It’s a very busy period in Super League coming up – think of it as Easter mark two. After going on the road to Newcastle for Magic Weekend all 12 sides face two games either side of the Bank Holiday weekend. Betfred – as is usually the case – have been the first to price up the games for Round 15.
Here’s our early thoughts on them:
St Helens v Wigan Warriors
After their 45-0 win over Hull FC at Magic Weekend, it’s off little surprise that Saints are the early favourites at 5/6. Wigan are Evens have been given a +2 start.
It’s a fascinating game in prospect. Wigan may get one or two more players back from injury, while Saints will be looking for consistency after putting in their best performance of the season as Justin Holbrook took charge for the first time last week.
Even if Wigan do get a couple of players back, one gets the feeling that Saints price will shorten further and Wigan’s might drift – and a +4 start might be offered by bookies later on in the week.
Wakefield Trinity v Huddersfield Giants
Wakefield have been pretty impressive this season and have climbed up to fifth in the Super League table, while Huddersfield have shown evident signs of improvement in the past few weeks. Their game with Catalans wasn’t the greatest viewing but they managed to get the job done to make it two wins from their last three games.
One gets the feeling that this might be a game where Huddersfield do miss Danny Brough – as he serves the second of his two-game ban – though it might be a tight one. Giving the Giants a +6 start seems about right, and will probably be offered closer to kick-off. Trinity are 1/2 with Huddersfield 13/8. The value might be the home side on the handicap.
Salford Red Devils v Catalans Dragons
Salford have emerged as the main challengers to Castleford at the top of Super League and they will go in search of their ninth win in ten Super League matches. It will be interesting to see just how Catalans react after Head Coach Laurent Frayssinous left the club following their Magic Weekend defeat to Huddersfield – the Dragons fifth consecutive defeat in all competitions.
Salford are 1/3, with Catalans available at 11/5 – and they have been offered a +10 start on the handicap at Evens. There have been a few tight games at the AJ Bell Stadium this season so that could be an appealing bet, but one suspects that a +12 start at 10/11 will be available somewhere come Friday.
Leeds Rhinos v Warrington Wolves
A big game in both side’s seasons. Warrington are still trying to recover from their poor start while Leeds will want to keep pace with the leaders and bounce back from their defeat to Castleford.
The Rhinos have yet to suffer back-to-back defeats this season. They are 4/7 to ensure they don’t on Friday night while Warrington are 11/8. Wire have been given a +4 start at Evens, with Leeds 5/6 to cover it – suggesting that Warrington might be given a +6 start on the handicap later on in the week.
If both sides turn up and are at their best, it could be a cracker on Friday night. One would probably want to look at the squads before parting any money on this.
Hull FC v Leigh Centurions
Despite losing 45-0 to St Helens at Magic Weekend, Hull are massive favourites to inflict a ninth consecutive Super League defeat on Leigh. Lee Radford’s side are 1/20 to win, with Leigh as long as 7/1 – and have been given a 20-point start on the handicap.
Taking Leigh +20 at 10/11 could be a tempting bet. They have been well beaten on one or two occasions this season but in the main their scorelines have been respectable, even in defeat.
You never know which Hull side turns up. You can get a side that will make hard work of things or play some scintillating stuff.
Castleford Tigers v Widnes Vikings
As has been mentioned before, Castleford are excellent at home. A 100% home record and they have yet to score fewer than 40 points in a single game on their own ground. It’s off little wonder they are 1/33 against bottom side Widnes. Widnes are 8/1 and have been given a +28 start at 10/11.
Given that Castleford have dismantled Leeds, Wigan and St Helens on their own patch this season, that is handicap they could well cover if they are at their best. A lot will depend on Widnes – who will be without Rangi Chase as part of the loan agreement that took him to the club.