NRL Betting Preview: Melbourne Storm to continue winning ways against North Queensland Cowboys
March 20, 2018
Recommended bet: Winning Margin – Melbourne Storm to win by 1-10 points @ 23/10 (3.30) Crownbet
It’s Round 3 of the NRL Premiership and Thursday evening sees Melbourne Storm take on North Queensland Cowboys at AAMI Park in a repeat of the 2017 Grand Final.
Storm claimed the Premiership with a convincing and near faultless display in a 34-6 win over the Cowboys at the ANZ Stadium last September.
In the regular season last year, Storm won 23-22 at AAMI Park in round 15 and again came out on top – 26-8 – when the teams faced each other at 1300SMILES Stadium in round 22.
The trend has very much been with Storm in recent times in matches between the two teams, with them winning the last seven in all competitions. On the plus side for the Cowboys is that, unlike in the Grand Final, they will have Johnathan Thurston available on Thursday.
Both teams come into this game on the back of reverses last week, with Storm having been stunned 10-8 at home to Wests Tigers, while the Cowboys went down to a 24-20 defeat at the Brisbane Broncos.
In terms of team news, Felise Kaufusi is facing a race against time to be fit to take his place in the Melbourne back-row, having been given no more than a ’50-50’ chance to recover from a hamstring injury by club officials. Joe Stimson is set to continue should Kaufusi miss out. However, Michael Morgan is set to return from an abdominal issue and Sam Kasiano should recover from a head-knock that saw him come off against the Tigers.
For the Cowboys, five-eighth Michael Morgan (abdominal strain) is set to return, while Lachlan Coote could also be set to return from a hamstring injury.
Games between these two heavyweights of the NRL in recent years are always a bit special and with both teams coming into this one on the back of losses there will be the added incentive to get back to winning ways and set the tone for the season ahead.
Home advantage and recent dominance over their opponents points to a Storm victory, but it’s likely to be tight, with a 1-10 point victory on offer at 23/10 (3.30) with Crownbet looking a decent value bet.