Top-Four Ambitions for Both Teams
The North Queensland Cowboys and Canberra Raiders have playoff ambitions and NRL lines have the Cowboys favored at home.
The Cowboys are one of our picks to win the title at value odds, so they look to get their year off to a winning start against the dangerous visitors.
Online gambling markets have the Cowboys at -8½.
Raiders Looking to Steal Road Win
The Raiders are an enigmatic rugby league team. Bettors never know what to expect, which makes them tough to back.
They have attracted some attention with NRL picks for the title, but they need to get off to a positive start.
The sportsbook has them at +200 to win outright, which is fair given how impressive the Cowboys are at home.
It’s not the easiest introduction to the 2023 season for the Raiders, who have lost some key players. However, they still have former Dally M Medalist Jack Wighton playing five-eighth.
“Everyone wants to get off to a good start but it’s a lot harder than it sounds,” prop Elliot Whitehead said. “We started really poorly last year, we were two from eight and we don’t want to start like that again so we’ll be doing everything we can to get the win.
“The Cowboys were good last year and I’m expecting them to be good this year, so it’s going to be a good challenge.”
They showed some ability during the playoffs last year when beating the Storm 28-20 in an upset result before losing heavily to the Eels 40-4. That loss could be tough to rebound from, despite starting fresh.
Giddy Up, Cowboys
The Cowboys are all the talk with NRL news and we think they have a big year approaching.
After being knocked out of the playoffs with a 24-20 loss to the Eels, they will look to improve on that effort and capitalize on their quality roster.
They also have the recent winning edge against the Raiders, so confidence levels should be high and that’s reflected in betting online markets.
“The Cowboys went within a whisker of making the grand final, so there’s no reason why they won’t be strong again,” league legend Greg Alexander said.
“Chad Townsend was outstanding, I think he shocked a lot of people last year, he provided the Cowboys with exactly what they were looking for. That was someone to run the team and he did it extremely well.”
Covering an 8½ spread isn’t easy, but they have home-field advantage, and they play particularly well at home.
Raiders vs Cowboys Head-to-Head
The Cowboys hold a slight 22-21 lifetime advantage over the Raiders, but they won their last two.
In two meetings in 2022, the Cowboys won the first 26-6, before winning again 18-12 on the road.
Raiders vs Cowboys Game Information
- Game: Raiders (0-0) vs Cowboys (0-0)
- Day/Time: Saturday, March 4, 1:40 a.m. ET
- Location: Country Bank Stadium, Townsville, QLD
- Raiders vs Cowboys Live Stream: RugbyPass
Raiders vs Cowboys Betting Lines
Raiders vs Cowboys Picks and Prediction
The Cowboys could be too strong for the Raiders, and although it’s not an easy opening game, they have too much depth.
The crowd will be behind them and that could make all the difference, so take the Cowboys -7½.
North Queensland is listed at -300 in our Vegas NRL lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Cowboys, there’s a chance to win $33. Canberra is +200, offering a chance to win $200 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives North Queensland a 75.00% chance to win, with the Cowboys at 33.33%.