NRL Betting: Take Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on the Handicap against North Queensland Cowboys

Get this week's NRL betting tip and odds on the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs to beat the North Queensland Cowboys

Recommended bet:
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs +8.5 points @ 1.73 with Luxbet

Round 20 in the NRL Premiership gets underway on Thursday evening in Townsville with a massive clash between third in the table North Queensland Cowboys and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.  This is the game of the round, with the teams being level in the table on 26-points apiece, with the Bulldogs one place below their hosts.

The top two in the table are well clear, but it’s all to play for below them in the race for the Finals Series and the winner of this clash will be well placed to secure a top four berth.  As it stands, there are just a couple of points separating third and sixth in the NRL Premiership, so one of these teams has a chance to put a little daylight between themselves and the pack.

The Cowboys are yet to lose at home this season and should benefit from having had a bye in the last round, given that they’ve been harder hit than most with Origin series call-ups (Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott, James Tamou, Gavin Cooper and Justin O’Neill all return from Origin duty).  They will also be boosted by the likely return of Michael Morgan to the back-line, after he missed Origin III with a knee injury.  Ray Thompson will miss out as a result.  Elsewhere, either Tautau Moga or Javid Bowen is likely to replace the suspended Kyle Feldt on the wing.

It’s the Bulldogs who are the form team here though, having won four on the spin, aided by the return and excellent form of winger Brett Morris.  Other than Adam Elliott and Chase Stanley, the Bulldogs should be at full-strength.  The Bulldogs have also ran in 30 or more points in five of their last eight matches.

The Bulldogs have a definite edge on the head-to-head, having won 21 of the 33 previous meetings between the teams.  However, it’s the Cowboys who have been on top recently, having won three of the last four, including a 23-16 victory in Townsville last year.  

The extra quality in the Cowboys’ back-line should give them a narrow advantage in the game, but the Bulldogs could cover the Handicap with an 8.5 points start.