2018 Season Results:
Head-to-Head Tipping: 96/160 (60%)
Line Betting: 35/70 (50%)
2017 Season Results:
Head-to-Head Tipping: 66%
Line Betting: 55%
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NRL Round 22 Tips and Previews
Cowboys v Broncos
Offense VOA: Cowboys -22.72% (15th), Broncos 8.45% (4th)
Defense VOA: Cowboys 3.25% (10th), Broncos -7.44% (5th)
Though most of the rugby league world was reeling in shock last weekend at the Broncos’ upset loss to the Bulldogs, you can’t count us at The Obstruction Rule among them. While we admittedly tipped the Broncos, we did mention the threat of a potential boilover due to the Broncos’ offense’s recent over-performance.
Put simply: the Broncos attack simply isn’t as good as their production would suggest. Over the previous fortnight, the Broncos had scored double the number of tries to line breaks (10 v 5), an aberration that created the appearance of a high-flying offense, while being completely unsustainable over a large enough sample size (for context, across the entire season no team in the league has scored more tries than line breaks, period). Further, with the Broncos’ own line break production being typically highly dependent on individual brilliance due to the lack of assists from their spine (no Broncos spine player ranks higher than 10th in the league for their position in assists), it’s looked likely that a correction was coming (and what a correction it was).
That being said, does that automatically mean that the Cowboys will be able to repeat the Bulldogs’ effort here at home? It’s certainly possible, but we’d stop short of calling it likely. The Cowboys’ effort against the Roosters was easily one of their best performances of the season, yet they still lost. Though the Broncos’ attack has underwhelmed us of late, the Cowboys’ has been appallingly bad all year, and depends on earning a good share of possession just to be competitive. Though much has been made of the Cowboys’ unbelievable 97% completion rate last weekend, it’s worth remembering that the Broncos have made the least number of errors all season, while the Cowboys have made the most. If either team is likely to turn in a monster completion rate this week, it probably isn’t the Cowboys.
And without a stack of ball, we’re just not sold on the Cowboys’ ability to score points. The Broncos’ mightn’t be as good as most believe, but for now, we’re still convinced that they’re at least better than the Cowboys. That said, we also thought they’d sneak home against the Bulldogs, and we were wrong about that.
Our tip: Broncos