Rugby Super League 2018 Odds

Super League is back with the first set of games starting on Thursday February 1st in what should herald a long, gruelling and highly entertaining season. With live coverage of 100 games promised by Sky TV in the UK, the sport is more accessible than ever although there’s nothing like attending in person and soaking up all the atmosphere for yourself.

Leeds Rhinos are the reigning champions but are not favourites to retain that trophy in what is a very tight market at the top.

Leading Pack

Castleford Tigers will feel aggrieved at not landing the Grand Final after finishing the regular season on top of the table with a ten point gap over eventual champions Leeds. Cas also dominated the Super Eight stage so it was something of a shock when the Tigers went down by six points to 24 in the final.

For 2018, Castleford are one of two joint favourites and you can Daryl Powell’s men at a top price of 9/2 with William Hill to go one better and take the title this year. The Tigers share that 9/2 figure with Wigan who can be claimed at those best odds with BetFred and Sun Bets.

Wigan are the most successful club in the history of English Rugby League but when you consider last season’s form, it’s a little hard to justify those odds. Seventh in the regular season, the Warriors finished sixth in the Super Eights, thereby missing out on the semi finals and while there have been some changes in playing staff ahead of the 2018 campaign, that’s a price based on reputation rather than immediate form.

Chasing Sides

Behind the top two it remains very tight with Betfair offering the best price of 5/1 on St Helens. Based on 2017’s results, The Saints may be a better option having made it to the semi finals before narrowly going down to Castleford but they’ve cut six players from their roster and have only brought in the inexperienced James Bentley to cover.

St Helen’s squad looks a little thin so what about Hull who are listed as fourth favourites at a top price of 6/1 with Betway and SkyBet? Lee Radford’s side also made it to the semi finals last year before going down 16-18 to eventual Champions Leeds and there is plenty of support to suggest they can perform even better in 2018.

Finally we come to the reigning champions Leeds Rhinos and while the fifth favourites berth may suggest that they’re getting little support from the bookies, a best price of 13/2 from Sun Bets and Betway underlines that this is a very tight market at the top.

Coach Brian McDermott retains much of the side that took the Grand Final last year and while they remain unfancied, as they were twelve months ago, they clearly can’t be dismissed as genuine title contenders.

Before prices start to really thin out, we have best odds of 7/1 on Warrington Wolves from Unibet and BetBright. That figure is for a side that finished outside of the Super Eight places last year and while the Wolves are traditionally a strong unit that fared much better in 2017, that figure looks to be a little too short for us.

Outside Punts

The odds start to stretch out now but is there any value in these outsider options? Behind that 7/1 price on the Wolves, we have a gap to Huddersfield who can be picked up at best odds of 33/1 with Coral and SportingBet.

Moving through the field we have Wakefield at 50/1 with William Hill and 10Bet and then Catalans Dragons at a top price of 66/1 with Bet365 and Sun Bets. Prices reach three figures with Salford at 100/1 with BetFred and William Hill, Hull KR at 250/1 with Coral and SkyBet before we finish with the rank outsiders, Widnes at a mighty best of 500/1 with Betfair.

Of those names, Salford, Huddersfield and Wakefield all made it through to the Super Eight stage in 2017 but that was as far as they got and a similar result could be the best all three can hope for this year.

Betting Options

Daryl Powell

Those are the prices for the Grand Final winners but unlike many other tournaments, Rugby League’s Super League comes with lots of opportunities for long term bets. A busy market is open for the winners of the regular season and while Castleford are an obvious name as one of the joint favourites, it may surprise many to see St Helens share that berth.

Cas are available at best odds of 4/1 with Bet365 and Sun Bets while the Saints can be picked up at that same 4/1 price with BetFred and SkyBet. Hull and Wigan can both be claimed in this market at 6/1 with SkyBet while Grand Final winners Leeds are at a top price of 7/1 with William Hill.

Super League also attracts a lot of handicap options for the season long punts and there are lots of individual player bets including top try scorer and top points scorer.

Of course, from the moment the first round of matches starts on February 1st, there will be all the usual markets released including result betting and a whole host of side betting thrown in.

For now, let’s see if we can pick a winning bet from those season long options.

Verdict

We see an issue with both codes of rugby in England and while organisers have to bring in changes to make the tournaments more exciting, it’s that much harder to land a winning bet when a round of post-regular season games are introduced.

Castleford Tigers dominated the regular season and were strong once again in the Super Eights but when it comes to a one-off game anything can happen as was proved in the Grand Final when unfancied Leeds came through to take the ultimate prize.

For that reason, we’re going to avoid the outright Grand Final market and bet on the Regular Season instead. We do feel that Castleford will be determined to put things right after last year’s disappointment so by all means take them for the Grand Final at 9/2 with William Hill in that market but 4/1 is a very fair price for Cas to top the regular season table.

Best Bets for Super League 2018

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