It’s first versus second as top of the table Castleford Tigers take on the Leeds Rhinos in the Super League Grand Final. In the Super League, the Rhinos trail the Tigers by ten points, but they still have a shot of laying their hands on the Super League Trophy and progressing to the World Cup Challenge.
Can the Rhinos stick the horn in, or will the Tigers leave them seeing stripes as the favourites finish first? Read through our gambling preview to see which team the smart money is on, what markets are worth testing and which online bookmakers are offering the best odds for the big match!
Bookmaker William Hill certainly considers Castleford as top candidates for the winner’s medals, with odds of 1/2. It’s not hard to see why, with coach Daryl Powell having led them to 20 wins and only three losses over the entire season. His work ethic is clear from his recent comment when asked about his team being favourites:
"I’m not really bothered who are favourites. I don’t think it matters one way or the other. It’s just toilet roll, really. It’ll get flushed away and mean nothing. It’s all about turning up and playing, whether we’re favourites or not won’t change it. It’s how we handle Old Trafford."
Manchester United’s Theatre of Dreams hosts the event. With a capacity of over 75,000, it can be very intimidating. One man hoping to play to the crowd is Leeds captain Danny McGuire, who’s leaving his childhood club for Hull Kingston Rovers next season.
Winning the Super League Grand Final would be a fitting fairytale ending for the stand-off. However, he’ll have to do without back-row forward Stevie Ward, who dislocated his shoulder during the previous match, ironically against McGuire’s new team Hull.
Those who believe that it could happen for McGuire and his team can check William Hill, with the sportsbook offering odds of 7/4. Neither team has drawn a game this year, but if you think that it’s a possibility, William Hill is offering long odds of 20/1.
The odds increase if punters wager on the result at both half- and full-time, which carries a similar strategy in football betting. An unlikely draw at both is currently receiving exceptionally long odds of 100/1 at William Hill, so unlikely could equal a huge pay day for a small amount wagered.
However, a more likely scenario of the game being tied at half-time, only for Castleford to come back after the break and win, is receiving odds of 18/1. The Tigers leading at both points almost seems a given with Evens available.
However, if you think the Rhinos can pull the game from under Castleford’s feet comfortably enough to lead at both half-time and full-time, you could get 3/1 at William Hill. Another interesting punt would be for Castleford to lead, only for a reversal of fortune to allow the Rhinos to win, currently gaining odds of 8/1.
If the Super League leaders follow the script that the odds are dictating and win over Leeds, the question becomes – by how much? If you think Castleford are sure-fire winners, there’s more money to be won if you can hazard a guess as to how many points will separate the two teams.
If it’s going to be a slim victory of between 1-5 points, William Hill is offering odds of 11/2. It seems slightly more realistic that the Tigers will extend their lead by 6-10 points, with odds of 5/1. However, if you feel there’s a chance they could decimate the Rhinos by 11-15 or even 16-20 points, the odds increase to 7/1 and 15/2 respectively.
If you think the Rhinos can escape from the jaws of defeat and score more than Castleford, a small victory of 1-5 points would see Leeds win you 6/1. The odds rise incrementally, with a lead of 6-10 points attracting odds of 7/1, and an 11-15 win margin bringing home 12/1.
Outgoing captain Danny McGuire will be itching to score one last try, and if he manages this fairytale feat at any time during the game, William Hill will give you 4/1 odds. If he manages to bag two, this goes up ten-fold to 40/1. You could get 25/1 if he’s the first to score, or 18/1 if he is the last.
For Leeds, the more likely candidate is Ryan Hall, who is 6/5 on to score at any point in the game. The 5/1 odds for him to score two is a very appealing prospect. At the opposite end of Old Trafford, Castleford winger Greg Eden has the best odds of scoring the first and last try at 7/1 for both bets.
For any punters looking to put the full back on to score a hat trick, William Hill is offering 8/1. Joel Monaghan may be a better bet for a try at any time, with odds of 7/4. The Australian stepped up and scored a couple of tries when Eden was injured over the summer in a clash with Salford.
If you think you can judge which team will win the Super League Grand Final and go on to play the NRL champions in the World Club League, why not visit William Hill now? If you join today and bet £10, William Hill is offering up to £30 in free bets, just in time for Saturday!