How the Bookies See it
|Wigan v Warrington||
|Castleford v Salford||
Wigan Warriors seem to be slowly putting together some decent form as they head into the Super 8s. Last week’s fine 32-10 win over Catalans confirmed their continued Super League status, but fans of the DW Stadium club will demand they challenge for honours to make amends for a turbulent season so far. Warrington Wolves started atrociously, before finding form and then losing it again. Five defeats from their last seven mean they will almost certainly drop into the Middle 8s.
Castleford Tigers stretched their winning league run to ten games with a heart-stopping last ditch win over Wakefield last week. Tigers had been 16-0 down at half time, before fighting back and seeing Luke Gale’s drop goal seal the points with 90 seconds left on the clock. Salford Red Devils are going off the boil just at the wrong time. They’ve notched up just one win from five, but remain third thanks to a solid early campaign that surprised many pundits.
It would have been inconceivable last October, when Josh Charnley crossed the line to clinch the Grand Final for Wigan, to think that Warriors and Warrington would go on to endure such miserable 2017 campaigns. They sit seventh and ninth respectively going into Thursday’s clash, with the visitors potentially about to suffer the embarrassment of having to battle it out with the Championship’s top teams in the Qualifiers.
Warrington must win both of their remaining games and hope Huddersfield fail to claim a point if they are to reach the Super 8s and that could make the clash with Wigan an open and exciting affair. 11/4 on a shock Wire win is tempting, given how much is riding on the game for the visitors, but their eagerness to attack could leave them prone to punishment from a Wigan side growing in confidence. Sky Bet’s 2/5 on a home victory is the best outright price you’ll find, but William Hill’s evens on a Warriors victory despite an eight-point handicap is definitely worth considering.
Castleford fans feel their side has not been given enough credit for their scintillating season so far, being told the opposition was weak when they crush another side or that they are bottling it when they only sneak a win, like last Thursday’s narrow victory over Wakefield. You don’t lead Super League by eight points at this stage of the season through luck, though, and it is a naive foe that underestimates this Tigers side.
Cas should have no trouble easing past Salford, but the bookies’ paltry odds of 1/4 reflect that. With home advantage, they should lead at both half time and full time (3/5), and you might want to look’s evens on them winning with a handicap of 12.
If you’re not confident about staking on scorelines, BetVictor will pay 7/10 on a double featuring wins for Cas and Wigan, which shouldn’t be in doubt.
Sports.net's Top Tip:
Wigan and Castleford to Win