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

St Helens

Our expert columnist, Grand Final winner Ian Millward predicts a victory for St Helens at Wakefield on Sunday.

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2pt double Castleford (-10) and St Helens (-2) at 2.82/1 - Tigers set for a stroll in France while Saints can edge decision over Wakefield

2pt double Penrith (-6) and NZ Warriors (+8) at 3.1/1 - Panthers look more organised and Warriors worth a chance getting a start

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Super League


Wakefield (+2) v St Helens - Sunday, 1500 BST


I have had a lot of admiration for Wakefield this season and their coach Chris Chester has done an excellent job.

They have a good pack of forwards and two very quick wingers but I just wonder whether there will be a little bit of drop off in this game.

Saints have won their last two and I expect them to come out on top in a low-scoring contest - they can win and cover a small start on the handicap.

Wigan v Leeds (+18) - Friday, 2000 BST, Sky Sports Arena


This looks like a non-event for the Rhinos as they have 13 first-team players sidelined and a Challenge Cup semi-final coming up next week.

The Warriors have a great home record against Leeds but lacked a serious killer punch last week in the deafeat to Warrington.

I expect them to re-ignite their season though against an extremely-weakened side and can win and cover here.

Hull FC v Huddersfield (+8) - Friday, 2000 BST


The Giants are in extremely confident mood at the moment but have achieved their goal of not finishing in the bottom four.

So I wonder whether they may relax a little while Hull need victory to give them any chance of getting into the top four. They have lost their last three but look more focused and can win and cover the start.  

Leigh (+6) v Salford - Friday, 2000 BST


Bottom club Leigh have lost their last four games and only managed one try last week in the defeat at Huddersfield.

Having played leaders Castleford last week, Salford go from Royal Ascot to Redcar but simply have better players and should be too quick and skilful for the home side. They can win and cover. 

Catalans (+10) v Castleford - Saturday, 1700 BST, Sky Sports Action


Let's not beat about the bush here - 10 points will not be enough of a start for the Dragons.

They have conceded the most points this season in Super League, while Castleford have scored almost 300 more than the hosts - and conceded over 300 points fewer.

The Tigers will have too much speed and strength and I would definitely be a keen on playing the overs in terms of total points.

This should be a walk in the park for Cas and I make them one of the best bets this weekend to win and cover. 

Warrington v Widnes (+18) - Thursday, 2000 BST, Sky Sports Arena


This game kicks off the final round of the regular season and both sides are currently preparing for battle in the play-offs.

That might mean a lack of intensity - Widnes are bottom of the pile in Super League in terms of points scored and have also lost three out of their last four games. They will be without hooker Aaron Heremaia while the hosts have both Kevin Brown and Matty Russell back from injury.

Ben Currie returned last weekend I think he is the best second-rower in England so the Wolves look too strong. They have won six in a row against Widnes and can do so again and cover the start.  

NRL


Sydney Roosters v Newcastle Knights (+14) - Friday, 0900 BST, Premier Sports


The last four meetings between theses two at this ground have seen the home side win by over 24 points and they will be boosted by the return of numerous players from State Of Origin duty.

The Knights are quite competitive but are still running last in the competiton and tend to capitulate in the last 20 minutes of games so the Roosters for me to win and cover.  

Penrith Panthers v Gold Coast Titans (+4) - Saturday, 0600 BST, Premier Sports


Both teams need a victory here if they are to make the play-offs but the verdict goes to the home side.

This is a game that has the two most exciting young half-backs playing in Australia in Nathan Cleary and Ash Taylor, at 19 and 22 respectively, but I think that the better structure in their play from the Panthers will mean they win and cover. 

North Queensland Cowboys v New Zealand Warriors (+8) - Saturday, 1030 BST, Premier Sports


The Cowboys are the best team in the NRL when it comes to covering the handicap and they have achieved that eight times in a row.

They have won 10 out of 11 at home against the Warriors, who have Shaun Johnson out, but I think that will allow Kieran Foran to get his chance to step up and come to the fore.

North Queensland have been in some tough games recently so I am going for a bit of an upset and will take the visitors getting a start.    

Posted at 1200 BST on 20/07/17.

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