How the Bookies See it
|Castleford v Wakefield||
|Leeds v St Helens||
Castleford Tigers bounced back from a shock defeat to St Helens in Round 1 of the Super 8s with a comprehensive 23-4 dismissal of Salford Red Devils. The Saints defeat was their solitary reverse in the last 14 games and they remain the league’s leaders and highest points-scorers by some distance. Wakefield Trinity were underestimated going into last week’s game against Leeds. A convincing 38-6 win lifted Trinity into the top four and should have steadied the ship following two defeats on the bounce.
Leeds Rhinos have looked shaky in recent weeks, with defeats to Wakefield, Wigan and a Challenge Cup loss to Hull perhaps causing doubts to creep in at Headingley. However, Rhinos remain second in the league and will be confident of securing a play-off spot. St Helens seemed to come from nowhere to qualify for the Super 8s, before causing shockwaves by ending Castleford’s 12-game winning run in Round 1. A dire match with Hull ended in an 8-6 defeat for Saints last week, but they are still sniffing around the top four with intent.
Wakefield’s disappointing recent form made it look as though they had blown the good work they put in earlier in the season, but a resounding win over Leeds last week saw them back on track. The return from a broken leg of halfback Jacob Miller is a real positive, with the Australian contributing a try against Rhinos in his first game back. Miller is a massive 25/1 with Sky Bet to cross the line first against Cas, and 9/4 to do so at any time.
Cas should still have too much for their neighbours, but they will not expect a walkover on Thursday night. Betfred has 4/5 on them prevailing with a handicap of ten, but it could well be much tighter than that.
It seems wrong to write off a team sitting second in the league, but Leeds have seemed uncomfortable for a while now. Wakefield and Wigan have walked all over them and that must be a worry, despite Rhinos immediately wreaking revenge on Warriors in Round 1 of the Super 8s. They face a St Helens side who, despite last week’s mishap against Hull, have hit form at the right time.
The last time the sides met at Headingley, back in June, Rhinos shaded it 24-22. However, Saints have won four and lost only once since and could definitely go one better this time around. Betfred’s 13/10 on a Saints win seems generous, and braver punters may fancy Bet365’s 13/5 on Saints/Saints in the half time/full time market.
Sports.net’s Top Tip
|Half Time/Full Time||
St Helens/St Helens
Please note, odds may fluctuate.