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The Betfred Championship competition gets underway on Friday 2nd February when Sheffield Eagles travel to Dewsbury to take on the Rams in the opener. Toulouse Olympique XIII host Swinton Lions in the Saturday afternoon kick-off, with all of the remaining round one fixtures being played on Sunday afternoon. Featherstone Rovers are at home to Halifax, Barrow Raiders make the long trip south to take on the London Broncos which relegate Leigh Centurions take part in probably the most eagerly anticipated game of the weekend as they host the Toronto Wolfpack in a game which will set the scene for the season. The final game of the weekend is Rochdale Hornets against Batley Bulldogs. But who do the bookies think will make it into the all-important top four places and a shot at promotion in the middle eights? There are four clear favourites with the bookies to make the top four and join the bottom four from Super League after the opening twenty-three rounds of the competition. Few will be surprised that 2017 Million Pound Game losers, the Leigh Centurions, are firm odds-on favourites to top the table at the end of the regular rounds. New boys, and big spenders, Toronto Wolfpack are 6/4 to finish top and cast iron favourites to join Leigh in the top four. The only other sides who the bookies think will fare well in 2018 are Featherstone Rovers (16/1 to finish top of the pile) and Toulouse Olympique XIII (20/1). The bookies can’t see beyond these four sides going into the Super Eights Middle Eight with Halifax a 50/1 for top spot, the next favouites. The sides tipped to struggle are Barrow, Sheffield and Dewsbury and you can get odds of 200/1 or higher on any of these sides to top the table after twenty-three rounds. Remember, only bet what you can afford to lose. In Summary; Leigh Centurions, Toronto Wolfpack, Featherstone Rovers and Toulouse Olympique XIII to make the Middle Eights competition.  
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