Super League Tips: Lucky 13 for Saints
Phil Spink picks out the best bets for the televised Super League games on Thursday and Friday...
"This is a clash between the top-two sides in the table but the gap of eight points between them highlights the class of St Helens"
Wigan's dominance at home to end
Wigan Warriors vs St Helens
Thursday 19 July, 19:45 BST
Live on Sky Sports Arena
All-conquering St Helens can become the first team to win at Wigan this season.
Justin Holbrook's side have shown no signs of letting up as the Super 8s approach and made it 12 wins in a row with a clinical second-half performance to see off Hull 34-18 last week.
This is a fixture synonymous with Good Friday and St Helens triumphed for the first time since 2009 with a thrilling 21-18 home success in this year's renewal back in March. Injured Zeb Taia is the only change to the Saints squad for this game.
Wigan were the latest side to feel the force of a rejuvenated Huddersfield last week as they went down 20-12 in Yorkshire. More concerning for coach Shaun Wane there was the early exit of captain Sean O'Loughlin, who misses out once more tonight along with Oliver Gildart in what is an increasing injury list. Centre Chris Hankinson has signed from Swinton and is expected to be thrown in at the deep end with an immediate debut if getting clearance from the RFL.
The Cherry and Whites are unbeaten at the DW Stadium in 2018, making it 10 out of 10 with a last-gasp victory over Warrington in Round 20. This is a clash between the top-two sides in the table but the gap of eight points between them highlights the class of St Helens and with a near full-strength side they can stretch their lead to double figures with another win. Back them to prevail by 1-12 points.
Plenty of juice in the Castleford/Huddersfield tryscorer markets
Castleford Tigers vs Huddersfield Giants
Friday 20 July, 19:45 BST
Live on Sky Sports Arena
Last season's beaten Grand Finalists Castleford have been quietly building up a head of steam as the Super 8s approach and could take second with victory over Huddersfield on Friday in the event of a Wigan defeat.
They've seen off Leeds and Salford in bloodless fashion the last twice, and are going for a seventh successive win over the Giants, who can secure a top-eight finish with a win.
Home wins over Hull FC and Wigan this month have certainly given new Huddersfield head coach Simon Woolford plenty to work on and they will be a tough test for Castleford. The handicap of ten is a tricky one so it makes sense to back a couple of the players among the points of late to add to their tallies.
First up is the rampant Darnell McIntosh, who made it eight tries in seven games with another brace against Wigan. Having made his Super League debut for Huddersfield less than eighteen months ago he's building up a phenomenal strike-rate and looks an England player in the making.
Former Giants man and last season's top tryscorer Greg Eden has been limited to just six league starts in an injury-hit campaign for Castleford but has still managed three tries, including one against his old club in April's 40-28 win. He's building up momentum and it would be no surprise to see him strike again.
Back St Helens to win by 1 to 12 points – 2/1
Back Darnell McIntosh to score anytime Castleford Tigers vs Huddersfield Giants – 8/5
Back Greg Eden to score anytime Castleford Tigers vs Huddersfield Giants – Evens