There hasn’t been much movement in the betting markets following the results up to and including the Good Friday games in terms of favourites, but there are one or two things to take note of in both the top four and Grand Final winner markets.
Grand Final outright:
Castleford’s position as favourites to finish top has strengthened – where they are best price 10/11 with Betfred – and they remain favourites to lift the big prize in October after making it eight wins from nine with an 18-point win over Wakefield. They remain best price 7/4 to be crowned champions at Old Trafford but the betting markets suggest they have some stiff competition from Wigan.
The Warriors ended a four-game run without a win and climbed into fourth with a win over St Helens, and many would tip them to kick on following the return of several players from injury.
A big win for Leeds against Hull sees them best priced at 9/1 for the big prize – shortened from 14’s – while their opponents from Good Friday have drifted slightly to 9’s themselves. For now, it seems the bookies think the 2017 Champions will be one of these four.
St Helens – who began life with Keiron Cunningham at Wigan – remain at 12/1.
Another big winner from this week’s games were Leeds Rhinos who managed to put 50 points on Hull FC.
It seems pretty staggering that Leeds remain odds against for a place in the top four – though their price has shortened from 6/4 to 5/4. The Rhinos look strong enough to finish high up the league following last term’s poor showing.
St Helens remain 8/11 to get into the top four but they have a lot of work to do. They’re seven points adrift of Leeds with a game in hand. Wigan aren’t out of their sights yet after opening a four-point gap over their neighbours. Many will expect Wigan to kick on in the coming weeks, especially if players continue to return from injury.
If Saints are likely to overhaul anybody it could be Hull FC who are now 1/3 with Betfred after back-to-back heavy defeats to Salford and Leeds. Salford remain at 3/1 after an unspectacular win over Leigh keeps them in second place.
Warrington made it back-to-back wins with a tight victory at Widnes and will need a long winning run to get themselves into contention. They’re 11/4 for a top four finish with Betfred. One would expect them to make the Super 8’s if they build on their most recent results, but a lot of results would need to go their way for them to be in the mix at the end of 30 rounds.