Castleford Tigers, Hull FC and Leeds Rhinos top the Super League table heading into Round 7 while highly-fancied Warrington Wolves are bottom six games into the new season without a point to their name.
Injury-hit Wigan Warriors tasted defeat for the first time in 2017 last week after going down to Hull FC on home soil and they will look to get back to winning ways at Leeds.
Salford v St Helens 30 March 2017 20:00
Salford’s home clash with resurgent St Helens get things underway this week. The Red Devils have made a fine start this term and their play-off credentials will be given a stern test. Salford have won four of their opening seven games while back-to-back wins means Saints are up to sixth in the standings. Salford brushed aside lowly Widnes last time out while St Helens piled the pressure on under-fire Warrington boss Tony Smith with a comprehensive victory. The hosts will be without centre Junior Sa’u through illness, Jake Bibby has taken his place in the squad. St Helens have full-back Jonny Lomax fit again meaning Tommy Makinson will revert to the wing while Morgan Knowles and Matty Fleming also returns.
Match odds: Salford 11/8 Draw 22/1 St Helens 8/13
TGT says: Salford by 1
Betfred says: Salford are good value here, St Helens are the favourites but we have seen good money for the home side an with the handicap too. This will be a good test to see just how good Salford are and if they are a serious threat.
Leeds v Wigan 20:00 31 March 2017
It promises to be a classic encounter at Headingley Carnegie on Friday night as Super League giants Leeds and Wigan go head to head. Leeds are looking like the treble-winning team of 2015 while Wigan, who have been contending with a raft in injuries of late, came up just short against Hull FC last time out. Leeds have not had a best of records against Wigan in recent seasons, although Brian McDermott’s men might start favourites due to the numbers in Wigan’s treatment room. Shaun Wane does have an injury boost as Liam Farrell, Oliver Gildart and Ryan Sutton all return in place of promising youngsters Joe Bretherton, Callum Field and Josh Ganson. Brett Delaney has replaced Jordan Baldwinson in Leeds’ matchday squad.
Match odds: Leeds 8/11 Draw 22/1 Wigan 6/5
TGT says: Leeds by 4
Betfred says: Leeds are in for but the 6/5 we have handed out to Wigan here is a generous one and is attracting support, as is the draw in this one – this will be close.
Castleford v Huddersfield 20:00
Castleford returned to winning ways last time out after getting the better of Catalans Dragons on the back of a shock defeat at Salford. Huddersfield’s home defeat to Leeds means they have slipped to third-from-bottom in the standings. The Tigers will be the heavy favourites to beat Rick Stone’s men, who will need to best at their very best if they are to trouble the red-hot Tigers. Darryl Powell has named an unchanged Castleford squad meaning the game comes too soon for injured winger Greg Minikin. Huddersfield are without suspended playmaker Danny Brough after he was banned for punching against Leeds.
Match odds: Castleford 1/12 Draw 40/1 Huddersfield 13/2
TGT says: Castleford by 18
Betfred says: This is seen as the banker of the weekend. Castleford are -20 in the handicap and we have not seen bigger than that, so that says a lot and is a clear indication of how we see this one going.
Warrington v Hull 15:00 1 April 2017
Warrington’s miserable start to the season continued after being thumped by St Helens last week and things do not get any easier when Hull FC visit. Lee Radford’s men have lost just once this season and ended Wigan’s unbeaten start in their last outing. Warrington reached both finals last term and will need to turn around their form abruptly if they are to even qualify for the top eight this time around. The Wolves have had injury problems of their own and Smith could have centre Ryan Atkins and George King (hamstring) could return after injury. Hull FC will be without key trio Danny Houghton, Carlos Tuimavave and Fetuli Talanoa.
Match odds: Warrington 11/10 Draw 25/1 Hull 8/11
TGT says: Warrington by 6
Betfred says: Warrington have to win a some point, although we have been saying that for a few weeks now but this could be the one and again we are seeing money for them although Hull are the favourites.
Leigh v Widnes 16:00
Leigh will fancy their chances of improving their home record when lowly Widnes. The Centurions have only lost at home to Leeds so far and they came close to breaking their away duck only to suffer a second-half collapse against Wakefield Trinity last week. Widnes prop Manase Manuokafoa has a chance of playing while Greg Burke is back training after a foot injury. The game comes too soon for Tom Gilmore and playmaker Joe Mellor.
Match odds: Leigh 2/7 Draw 25/1 Widnes 11/4
TGT says: Leigh by 12
Betfred says: If it wasn’t for Salford then Leigh would be talked about as the surprise package, they have been playing so well and we have seen plenty for Leigh in this one.
Catalans v Wakefield 18:00
Catalans take on Wakefield on the back of three straight defeats while the visitors have their tails up after a remarkable second-half comeback against Leigh last week. The Dragons have made a steady start to the campaign, but their defence has start to ship in points, a whopping 117 in their last three. Head coach Laurent Frayssinous knows his troops will need to tighten up at the back against a Wakefield team who have won three and lost three to date. Dragons hooker Paul Aiton will line up against his former club while Wakefield were boosted this week by the new head coach Chris Chester has signed a new two-year contract with the Yorkshire club.
Match odds: Catalans 1/4 Draw 25/1 Wakefield 3/1
TGT says: Catalans by 8
Betfred says: The home advantage looks like the biggest factor here, but Wakefield won last week so they have some form coming into this be we are expecting a home win.