NRL Betting Preview: Take Parramatta Eels to see off North Queensland Cowboys by 1-12 points
Recommended Bet: Winning Margin – Parramatta Eels to win by 1-12 points @ 19/10 (2.90) with bet365
In the second NRL Premiership Semi-final, the Parramatta Eels take on the North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium on Saturday evening. The reward for the victors winners is a place in next week’s Preliminary final and a visit to the Sydney Roosters.
It’s game between two teams who are both in good shape coming into it. The Eels pushed minor premiers Melbourne Storm all the way last week, before eventually going down to an 18-16 defeat. They also won nine of their last 10 regular season matches so have some real momentum behind them.
The Cowboys should also come into the game full of confidence after accounting for last season’s premiers Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 15-14 in extra-time at the Allianz Stadium last week. Their end of season form in the regular campaign was far less impressive than their opposition on Saturday though, with them losing five of their last six matches.
It’s already been some achievement for the Cowboys in progressing to this stage without the influential Johnathan Thurston. It’s expected that they will name the same 17 players on duty against the Sharks, although centre Justin O’Neill could be in contention.
Although the Eels go into the game as short-priced favourites, they would do well to remember the 2005 Preliminary Final. The Eels were strong favourites to book their place in the Grand Final, but suffered a humiliating 29-0 drubbing by the Cowboys.
The recent head-to-head record favours the Cowboys, who have won eight of the last 11 matches against the Eels. It was one win apiece over the regular season though, with the Eels winning 26-6 in Townsville back in Round 9, while the Cowboys thrashed the Eels 32-6 in Darwin in Round 14.
Three of the last four meetings have seen 38 points or fewer and the Eels have restricted their opponents to 18 or fewer points in nine of their last 11 matches. North Queensland have been held to 16 or fewer points in six of their last seven matches.
It suggests we could have a low-scoring encounter here and with the Eels being favourites to prevail, a win by 1-12 points @ 19/10 (2.90) with bet365 looks a decent shout.