NRL analyst Chris Thomas (@SolidPunts) is heading Down Under on Thursday morning in search of value as the North Queensland Cowboys meet regional rivals Brisbane Broncos in Townsville.
North Queensland Cowboys v Brisbane Broncos | Thursday 9th August 2018, 10:50
What a special night it will be in Townsville as future immortal Jonathon Thurston captains the North Queensland Cowboys in his last ever Queensland derby.
JT's men will take on a Brisbane Broncos side led by one-club man and skipper Sam Thaiday in his 300th game in a Brisbane shirt.
Fittingly, the tie will take place in Townsville, Thaiday's hometown where he grew up with dreams of pulling on the Cowboys' jumper.
The Broncos come into this game having abandoned their questionable team selection choices in recent weeks. Darius Boyd is back where he belongs in the no. 1 jersey with the youthful Jamayne Isaako returning to the wing
Elsewhere, the Broncos are set to give Origin U20's prospect Gehamat Shibasaki a debut in the centres and even with JoshMcGuire out and Tevita Pangai Jr. a doubt should have enough to come through this one.
The Cowboys make only one change to the side that lost 26-20 to the Roosters last week with Corey Jensen replacing the injured Shaun Fensom.
Cowboy's to continue run of close defeats
The Cowboys have had a horror season and are driven in a desperate battle to avoid the wooden spoon in Thurston's last season as a player.
This has inspired the Cowboys to kick-on somewhat in recent weeks but they're still very patchy and with only one win at home in their last five, are very vulnerable to the visitors.
What's disappointed most is how close the Cowboys have been in their losing efforts with 10 of their 15 defeats being by 10 points or fewer.
Brisbane, meanwhile, have a great record of winning close games helped by the goalkicking of Isaako, but have failed to put teams away convincingly with nine of their 11 wins arriving by the 1-10 margin.
With the Broncos best priced at just 4/6 (BetVictor) to win this there's a lot more value to be had utilising the Winning Margin markets and the 12/5 available (Bet365) on the Broncos to win by 1-10 definitely looks the way to go here.
North Queensland Cowboys v Brisbane Broncos – Brisbane Broncos to win by 1-10 points (12/5 Bet365)