NRL Odds:North Queensland Cowboys $2.50 (+4.5) / St George Illawarra Dragons $1.55 (-4.5)
The Cowboys were blown away in the last 20 minutes of their defeat to the Raiders in Canberra last week.
The return to Townsville's 1300 Smiles Stadium in front of home fans will ensure an 80-minute performance this week.
How impressive that performance is will be anyone's guess.
Like last year, the Dragons are suffering a mid-season capitulation. They have been hit hard by fatigue from a deep representative roster, but their biggest issue appears to be their inability to adapt mid-season.
The game plan that was working for them early in the season is no longer effective.
Opposition clubs have found ways to counter their plans and the Dragons' best bet may be to play some adlib footy, in an attempt to freshen-up in their run to the finals.
This is a danger game for St George and they will need to regroup if they want keep their top-four hopes alive.
J O'Neill (Cowboys), F Molo (Cowboys)
A Winterstein (Cowboys) S Wright (Cowboys)
Mostly sunny and 20 degrees.
Key NRL stats
Average points scored: Cowboys 16.2 / Dragons 24.5
Average points conceded: Cowboys 21.4 / Dragons 18.0
The Dragons have conceded an average of 22.6 in their last 8 games
Key NRL Betting Stats
The Cowboys have covered the line in 7 of their last 8 clashes with the Dragons: Cowboys +4.5 @ $1.90
Euan Aitken (3) leads both teams in first-try scorers this season: Euan Aitken to be first try scorer @ $13
Clashes at 1300 Smiles Stadium have averaged 34.4 total match points:'Under' total match points line 41.5 points @ $1.90
NRL Betting Tip: No Bet
Reasoning: Neither team have shown enough in recent weeks to be a betting proposition.