HUDDERSFIELD Giants are looking to defy the odds and prove the bookies wrong in Super League IX.
The McAlpine men are a massive 250/1 to win the 2004 Super League title with Tote bookmakers.
Not surprisingly, last year's treble winners and newly-crowned World Club Champions Bradford Bulls are clear 8/11 favourites.
Not even the most fervent Huddersfield follower would argue that the odds for both clubs won't be too far off the mark.
But what might upset Giants players, fans and officials alike is that they are priced at only 11/2 to finish bottom!
Malcolm Hayes of the Huddersfield Tote bookmakers store in Ramsden Street said: "It will be interesting to see what Giants fans make of their odds for finishing bottom. One or two of the less optimistic may feel it's worth a small wager.
"I don't know if we will get many Giants fans placing a bet on their team to win the competition at these prices, but it might be worth an each way bet.
"I also don't think many of them will want to be putting their money on Bradford or Leeds either, so we expect to see a good few bets on Wigan or St Helens ."
The Giants join Wakefield on 250/1 to win the Super League title, with newly-promoted Salford the outsiders at 500/1.
The City Reds are clear favourites to be relegated, coming in at 8/11, while the Wildcats are 9/2.
But while Giants fans may believe such odds are a little unkind, they are not making Giants head coach Jon Sharp lose any sleep.
"What odds we are given for finishing top, bottom or whatever are something which don't really concern me. I've got far more important things to worry about right now," admitted Sharp.
"I do know it is something the players discuss, and if they find them insulting then it could act as an extra form of motivation.
"But as far as this coach is concerned, the odds mean nothing.
"The statistics that matter to me are those related to playing the game itself.
"It's what happens on the field that counts, and in my opinion we're looking in pretty good shape in that department."
Meanwhile, 11 of the 12 Super League chief executives are spending their second day in a hotel near Harrogate today discussing the salary cap issue.
The one club missing are newly-crowned World Club champions Bradford Bulls, who are mounting their own protest over plans to alter the existing system.
Current salary cap rules allow clubs to spend up to 50% of their income on players' wages, up to a maximum of £1.8m.
This system clearly favours the bigger and more firmly established top-flight sides, something which is reflected in the order of clubs in the full betting prices.
It had been the intention of Giants chief executive Ralph Rimmer at the Super League meeting to apply the pressure on the Bulls to consider his proposal to exclude locally produced players from the salary-cap figure.
But he admits it has been frustrating not to confront Bulls' chairman Chris Caisley over the issues once again.
"I had been looking forward to another full and frank exchange of views with Chris," he said.
"The salary cap has become such a massive issue in the game that we really needed all 12 clubs around the table to try and reach an acceptable solution for all concerned.
"That process has now been hampered."
Full prices for the 2004 Super League title are : 8/11 - Bradford Bulls; 3/1 - Leeds Rhinos; 9/2 - Wigan Warriors; 7/1 - St Helens; 25/1 - Hull FC; 66/1 - Castleford Tigers; 125/1 - London Broncos, Warrington Wolves, Widnes Vikings; 250/1 - Huddersfield Giants, Wakefield Wildcats; 500/1 - Salford City Reds.
The full prices to finish bottom are: 8/11 - Salford City Reds; 9/2 - Wakefield Wildcats; 11/2 Huddersfield Giants, Widnes Vikings; 16/1 - London Broncos; 25/1 - Castleford Tigers, Warrington Wolves; 250/1 - Hull; 500/1 - St Helens; 1000/1 - Wigan; 1500/1 - Leeds; 2000/1 - Bradford Bulls.
TWO new rules will be in operation in Super League IX.
The major change occurs when an attacking player is held up by the defence in the in-goal area and is unable to ground the ball.
Play will be restarted with a play-the-ball 10 metres from the tryline and in line with where the player was held up.
The attacking player held up will play the ball and the tackle count will continue.
The only exception is after the fifth tackle when play will restart with a hand-over.
In the only other change, the captain who wins the toss shall decide whether to kick-off or choose which way he plays.