The 2018 Super League season is well and truly underway – and punters will be keeping a close eye on the frontrunners for the Grand Final this year.
St Helens sent out a statement of intent when thrashing the Castleford Tigers in Week One whilst defending champions Leeds Rhinos came out on top in a hard-fought clash with the Warrington Wolves.
We’ve had a look at the second round of fixtures, starting with Warrington’s trip to the Huddersfield Giants on Thursday night.
It was all change at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in the offseason but Steve Price will have been satisfied with his side’s effort and endeavour on the opening night. Check out our thoughts on the latest Super League action below...
Huddersfield Giants vs WARRINGTON WOLVES
In 2017, Huddersfield snuck into the Super 8s but were out of their depth against the best teams in the business.
Most pundits are expecting the Giants to have a tough time of it this year and they were second best from start to finish against Hull FC last time out. This poses another difficult night for Rick Stone’s side.
Warrington were good in patches on the opening night and Price knows that his side must focus on improving their consistency.
The Wolves have enough quality to go all the way to the Grand Final but simple errors continue to hinder Warrington’s progress. Based on their respective Week One performances, the Wire look well priced at 12/25 to prevail here.
TIP: Warrington to win @ 12/25
WAKEFIELD TRINITY vs Salford Red Devils
Wakefield got off to a winning start against newly promoted Hull Kingston Rovers but that result was hardly a shock result.
Chris Chester’s men will be quietly confident of challenging for a deep playoff run this campaign and building early momentum could be key. With five new players coming into the squad, Trinity will be refreshed and ready for battle.
The Salford project hasn’t really gone to plan just yet. Despite a promising 2017 campaign, the Red Devils slumped in the Super 8s and that trend looks set to continue.
They were thrashed on home soil last weekend and another heavy defeat looks likely. 17/20 for Wakefield to win by 10 points or more represents solid value in 888sport's rugby league betting odds.
TIP: Wakefield at -9.5 on the handicap @ 17/20
Catalans Dragons vs ST HELENS
Catalans were woeful against the Widnes Vikings, conceding seven tries at the Halton Stadium. The French side have been a Super League regular since 2006 but their top flight status is under threat.
Steve McNamara’s men survived via the Million Pound Game in 2017 and another difficult season beckons based on that Week One performance.
Justin Holbrook’s St Helens were sublime against Castleford and it would take a brave man to back against the visitors. Saints have won one of their last five trips to the south of France but that run should end here.
Holbrook’s men are heading in the right direction and another positive result will have fans dreaming of another Grand Final triumph.
TIP: St Helens -7.5 on the handicap @ 4/5
Castleford Tigers vs WIDNES VIKINGS
As good as Saints were last week, Castleford were a mere shadow of the side that romped to the Super League Grand Final in 2017.
Many will be expecting a backlash from the Tigers here and Cas fans will be confident of victory on home soil. Daryl Powell’s men certainly have the quality to oust the Vikings but can they cope with the weight of expectation?
You could make a strong claim that Widnes produced the best performance in Week One – even though Catalans were pretty poor.
The Vikings struggled for large parts of last season but this could be their year to make the step up. It won’t be easy this weekend but Widnes (+13.5) at 9/10 is a great price. The visitors should keep the score line respectable…
TIP: Widnes +13.5 on the handicap @ 9/10
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*