GIANTS to stand tall in Super League

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Published: 07/02/2014

The return of the Super League season on Friday suggest that Summer is not as far removed as the weather might make it seem. Here is our guide to the best of the bets for this season.

Wigan defeated Warrington 30-16 to win the Grand Final last season and it is this pair who feature at the top of the betting for the new season. The Wolves are the 7/2 (STAN JAMES) favourites for the Grand Final this season as they look to go one better. It promises to be a different side this season though as they look to replace influential Lee Briers who was forced to medically retire. Gone also are Brett Hodgson, Adrian Morley and Garreth Carvell. The young players coming through will have to make the step up and while I have faith in the Wolves development I think the price looks a little short. In truth a slow start could in fact benefit us as the price might go out so I would hold fire on Warrington.

The same advice has to be given for Wigan at 4/1 (SPREADEX) who will have to do without Sam Tomkins and Pat Richards. The Warriors will also have the distraction of a World Club Challenge game with the Roosters. What has to be remembered is that a lot of things went right for the Warriors in the season and although they clearly deserved their title the price offers no value for them to repeat this time around.

St Helens are the 11/2 (SPREADEX) third favourites as they look to improve on fifth last season and a play-off exit to Leeds. The Saints will hope that James Roby will stay fit this season after missing a lot of the previous campaign. Luke Walsh and Mose Masoe are good additions and the former can be a catalyst for an improved season though the odds seem fair.

Leeds are next in the betting at 6/1 (STAN JAMES/william hill) and the Yorkshire side always have to be respected having won the trophy six since times since 2000. Brian McDermott has made a few quiet changes in getting Tom Briscoe and Paul Aiton which should strengthen their team. The Rhinos will be dangerous again though they are another side who might find their price slip if they continue their trend of a slow start.

Huddersfield won the regular season last time out and I think they look value to do so again at 7/1 (BWIN). We have already talked about question marks over the top four so I do not see why the Giants can not emerge on top again. The squad is much the same as last season with a number of smart under the radar additions in the likes of Jodie Broughton from Salford and Kyle Wood from Wakefield. If they do start the season well then I would not expect them to stay at 8/1 (GENERAL) to win the Grand Final so it also makes sense to take this price.

Of the remaining sides outside the big five it is Salford and Hull who the bookmakers expect to prove the biggest threat to them. You can get 6/1 (GENERAL) that Salford break into the top four and the Red Devils look decent value to do so as previously stated a number of clubs will take time to develop. Salford have Brian noble as head coach, a rich owner determined to make them a success and a number of new talented signings including Rangi Chase, Gareth Hock and Adrian Morley.

These six should secure play-off slots meaning just two places remain and Catalans, Hull and Hull KR are expected to battle it out for those remaining slots.

BEST OF THE BETS

GOLD: Huddersfield Giants to win Regular Season, 7/1 (BWIN)
SILVER: Huddersfield Giants to win Grand Final, 8/1 (GENERAL)
BRONZE: Salford Red Devils to finish in top four, 6/1 (GENERAL)

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