Brisbane Broncos v Gold Coast Titans
Friday, September 9, 8pm (AEST), Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
|Best Bet: Brisbane -10 ($1.90)
Other: Under 39.5 ($1.90)
Brisbane 13+ ($2.25)
An all-Queensland affair will open the 2016 finals series with the Broncos hosting the Titans in a compelling match. The Broncos started the season competition favourites but failed to make the Top 4 while the Titans were pre-season favourites for the spoon but have exceeded expectations to play finals football.
Brisbane are unchanged from the team that defeated the Sydney Roosters while Gold Coast will also go in with no changes from the team that went down to North Queensland.
Brisbane have won 15 of 20 all-time matches against south-east Queensland rivals Gold Coast, winning by an average of 9.35 points. The Broncos have won four straight – including a 24-16 win in the only meeting this season – and 10 of the last 12. The Titans have not scored more than 16 points against the Broncos since 2009. Brisbane have won nine straight against the Titans at Suncorp with the last seven by 14-plus. The last six at Suncorp between the two teams have tallied 40 or less while 12 of the last 13 overall have tallied 40 or less. The teams have met just once in the finals with the Broncos winning a 40-32 thriller in 2009 on the Gold Coast. Broncos centre James Roberts is a former Gold Coast player while the Titans have former Broncos Josh Hoffman, Ash Taylor and Nathan Friend leading them. Anthony Milford has five tries in five matches against the Titans.
Brisbane finished the season in fifth position with a 15-9 record and a +120 differential. They finished the year with the sixth best attack (23.1ppg) and the fourth best defence (18.1ppg) though since Round 11 they have fallen to 10th in attack (19.9ppg) and ninth in defence (22.6ppg). They have won five straight, not conceding more than 16 a game over that run. They have won just 3 of their last 8 against Top 8 opposition. Gold Coast snuck into the finals in eighth position with an 11-12-1 record and a +11 differential. They rank eighth in attack (21.2ppg) and ninth in defence (20.7ppg) though since Round 11 they rank fourth in attack (22.3ppg) and sixth in defence (20.0ppg). They have dropped their last two and have won just 2 of their last 6. They have not won any of their last four against Top 8 opposition.
Darius Boyd v Jarryd Hayne. With Brisbane’s halves still running hot and cold, much is expected of Darius Boyd. He is ever-reliable and will need to be the key playmaker on the fringes. Hayne is without question a world class athlete but the Titans’ attack has spluttered since he has returned. He needs to involve his teammates more while offering more with his kick returns.
Stats That Matter
Brisbane are 11-13 ATS with a 12-12 total record while the Gold Coast are 16-8 ATS with a 12-12 total number. Brisbane have covered 3 of their last 4 while the Titans have gone under in 5 of their last 6. Since 2008 Brisbane are 7-6 ATS in finals matches though they have covered just 2 of their last 7 finals. The Titans are 1-3 ATS in finals matches all-time. Since 2008 finals matches have gone under at a rate of 57%. Finals teams getting a double digit start are 4-1 ATS with a 4-1 under record. Finals teams off a double digit win are are 35-37 ATS with a 46-26 under record while teams off a double digit loss are 6-11 ATS with a 9-8 under record. Brisbane are 10-4 ATS at Suncorp when favoured by 10 or more since 2014 while they are 25-14 ATS at home with a 22-17 over record overall at the ground over that time. The Titans are 30-18 ATS on the road since 2013 with 9 covers in their last 11. Getting a double digit start they have covered their last four on the road but they are 3-5 ATS off a double digit loss getting a start of 10 or more. Brisbane are 16-4 ATS since 2013 after conceding 14 or fewer the start previous including a 5-1 ATS record when favoured by double digits.
Brisbane are 14-2 when leading at halftime this year. Gold Coast are a perfect 8-0 when up at the break.
Brisbane were a touch disappointing against the Sydney Roosters but did enough while the Titans never seemed likely against the Cowboys despite hanging around valiantly. The Gold Coast have been a great betting team all season but they have a wretched history against the Broncos and the angles all shape for Brisbane including their 16-4 ATS record at home after conceding 14 or fewer and the 6-11 ATS angle for finals teams off a double digit loss.
How It’s Shaping Up
Brisbane by 14
Brisbane -10 ($1.90)
Brisbane 13+ ($2.25)
Best First/Last Tryscorer
Anthony Milford ($21.00)
Other Recommended Bets
Under 39.5 ($1.90)