The Storm have had the advantage over the Broncos for a long time, but no more so than in the past two seasons.
Since the beginning of 2017 these two powerhouse clubs have played 5 times, with the Storm winning all 5. In the last 4 encounters the Storm have averaged over 34 points a game, while the Broncos have only averaged 12 points a game… meaning there has been an average margin of 22 points in the Storm’s favour!
But anyone that knows my system understands that I don’t place too much emphasis on these kind of stats.
When the Storm beat the Broncos in the 2017 final series, their team was stacked with internationals like Cronk, Slater, Harris and McLean. Meanwhile the Broncos had Blair and Thaiday as starting prop forwards.
As we head into the 2019 season, I think the Brisbane squad is choc-full of young talent and I think we are about to see the dawn of a new Broncos golden era.
With guys like Tevita Pangai Junior, David Fifita, Jamayne Isaako and Thomas Flegler all hitting their straps, Coach Siebold has some exciting talent coming through to compliment established stars like Gillett, Milford, Boyd, Oates and Roberts.
As members are aware, I think the Broncos are the best value team to win the NRL.
So, it should come as no surprise to learn that I think the Broncos offer value in this match up.
Although their trial form was not terrific, the Broncos still showed promising signs, particularly with Nikorima stepping up in the absence of Milford. Nikorima really hit a purple patch late last year, with his stellar form for the Kiwis and I think the plucky number 7 is set of a big year under Siebold.
I also like Staggs on the bench. This young future star is a live wire and he will keep pressure on Bird to hold down his spot in the centres.
If the Broncos attack needs a spark, he can be brought on as a loose forward that can roam the field looking for opportunities. Apart from injured teen giant Payne Haas, this as strong as the Broncos get.
The Storm also look strong, but with Drinkwater injured, Coach Bellamy has settled on Croft in the halves and Hughes at the back.
While these two players are extremely talented, I am not expecting the Storm to be at their clinical best for Round 1. The Storm will also be without Stimson, who is an underrated player and was good enough to keep Hoffman out of the Storm team last year.
The Broncos line up is superior on my system and although the home ground factor is clearly going to help the Storm, I think the odds being offered for the Broncos are too generous.
Recommended Bet: Brisbane Broncos +3.5
Steve will cover every NRL game for the season, as well as State of Origin and Internationals.
New to this season, Steve will also be recommending some half-time plays on selected games.