The North Queensland Cowboys probably won’t catch the top-ranked Penrith Panthers this season as we are already in round 21 rugby betting picks, but they should be able to easily add another victory to the win column on Saturday night against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs are out of the race to make the finals at 6-13, but they have done a nice job of playing spoiler recently with wins in three of their last five matches.
The Cowboys (14-5) probably aren’t on upset alert with the way they’ve played lately, but the threat is at least out there.
NRL Previous Matchups Scoreboard
North Queensland has had one of the best runs in recent NRL memory, starting off rather nonchalantly at 3-3 but then rallying for an 11-2 mark over their last 13.
The Cowboys are still six points back from Penrith, who is on an absolute dominant stretch, but they’ve proven themselves to be the second-best team in the NRL this season.
The Cowboys have been iffy when betting on rugby recently despite their solid overall record. They barely got past the lowly Wests Tigers 27-26 on July 24th and lost at home to the Sharks 26-12 the game before that.
Grand Final Contender
Is the pressure of being a legitimate Grand Final contender getting to the Cowboys? This is a team that has finished 13th, 14th, 14th, and 15th the last four seasons, but they also bounced back last week for a 34-8 win over the Dragons, who at 11th place in the NRL are still a slot above the Bulldogs.
You have to give credit to Canterbury-Bankstown in their recent rugby schedule, winning three of their last five despite being eliminated from finals contention for weeks now.
Sure they’ve beaten up on the:
- 14th place Knights (24-10)
- last place Titans (36-26),
- 15th place Wests Tigers (36-12)
But any win still builds momentum. Although their respective seasons have gone in different directions since the season opener, Canterbury did pick up a 6-4 win in a defensive struggle over the Cowboys back on March 13th.
North Queensland had won 8 of 10 in the head-to-head series prior to the season-opening loss.
Bulldogs vs. Cowboy Betting Analysis
The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs vs. North Queensland Cowboys Odds have the home team as +270 underdogs. North Queensland is the -360 favorite as oddsmakers seem to believe that the Cowboys have gotten right after their big win over the Dragons last Sunday.
The Bulldogs have looked respectable the past couple of weekends, but they’ve also picked up their three victories over the three worst teams in the NRL.
NRL Saturday’s Matchup
North Queensland is a -11.5 favorite for Saturday’s matchup, but Canterbury’s last two losses have come 36-28 to South Sydney and 18-6 to Cronulla – two teams in the top eight heading into round 21.
Betting on rugby for round 21 Canterbury vs. North Queensland might have the best play on the total. That number is set at a whopping 45.5 even though these two teams battled to a 6-4 slugfest in their previous meeting.
Then again, that was the season opener, so these squads are in much better form with a little over a month left until the finals.
Canterbury Playing Well
You have to take Canterbury’s three wins in the last five games with a grain of salt since the victories have come against the three worst teams in the NRL.
This could still be a big weekend for the Bulldogs, who are playing this match at the Salter Oval in Bundaberg, which is hosting its first-ever NRL contest.
Ten thousand fans are expected in Bundaberg, but that’s also not saying they are all Bulldogs backers. A lot of spectators are excited for the turnaround North Queensland has put forth in 2022, and many want to see somebody step up as a legitimate contender against Penrith.
Mick Potter is naming the same 17 for this weekend, with Jacob Kiraz and Josh Addo-Carr dialed in recently, albeit against some poor competition.
North Queensland Struggles In These Matches
The Cowboys should run away with this match on paper in a battle of #2 vs. #12 on the ladder, but these are the types of contests that North Queensland hasn’t been able to get around this year. The 27-26 win over Wests Tigers could have easily been one of the biggest upsets of the NRL season.
The Cowboys still have two of the top players in the NRL, so when they are dialed in, they can easily get a comfortable win against Canterbury this weekend. Valentine Holmes leads the league with 174 points, while Jeremiah Nanai is a top 20 scorer as well.
Bulldogs vs. Cowboy Betting Preview
North Queensland is just a -11.5 favorite this weekend; sure, the match is on the road, but the Cowboys are also the #2 team on the ladder.
That line is indicative of some recent struggles from North Queensland as well as the Bulldogs playing better as of late.
Bulldogs vs. Cowboy Betting Prediction
Don’t be fooled by some recent success from Canterbury, as their wins have come against the worst teams in the NRL.
North Queensland is hearing the whispers, and they’ll be dialed in for a blowout in this match.Take North Queensland -11.5.
NRL Pick: Cowboys -11.5 (1.80)