Record Challenge Cup winners Wigan are firm favourites to win the 2022 final at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this weekend as they take on Huddersfield Giants in rugby league’s showpiece event. Matty Peet’s side are backed by most bookmakers to win their 20th Challenge Cup at a new venue for the competition, with 2/5 being quoted by most as they are expected to do a job on Ian Watson’s side in the capital.
The Giants are backed at 9/4 by most notable bookies and ones that are still hugely popular, which could be an attractive price given the teams so look evenly matched on paper and the West Yorkshire outfit won the most recent meeting between the two sides in Super League less than two weeks ago. Huddersfield’s 32-22 victory at the John Smith’s Stadium on May 12 has many predicting a repeat result this weekend as the Giants look to win their first Challenge Cup since 1953.
This will be a different game to that recent league fixture though, with the Warriors vast experience in major finals perhaps the reason they are made 8 point favourites on the handicap – again though this could be questioned due to the fact that this current Wigan side have not appeared in a major final since the Super League Grand Final in 2020.
With Challenge Cup finals often low scoring with nerves bound to play a part on both sides, an attractive proposition is undoubtedly the over/under points market, with most placing the benchmark at around 40 points. This match is likely to be close and for both teams to register 20 or more points is very unlikely, so despite the dry weather, going under 40 points at even money is the way to go here, especially bearing in mind the hot weather that is expected in Tottenham on Saturday afternoon.
Now for the individual markets. Maverick fullback Jai Fiels is perhaps unsurprisingly the favourite to register the first try of the 2022 Challenge Cup Final at 6/1. He is closely followed by Bevan French (7/1) and Liam Marshall (8/1). Our tip in this area though is on the Giants side with semi-final hero Innes Senior at 12/1 to score the first four-pointer of the final.
Moving to anytime try-scorer and often down the years we have tipped the evergreen Liam Farrell in this market and we aren’t about to go changing that now. The prolific second-row forward is 5/2 to repeat his try-scoring feat in the semis against Saints, and the 31-year-old is not scared of going for the line in big games, so he would be the tip here.
Now to Man of the Match, which is always one of if now thee most interesting market to look at in rugby league. Over recent years the Challenge Cup Final has gone away from the predictable choices in this area, with the halves now not the obvious choice in this field. From prop Jeff Lima to wingers Ryan Hall and Tom Briscoe, we have seen some more left-field choices. Now, there is one man that is universally liked among rugby league fans and that is Jermain McGillvary. The England winger has just turned 34 but he is still going strong and will be determined to deliver a major trophy to his beloved Huddersfield. He was superb in the semi-final and we expect a repeat on Saturday, with his superb runs out of the defensive part of the field likely to complimented by the odd try, or maybe even a brace or a hat-trick on the big stage. So at an attractive 25/1, he will be our tip for the Lance Todd Trophy.
Last but not least we’ll pick a winner. Now the outright and handicap markets are popular, but the winning margin looks the most attractive here. As mentioned at the start it is very surprising that the bookies have Wigan as two score favourites, with the teams very evenly matched on paper. The fact it is Wigan, with all their history in this competition, may have swayed the bookies, but we are not being that naive. We think Ian Watson’s side may edge this, so at 7/1 we are going for a Huddersfield winning margin of between 1-5 points. This is a game that we feel will go down to the last second, it has the potential of a Challenge Cup classic so enjoy the game, bet responsibly and good luck to both teams.