How the Bookies See It
|Total Match Points||
- Hull won their fourth Challenge Cup title last year with a 12-10 victory over Warrington, but they will go to Wembley this weekend with equally strong memories of their previous final in 2013, when they were given a 0-16 drubbing by current opponents Wigan. Hull have participated in a total of 16 finals, giving the team a winning strike rate of 25%.
- Hull won their quarter-final match against Castleford Tigers 32-24 before beating Leeds Rhinos 43-24 in their semi-final. That means they have scored 75 points and conceded 48 points in their last two games, giving them an average of 37.5 points per match and an average margin of victory of 13.5.
- Gareth Ellis will be leading Hull onto the pitch for the final time in this event, after announcing that he will be retiring as a player at the end of this season, and it would be a fitting tribute to him to end his career on the high of winning back-to-back Challenge Cup titles at Wembley.
- Wigan have the best record of all teams in the Challenge Cup as far as winning finals is concerned, with 19 titles to their credit since the competition began in 1896. They have participated in a total of 31 finals, which gives them an extremely impressive winning strike rate of 61.29%.
- Wigan have not been winning quite as decisively as Hull in the run-up to the final, having beaten Warrington Wolves by the closest of margins (26-27) in their quarter-final match, and then achieving a 27-14 victory over Salford Red Devils in their semi-final match. That gives them 53 points scored and 41 conceded in their last two matches, for an average of 26.5 points per match and an average winning margin of 7.
- Wigan’s last win in this competition was back in 2013, when they beat Hull in no uncertain terms, and the team will once again be led by Sean O’Loughlin, who will be hoping to replicate that success this weekend. Wigan also beat Hull in the Challenge Cup final of 1985, when the score was 28-24.
Hull have been a slightly stronger team than Wigan in their run-up to the Challenge Cup final, at least in terms of points scored and margins of victory, but every match is a clean sheet, and Wigan have a much better record in this competition than their opponents.
A good case could be made for backing either of the teams that will be doing battle this Saturday, but it would be extremely difficult to predict which will be stronger on the day, and so the Total Match Points market looks like to be the most attractive for betting purposes.
The average number of points scored in the quarter- and semi-final matches played by Wigan and Hull was 54.25, and of the four matches played, the lowest in terms of total points was when Wigan beat Salford 27-14. We will therefore predict that there will be more than 42.5 points scored in the big game this Saturday, and will look forward to what promises to be an exciting match.
Over 42.5 points in the Total Match Points market
*Please note, odds may change as the match approaches.