Canberra Raiders v North Queensland Cowboys
Monday, July 11, 7pm (AEST), Canberra Stadium, Canberra
|Best Bet: Over 41.5 ($1.90)
Other: Canberra 13+ ($2.10)
Jack Wighton First Try ($15.00)
Round 18 finishes with Canberra hosting an Origin-depleted North Queensland in the chilling capital winter in what should be an interesting battle following a disappointing showing from the Raiders last week.
Canberra have lost Josh Papalii to injury and Luke Bateman to suspension. Iosia Soliola returns from injury while Clay Priest is also recalled. The Cowboys are without seven starters with Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott, James Tamou, Justin O’Neill and Gavin Cooper all on Origin duty while Michael Morgan and Kane Linnett are out hurt. Rory Kostjasyn skippers the young team that sees Tautau Moga and Javid Bowen in the centres, Kostjasyn and Ray Thompson in the halves, Ben Hannant and Scott Bolton starting at prop and Coen Hess wearing the No.11 jersey. Josh Chudleigh debuts on the bench.
Canberra are up to sixth on the ladder with a 9-6-1 record and a +68 differential, sixth in the NRL. The Raiders rank third in attack with 25.5ppg and seventh in defence conceding 21.2ppg. Canberra have won 5 of the last 6 matches, scoring 29-plus in all those wins. North Queensland are third on the ladder with an 11-5 record and a +187 differential, second in the NRL. They are the top attacking team scoring 25.9ppg while they are the second best defensive team conceding just 14.2ppg. The Cowboys have won 9 of their last 12. The Cowboys are 3-4 against Top 8 teams.
Josh Hodgson v Jake Granville. Hodgson has been arguably Canberra’s best player this season with nine assists and four line breaks to go with 34 tackles a game. He is a genuine leader to boot. Granville helped push the Cowboys over the edge last season and his stats in 2016 are remarkably similar to Hodgson’s: nine assists, three line breaks, 32 tackles a game. These two are similar types who will play a big role in this one.
Stats That Matter
Canberra are 9-7 ATS this season with a 10-6 over record while North Queensland are also 9-7 ATS with an 8-8 total number. The Raiders have gone over in their last six while they have covered 5 of their last six. The Cowboys are 4-2 but just 2-4 ATS during the Origin period this year. The Cowboys are 19-14 ATS as an underdog since 2013 and 7-5 ATS as an underdog of more than a converted try (9-3 over). Canberra are 1-3 ATS since 2013 when favoured by more than a converted try, going to golden point last week when the biggest favourites of the year. Since 2012 home double digit favourites who conceded 25-plus the week prior are 18-13 ATS with an 18-13 over record. Canberra are 20-15 over as a home favourite. The Cowboys are 4-4 ATS on the road this year. Since 2012 Canberra are 3-4 ATS at home on Mondays while the Cowboys are 6-6 ATS in road Monday games. The under drops from 53% to 47% during the Origin period and is 13-25 this year. Favourites during the Origin period cover 55% of matches compared to 47% during the rest of the regular season and this season are 21-17 ATS. Wet games are 11-10 under during Origin period, down from 52-31 overall.
Canberra have overcome 3 of 8 halftime deficits. The Cowboys are a perfect 10-0 when leading at the break.
Canberra will never get a better opportunity to whip North Queensland than this week when they meet a Cowboys team missing seven starters. They will be well and truly focussed too with Ricky Stuart sure to have given them a tough week following a disappointing showing against Newcastle. The top play in this is the over. These teams have a history of high-scoring matches, this is prime over season and the over is strong in Cowboys underdog and Raiders home games.
How It’s Shaping Up
Canberra by 18
Over 41.5 ($1.90)
Canberra 13+ ($2.10)
Best First/Last Tryscorer
Jack Wighton ($15.00)
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