NRL Betting: Melbourne Storm vs North Queensland Cowboys Grand Final Could be a Low-Scoring Game
September 08, 2016
Recommended bet: Under 34.5 Points @ 22/25 (1.89) with Ladbrokes
The two favourites for the NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final go head-to-head in what promises to be a storming encounter as Melbourne Storm play host to the North Queensland Cowboys at AAMI Park on Saturday evening.
For the victors of this match the reward is a week off and the advantage of being the host team in the Preliminary Final.
The Storm have already done the double over the Cowboys in the regular season this year, but both matches were tight low-scoring affairs and we should expect more of the same here. Melbourne edged home 15-14 at the Suncorp stadium back in May, then went on to win 16-8 at the Cowboys own 1300SMILES Stadium at the end of July.
With regards to team news, Melbourne are set to be unchanged provided Cheyse Blair is declared fit. The Cowboys have named Matt Scott, but he will also need to pass a fitness test if he is to replace Patrick Kaufusi.
The decisive battle on the pitch could be between the two playmakers, Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm) and Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys). Both half-backs are tied on try assists this season going into this game and whoever comes out on top here could well decide the game.
This could easily be a taster of the Grand Final in a month’s time. Five of the last six meeting between Melbourne and North Queensland have resulted in 35 points or less, which looks likely again when taking into account that Storm had the best defensive record in the regular season with just 302 points conceded at a rate of only 12.6 points per game on average.
The Cowboys were hardly generous at the back themselves, possessing the second best defensive statistics with just 355 points being conceded at a rate of 14.8 points per game.
Home advantage might just see the Storm shade this and they looked mightily impressive in seeing off Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 26-6 last time out. Even so, the Cowboys are the reigning NRL Premiers and they trounced Storm 32-12 at AAMI Park in last year’s Preliminary Final.
Backing Under 34.5 Points in the match looks a safer bet.