The competition for the Super League Grand Final is a two-horse race at this point according to sportsbooks reviewed on mytopsportsbooks.com, with league-leading St Helens around +125 (5/4) and second-place Wigan Warriors at about +275 (11/4). The two powerhouses have already punched their tickets to the Super 8s and are smashing the rest of the league in terms of point differential (+332 and +213, respectively). But a dominant regular season is no guarantee of ultimate playoff success as Leeds proved last year when they trounced Castleford in the Grand Final (24-6) after the Tigers went 20-0-3 in the regular season and posted a +391 point difference, over 300 points better than Leeds.
Saints have been the team to beat this year and currently sit four points ahead of Wigan in the table, although Wigan do have a game in hand.
The season was starting to look like a two-horse race but Warrington, who recently went on a 10-game winning run, now sit only two points behind Wigan in third place and get a quote of +550 (11/2) to be crowned Champions for the first time since the 1950’s. Wire had a great win last weekend over Wigan in the cup and would be confident of doing it again in the play-offs.
For all St Helens look unstoppable at the moment it’s worth noting that everyone was saying the same about Castleford Tigers 12 months ago, and whilst they comfortably finished top of the table at the end of the regular season they were beaten 24-6 by Leeds in the Grand Final.
The Rhinos have looked average so far in 2018 and are quoted at around +1200 (12/1) to retain their title. That looks a long shot at the moment as they sit five points behind fourth place. Castleford at this time look the side most likely to finish in one of the top four spots and with key players starting to return from injury, they may have their takers at +700 (7/1) to make amends for 2017 at the Theatre of Dreams. Daryl Powell’s Tigers currently sit fourth, only four points behind second placed Wigan, who they still have to play at home.
Another side who have had injury problems are Hull FC, and they look the least likely of the top six to me for Old Trafford and are +1100 (11/1) for their first Grand Final, they have though won the Challenge Cup at Wembley the last two seasons. The black and whites also gave Saints a real scare in the cup last week, losing by only three points.
With the next side in the betting Wakefield, +10000 (100/1) to win the Grand Final the winner will surely come from the top six in the betting, after 23 rounds the league splits with the top eight playing each other once more and the bottom four going into a relegation shoot out, the top four sides receive the advantage of an extra home game.
After the 30 games the top four play-off in the semi-finals with the side finishing top hosting fourth and second hosting third. A home semi-final is essential as no side has won an away semi-final since 2012.
Super League resumes this week, after a week off for the Challenge Cup, with Wigan going to Wakefield on Thursday.