The Betfred Super League returns this weekend with a couple of key fixtures on Thursday evening.
Warrington found themselves in The Qualifiers last season but they are hailing this period as a ‘New Era’ following the arrival of Steve Price as head coach, as well as a host of new players.
The Wire will be eager to finish in the top eight and challenge for silverware this term and they face a real test of their credentials against champions Leeds Rhinos on Thursday.
Warrington are 8/11 to win, Leeds can be backed at 6/4 and a draw is 22/1.
Huddersfield and Hull FC meet in Thursday’s other game, and the latter could be the value call at 13/2 to win the Grand Final after falling in the semi- finals last season.
The biggest game of opening weekend arguably takes place on Friday when League Leaders’ Shield winners and Grand Final runners-up Castleford Tigers head to St Helens.
Cas have kept their squad largely intact and have made a few additions, particularly Joe Wardle from NRL side Newcastle Knights.
The Tigers are the joint 5/1 favourites to win the Grand Final outright, alongside Saints and Wigan, so this Friday meeting between the two contenders should be a good indicator on who could top the pile come the end of the regular season.
Wigan head to Salford on Friday and both will be keen to make statements after underwhelming 2017 campaigns. The Warriors are usually there or thereabouts but their campaign came to an end at the end of the Super 8s stage, as did the Red Devils.
Wigan are 1/3 to come out on top or EVS with a -8 handicap, while Salford are 12/5 to claim the win.
Promoted Hull KR take on Wakefield in Friday’s final fixture and the Robins could well be a surprise package after returning to the Betfred Super League with what appeared to be relative ease from the outside.
The Robins comfortably avoided the Million Pound Game and are 7/2 to secure a top eight finish this season.
There is just one game on Sunday as Widnes meet Catalans Dragons. The Vikings finished at the bottom of the pile after 23 games but it was the Dragons who came closest to the drop, as they had to beat Leigh Centurions in the Million Pound Game to retain their top flight status.
Widnes are 11/10 to claim the win, Catalans are 4/5 and a draw is 22/1.