The 2017 Rugby Super League season got underway back in February and, with 14 matches currently played, it is panning out very differently to the previous season. Reigning champions the Wigan Warriors are mired in mid-table, with just seven wins so far, making them seem unlikely to retain their crown. Of course, some fans like to bet on the games – or on the title winner – to add excitement, so here we will look at which sides might come out on top.
As mentioned above, Wigan Warriors are finding the going a bit tougher at the moment than they did last season, but this has not led to them dropping greatly in the estimation of the bookmakers. Wigan are currently rated 9/4 second favourites to win the Super League again this season. This is understandable as Wigan only have to finish in the top eight during this part of the season to qualify for the Super League – and it is hard to see Wigan failing to do that. They still have key players such as George Williams and Liam Farrell in their side – with the decision of the latter to sign a new five-year contract being a huge boost to them. There is no question that Wigan will need a significant improvement on their current league form if they are to hold on to their title, but it would certainly be foolish to write them off should they qualify.
The current hot favourites in the eyes of the bookies are Castleford Tigers, who are on 6/4. These odds are not all that surprising given their impressive form in the league thus far – which has seen them emerge with 11 wins from 14 fixtures. Few would have expected this from Castleford as they failed to make it to the play-off semi-finals last year and then lost the prolific Denny Solomona during the close season. He had scored a remarkable 42 tries for them in the 2016 season, setting a new club record, and few thought he could be replaced. However Greg Eden has emerged as a tailor made replacement – with his 18 tries thus far including three hat-tricks and making him the league’s top scorer. If he can maintain this sort of try-scoring form then Castleford look well worth a bet to go all the way this year. Another side that is currently rated strongly by bookmakers is Hull FC, on odds of 8/1 for the title. They sit in third spot in the table, with 10 wins from 14 games, and this is despite key players Marc Sneyd, Scott Taylor and captain Gareth Ellis all missing periods through injury. These players are all out of the side at the moment, going into a crucial spell of the season, and the title chances of Hull FC could be dramatically affected by this – as they really need them fit for the Super 8s.
Of course you could always wait to place your bet until later in the season, as a rugby themed game like Odd Shaped Balls offers you a fun alternative for now.