Rugby League: Back the Wolves to expose Salford’s soft left side


RUGBY LEAGUE expert Kaine Greenwood (@KaineG23) has bagged two winning Super League NAPs from the opening three weekends. He's back for more on Saturday afternoon.

Salford Red Devils v Warrington Wolves | Saturday 15:00

Well, last week's WLB NAP was something of a disappointment as Junior Sa'u didn't manage to cross the line for Salford against Leeds but we don't lose faith.

Instead, we jump straight back into another Red Devils game looking to hit the target dead centre this time around.

Actually in saying “dead centre” it's probably more accurate to aim just to the left as Warrington visit their Salford counterparts with their eyes on exploiting Salford's weaknesses to score a first win of the season.

Red Devils weak left-hand-side

Salford games so far this year have certainly been entertaining with Ian Watson's men averaging 20 points per-game whilst also holding a negative points difference.

It won't have gone unnoticed to the Wolves' coaching staff that Salford have shipped points and they are sure to take confidence from the fact that the AJ Bell-based club have let their opponents cross 12 times in the opening three rounds.

But it is the fashion in which sides did this, which I think offers up this week's betting opportunity.

In the season-opener the Red Devils conceded five tries to Wigan and four of these were on the left-hand-side. Two of the four they conceded versus Huddersfield came the same way and Leeds used that method of attack for two of three scores last week.

That means three-quarters of the tries allowed by the Greater Manchester club so far in 2017 have been focused/profitable in that area of the field.

Where Wolves hold the edge

The Wolves themselves did score two left-edge tries in defeat to Castleford but both of those fell the widest option in winger Tom Lineham that adds to the belief that left-sided field attacks will be very much on the agenda.

In this particular game I'm minded to support a left centre score by the visitors through Ryan Atkins but certainly wouldn't be shocked to see a Tom Lineham four-pointer (4/5 Betfred) either.

As with the potent 2016 approach that saw either the left centre or winger score for Warrington in 21/36 across all competitions, I think they can bear fruit here again.

The betting angle

Warrington have won the last nine of these fixtures in all competitions and in that time a left-sided player has scored 18 times – eight of those efforts by the centre.

Atkins himself has been the man on the spot for Tony Smith's outfit on 138 occasions (18 v Salford) in what will be his 215th appearance for the Primrose and Blue this weekend.

That is probably enough to consider the 13/8 with Betfred as a worthwhile betting opportunity but when you note the other statistics in support, like the fact the Warrington #4 has scored five tries in his last four against the opposition (he has had back-to-back two-score games) it just has to be the way to go.

Best Bets

Salford Red Devils v Warrington Wolves – Ryan Atkins anytime Tryscorer (13/8 Betfred)

Salford Red Devils v Warrington Wolves – Ryan Atkins to score 2 or more tries (17/2 Betfred)

About Author

A career in sports journalism was my plan until that started-and-stopped when my Uni alarm never went off. At 26, I have spent my adult life (and some of my youth) around the betting boom and relied on its social qualities to bring me interest when those I idolised as a youth fancied taking one-or-two weekends off! I'm still not over England's 2-0 defeat in Croatia but that's another story... and the slip is in the bin. My general sporting interests include football (Leeds United), rugby league (Halifax RLFC) and American football (Miami Dolphins) - not exactly the greatest grouping, I am aware! I take note of most North American sports, with a desire to one day set up camp on South Beach with regular visits to Starbucks. Paralympic sport is what I champion, as a wheelchair user and terrible tennis / basketball player I truly respect what they do. Former Yorkshire disability sports team member. One-time qualified basketball ref. Half-wit Dad. Most other stuff about me isn't printable. May we all have fun...

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