Castleford and St. Helens kick off the Super 8s section of Super League on Thursday night with an intriguing match-up.
The Tigers will go in search for their 14th consecutive league win, while Saints will want to extend their winning run to four games.
The sides have met on three occasions this season – with two wins for the Tigers and one for the Saints. The two Super League clashes have been tight while the cup meeting was a hammering win for the home side when St. Helens were at the lowest ebb this season.
A win for Daryl Powell’s side could take Castleford 12 points clear at the top and on the brink of the League Leaders shield, while Saints will look to climb into the top four.
The home side welcome three players back into their 19-man squad with the return of Larne Patrick, Oliver Holmes and Adam Milner.
Saints see the return of Matty Smith to their squad following an eye injury – giving Justin Holbrook a good selection headache in the halves thanks to good displays from Theo Fages and Danny Richardson in recent weeks.
It’s of little surprise the Saints are underdogs as they travel to The Jungle with the aim of ending Castleford’s 100% home record.
Castleford are 4/9 while you can get St. Helens at 12/5 to win the match. On the handicap, the majority of bookies are offering an eight-point start for the Saints. Their last three defeats have been by eight points or fewer and all on the road and you can get Evens on Saints to win on that handicap, with Castleford 10/11 to cover it.
We’d take Saints at Evens if pushed, but we wouldn’t be surprised if a rare drawn handicap comes in at 20/1 if you fancy a long shot. As for a winning margin bet, we’d fancy Castleford by 6-10 points at 5/1.