Wins for Castleford, Hull and Salford over the weekend sees them occupy the top three places. Leeds may have suffered a shock defeat to Huddersfield but they remain in fourth place – a point ahead of Castleford’s victims from last weekend in Wigan.
Given the Tigers’ impeccable home form, and that they have scored at least 40 points in every home game this season, some may still find their price appealing even if they are favourites.
They are 5/4 to be top of the table after 23 games (before the season breaks off into the Super 8’s). If they are there at the end of 23 rounds, you’d have to fancy their chances to be there after 30 games and in the box seat for a place in the Grand Final.
Wigan are now best priced 5/2 and given their recent spate of injuries, that seems a long shot for them to finish top. They don’t seem to hold that much value.
It may be worth looking at Hull and Leeds to really challenge, though. Hull have the experience of being in the mix at the business end of the season from last term. Given they are just one point behind, 5/1 seems a pretty reasonable price.
Many doubters of Leeds were given good reason with their defeat to a struggling Huddersfield side last Thursday. But the Rhinos have yet to suffer back-to-back defeats this season. That will be put to the test this weekend when they travel to France to take on Catalans Dragons, but if they were to win odds of 10 or 11/1 are unlikely to be around for much longer.
Salford, at 25/1, look like great value – like they do in the Grand Final betting, as previewed here. They are two points off the pace and have taken a couple of big scalps this season. There are those that reckon they will run out of steam, but that might come after 23 rounds.
BetVictor and Paddy Power are both offering that price, and pay out for an Each Way bet at 1/3 of the odds for a second-place finish.