Wigan Warriors are a good bet to lift 20th Challenge Cup
Salford Red Devils could have a good run
Wigan have been waiting five years to add to their record-breaking haul of 19 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup triumphs but this could well be the season the Warriors take their tally to 20.
Shaun Wane’s team, along with the rest of the top eight from last season’s Betfred Super League, enter the competition at the last-16 stage and have been handed a decent draw at injury-hit strugglers Hull KR.
Wigan, who sit second in the Super League, routed the Robins 44-6 on Easter Monday and should progress with the minimum of fuss to make odds of 9-2 look tasty come the quarter-final stage.
The Warriors, along with table-topping St Helens, have been the standout teams of Super League XXII but the league leaders have a tough tie at Castleford, where they were eliminated last season.
Given the draw, Saints and the Tigers can be swerved in the outright betting and so can holders Hull, who go off at shorter odds than in their trophy-winning years of 2016 and 2017 despite having medium-term injury worries over both their star half-backs.
The last shock winners of the Challenge Cup were Sheffield Eagles in 1998 but London, Huddersfield and Hull KR have all contested the final since then.
Of the teams at fancy prices, Salford make most appeal at 40-1. The Red Devils reached the semi-finals last season, when it took Wigan to stop them, and they may enjoy a decent run again.
Ian Watson’s team must first navigate a tricky tie at Championship club Leigh but if they manage that and get some luck in the quarter-final draw then things would get interesting.
With bookmakers offering half the win odds for each-way bets, the 20-1 against Salford reaching the final makes some appeal.
2pts each-way 9-2 Betfred, Sky Bet, 188Bet
1pt each-way 40-1 Betfred, Sky Bet
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