NRL Betting: North Queensland Cowboys the handicap bet against Gold Coast Titans

NRL Betting: North Queensland Cowboys the -8.5 points handicap bet against Gold Coast Titans at 10/11 (1.91)

Recommended bet: North Queensland Cowboys (-8.5 points Handicap) @ 10/11 (1.91) with Boylesports

There is plenty at stake as North Queensland Cowboys and Gold Coast Titans battle it out at the 1300SMILES Stadium on Saturday evening, with the Cowboys looking to secure a Top 4 finishing spot and the Titans looking for the win that would guarantee them a finals spot.

North Queensland Cowboys are the reigning NRL Premiers after winning the 2015 Grand Final (winning their first title in a Golden Point thriller against the Brisbane Broncos), but their regular season campaign in 2016 has been undermined by a poor record on the road that has seen them go down to eight defeats.  That said, the Cowboys still possess the second best points differential of the season to date, the third best offensive record and the second best defensive record.

The Cowboys do seem to be finding some form at just the right time, having followed up a 34-6 win at home to the New Zealand Warriors with what was a crucial 24-16 victory at Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs last time out to put them in pole position for a Top 4 spot.

In truth, few would have anticipated Gold Coast Titans to still be challenging for the end of season play-offs going into the last round of games in the regular season.  As things stand, Titans currently occupy the coveted eighth and final play-off spot in the Premiership table, but a failure to beat the Cowboys would leave the door ajar for Wests Tigers to overhaul them.  It’s by no means a given though, with Wests Tigers facing stiff opposition at home to Canberra Raiders on Sunday.

It’s honours even as far as past encounters are concerned, with the 16 previous meetings being split eight wins apiece.

With Matt Scott ruled out, Ben Hannant comes in for the Cowboys.  The Titans have added David Mead, Lachlan Burr and David Shillington to their bench,

With Brisbane Broncos and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs breathing down their necks, the Cowboys know that victory here is imperative if they are to claim a Top 4 finish.  There is a general feeling that they may just be peaking at the right time for the Finals Series and they should secure the requisite win here.