The Rugby League Challenge Cup final between Catalans and Warrington may not be the glamour showpiece some fans wanted but it remains a huge clash. Relative newcomers to the competition, the Dragons have never tasted glory, though they came close in 2007 when they were beaten in the final.

In contrast, Warrington have won this famous old trophy eight times, most recently in 2012. They too, however, lost their last final (in 2016) when Hull pipped them in a low scoring game. The big question is, who should you bet on this year?

In terms of the match odds for the 2018 Challenge Cup final, it is no surprise to see the side from the North West as big favourites. The Wolves are priced at best betting odds of 8/15 in our odds comparison. The draw is a whopping 28/1, with the underdogs available at 21/10 with William Hill.

Catalans merely scraped into the Super 8s so realistically this is their only shot at silverware. Their opponents, on the other hand, will feel this could be the first leg of a double. They finished the regular season fourth, some eight points clear of the Dragons.

The sides have met already in the Super 8s and it was the Wolves who were victorious. Their 56-6 victory was a humiliating defeat for Steve McNamara’s men, even if they did rest a number of key players and handed three men their Super League debuts.

Prior to that the rivals played out an entertaining 22-22 draw in Warrington in July, but the reverse fixture also saw the Wire dish out a hammering. Catalans, who had been in the Million Pound game at the end of last season started this campaign badly and a 26-0 loss in front of their own fans was symptomatic of that. They have improved since then but two huge defeats have to have some sort of impact on this match.

Route to the Final

Both sides overcame serial Challenge Cup winners in the semis. The Dragons saw off 12-time winners St Helens 16-35, with Warrington putting Leeds Rhinos to the sword 48-12, to end Leeds’ hopes of a 14th victory in the competition.

In the quarters the duo beat Huddersfield and Wigan respectively, whilst prior to that the men from Perpignan beat minnows Whitehaven 56-10. In the sixth round Wolves beat Canadian side Toronto Wolfpack 66-10, having thrashed fallen giants Bradford 54-6 in the round prior. Catalans survived a minor scare but beat York City Knights 22-34.

Both teams have beaten the best to book their place at Wembley and both are certainly worthy finalists. Of course, only one team can lift the trophy and in truth it’s hard to look past the Wire.

Betting Tips

Warrington may look short at odds of just 8/15 but we actually think that’s pretty decent value. It’s worth noting that those who don’t use our odds comparison to find the best prices could be backing them at just 4/9, the odds offered elsewhere, and significantly lower.

If you want a bigger return then Warrington/Warrington in the half-time/full-time market looks a great option. The Wolves have confidence, form and class on their side and there is no reason to think they shouldn’t be ahead by the break. Backing them at 40 and 80 increases your odds from 8/15 to 6/5 and that’s well worth the extra risk.

For the brave, or those who simply don’t think this will be the underdogs’ day, backing Steve Price’s men to win by 21-30 points may appeal. It is an outside punt but at big odds of 6/1 it may be worth it. That said, we expect a winning margin closer to 15 points, so prefer Warrington by 11-20 at 3/1.


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