Rugby league betting tips: Ian Millward's weekend Super League & NRL preview

Grand Final winner Ian Millward previews the latest round of games and tips St Helens to win on Sunday.

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Recommended bets: Super League & NRL

2pts double Wigan (-10) & Huddersfield (-14) at 3/1 - Wigan to deliver on an emotional night, while Giants look too good for struggling Leigh

3pts South Sydney (+4) to beat North Queensland at 11/10 - With Origin players returning after midweek exertions, Cowboys look vulnerable against improving Rabbitohs

St Helens v Catalans (+12) – Sunday, 1500 BST

I think this one will be a high-scoring game – over in the total points market looks a play. History shows these two produce high-scoring contests.

Catalans have won five out of seven against St Helens so they do hold a very good record against Saints. However, St Helens won the previous game between the sides this season.

The big thing for Saints is even though they had a grinding win last week, they are still struggling to score points. However, they will have Jon Wilkin back from suspension for this one.

They are getting into the habit of grinding out wins and look more equipped to win this game, especially with home advantage. Injuries continue to stack up for the visitors and Saints’ defence looks the more reliable.

St Helens can win and cover in a high-scoring game.

Castleford v Salford (+12) – Friday, 2000 BST, Sky Sports 3

When these two met earlier in the season, Salford edged it 13-12. Salford have actually won three of the last four against Cas and you look at that and think they may have the wood on them.

But they’ve won just two of their last seven against all opponents and Cas always have points in them. When they need to score they have gears in their attacking options to respond and deliver what’s needed.

The biggest problem for Cas will be keeping their concentration for 80 minutes. Any 80-minute performance will see them cover the start.

Salford have a poor record over a long period of time at Castleford. I know recent history goes the other way but I think Cas will be too quick and too skilful - Cas to win and cover.

Huddersfield v Leigh (+14) – Friday, 2000 BST

Huddersfield have really picked up after a poor start and a win here will secure them a top-eight spot for the mid-season split.

However, I feel for them it’s all about staying up – they only need one win from their last two regular-season games now so it should happen.

I think Leigh have got to focus on their survival bid. In the bottom four, they will enter the Middle Eight play-off to maintain their status. They looked flat last week and may do again.

I think Huddersfield will have too much speed for Leigh. They lack genuine pace to compete well.

Since the pitches have become drier, teams with a bit more skill and speed have found them out. Huddersfield have that and are also at home.

The Giants have regularly been keeping their team on the field which is a big bonus for them and I don’t see anything but a Huddersfield win. They should cover the start too.

Leeds v Hull (+2) – Friday, 2000 BST

History shows Hull have a very poor record in this game. Leeds have won the last six in a row against them and if Leeds can win this they can lock up second spot.

Kallum Watkins is out, he’s a genuine strike centre, but this completes a tough back-to-back road trip for Hull. The St Helens game last week took a bit out of them.

Leeds can dominate the ruck again and give a chance for their backs to enjoy themselves. The Rhinos to win and cover for me in this one.

Widnes (+2) v Wakefield – Friday, 2000 BST

Wakefield have already posted two wins against Widnes this year and they only lost by one point to leaders Castleford last week. They controlled the rhythm of the game but the ability of Cas to score points told in the end.

Meanwhile, Widnes managed zero points last week against Huddersfield. They are really missing Rhys Hanbury at full-back. Off the back of Rangi Chase, those two would be creating points.

I don’t know where Widnes’ focus is right now. Are they getting ready for those bottom four v Championship matches? It’s certainly hard to trust a team who couldn’t score points only last week and with that in mind, Wakefield should win and cover. They are the more consistent team.

Wigan v Warrington (+10) – Thursday, 2000 BST, Sky Sports 3

I think this will be a pretty emotional game for any Wigan fan. It’s Sean O’Loughlin’s 400th for the club and he's been one of my favourite Super League players.

He’s such a composed player, one with an abundance of skill and toughness. I had the pleasure of working with him during his early days and he’s also one of the nicest blokes off the field - I’ve written more about him here.

As for the match itself, Wigan have won two out of three against Warington this year with the other game drawn so they’ve had the edge. Liam Farrell is out for Wigan but they’ve started to get into winning form and have made a habit of scoring points.

The big thing for Warrington is the return of Ben Currie. He’s potentially the best English forward in the game.

They beat Leigh last week but they looked very flat and if you look at Warrington’s results, their wins have come mainly against the bottom teams – they don’t win many against those further up the table.

I expect Wigan to win and cover the start in this one.


Newcastle (+10) v Brisbane – Saturday, 0830 BST, Premier Sports

Brisbane have a lot of players backing up from Origin duty in midweek - but they’ve been playing well and have only lost one hame in their last 11 matches.

The Knights are continually conceding a lot of points each game and I think with Brisbane still moving the ball around they will expose Newcastle’s poor defence.

Brisbane to win and cover.

Manly v Wests (+14) – Sunday, 0500 BST, Premier Sports

Manly are a top-four team and Wests are running second last but I like this one as a bit of a long shot.

Wests receive a big start in this one and their last couple of performances suggest they can cover. They won against Newcastle when they dominated and they have the return of a couple of Origin players in James Tedesco and Aaron Woods.

I can see Manly winning but a 14-point start is a lot - too big in my opinion.

The Tigers have an ability to score tries and are playing with a much better attitude at the moment - Wests with the start for me.

South Sydney (+4) v North Queensland – Sunday, 0700 BST, Premier Sports

North Queensland have an abundance of players back from Origin but South Sydney look like they are about to springboard in to a real shot at the top eight.

Their forwards have been more aggressive and physical than earlier in the year, backed up by Adam Reynolds’ kicking game.

North Queensland look very vulnerable here. Souths have the ability to score points and the Cowboys’ do have some players who could be a bit flat after Wednesday.

Souths could cause the upset and win but definitely look the bet to cover.

Posted at 1230 BST & updated at 1755 BST on 13/07/17.

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