Leaders St Helens travel to Salford on Thursday, in front of the Sky Cameras, to kick off the Rugby League weekend.
Saints will want to get back on track on the road as they lost the last time they played away from home, at Wakefield
This won’t be easy though, Red Devils Coach Ian Watson has done a great job this season on limited resources, they had a very impressive win at home to Wakefield last week in a game many predicted they’d lose.
The Red Devils get a 12 point start on the handicap and are 10/3 for what would be a 3rd win in a row.
Saints though have only lost twice this season and, for me, should justify odds of 1/4 to win the game.
Warrington won by 16 points at Salford last month and that makes me think that the Red V can do the same here. They were ruthless in putting 60 points on Huddersfield last week, and whilst this won’t be anything like that I do think they can win this by around 3 scores.
Saints conceding a 12 point start is available at around 11/10 and this is probably where the value lies.
Prior to the defeat at Wakefield, Saints had won by more than today’s handicap at Hull KR, Widnes and Warrington and whilst Salford are probably better than at least 2 of those you feel Justin Holbrook will want his side to prove they are not vulnerable on the road.
Ben Barba heads the 1st try betting at 7/1 but Makinson would be my pick at 9/1.
As for man of the match, hard to look further than Barba given how it is picked but 5/2 is very short, an alternative could be Richardson at 10/1. Evalds is the lowest price in Salford colours at 12/1.
Friday night Rugby sees the West Yorkshire derby between Castleford and Wakefield.
Both sides will be smarting from poor defeats last week, but bookies make the Tigers clear 2/9 favourites to win this.
That is no surprise though as Wakefield, who started the season well, have now lost 6 of their last 7 ( their one win though was against St Helens) . These sides met last month at Belle Vue with Castleford winning a tight one and I expect the Tigers to make home advantage count on Friday.
Daryl Powell’s side had won 5 of their last 6 before last week’s defeat at Wigan and have only lost at home to Warrington, on a bog of a pitch, so far in 2018.
Wakefield get a 12 point start on the handicap that looks spot on and too close to call.
If pushed would just fancy Trinity to stay inside it with a Tigers win by around 6-10 points.
If it’s dry I’d expect lots of points between these 2 as both sides prefer the attacking side of the game, conditions were very wet when they met earlier in the season.
Minikin heads 1st try lists at 17/2 but Ben Jones Bishop looks great value at 16/1.
As for man of the match, Gale is very short at 5/2, Mcshane looks better odds at 12/1. Miller at 10/1 could be the one for Trinity followers.
2 other games on Friday, Huddersfield are around 7/1 to put last week’s debacle at Saints behind them with a win at Warrington.
The Wolves concede a 20 point start on the handicap and whilst this should be a comfortable home win, I’m concerned that their decent run of results has flattered them somewhat. It’s hard to put faith in Huddersfield though looking at recent away results.
2nd placed Wigan concede a 14 point start for their trip to Widnes. The Warriors away form is nothing to write home about and whilst they should justify 1/5 favoritism for an away win you feel it may be inside the 14 point cap.
The Vikings are around 7/2 for a home win.
More rugby over the weekend, as always please gamble responsibly