How the Bookies See it
- Salford v Hull KR (Fri 8pm): Salford 2/9, Hull KR 10/3, Draw 25/1 - Bet365
- Castleford v St Helens (Sat 2:30pm): Castleford 1/3, St Helens 9/4, Draw 20/1 - Sky Bet
- Warrington v Widnes (Sun 3pm): Warrington 1/5, Widnes 7/2, Draw 25/1 - Betfred
Salford Red Devils are enjoying a fantastic Super League season, currently sitting third after a run of seven wins in eight games that has seen them take the scalps of Castleford and Wigan. The Red Devils overcame an early scare from League 1 newboys Toronto Wolfpack in Round 5 of the Challenge Cup, eventually running out 29-22 winners. Hull Kingston Rovers sit top of the Championship, having been beaten just once this term, and come into this weekend on the back of a 68-4 battering of Batley in the league. They beat Super League opposition in Round 5 of the Challenge Cup, with a 23-10 win on the road at Leigh.
Castleford Tigers top Super League, with only three defeats to their name this year, and are both the leading try and goal scorers in the division. Defeats to St Helens and Hull FC were quickly followed by wins over Wigan and Huddersfield to calm any mid-season jitters that might have crept in. St Helens secured a 26-22 win over Cas in Round 10 of Super League, but they have lost two and won once since, continuing what has been a frustratingly inconsistent season for the Merseysiders.
Warrington Wolves are racing up the Super League table following a nightmare start to the campaign. Six defeats in their opening six games have been followed by five wins, a draw and a defeat, with their latest outing seeing them record a 40-18 success over St Helens. Widnes Vikings fans are enduring a torrid time, with their club stuck at the bottom of the table and just two wins and a draw to shout about all year. Having lost five of their last six league matches, perhaps a Challenge Cup run would be a welcome distraction.
The most highly-anticipated tie of the weekend has to be Hull KR’s attempt to gain vengeance on Salford for depriving them of their Super League status in 2016’s Million Pound Game. It couldn’t have been tighter, as Gareth O’Brien notched up a drop goal in golden-point extra time to win the tie 19-18, after the Greater Manchester club had trailed 18-10 with just two minutes remaining of normal play.
Coach Tim Sheens will not need to give a team talk before sending the Robins out on Friday night; the pain of that day last October will be etched in the memories of those players who remain at the East Yorkshire side as they cross the line. As such, 10/3 at Bet365 on KR winning the match is worth considering, as is 11/2 from BetVictor on them to be ahead at both half time and full time. However, Salford are on fire at the moment, and 2/1 from William Hill on them prevailing by between one and 12 points is decent if you think they will have too much for the Championship side.
There could be payback on the cards at Castleford too, with Tigers wanting to make amends for their recent slip up against Saturday’s opponents, St Helens. Paddy Power will pay 10/11 on Cas winning with a handicap of 12, which seems fair, whilst Bet365’s 9/4 on a Tigers winning margin of between 11 and 20 points offers good value in a competition that must take second place behind ensuring a spot in the Super 8s on Saints’ priority list.
Warrington beat Widnes convincingly at the Select Security Stadium last month and you would have to be very brave to bet against a Wolves win on home turf this weekend. Wolves/Wolves is a measly 5/11 at Bet365 in the Half Time/Full Time market, but do you dare look at 11/2 on Widnes/Wolves? It’s certainly not out of the question for the Vikings to take the game to their opponents early on but, realistically, Wolves should romp home.
- Sports.net’s Top Tip: Hull KR/Hull KR for Half Time/Full Time at 11/2 at BetVictor.