Bradford can be bullish about their chances
A resurgent Bradford Bulls host a dominant St Helens side at the Odsal Stadium in what should be a cracking Super League fixture.
The Bulls have recorded two solid wins in their last two games, overcoming Harlequins most recently 30-16 and beating Salford 28-14, they will be full of confidence as they know a win could put them back into the play-off position.
Saints have had a similar run in their last two games, recording high scoring wins. Most recently they hammered Leeds Rhinos 42-16 at home after beating Crusaders 28-12 at home also. But their last trip away from Halton Stadium ended up in defeat.
The two wins for Bradford will be a boost, but it is the game against Saints that will give a clear indication as to whether the Bulls can mix it with the teams at the upper end of the table.
Bradford will have the added bonus of not having any players participate in the International Origin match when England face the Exiles. St Helens on the other hand will have Tony Puletua and Iosia Soliola featured in the Exiles squad with James Graham, James Roby and Michael Shenton in the England squad.
The Bulls are 12/5 to get their third win in a row while Saints are very short favs at 3/10, but with so many of their squad potentially featuring on Friday night there might be some value to backing the Bulls who should have a fully rested squad.
The Bulls will also be boosted by the news that hooker Heath L'Estrange has signed a new deal, the Australian was named player of the year in his debut season at Odsal and he will be a big boost.
Saints start the game as 10 point favourites at 10/11 on our handicap markets, but it might be worth backing Bradford with the big head start.
Jamie Foster is the spearhead of the Saints attack, and he isn't featuring in the International match which should be good news for the Merseyside outfit.
If the bulls are going to win, id imagine they will do it by the narrowest of margins, as despite having five players in the International match the Saints are still a strong side, you can get 11/2 that Bradford will win by a margin of 1-5 and 9/2 that they will record a 6-10 point win.
With home advantage the Bulls will look to get off to a quick start and they could be a good bet at 11/8 to register the first scoring points of the game.
Although the Saints are heavy favourites for this, I think the drain on their squad coupled with the upturn in form for Bradford could see a shock here. I could be backing Bradford to win, with a covering bet on the handicap market.