The first game of Round 17 sees Leeds Rhinos take on Leigh Centurions at Headingley – with both sides coming into this game on the back of a mixed Bank Holiday.
After dismantling Warrington 40-0 on the Friday, you would have expected the Rhinos to back that up with a win at bottom side Widnes, instead they were defeated 28-20.
If offered before last weekend, Leigh will have probably taken the two results they were given as they ended their eight-game losing streak in the league with a win at Hull, but were comprehensively beaten to nil on their own patch by league leaders Castleford.
It just about keeps them off the bottom – a point clear of Widnes – but the chances are they are going to need favours from elsewhere to remain off the foot of the table.
Leeds are strong favourites. Though they have been inconsistent – winning three and losing three of their last six league games – they have yet to record back-to-back defeats this season.
Leigh have been given a +16 start with Betfred and Sporting Bet at 10/11 with shorter handicap bets available elsewhere. Some may be tempted by that given their close encounter earlier on in the season, while on other previous showing against the Rhinos the Centurions have usually given a good account of themselves.
Paddy Power have given them a +12 start and we’d back Leeds to cover that at 10/11.
The Rhinos are strong favourites to win the match, and are available at 2/9 but they are as short as 1/12. With Marathon Bet, Leigh are as long as 69/10.
You can imagine that Leeds will win comfortably, but their opponents won’t be disgraced. A 16-20 point for the home side at 11/2 is probably the one to back for a winning margin.