Matchup Closes Out NRL Round 5
The Canterbury Bulldogs are slight favorites with NRL lines to beat the North Queensland Cowboys on Sunday.
The Cowboys have underperformed so far whereas the Bulldogs have exceeded expectations.
It’s an intriguing way to close Round 5 of the NRL.
Cowboys Worth the Ride?
We expected more from the Cowboys in the early stages of the year. However, they showed more ability when beating the Gold Coast Titans 24-12 last week.
Despite not covering many spreads at the sportsbook, they might have turned the corner, and beating the Bulldogs would ensure they’re going in the right direction.
It’s rare to see a team as talented as the Cowboys open as the sport betting underdogs against the Bulldogs. For years, the Bulldogs have always been outsiders, but there is confidence with the home side.
Bettors need to decide if the Cowboys are worth following. It’s not going to be easy this week after NRL news reported James Tamou, Jeremiah Nanai and Murray Taulagi are out of action.
Winning without those players could be tough, so emphasis will be put on former NFL player Valentine Holmes and Chad Townsend to lead the way.
Coach Todd Peyton has taken the blame for their poor start.
“The frustrating thing for me as a coach is the two games we lost, we just put ourselves under far too much pressure with poor ball security and poor discipline,” Peyton said.
The first month or six weeks of the competition, you’ve got to get those two parts of your game spot on. I’ll take some responsibility, I took the foot off the gas in the first three weeks of the competition purely because of the conditions that we play up here. We’ve traveled, we had a six day turn (around).”
If they don’t measure up, the Cowboys are likely to endure their third loss of the year.
Bulldogs Full of Bark
The Bulldogs were one of the worst teams last year, but after two wins from four games, they’re heading in the right direction.
Online gambling markets have them at -120 to win outright and -1½ (-105) in spread markets. We expect money to come for them at the moneyline odds because local Australian odds have the Bulldogs listed as solo favorites.
After losing to the Manly Sea Eagles 31-6 in the opening round, they rebounded with wins over the Storm and Tigers. The Tigers are the worst team in the NRL, but it gives the Bulldogs something to build on.
We thought they were unlucky at times when losing to the New Zealand Warriors last week, but a bounce-back victory is possible.
The pairing of Josh Addo-Carr and Matt Burton holds the key, and on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Sydney, we think they’ll be tough to stop.
Bulldogs vs Cowboys Head-to-Head
The Bulldogs have a 20-18 advantage over the Cowboys, but it was the Cowboys who won the most recent meeting.
They won 28-14 on the road, but the Bulldogs were a different team in 2022, so that loss shouldn’t be looked at too closely.
Bulldogs vs Cowboys Game Information
- Game: Bulldogs (2-2) vs Cowboys (2-2)
- Day/Time: Sunday, April 2, 4:15 a.m. ET
- Location: Accor Stadium, Sydney, NSW
- Bulldogs vs Cowboys Live Stream: RugbyPass
Bulldogs vs Cowboys Betting Lines
Bulldogs vs Cowboys Picks and Prediction
We expect a close contest, but there is more to get excited about with the Bulldogs.
They have been playing well, and playing at home is ideal. Our NRL picks have them winning and covering the spread.
The Bulldogs are listed at -120 in our Vegas Rugby lines. This means that if you wager $100 on Bulldogs, you have a chance to win $83. The Cowboys are -120, offering a chance to win $83 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Bulldogs a 54.55% chance to win, with Cowboys at 54.55%.