The televised fixture this Friday night sees Wigan take on Leeds at the DW Stadium. The Warriors will be looking for a win to keep themselves in touch with several of the sides ahead of them going into the Super 8s against the current second-placed side.
Wigan were showing signs of revival until last week’s defeat to Warrington and there is a real need for the side to bounce back here, while Leeds will be looking for their fourth consecutive win – and their first at the DW Stadium since 2013.
The home side have named an unchanged 19-man squad from last week’s defeat to Warrington but there is a chance that Tom Davies could return on the win in place of Liam Marshall if they were to make a change.
Leeds, however, look pretty thin on the ground. Kallum Watkins, Ryan Hall, Stevie Ward, Danny McGuire, Rob Burrow, Ash Handley, Liam Sutcliffe, Brad Singleton, Brett Ferres, Josh Walters and Adam Cuthbertson are all among those on the sidelines. It might explain why their price has drifted to 6/1.
The Rhinos will not want to take any risks with a Challenge Cup semi-final against Hull on the horizon. As a result it seems the handicap bets offering are a little all over the place – with the starts varying from 14 points to 20 points.
Wigan to cover 14 points at 10/11 could be the bet we’d back. If you like to tightly hedge (not that we’d advise such a thing) the Leeds +18 bet at Evens does catch our interest. Edit: Having seen that line-up, it’s hard to back Leeds on anything tonight – it’d be a huge shock if they were to win, and utterly commendable if they keep it close.
Despite the amount of players Leeds have out, Wigan will still have to work for this and they’ll also need the win ahead of their own cup semi-final against Salford next week. A Wigan win by 11-15 points at 13/2 is what we’d look at.