice at home, flogged by the Roosters before being run down by the Knights as a big favourite. A lack of punch in attack has been North Queensland’s main problem with an NRL-low two line breaks. Their lack of points is compounded by the fact they have not conceded a dropout all year, have forced the most errors, have been awarded the most penalties and have the fewest penalties conceded. If the Cowboys can fix their attack they have plenty of upside.
Halfbacks Ben Hunt and Johnathan Thurston have endured slow starts to the season and need to get the clappers down. Hunt does not have a single assist or try this year and has missed six tackles while Thurston has just the one assist in two games where the Cowboys have struggled to score points. Both are Australian reps with Thurston pegged as a future Immortal. The No.7 to step up claims the points in this one.
Stats That Matter
The over is 16-9 in the Broncos’ last 25 home games with Brisbane 14-11 straight and ATS. Over the last three seasons the Cowboys are 8-18 but 12-14 ATS with an average loss of 1.6 points. The Cowboys are a shocking 5-10 straight and ATS after being kept to 14 or fewer points the week prior. Brisbane have won just three of their last nine as a home outsider. The under salutes 63% of the time with a home outsider shorter than 6.5 points. Road teams off two consecutive losses are 96-70 ATS when they scored 14 points or fewer the week prior with a 23-15 ATS record as a favourite.
Broncos-Cowboys games are typically hard-fought, low scoring affairs at Suncorp and it should be more of the same with two spluttering attacks. Neither the Broncos or Cowboys have been able to find their attacking rhythm yet and with both sides at least reasonably strong defensively this one should have few chances for the offing. There is no question North Queensland are a better team and can be bet at the price but they can’t be launched into. The big angle in this one though is the under with a short home underdog and two teams that play low scoring matches against each other, who are both out of sorts in attack.
How It’s Shaping Up
North Queensland by 4
Under 38.5 ($1.91)
Other Recommended Bets
North Queensland ($1.87)
Brisbane vs Nth Queensland Comparison Betting Odds
Below we have 2015 NRL Round 3 comparison betting odds from leading Australian and International online sportsbooks for the game.