An extra game this week due to the Sky deal to cover Catalans Dragons’ home games as Tony Smith’s Warrington make the trip to the South of France.
It may not be a great time of the year for the away fans to make the trip but I’m sure the Wire players would prefer to play in Perpignan in the winter as appose to temperatures in the summer.
Warrington were bridesmaids again last year, securing the League Leaders’ Shield but I’m sure they would swap that to win one of the two finals they made in 2016, as they were pipped by Hull FC and Wigan.
The Dragons camp will be rocked by the news of Tony Gigot’s two-year ban but they will surely be fired up for this season’s opener, and will be looking to put an ordinary 2016 behind them.
Wolves captain Chris Hill sits this one out along with the likes of Kevin Brown, Stefan Ratchford and Ben Currie. Tony Smith’s side were 4-point favourites for this early in the week but the handicap is down to 2 now given the absentees.
In fact Super League sponsors Betfred quote an away win now at 4/5 when 4/7 was available on Tuesday. I still think this Warrington squad is strong enough to pull off a win in France against a side who I’m not too sure about this year; I’ve not been too impressed with recruitment.
Home form may save Catalans from the Qualifiers but they are always vulnerable at home early in the season and I think the Wolves can justify 4/5 favouritism and win this by around 6-10 points. I’d prefer the match win odds for Warrington than the even money conceding a 2-point start as it could be close.
Betfred offer 11/10 for the hosts, but if you fancy them I’d take the even money getting a 2-point start on the handicap. If Wire win by a drop goal or it’s a draw you’re still onto a winner.
Tom Lineham heads the first try market at 5/1 but Ryan Atkins came back to form last season and he looks better value at 9/1. Jodie Broughton is also worth a 2nd glance at 6/1 for the Dragons.
I prefer anytime try bets though and Kurt Gidley looks the best value at 3/1 to score a try anytime.
There is one other game today as Wigan travel to Salford for an early 1.15pm kick-off.
Salford will be breathing a sigh of relief they’re still in Super League after the dramatic Million Pound Game and they get a 10-point start for the visit of the champions.
This is a very tough game to call, Wigan are notoriously slow starters and will surely have one eye on next week’s World Club Challenge. Due to this there’s no way they’re worthy 2/7 favourites but being honest the 3/1 for Salford doesn’t appeal either given Wigan’s knack of grinding out a win.
The Warriors won both games between these two last year by less than today’s 10-point handicap so maybe Salford at even money getting a 10-point start is the way to go in this one.
We’ll be back next Thursday for Salford’s visit to Huddersfield, leading us into the World Club Challenge weekend.
Click here to go to the Betfred website to view all their Rugby League odds.
As always please gamble responsibly.