How the Bookies See it
|Hull v Wakefield||
|Wigan v Castleford||
Odds to come when the markets open
Despite a fine defence of their Challenge Cup title, Hull FC are falling apart in the league. They have now lost six of their last nine, including the past three in a row, culminating with a 30-22 reverse at home to Wigan last week. Wakefield Trinity are another side who seem insistent on shooting themselves in the foot. Trinity were so bright for so much of the season, but they seem unable to string any sort of form together, and last week’s 18-16 defeat to St Helens saw them drop out of the play-off spots.
Wigan Warriors fans endured a torrid time for much of the season, but they have timed their surge up the table to perfection. Eight wins in ten, including the last four in a row, means they sit in the top four for the first time all term. Castleford Tigers wrapped up the League Leaders’ Shield weeks ago, but they have not lifted their foot off the gas. They have lost just once in 17 games, spectacularly brushing second-placed Leeds Rhinos aside 38-24 last weekend.
Realistically, Hull and Wakefield should both have secured top-four finishes by now, but both have undone the good work of earlier in the season with some more than patchy form. Wakefield have dropped to fifth and, whilst Hull remain in fourth, Trinity, Saints or even Salford could yet depose them.
Thursday night’s televised game at the KCOM could be a blistering battle between two sides desperate to reach the play-offs, but it could also be a tense and cautious affair as both teams hope to steady the ship. In case of the latter, Paddy Power’s 5/6 on there being fewer than 48.5 points scored seems a sensible bet.
The pressure is all on Hull, given their home advantage and the fact that they lie in fourth, meaning that BetVictor’s 2/1 on a Wakey win seems like a decent punt. If you’re feeling more adventurous, Bet365 has Trinity at 7/2 to prevail by between 1 and 12 points.
It’s difficult to write Wigan off at the moment, considering they only just snuck into the Super 8s and now look a good shout for a place in the last four. However, they meet the only team in better form than they are on Sunday. Castleford should have too much for them, meaning the battle for the remaining play-off places goes down to a tantalising last day.
Sports.net's Top Tip
|Hull v Wakefield||
Wakefield to win