The Challenge Cup semi-final draw threw up an intriguing West Yorkshire derby clash between Leeds and Castleford but it looks like the Rhinos will be the ones heading to Wembley at the end of the month.
Brian McDermott’s charges are Totesport’s 1/3 favourites to come out on top while the Tigers are Stan James’ 3/1 outsiders and by giving little away where the improved Rhinos are concerned, bookies look to have called it correctly.
As they are expected to prevail, Leeds are significantly penalised in the handicaps, Skybet for example giving last year’s runners-up a ten-point start to cover at 10/11. However, at identical odds, Sportingbet give the Headingley outfit just eight points to overhaul and on those terms, McDermott’s men are worth a flutter.
That’s not to say Castleford won’t be competitive of course, with stand-off Rangi Chase in-form, they will also be a threat and the Kiwi is a tasty 5/4 with Totesport to cross the whitewash for a try at some stage.
Also worth considering to grab a try at any time, is Leeds second-rower Ali Lauititi (2/1, Coral), who has a knack of reaching out an arm to touchdown when the Rhinos are building pressure on the opposition line but in terms of breaking the deadlock, prolific Leeds winger Ryan Hall is the best bet at 8/1 with Coral.