NRL Semi Final Picks


Cowboys v Broncos

What a great game to kick the weekend off with, two fierce Queensland rivals squaring off in what is a re-match of the 2015 Grand Final with the past three matches between the sides having been decided by just one point.

Both sides have their top players available with the exception being in the centres with Linnett injured for the Cowboys and Roberts suspended for the Broncos, effectively cancelling each other out as a couple of inexperienced players fill the gaps in Bowen and Pearson respectively.

The Broncos have had good success with their right-side attack against the Cowboys of late with six tries (and eight line-breaks) in the past three encounters so it’s a no brainer we’ll see plenty of traffic go that way. The Cowboys have had the better of the Broncos in endurance though in comprehensively out-scoring the Broncos late in the past three matches while finishing with a wet sail.

The Cowboys have lost just once all season in Townsville but history points to a very close encounter. The Broncos showed against the Storm just a few weeks ago that when on their game they’re nearly unstoppable and given the rivalry and some criticism levelled at them since that victory I’m confident we’ll see a similar Broncos performance here which makes the start on offer look very handy indeed. Pick – 4 units on Broncos +6.5 point start

OTP Recommendation

Broncos +6.54 at 1.90Bookie Image 1+3.6

otp odds

Raiders v Panthers

It’s take-two for the Raiders after their narrow loss to the Sharks in Canberra last weekend; they’re highly likely to be without influential Hooker Hodgson though and given the lack of offensive impact they had once he left the field against the Panthers it is a concern. Positives are though that Austen is likely to play, they’ll have another huge home crowd barracking them on, their forward pack is likely to roll the sleeves up some more and can certainly get the better of the Panthers pack, plus the Panthers could have more difficulty (than the Sharks) at containing the devastating Rapana-Leilua right edge combination.

The Panthers certainly have the play-makers to hurt the Raiders on attack but if the Raiders get into trench-warfare mode then their lack of experience could be a factor, it wasn’t a factor against the Bulldogs last week but the Dogs turned up with the most boring and uninspiring game plan imaginable, effectively beating themselves, the Raiders won’t be so downright predictable.

As mentioned above the likely absence of Hodgson is a big blow for the Raiders but they have the personnel to overcome that loss and I can’t help but feel they’ll get the better of the battle up the middle and their defence will hold tight, basically doing enough to secure a very hard fought win. The value for mine sits in the win at the margins to the home side. Pick – 2 units on Raiders to win by 12 points and under

OTP Recommendation

Raiders 1-122 at 3.30Bookie Image 2+4.6

otp odds


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    Grand Final -4 4 100% N/A
    Week Three Finals +1 5 20% N/A
    Week Two Finals +8.2 6 137% N/A
    Week One Finals -6.21 12 -52% N/A
    Round Twenty-Six +6.68 10 67% N/A
    Round Twenty-Five -4.32 12 -36% N/A
    Round Twenty-Four +7.14 14 51% N/A
    Round Twenty-Three +3.89 17 23% N/A
    Round Twenty-Two -5.36 13 -41% N/A
    Round Twenty-One -7.24 13 -56% N/A
    Round Twenty -11.24 17 -66% N/A
    Round Nineteen +7.96 11 72% N/A
    Round Eighteen -2.6 8 -33% N/A
    Round Seventeen -1.84 16 -12% N/A
    Round Sixteen -6.4 14 -46% N/A
    Round Fifteen -4.13 12 -34% N/A
    Round Fourteen +1.5 13 12% N/A
    Round Thirteen -2.35 12 -20% N/A
    Round Twelve +4.36 11 40% N/A
    Round Eleven -1.45 10 -15% N/A
    Round Ten -0.1 9.5 -1% N/A
    Round Nine -2.12 17 -12% N/A
    Round Eight -1.41 12 -12% N/A
    Round Seven +1.52 11 14% N/A
    Round Six  +0.18 12 2% N/A
    Round Five +1.49 13 11% N/A
    Round Four +0.61 11 6% N/A
    Round Three +9.89 11 90% N/A
    Round Two +5.33 10 53% N/A
    Round One +1.58 8 20% N/A
    Total +0.56 342.5 0% 0%

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