Rugby League: Wigan odds on for top 6 finish

Nobody seems quite sure how good Wigan Warriors can be this season, least of all themselves.

Three-time Super League champions under Shaun Wane, the cherry and whites failed to hit those same heights under Adrian Lam during the past three seasons.

Lam guided the Warriors to the League Leaders’ Shield in 2020 and they came within a whisker of beating arch-rivals St Helens in that year’s Grand Final.

Saints youngster Jack Welsby, then 19 and the youngest player on the pitch at Hull FC’s KCOM Stadium, scored a winning try after the final hooter in the most dramatic title decider in Super League history.

Lam, the much-liked former Wigan half-back, struggled to conjure a winning formula last term and he departed the DW Stadium at the end of the season.

With Lam gone, Wane has returned in a part-time role which he will combine with his job as England coach in a World Cup year.

But the new head coach at Wigan is Matty Peet, a highly-regarded figure who served as Lam’s assistant having previously spent a number of years in the club’s youth ranks.

With star half-back Jackson Hastings and England centre Oliver Gildart having jumped ship for the NRL, Peet has a tough job on his hands to get Wigan challenging for silverware again.

Yet there is something in the DNA of the famous old club which means that it would be foolish to write them off.

You can get odds of 13/2 with Betfred for Peet’s troops to win the title this year.

However, there is no denying they are rank outsiders given the quality and experience at clubs such as St Helens, Catalans Dragons, Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves.

You would be better off sticking your money on them to finish in the top six at 2/7 with Betfred.

Even when Wigan are fairly bad, they are still fairly good compared to most other teams in the competition.

A season of transition, consolidation and gradual beckons this term, and expect them to finish anywhere between third and sixth.

Certainly it is worth backing them to finish in the top half of the table.

After all, this is Wigan Warriors – arguably the biggest club in the British game.

Odds of 14/1 with Sporting Index for Wigan winger Liam Marshall to finish as Super League’s top try-scorer are also worth a flutter.

Give him a run in the side with no injuries and the homegrown wideman is as prolific as anyone, as he will look to prove in Friday’s opener at Hull Kingston Rovers.