How the Bookies See it:
- St Helens v Leeds: St Helens 4/9, Leeds 15/8, Draw 20/1 - Bet365
- Salford v Wigan: Wigan 2/5, Salford 9/4, Draw 18/1 - Sky Bet
- Catalans v Warrington: Warrington 8/11, Catalans 11/10, Draw 20/1 - Coral
St Helens finished fourth in the Super 8s last year, losing in the semi final of the play offs to Warrington. They are the only side from last year’s top four to start the season with a home game this time around. A disappointing Leeds Rhinos ended the main Super League season ninth, before topping the Qualifiers to retain their top-flight status.
Salford Red Devils were two minutes from being relegated in the Million Pound Game, only to summon a miraculous comeback that condemned Hull KR to Championship rugby. Wigan Warriors lifted the trophy after a 12-6 defeat of Warrington in the Grand Final.
Catalans Dragons finished sixth in the Super 8s after a disappointing second half of the season. Warrington Wolves claimed the league leader’s shield, but lost in the Grand Final for the third time in five years.
Super League is back and Round 1 sees a host of tasty ties, offering great value to punters.
With only one of last year’s top four starting Super League XXII with a home fixture, there could be a few upsets early on this season. However, St Helens won’t rest on their laurels as they welcome a Leeds side that want to put things right following a disastrous 2016 campaign. Such underperforming will not be tolerated again at Headingley and the Rhinos should be expected to race out of the traps.
Bet 365’s 15/8 on an away win is a good price, with 3/1 from the same company on the Yorkshire team leading at both half and full time also worth consideration.
No one wants to start the season with a tricky trip to Perpignan, but last year’s beaten finalists Warrington find themselves hopping over to the south of France this weekend. The bookies still expect the Cheshire team to win, but Catalans usually thrive on their home form, so are certainly worth a punt at 11/8 from Paddy Power.
Salford face a tough start this time around, with Leeds and Warrington still to play in the opening weeks after the not insignificant matter of a home tie against champions Wigan on Saturday afternoon. Wigan are expected to dominate, but the home side need to get points on the board, making 13/2 from BetVictor on Salford/Wigan in the half time/full time market very tempting.
Wigan winger Joe Burgess was the team’s top tryscorer the last time he played for the DW Stadium outfit and will hope to cross the line on his return to Super League after a year in Australia. The England star has a point to prove after struggling to settle into the Sydney Roosters team and is a very generous 5/1 in Betfred’s first tryscorer market for this game.
- Sports.net’s Top Tip: Joe Burgess to score the first try in Salford v Wigan - 5/1 at Betfred.
Please note that odds may fluctuate in the run up to the games.