NRL tips, NRL preview
  • Cowboys season on life support and can’t afford another loss
  • Broncos will be in the top 8 with a win
  • NRL Tips expert Steve Green suggests a betting play at $21

The bookies are having a hard time splitting these teams, and so am I.

The Broncos were brought back to earth with a thud against the Storm. Their unconvincing wins against weaker teams did have me concerned, but I did not foresee such a defensive capitulation. The Storm made over 850 metres more than the Broncos and had 10 line breaks to one.

Haas, Lodge and Fifita stood up, while Oates tried hard…but the lack of yardage the Broncos get from their outside backs is a real concern. Coates, Milford, Glenn and Isaako all made under 100 metres by a significant margin. In contrast, Vunivalu made 194 metres and Addo Carr made 178 metres.

Lucky for the Broncos, the Cowboys also struggle out wide. Against Wests last weekend we saw Feldt bomb some tries, while Taulagi’s shaky start to first grade has become too much, who has replaced him with Gela-Mosby…a move that I thought would have occurred weeks ago.

The problem for the Cowboys is the lack of mobility in their forward pack, something Wests exposed last weekend with enterprising play out wide and fast line speed in defence. By moving up and cutting down the Cowboys running time, guys like McLean, McGuire and Scott were all kept to under 100 metres, while Taumalolo only made 130 metres (which is very low by his standards).

But the Cowboys were not as far off as the scoreboard suggested and the 24 point margin was reflective of their inability to take their chances. They had multiple tries disallowed or dropped on the line…so I think they will rate their chances at home, against their arch rivals.

With Gillett still out injured and now Alex Glenn also ruled out, the Broncos are missing some experience and with Dearden injured in his QLD Cup return game last weekend, the Broncos are still relying on Turpin and Boyd in the halves, with neither of them having much experience in that role.

While Morgan was pretty poor in his return game, he will get better with time out on the field and so I expect him, Granville, Clifford and Drinkwater to start forming better chemistry as their 2019 season winds down.

On my ratings, the Broncos have a slight edge here but not by much and with the home ground advantage, I would probably have the odds reversed (Cowboys 1.80 and Broncos 2.00).

But there is not enough difference for me to have a bet on the Cowboys here and with their finals hopes still very much alive, their desperation could be the difference.

All in all, I cannot split them and think that this one could be tied up after 80 minutes. These teams have drawn so many games in recent years, and with teams that are very evenly matched, I think the draw at anything over 18.00 is slight value.

Predicted Score
Cowboys 18
Broncos 18
Suggested Bet: Draw at 80 Minutes ($19-$21 available)
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