NRL Betting Tip: North Queensland Cowboys can overcome 10.5 point handicap to see off Penrith Panthers

Thursday 29th March - The North Queensland Cowboys face the Penrith Panthers..

Recommended bet:
Handicap – North Queensland to Win -10.5 @ 10/11 (1.91) with BetEasy

The North Queensland Cowboys face the Penrith Panthers at the 1300SMILES Stadium on Thursday evening.

Having beaten the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 20-14 in their opening game, the Cowboys have since lost twice on the road to the Brisbane Broncos (24-20) and, in a rematch of last season’s Grand Final, Melbourne Storm (30-14).  

They certainly weren’t done any favours with the fixture list in those two defeats, but now need to bounce back with a win against the Panthers.

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The Panthers are also coming into this game on the back of a defeat, although in their case it was the first of the season in going down 20-18 at Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

In terms of team news, Lachlan Coote is back in training and could make his first appearance of the new season at full-back for the Cowboys.

The Panthers will be without half-back Nathan Cleary for up to ten weeks after he suffered a knee injury in the defeat against the Bulldogs.  The Panthers have ruled out the possibility of moving Peter Wallace from hooker and into the halves to cover for Cleary, so Tyrone Peachey (who finished the game against the Bulldogs after Cleary went off) is the likely replacement, although there is a possibility that Jarome Luai could make his NRL debut. 

The two meetings between the teams last season both resulted in narrow home victories, with the Cowboys prevailing 14-12 at the 1300SMILES Stadium in game week 16, before the Panthers claimed revenge with a 24-16 win in game week 23 at the Penrith Stadium.

The NRL betting odds strongly favour a win for the Cowboys and it’s difficult to make a case for any other result, particularly now that Cleary will be missing for the visitors, coupled with the desire of Johnathan Thurston and the Cowboys to return to winning ways.

A better option for a bet could be to look at the Handicap market, where the Cowboys can be backed giving the Panthers a 10.5 points start (i.e. any Cowboys winning margin of 11 points or more would be required for any such wager to win).

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