Brisbane Broncos v Canterbury Bulldogs
Thursday, August 18, 8pm (AEST), Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
|Best Bet: Under 41.5 ($1.90)
Other: Canterbury 1-12 ($4.25)
Josh Reynolds First Try ($26.00)
Round 24 kicks off with a monster clash between Brisbane and Canterbury that will have mammoth finals implications with the Bulldogs desperate to stay inside and the Broncos hoping to fight their way back in.
Jordan Kahu returns for Brisbane with Jonus Pearson out. Canterbury welcome former Bronco Greg Eastwood back into the team with Danny Fualalo dropped.
This will be the 50th clash between Brisbane and Canterbury with the Broncos winning 27 to the Bulldogs’ 21 with a single draw. Among Brisbane’s wins are a Grand Final win in 1998 and preliminary final victories in 1993 and 2006. Canterbury have won the last two between the sides but the last 14 have been split right down the middle. The teams met in Round 16 with Canterbury winning 40-14 in a rout. Brisbane have won 3 of the last 4 at Suncorp though. Seven of the last nine matches have failed to break 38 points. Corey Oates has scored six tries in five games against Canterbury.
Brisbane are sixth on the ladder with a 12-9 record. They rank sixth in points differential, fifth in attack and sixth in defence. They have won just 4 of their last 11 and last won two straight in Round 8. Brisbane have lost their last three against Top 8 opposition by 19-plus. Canterbury are fourth with a 14-7 record and the fifth best differential. They rank seventh in attack and fourth in defence. They have put together three unimpressive wins on the trot following a hammering at the hands of North Queensland. Canterbury have won just 1 of their last 4 against Top 8 opposition.
Anthony Milford v Josh Reynolds. The two five-eighths have been wildly inconsistent this season. Milford is a legitimate match-winner who started the season flying before hitting a flat patch. He rediscovered his best against Parramatta though and wants to go on with it. Reynolds’ game is always a patchwork of brilliance and bone-headedness and it was the same pastiche against Manly. He needs more diamonds than rocks this week.
Stats That Matter
Brisbane are 9-12 ATS with an 11-10 over record while Canterbury are 8-13 ATS with a 10-11 under record. The Bulldogs have failed to cover their last six while they have gone under in four straight. The Broncos have covered just 2 of their last 10 while they have gone over in 7 of their last 9. Brisbane are 16-9 ATS at Suncorp since Wayne Bennett’s return including 12-6 ATS when favoured by more than 4.5 at the ground. When favoured by 4.5 or more at home off a double digit win they are 6-3 ATS. Road underdogs of up to 6 off a win cover at a rate of 64% in the final seven rounds. Road outsiders of 4 or more off three straight wins are 15-21 ATS since 2012. Since 2012, the under hits at 64% when home teams score 36 the week prior.
Brisbane have not come back from a halftime deficit this year. Canterbury have led at halftime in 15 of 21 matches this year.
This game seems impossible to pick with both teams dreadfully out of form. The Bulldogs are certainly the value in the match though as they just continue to eke out wins. The top play though is the under. Canterbury are an under team again and are focussing strongly on their defence while Brisbane can be contained by quality teams. With a history of under matches, expect a low-scoring affair.
How It’s Shaping Up
Canterbury by 2
Under 41.5 ($1.90)
Canterbury 1-12 ($4.25)
Best First/Last Tryscorer
Josh Reynolds ($26.00)
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