The Betfred Super League bandwagon rolls on this week with another action-packed programme which kicks off with Castleford Tigers hosting their illustrious neighbours Leeds Rhinos.
We give you a run down of every game from this weekend’s action including an exclusive run through of all the odds with Super League sponsors BetFred and their man Pete Spencer.
Castleford v Leeds 20:00 – Thursday
Castleford are looking the early team to beat and their impressive showing against Warrington Wolves did little to halt talk of a possible title-tilt for Daryl Powell’s men. The Tigers went behind in the Halliwell Jones Stadium, but four quick-fire tries laid the platform for a fine 30-22 success over last year’s League Leaders’ Shield Winners. Leeds are improved on last year’s form although Castleford look firm favourites on home soil. The Tigers have Leeds’ number since their 2014 Challenge Cup defeat at Wembley. Castleford will be without playmaker Rangi Chase after being dropped pending an internal investigation while the game sees in-form on-loan Zak Hardaker face his parent club for the first time. Leeds will be without Carl Ablett as they seek a third-successive victory.
Match odds: Castleford 1/3 Draw 28/1 Leeds 11/4
TGT says: Castleford by 14
Betfred says: Fantastic start by Castleford, we tipped them to do well and they are proving that – 3/10 favourites looks about right for us and the handicap is -8 which also looks good.
Huddersfield v Hull – 20:00 – Thursday
Thursday’s other clash sees Huddersfield take on Hull FC on home soil. The Giants have two wins from three after seeing off Wakefield last week while the Black and Whites suffered a narrow home loss to Catalans Dragons. Pre-season this would have been an away banker, but Lee Radford’s men have yet to hit top form early on. The Giants are hampered by the loss of England winger Jermaine McGillvary to a quad injury while prop Ukuma Ta’ai is suspended. Liam Watts is missing for the visitors after picking up a four-game ban for a dangerous throw on Jason Baitieri.
Match odds: Huddersfield 7/4 Draw 25/1 Hull 1/2
TGT says: Huddersfield by 4
Betfred says: Hull are favourites here and the handicap is -6 and we have seen some interest, that was -4 and we saw a lot of Huddersfield interest in that one. This has attracted a lot of interest. Huddersfield are one of our most backed teams this weekend. There is some real value in there for the home team.
Wigan v Leigh – 20:00 – Friday
Champions Wigan Warriors host newly-promoted neighbours Leigh Centurions at the DW Stadium on Friday. Wigan needed a late revival to claim the points at Widnes last time out, a game that was meant to be played on home soil only for it to be played at the Vikings at short notice. Wigan have a 100 per cent start to the season although Leigh make the short trip buoyed by success over St Helens last time out, their first Super League win since 2005. Shaun Wane has made two changes to his Wigan squad with Joe Bretherton and Liam Forsyth coming in for injured duo Oliver Gildart and John Bateman while Leigh are seeking success over Wigan in a competitive game for the first time in a whopping 33 years.
Match odds: Wigan 1/7 Draw 33/1 Leigh 11/2
TGT says: Wigan by 14
Betfred says: Wigan are -16 for this, which shows just how strong they are and everyone is expecting a big win here for the home side. We haven’t seen much money for Leigh and that is not a surprise.
St Helens v Wakefield – 20:00 Friday
St Helens have looked far from their best this season and the visit of Wakefield on Friday gives Kieron Cunningham’s men the chance to avenge their loss to the Centurions. Saints were slow out of their blocks at the Leigh Sports Village, a start they never recovered from. New signing Zeb Taia is in line for his Saints debut alongside Calvin Wellington although Cunningham will be without full-back Jonny Lomax and new signing Luke Douglas through injury. Wakefield head coach Chris Chester goes in search the club’s first win of the new season. The visitors are without Ben Jones-Bishop, Anthony Walker and Jordan Crowther. Joe Arundel, academy product James Batchelor and Mason Caton-Brown are their replacements in Chester’s squad.
Match odds: St Helens 2/9 Draw 33/1 Wakefield 7/2
TGT says: St Helens by 8
Betfred says: St Helens are massive favourites at 2/9 and we think someone is going to take a good hiding off them, and this could be the one. They are one of our bigger favourites of the weekend. This is the sort of game where they could pile it on and put a marker down for the weekend.
Salford v Warrington – 15:00 Saturday
Salford were unlucky to come away from Headingley last Friday with nothing courtesy of Liam Sutcliffe’s controversial late try. The Red Devils, inspired by the likes of Gareth O’Brien, Michael Dobson and Robert Lui gave the Rhinos a run for their money and could well have claimed the points. Warrington are licking their wounds for their trip to Greater Manchester after suffering at the hands of Castleford last week. Former Warrington man O’Brien’s displays have earned him a new three-year contact with the Red Devils. Influential Wolves playmaker Kurt Gidley is battling to be fit after missing the Tigers loss due to illness. Captain Chris Hill (shoulder) and Toby King (hamstring) remain sidelined.
Match odds: Salford 2/1 Draw 28/1 Warrington 2/5
TGT says: Salford by 7
Betfred says: This is probably the most intriguing game of the weekend, they have been inconsistent so far this season. Salford fans are really come hard on this at 2/1 – they think they can get one over on the Wire, but we are still thinking Warrington. The handicap is -8 which has attracted some interest.
Catalans v Widnes – 17:00 Saturday
Last but not least Catalans Dragons take on winless Widnes Vikings in the South of France. Little was expected of the Dragons this season after finishing the 2016 campaign with a whimper, but the return of Greg Bird has helped steer the ship in the right direction. The Dragons are defending much better than in recent seasons and it is hard to see Widnes getting anything from their trip to Perpignan. Denis Betts’ did give Wigan an almighty scare last Friday, but they ultimately finished with nothing. Laurent Frayssinous with be without the suspended Baitieri although Sam Moa is available having been found not guilty of making a Grade B late tackle on Gareth Ellis. Widnes are seeking their first-ever win away from home against the Dragons.
Match odds: Catalans 1/7 Draw 33/1 Widnes 5/1
TGT says: Catalans by 18
Betfred says: Catalans we really fancy to do this, they have started so well and we just can’t see how Widnes will get anything from this even though they were quite unlucky last time out against Wigan.