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Super League betting tips: 16/1 Ken Sio can shine for steady Salford

The new Super League season is set to burst into action this week and the Racing Post's Alex Hilton has selected his best bets for the regular season ahead of the launch.

There are some potential questions to be answered by reigning kingpins St Helens under new management but Salford Red Devils finished last season in a good place and can shine again, with prolific winger Ken Sio a confident pick to go well in the Regular Season Top Tryscorer market once more. 

Top tips

Huddersfield Giants to win the Grand Final @ 14/1 each-way

Salford Red Devils top-six finish @ 11/4

Wakefield Trinity to finish bottom @15/8

Bevan French regular-season top tryscorer @ 9/2

Ken Sio regular-season top tryscorer @ 16/1

Odds correct at time of publishing and subject to change.

Season preview

St Helens created Super League history last season, winning the title for the fourth consecutive year, and the chasing pack have plenty to do to stop Saints landing a famous five.

However, the champions start the 2023 campaign with a new face in the dugout, as club legend Paul Wellens has been tasked with the job of continuing the amazing work done by predecessors Kristian Woolf and Justin Holbrook.

That's just about enough to leave a small question mark next to the 17-time champions heading into the new term.

Only four names have been etched on to the Super League trophy since its inception in 1996 but a new name could be up in lights come October.

Grand Final winner

Saints are 15/8 favourites to land the big prize once more but there is plenty of value lower down the list, with last year's runners-up Leeds tempting at 13/2, but, at a whopping 14/1, Huddersfield Giants look the standout selection to finally crack the Super League cartel.

The Giants finished third last season but were tripped up in the first leg of the playoffs by a fast-finishing Salford Red Devils. 

They were so close to glory in the Challenge Cup final, where they had one hand on the trophy, only to succumb to a Wigan sucker-punch in the final seconds of the match.

Head coach Ian Watson has a fantastic squad at his disposal and he knows what it takes to go all the way having led unfancied Salford to the Grand Final in 2019. 

Wigan will have their say at 10/3, and you take on St Helens at your peril, but the time looks right to take on the favourites and Huddersfield look the best value in the market in that sense.

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Playoff contenders

A place in the end-of-season playoffs means finishing in the top six of the regular season but the competitive nature at the top of the table usually means the chasing pack are left fighting it out for the final two or three places.

Leeds claimed fifth spot last season thanks to a stunning revival under new coach Rohan Smith, and Salford also rallied in the final rounds to pip Castleford Tigers to sixth.

Both Hull sides were in contention but fell away alarmingly, while big-spending Warrington Wolves were the shock of the season as they slumped to an 11th-place finish.

All three have been wheeling and dealing in a bid to avoid repeat failures but, for now, a watching brief looks the best course of action for that trio.

Salford, though, remain a touch of value to make the top six once again.

The Red Devils won only three of their opening 11 Super League fixtures last season but took off under coach Paul Rowley to go within 80 minutes of their second Grand Final in four years, and they look even stronger at the start of 2023.

If they can begin the new campaign as they ended the previous one, then the 11/4 on offer about them finishing in the top six looks a juicy price.

To finish bottom

The last four promoted teams have suffered an immediate relegation to the Championship, but, rebadged as Leigh Leopards and after a hefty recruitment drive, the newly-promoted Lancashire outfit aren't expected to be on the endangered species list as 2/1 shots to finish bottom.

Instead, Wakefield Trinity at 15/8 are favourites to finish bottom of the pile, and that remains a price worth taking.

Toulouse were the latest side to go straight back down last season, but only after Wakey won five of their final seven matches to claw themselves away from danger. 

Trinity hit the bottom last season following two wins from 14 games, and they start the 2023 campaign looking weaker than they did 12 months ago.

Rookie coach Mark Applegarth is in charge and he must pull together a squad that has endured ten exits in the off-season.

Youngster Lewis Murphy is one to watch, but a season of struggle at Belle Vue looks set to be the case and a 56-0 drubbing by Hull FC in their final pre-season outing won't help matters.

Regular season leading try scorer

Wigan winger Bevan French romped away with top tryscorer honours in 2022 with a whopping 33 tries from 22 matches. His achievement was made more remarkable by the fact he missed the opening five weeks of the season through injury.

French looks a great bet at 7/2 to top the regular season tryscorer charts again, and, at a huge 16/1, Salford winger Ken Sio can also be backed with confidence.

Sio followed French home last season with 26 tries, and finished top of the charts in 2021 with 19.

Salford look set to kick on from last season's successes and prolific marksman Sio is expected to play a huge part once more.

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