With the 2022 Super League season all set to start February 10th, pre-season is already underway, with the excitement building ahead to the first week of Round One. With the last Super League Grand Final already a distant memory, the attention has quickly turned to the likely contenders for the Super League XXVII regular season and Grand Final.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the key headlines from the latest betting markets on the 2022 Super League, as priced up by the UK’s leading bookmakers.
St Helens red-hot favourites to finish top of the 2022 regular season
St Helens landed the 2021 Super League Grand Final in a narrow and fraught encounter with Catalans Dragons, eventually overcoming their European opponents 12-10. The win made it a hat-trick of Super League Grand Final successes and that victory was made all the more sweeter by the fact they didn’t even finish top of the table in the regular season. Saints finished six points back behind Catalans Dragons and still concluded the campaign overall champions.
There is a feeling that no-one can stop this Saints team right now, which explains why St Helens’ odds to finish top of the table in the 2022 regular season are shortening fast to as low as 6/4 before a ball has even been kicked. That’s despite a hefty turnover of players in the close season, with new recruits like Curtis Sironen, Joey Lussick and Will Hopoate all expected to hit the ground running.
Toulouse Olympique to find it hard to stave off relegation in their debut season
French professional rugby league outfit Toulouse Olympique will play in the 2022 Super League for the first time. The French outfit overcame Featherstone Rovers in the “Million Pound Game”, securing their place at the top table of European rugby league and becoming the second French side in the division. It marks an end to 18 years of frustration when the Rugby Football League (RFL) hand-picked Catalans Dragons to join the Super League over Toulouse back in 2003.
The bookmakers don’t rate their chances of making much of an impression, with some bookies already pricing them as odds-on favourites to get the wooden spoon and an immediate return to the second tier. They will surely want to prove themselves on the biggest stage though, and proven Super League players such as Chris Hankinson, Tony Gigot and Matty Russell will provide a solid foundation for their first weeks of the season. If Olympique can create a fortress at Stade Ernest-Wallon, they may yet pick up enough points on home soil to stave off relegation, leaving the likes of Salford Red Devils and Wakefield Trinity vulnerable.
Hull KR looking significantly underrated by the leading bookies
The key, as with most types of gambling, is to find value opportunities that don’t reflect the true probability. In other words, you need to find opportunities where a bookmaker’s traders have made an error with pricing up a team’s chances. One such team that could offer value odds going into the 2022 Super League season is Hull KR. Next season’s Hull KR squad is packed with players that will be desperate to impress ahead of the 2022 World Cup. Half-back Jordan Abdull is already in possession of a jersey on the England team but will need to maintain his form next season.
Lachlan Coote and Kane Linnett are two of Scotland’s biggest hopes of getting out of their World Cup group. Meanwhile Korbin Sims has been very vocal of his desire to represent Fiji at the next World Cup and having missed the last tournament through injury, will be desperate to be prove a point domestically and secure international recognition. Meanwhile Albert Vete is looking to battle back into the Tonga national team. Good form in the 2022 Super League will attract the attention of Tonga coach Kristian Woolf, who is also the St Helens head coach. All things considered, Hull KR’s 40/1 pre-season odds to be top of the Super League at the end of the regular season seem like reasonable each-way value.