As expected last week there has been some movement on the Super League Grand Final markets following the Round 21 matches.
Significant results for the Grand Final betting included wins for Wigan over Catalans, Leeds over Salford and St. Helens over Hull.
While Castleford stretched their winning run – and extended their lead at the top of the table to eight points, there are just seven points covering second to seventh. It means that three of the play-off places for the end of the season are up for grabs ahead of the league’s split.
Castleford are unsurprisingly favourites to win their first Super League crown at Evens but it’s interesting to see the betting behind them.
Wigan are second favourites despite sitting in seventh. They are best priced 9/2 but having been unbeaten in their last three – and two home games to come prior to the Super 8s – there is a suggestion they could build the momentum they need to mount a challenge to defend their crown. That has shortened from last week’s 6/1 price.
Fourth-placed Hull are 11/2 after suffering back-to-back defeats. As has been mentioned before they are a streaky side, while second-placed Leeds are as long as 13/2 – though that has come in slightly from last week. Having beaten every side bar Castleford this season, that probably strikes as a good value bet.
St. Helens are best priced 16/1 and have shown they can win games against good sides at home – but their lack of consistency has cost them dearly this season, and there are still doubts over whether they can go on a good run that would force themselves into the top four.
Salford sit in third place but having lost three of their last four league games – which included conceding 50 points to Leeds at the weekend – there may be a feeling that their bubble has started to burst a little. You can now get them at 14/1 (they were 12s last week) but you’d want to see some improvement from them in the coming weeks if they are going to really challenge.
The over achievers of this season – fifth-placed Wakefield – are 66/1. They have been really tough opponents for almost every side this season, but despite being reasonable value, they have been on the wrong side of those tight scorelines too often this season to suggest they will end up causing one of the biggest shocks in the Super League era.