RUGBY LEAGUE fanatic Andrew Day (@AndyDay81) highlights the value for Leeds’ Friday night clash with Leigh.
Leeds Rhinos v Leigh Centurions | Friday 20:00
Super League Round 17 kicks-off at Headingly with Leigh Centurions travelling over the Pennines to face the Leeds Rhinos. Last weekend’s double round of fixtures saw one win and one defeat for each, with both sides seemingly feeling the pinch and failing to back up Friday victories on Bank Holiday Monday.
Leeds were in fine form on Friday night, comfortably dispatching Warrington Wolves 40-0 in a performance reminiscent of their 2015 displays. Performances of that calibre have been few and far between this season and their hit-and-miss form was highlighted by their shock 28-20 defeat to bottom of the table Widnes.
As mentioned last week, after a solid start to their debut Super League campaign, Leigh were in the midst of a nightmare run of results. However, last Friday saw the Centurions turn the corner and record an impressive 26-22 away victory over Hull FC.
This hard-fought success gave fans a reason to be optimistic for the season ahead and again cemented their impressive stat of scoring over 20 points in 60% of their games this season.
Returning trio could be the difference
As impressive as Leeds’ result against Warrington was, their defeat to Widnes showed fragility is still there when missing key players.
Full back Ashton Goulding, utility Brett Delaney, star Half Back Danny McGuire and props Keith Galloway and Carl Ablett were all absent for the defeat at the Vikings.
Whilst Goulding and Delaney are still unavailable, the return of McGuire in particular will be a huge boost to the Rhinos.
The betting angle
Leeds, whilst coming off the back of a shock defeat last week, have a fantastic home record and with the addition of returning players, look good value for a comfortable win.
With most bookmakers offering 10/11 for a Rhinos victory with a -18 handicap, I think it’s worth the risk to take the larger odds on offer at Bet365 for Leeds to win by just two more points with the -19.5 spread backable at 101/100.
The majority of the Rhinos’ tries have come down the flanks this season and whilst wingers Ryan Hall and Tom Briscoe will undoubtedly be a danger, it is the in-form hooker Matt Parcell that shows the most value.
At 5/4 to score at anytime, the Aussie, who is Rhinos top try scorer with 11, looks maximum betting appeal with SkyBet whilst the double can be supported at a sweet 7/2.