Ian Millward: Salford to cover

  • By: Ian Millward
  • Last Updated: August 31 2014, 16:01 BST

Former Super League coach Ian Millward previews this weekend's action and also picks out his best NRL bets.

Salford Red Devils: Can get the better of Wakefield
Salford Red Devils: Can get the better of Wakefield

BRONZE: 2pt double St Helens (+6) and NZ Warriors (-14) at 2.65/1 (Sky Bet) - Saints can take advantage of any Leeds slackness; NZ should run riot

Warrington v Huddersfield (+10) - Thursday 2000 BST

I think this is a game both have earmarked - indeed the next two for both sides will have a massive impact on the league. Home advantage could be key and a week off came at the right time for Warrington.

I am wary of the Giants at this stage of the year, particularly what happened 12 months ago, and Warrington are still experimenting. But Chris Hill plays really well in the forward line in this game and that could give them a vital edge.

Hull v Hull KR - Friday 2000

You can write this down as the disappointment of the season - Hull - against a gritty Rovers side who are absolutely desperate to reach the play-offs.

For some players this will be their last derby with big changes coming at both clubs, but for now KR should win as they're a lot more solid as a team. They can keep up their resolute defending and beat a Hull side who lack cohesion.

Leeds v St Helens (+6) - Friday 2000

I just think this is one of the best bets of the round.

The week after a Challenge Cup win, in my experience, is so difficult to get up for. The emotional and physical drain can stop teams in their tracks and with Saints having had a break, I actually think they can win let alone with the start.

Leeds will be on a high following their Wembley win but the time is right to take them on.

Widnes (+16) v Wigan - Friday 2000

I'm starting to warm to Wigan as potential Grand Final winners and they're getting troops back on deck now.

Widnes have been fantastic this year and do see themselves as play-off contenders, but Wigan have a good record in this local derby bar one or two shocks.

Sean O'Loughlin, Blake Green and Matty Smith are key men and I expect them to lead the Warriors to a comfortable win.

Catalans v London (+40) - Saturday 1800

You have to remember that London come off a win but it's almost impossible to envisage them gaining another.

Catalans need to win this and have a good chance to gain confidence and cohesion at just the right time.

Conditions will be tough for London here, Catalans are good at home, and they should win by as far as they want to. I'll take them to just about cover albeit 40 is a big start.

Wakefield (+4) v Salford - Sunday 1500

The season is over for Wakefield to a degree and they're still missing players. Salford on the other hand are still working on new structures and might just be better placed for this game as they improve.

With that in mind take them to win and cover.

Castleford v Bradford (+14) - Sunday 1530

I thought the start would be bigger here even though Bradford have improved.

Castleford obviously have to get up for this mentally after a disappointing Challenge Cup final but they have the squad to cope.

This could be high-scoring with plenty of errors so bet over on the points, but the spread is hard to solve. I'll just lean towards Cas because I thought the start would be bigger for the Bulls but it's no bet for me.

NZ Warriors v Gold Coast Titans (+14) - Sunday 0500

The club I'm involved with, St George, played Titans last week. I felt they were down on troops and lacking in forward positions and this is a difficult game against a team who need to win.

The Warriors were a shade unlucky last week against the Roosters and can still be a threat in the play-offs. I can see this being a rampage so take them to win and cover as the bet of the weekend.

Manly v Penrith (+12) - Sunday 0600

Manly have an incredible home record and Penrtih are backing up from Monday with a few players missing.

Coming off a loss and returning home, Manly should win and cover.

North Queensland Cowboys v Cronulla (+30) - Monday 1000

Cowboys the form team in the NRL and give up a big start - one of the biggest in the history of the league.

However, it looks fully justified and I'll take them to win and cover.

  • Preview posted at 1240 BST on 28/08/2014