Super League 2018 Grand Final Betting Tips: Wigan set for more glory at the Theatre of Dreams
Phil Spink takes a look at Saturday's Grand Final and predicts a happy ending for departing Wigan coach Shaun Wane...
"Wigan, who are one of the best under the big-game lights, must be backed to cover what looks a generous handicap"
Wigan Warriors vs. Warrington Wolves
Saturday October 12, 18:00 BST
Live on Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Arena
Wigan to lift the Super League trophy again
The Super League season reaches its climax on Saturday and Wigan Warriors can lift the trophy for a fifth time.
The Cherry and Whites are back at Old Trafford for the sixth time since 2010 and arrive in tremendous form, last week's 14-0 win over Castleford Tigers their ninth in a row. They finished nine points and two places ahead of Warrington in the final league table, and but for a mid-season slump may have pushed Shield-winners St Helens very close.
All about the D
The match has extra significance for Wigan in that it will be Coach Shaun Wane's final game after thirty years at the club. The former prop forward is taking up a role with Scotland RU and leaves behind the strongest defence in Super League, his side having conceded just nine tries in their last seven matches. They'll be very hard for Warrington to break down.
Old Trafford an unhappy stomping ground for the Wolves
As Matthew Crist said in his preview earlier in the week, Warrington have certainly flown under the radar in reaching their fourth Grand Final in seven years.
They have been beaten every time, though, including twice against Wigan in 2013 and 2016, and it is the one trophy that continues to elude them in the modern-era, their last league-title having come in 1955.
They are very much the underdogs on Saturday, just as they were when shocking St Helens 18-13 in the semi-final, but their record at Old Trafford, combined with their poor display in the Challenge Cup Final in August, must be big warnings for backers hoping for another upset in this game (the last seven favourites have lost).
Handicap looks generous
Both squads are unchanged from last week and it will take a monumental effort from Steve Price and Warrington if they are to come out on top.
Betting and fairy-tale endings rarely go together, but this can be a happy one for Wane, Tomkins and co. There is a lot more between the two sides on their day than four points, and Wigan, who are one of the best under the big-game lights, must be backed to cover what looks a generous handicap.
Tomkins and Leuluai the Harry Sunderland bets
Wigan are saying goodbye to a number of players on the field also, including, for a second time, full-back Sam Tomkins. Tomkins was part of the side that beat the Wolves 30-16 in 2013 before he departed for the NRL.
This time around he leaves to join the Challenge Cup-winners Catalans and he's going out at the top of his game having notched ten of the fourteen points in the Castleford win. He looks sure to turn it on once again on the grandest stage of all and is a worthy favourite to take the man of the match honours.
Those wanting a saver must back Thomas Leuluai, the player who scored the other four points against Castleford.
The New Zealand international put in a fantastic display on his return from injury last week and is far too big at 18/1 to become only the second player to take this prize at Old Trafford having won it in 2010 as the Warriors beat St Helens.