How the Bookies See it:
|Warrington v Widnes||
|Wigan v Leeds||
|Catalans v Castleford||
Warrington Wolves followed up a 50-10 crushing of Leigh with an unexpected 16-10 win over Wigan last Thursday. The joy of the two points and the excitement at Ben Currie’s try-scoring return from a ten-month injury absence were tempered by Huddersfield’s win 24 hours later to condemn Wire to the Qualifiers. Widnes Vikings went down to a third defeat on the spin when they were soundly thrashed 36-8 by Wakefield last Friday, leaving them a place and a point ahead of bottom-of-the-pile Leigh in the table.
Wigan Warriors scraped into the Super 8s despite their defeat to Warrington last time out. They sit in eighth, an unassailable three points ahead of Wolves, but five defeats in eight games and the dubious honour of being the worst performing of the league’s top teams is simply not good enough at this stage for last season’s Grand Final winners. Leeds Rhinos are second, eight points behind leaders Castleford, which is a vast improvement on last term’s disastrous campaign. Wins against Saints, Salford and Hull in the last three weeks suggest they will push their West Yorkshire neighbours all the way for the League Leaders’ Shield.
Catalans Dragons drop into the Middle 8s following a run of just two wins in 12 games, with one of those victories coming against league whipping boys Leigh. They were soundly beaten 46-28 at St Helens last week and will not relish facing the runaway leaders this Saturday. Castleford Tigers have now strung together 11 wins in a row and will be full of confidence heading into the Super 8s. The only cloud on the Cas horizon is the injury suffered by top try scorer Greg Eden in their 38-14 win over Salford last week, which will see him miss the rest of the campaign.
Betfred has your best odds on a Castleford win in Perpignan this weekend, but 2/5 isn’t exactly tempting. William Hill has 4/6 on them prevailing with an eight-point handicap, but beware of overstretching as a long trip for their first game without the prolific Eden might provide a closer result than the stats would suggest.
Warrington should have no trouble dispatching Widnes, and the odds back that up. Wire to be ahead at both half and full time is a measly 8/15 and even Warrington at -14 will not bring you a win worth more than your stake. Maybe add a Wolves outright win to bulk up your accumulator, but that’s probably the only value here.
The perfect tonic for Wigan fans bemoaning their side’s poor season so far would be to smash rivals Leeds this weekend, but recent form would suggest that is unlikely to come to pass. Surprisingly, the bookies have Warriors as the favourites, and they may live to regret that decision. 13/8 from Sky Bet on a Leeds win seems a no-brainer and you should get involved before they come to their senses. If you’re oozing confidence, the same company has Leeds/Leeds for Half Time/Full Time at 11/4.
Sports.net’s Top Tip
|Wigan v Leeds||
Leeds to win