North Queensland Cowboys v Sydney Roosters

Could last season’s minor premiers start 2016 with three straight defeats? We think so. The Roosters had their feathers ruffled last week in a 21-20 loss at Canberra and Thursday night’s trip to the Cowboys looks a tough one. The Cowboys are on the rebound after being pipped by Parramatta but should still have too much for the Roosters. Quite a few bookies have North Queensland at $1.25 for the win and after an error-riddled performance against the Eels, we think they will bounce back. However, the Roosters burst out of the blocks against the Raiders last week. They scored three of the first four tries, so we’re also snapping up Sportsbet’s $2.79 for the Tricolours to be the first team to score in Townsville.

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North Queensland Cowboys - 1pt @ 1.25

Canterbury Bulldogs v Parramatta Eels

Despite a week from hell off the field as the club was swallowed up in another salary cap drama, the Eels made a statement with a four-point win over reigning champs the Cowboys in round two. They face the Bulldogs at Homebush on Friday night and will be without Nathan Peats, who has dislocated his elbow, and Manu Ma’u (suspension). Ma’u has been everywhere for the Eels in the opening two rounds of the season and is a massive loss. The $1.65 Hills and Centrebet are offering for a Doggies win will be like taking candy from a baby. Meanwhile, you can retire on your winnings when Will Hopoate scores the first try ($17 with Sportsbet).

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Canterbury Bulldogs - 1pt @ 1.65