Rugby League betting: Who to back this afternoon
I must apologise for Friday night, which saw just one result (Castleford against Hull KR) let down our two special bets. However, I have six more ways for you to beat the bookie this afternoon in Super League. Hopefully we’ll all be celebrating a nice win this evening.
Wigan Warriors V Wakefield T Wildcats
Handicap: Wigan -20
Under normal circumstances this would look to be a home banker. However, the fact that Wigan were involved in last week’s World Club Challenge changes the situation. Wigan have just travelled halfway around the world and were involved in a real tough game against the Sydney Roosters. They managed to keep in touch with the Roosters but never really threatened to bring home the silverware and coach Shaun Wane has said that his players under-performed. However, if they produce a performance of anywhere near the quality they showed last week then they should be far too good for a Wakefield side that has the unwanted record of played two, lost two. A particular area of concern for Richard Agar will be how poor his side were against Bradford last week. They made 18 errors and conceded 4 penalties in the first 10 minutes of the game. If they produce stats like that against a Wigan side boasting a host of try scorers then they could find themselves on the wrong end of a big scoreline. However, their new signings will be starting to settle in now and learning the calls properly.
Wane said this week that he planned to rest a number of senior players for this game, but then he went back on that statement saying that ‘Sean O’Loughlin and Michael McIlorum specifically asked not to be rested, quite a few of the senior players want to play and put a few things right’. If the Warriors turn up in this frame of mind, they will surely win the game and it is just a matter of if they can cover the handicap. I think they can, but don’t get carried away as it is by no means a certainty.
Suggested bet: Wigan to win
Warrington Wolves V Hull FC
Handicap: Warrington -10
From a punting point of view, this is my favourite game of the weekend between two teams who have had indifferent starts. Warrington performed admirably in the second half at Leeds but, despite that, the fact remains they have chalked up two losses this season. Their main problem seems to be scoring points without the influential Lee Briers. A return of 20 points in 2 games is simply not good enough for Tony Smith’s men. When it all comes together for Hull they have the ability to be one of the best teams in the competition. However, consistency is an issue. At the break last week they led 10-6 away at impressive St Helens before conceding five second-half tries. Hull can take confidence from last season’s shock away win at Warrington, though as mentioned last week their overall away form is a huge cause for concern. I think the margin of 10 points is very generous here and there’s a lot of value to be taken from backing Warrington to cover. Despite losing some key players, the Wolves are still an outfit that poses a major attacking threat and they should prove too strong on their own patch.
Suggested bet: Warrington to win and cover the handicap
Bradford Bulls V London Broncos
Handicap: Bulls -26
What a week it has been for the Bradford Bulls. After all the off-field problems that have beset the beleaguered club this week, including the loss of prop Nick Scruton last night, I’m sure Francis Cummins’ team will be happy just to get back on the pitch.
From a betting angle, this is a very tough game to call with the handicap. London have started exactly how everyone predicted, losing both games and conceding over 100 points in the process. However, they have signed a new half back pairing this week in the shape of young Aussie duo Ben Farrar and Josh Drinkwater and their season depends upon how quickly their new partnership can flourish. As for Bradford, they won a scrappy game at Wakefield, but a lot has happened since then. This game all revolves around the mind-set of the Bradford players and the signs have been good with many players seemingly up for the fight. As time moves on, Bradford may lose some of their best players but for this week at least they have almost a full squad available. I expect Bradford to win this game, but think the 26 point handicap may be a bit beyond them. As an alternative, I like the look of the market of Bradford to win by more than 12 points.
Suggested bet: Bradford to win by more than 12 points
If I were you…
I’d put a few quid on Bradford to win by 13+ points and Warrington to cover their handicap. That pays about 1.14/1
If you’re feeling adventurous…
Back both Wigan and Warrington to cover their handicap, and Bradford to win by 13+ points. That pays around 3.1/1
My Sunday special
Joel Monaghan to score first in the Warrington V Hull match – 13/2