A hint of irony on Friday night, as Sky have ditched Super League in favour of the middle 8 as teams have still something to play for, and they pitch up at Craven Park to cover a Rovers side that booked it’s place in Super League last week.
This is still a massive game though for visitors Catalans, who are desperate for the win that will, temporarily at least, put them in 3rd spot.
The Dragons are still without talisman Greg Bird and will be hoping Rovers are still recovering from the celebrations following last week’s win over Widnes that saw them promoted.
This really is a game to tread very cautiously on, we have no real idea of the appetite Rovers have now for this competition given promotion is secure.
Last week was like a cup final, possibly even bigger, for them and teams generally have poor records the week after playing in finals.
Taking these 2 factors into account it’s no surprise the bookies make the French side 2/5 favourites to win the game.
The Robins have beaten both Super League sides they’ve played so far in the middle 8 and will fancy making it a hat – trick, they have though been quite unconvincing at home so far and given they have so little at stake are hard to fancy at 2/1.
Rovers get an 8 point start on the and whilst I think the Dragons will probably just get home by wanting to win the game more nothing in their current form suggests they can win this by double figures away from home.
Hull KR certainly won’t want a heavy defeat in their last home game of 2017 so you have to think the value lies with them getting an 8.5 point start on the handicap with marathon.
This means even an away win by 8 points would still have you queueing at the pay out counter.
If pushed would go for a Catalans win by 6-10 points, but if you think the weeks celebrations could take it’s toll on Rovers by the end then a fun bet of Hull KR half time and Catalans full time could be worth a 2nd glance at 8/1.
Thornley and Duport head 1st try betting at 10/1, but I’d prefer Tierney at 11/1 and Ryan Shaw at 12/1.
2 games in the Super 8 and one game other game in the middle 8, Salford get a 12 point start on the handicap for their trip to Headingley.
The Red Devils got back to form last week with a thumping win over Huddersfield and are still in with a mathematical semi final chance.
The Rhinos have secured a home semi final, so 1/5 are very short odds for a home win.
You can’t rule out an away win for a Salford side with more to play for at 3/1, but you’d expect them to stay inside the 12 point handicap against a Leeds side with bigger games to come.
Only a win will do for Saints against a Huddersfield side smarting from the hammering at Salford last week.
The Giants seem to be on the beach now, so 1/5 favourites St Helens should get home,it’s hard to argue a case for an away win at 3/1 given last week’s debacle.
Saints concede a 12 point start on the handicap which is about right, but they may just be able to cover it.
Finally Halifax get a 9/1 quote for a win in their trip to Leigh.
The Centurions are unbackable at 1/25 to win the game and should do so comfortably.
Judging by their win at Featherstone in week one and win in France they should be able to win this by more than the 22 point handicap.
More middle 8 action on Saturday, as always please gamble responsibly.