A Hull of a bet
Former Super League coach Ian Millward previews this weekend's games and also picks out his best bet from the NRL action.
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Wakefield v Widnes (+6)
Widnes are a team that seem to respond well to adversity. Their form isn't great with one win in five and at they've lost their last game with Wakefield which makes this tough for them, but they could just be up to the task.
Wakefield are unbeaten in four but I've got a feeling Widnes will push them here. There's some steel in this team and they'll equip themselves well - hopefully well enough to win with the start.
- 1pt double Leeds (-16) and Castleford (-8) at 2.65/1 (General) - both fancied to make home advantage count on Friday
- 1pt double Hull (+6) and Catalans (+6) at 3.65/1 (Sky Bet) - starts look generous with Hull particularly strong at the odds
- 2pts Parramatta Eels (+10) to beat New Zealand Warriors at 11/10 (Ladbrokes) - Kwi players can drive them to victory - on the handicap at least
Castleford v Huddersfield (+8)
Castleford remain in extremely good form, albeit they've only beaten the Giants once in five. One thing to note on that front is that normally games between these two are high-scoring, so take the overs in the points market.
Scott Grix and Danny Brough being injured will really pose problems for the Giants, who aren't used to dealing with such issues. Their kicking game will suffer in particular and they could lose for the second week running.
Cas have been able to rotate their squad which helps explain their form - take them to win and cover.
Leeds v Hull KR (+16)
The Rhinos have won four of the last five meetings of the sides and they're not too far off getting back on track, especially with key players returning this week.
KR did win last weekend but before that their form had been patchy, especially on the road, and I do fancy Leeds to really bounce back and lay down a marker for the rest of the season. Take Leeds to cover.
St Helens v Bradford (+28)
It's an interesting one, this. Saints on their best should win by a long way which is highlighted by the start, and Kyle Amor's return only strengthens their prospects.
Bradford would be more interesting here were it not for the introduction of some youngsters, which isn't ideal when you're going to Saints who do well when returning home in this sort of game. The hosts might just cover.
Salford v Hull (+6)
It's a win each from two meetings so far this year with Salford winning a high-scoring game last time after Hull had beaten them well.
Recently, Hull have found some form with four wins in five and Salford struggle to withstand pressure which comes with the hype which surrounds them.
Particularly in defence they're not reliable and Hull will see this as a chance to start a run to the play-offs. I expect them to win, so with the start they're among the best bets this weekend.
Catalans (+6) v Wigan
This has always been a one-way traffic fixture with the Warriors having a great record in it.
Wigan got a win last week against London which was convincing, but Catalans have been really solid lately and their home form is outstanding. They have some young guys who still have to improve but they will get there, with Louis Anderson and Sam Williams helping.
Their home form is so good that Catalans have to be the call to win with a start in a tight game.
Warrington v London (+38)
We've said all along we don't expect London to win a game this year and that remains the case.
They're obviously not expected to change that here against Warrington, who are on a great winning run and the young players coming in are all confident.
This will be a high-scoring game - Warrington won 44-16 in the reverse while last year they put 82 points on the Broncos and that's in keeping with their previous record in the fixture.
Joel Monaghan is the man likely to lead the charge and should score a couple in a high-scoring rout for Warrington, who can win by as far as they like.
New Zealand Warriors v Parramatta Eels (+10)
Parramatta have been really good in establishing themselves as a top-eight team, courtesy of an excellent attack.
I think a 10-point start is generous in what should be a really good game. The Eels have a lot of Kiwi players in the side who will be out to impress and I think they will do just that.