Two sides experiencing something of a revival meet when St Helens take on Widnes on Friday night.
There have been promising signs for the Saints following the arrival of new coach Justin Holbrook – as he has overseen significant wins over Hull and Wigan – but there will have been some disappointment about losing out to a much-changed Castleford side last week after leading at half time.
Widnes have managed to record back-to-back wins for the first time this season at home to Leeds and Catalans – which managed to claw them off the bottom of the table. They also managed to get the better of Saints on their own patch this season. Given their league position, they have been a testing side for a lot teams in the competition.
St Helens are firm favourites to make it three wins from four games under Holbrook – you can get odds of 1/4 on a home win – while Widnes are as long as 4/1. Some may suggest that is a little on the high side.
It’s a very different test for the home side under their new coach. They’ve had games they will have expected to be battles under him so far – Hull wasn’t. This is a game they are expected to win, and win well.
The handicaps available are given Widnes either a 12 or 14-point start at 10/11. We’d fancy Saints to cover either of those, but of course you’d take the 12-point handicap in this instance.
The question is, if Saints are certainties to win – as the bookmakers suggest – then are they going to cut loose? If so, then looking at St Helens to win by 21-25 points could be worth backing, and is available at 8/1 with both William Hill and BetVictor.