Playoff Spots Up for Grabs
The Brisbane Broncos are on the verge of a dramatic collapse as they sit in eighth position on the NRL ladder with two weeks remaining.
With only one win from their last four games, the Broncos could lose their playoff spot if they lose to the Parramatta Eels on Thursday.
NRL odds have the Eels as -165 favorites to continue the hurt for the home side.
Broncos Missing Leadership
Injuries in the forwards could have all but ended the Broncos’ chances of making the playoffs.
When they were healthy, the Broncos looked like a top-four team and good enough to win the premiership. However, since losing some State of Origin players, it has been tough to watch for Broncos fans.
They looked good when beating the Eels only five weeks ago, but it has been slim pickings since. They beat the Knights as expected, but losses to the Tigers, Roosters and Storm have highlighted their struggles.
We didn’t give them much hope against the Storm last week, but we didn’t predict a 60-12 drubbing. The sportsbook had them as single-point underdogs, so to get hammered by 48 points was shocking.
Injuries to Adam Reynolds and Selwyn Cobbo and a suspension to Patrick Carrigan have added to their woes according to NRL analyst James Hooper.
“I’d argue the Origin series had a huge influence because Selwyn Cobbo got badly knocked out in the last game, Carrigan got the Wally Lewis Medal right and was then on fire but has been suspended and Adam Reynolds picked up a variety of injuries,” Hooper told FoxSports.
“Kurt Capewell’s another player that out of State of Origin you can see the last couple of weeks, it has take a toll on the Broncos, they look a little bit down energy wise.”
Inconsistent Eels Favored
Bettors have had a hard time backing the inconsistent Eels, but they deserve to be betting online favorites against the Broncos.
They scored consecutive wins over the Panthers and Sea Eagles before losing easily to the Rabbitohs 26-0. We didn’t know what to make of that performance, but they rebounded with a comprehensive victory over the Bulldogs last week.
The 42-6 win should give them confidence for the playoffs and they’re expected to beat the Broncos, despite playing on the road.
They have a better roster than the Broncos, including the likes of captain Clint Gutherson and Mitchell Moses. It doesn’t always fire on all cylinders, but there is enough to get excited about.
We don’t think the coach will settle for anything less than a top-level performance with the playoffs just two weeks away. A loss could see the Eels slip down the ladder and make winning their first playoff game that much harder.
Broncos vs Eels Head-to-Head
The Eels have a 25-22 edge over the Broncos, but they come off a 36-14 loss at home last month.
They’ll need to turn that effort around on the road, but they ran away 46-6 winners when they met in 2021.
It’s not usually a close game when they meet, so the 3½-point line could be worth taking with rugby betting markets.
Broncos vs Eels Game Information
- Game: Broncos (13-9) vs Eels (14-8)
- Location: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
- Day/Time: Thursday Aug. 25, 5:50 a.m. ET
- Broncos vs Eels Live Stream: RugbyPass
Broncos vs Eels Betting Lines
|Team||Point Spread||Moneyline||Total||Team Total|
|Brisbane Broncos||+3½ -125||+125||48½ -120o|
|Parramatta Eels||-3½ -115||-165||48½ -120u|
Broncos vs Eels Prediction
It’s never easy to bet against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium, but we can’t turn down the Eels -3½ in this situation.
They are playing the better rugby league at the moment and there is little confidence in the Broncos camp. Desperation could sink in for Brisbane with Canberra hot on its heels, but recent form doesn’t stack up.
There has been more support for the Broncos with the points, but we’re happy with the Eels at the better price.