Canberra becomes the centre of the Super Rugby universe on Saturday night as the Brumbies and Force face off for a spot in next week’s Grand Final.
Over in New Zealand it’s a pair of games with little more than pride on the line with their top two locked in for next weekend as well.
We are previewing all three Super Rugby games this weekend below so read on and see who we are backing.
SUPER RUGBY AU QUALIFYING FINAL
Saturday 1 May, 7:45pm, GIO Stadium
Brumbies 21 – Force 9
It has been a phenomenal story seeing the Western Force qualify for the Super Rugby AU Finals this season however I can’t back them to extend the fairytale for another week.
A trip to Brisbane awaits the winner of this match and all signs point to it being the Brumbies.
The reigning champions of Australia have won all four Super Rugby AU games between these sides by a double-digit margin.
Combine the fact that the Force likely left it all on the field just to make the finals last week and the Brumbies coming off a week’s rest, this is a game that could get out of hand.
Back the Brumbies to Cover the Line @ $1.91
SUPER RUGBY AOTEAROA ROUND 10
Friday 30 April, 5:00pm, Sky Stadium
Hurricanes 41 – Highlanders 22
These final round, dead rubber games always have the potential to get a bit crazy with both sides playing for little more than an ego boost.
For some reason the Hurricanes have been installed as favourites despite losing their last three games and being assured of the wooden spoon in Super Rugby Aotearoa.
The Highlanders have not lost a game in 80 minutes since their last clash with the Hurricanes, winning two and losing one in overtime in the month since then.
Chances are this game will finish with both sides in the 30’s and I’ll happily back the visitors to pick up an end of season victory.
Back the Highlanders to Win @ $2.30
Saturday 1 May, 5:00pm, Eden Park
Blues 39 – Chiefs 19
Is momentum more important or is health?
That is the dilemma facing the Chiefs heading into this game with the Super Rugby Aotearoa Grand Final next week.
It sounds like they will be prioritising keeping players fit and healthy with the market favouring a huge Blues victory.
A 12.5 point line in favour of the Blues seems far too high even if the Chiefs rest a few of their stars.
Eight of the last nine games between these teams have finished with a margin of 12 points or less.
Back the Chiefs to Cover +12.5 @ $1.91
Friday 10 April, 3:00pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium
Saturday 11 April, 2:45pm, Eden Park
Saturday 11 April, 7:15pm, Suncorp Stadium
Saturday 11 April, 11:05pm, Jonsson Kings Park
Sunday 12 April, 1:15am, Loftus Versfeld
Sunday 12 April, 4:05pm, GIO Stadium
We have reached a very interesting point in the Super Rugby season.
The Crusaders have kicked clear at the top of the New Zealand Conference, but all five teams remain in the mix in the South African Conference and the Waratahs are now only a win behind the Rebels in the Australian Conference.
There are a number of huge games this weekend and our complete 2019 Super Rugby tips can be found below.
Friday 26 April, 5:35pm, AMI Stadium
Crusaders 36 – Lions 10
It is no surprise that the Crusaders will start this clash as dominant favourites.
They have won their past 11 matches as home favourites, but even more impressive is the fact that they are 9-2 against the line in this scenario.
The Lions returned to winning form with a victory over the Chiefs, but there is no doubt that the Crusaders represent a completely different challenge.
The Crusaders have won nine of their past ten meetings with the Lions and they have been a tough side to trust from a betting perspective this season.
They have won only one of their past five games as away underdogs and their record against the line isn’t much better.
The Crusaders should be able to cruise to another comfortable win.
Back The Crusaders To Cover The Line (-19.5 Points)
Friday 26 April, 8:00pm, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
Sunwolves 0 – Highlanders 52
The Highlanders ended their losing streak with a win over the Blues last weekend and they will go into this clash with the Sunwolves as clear favourites.
There have been few sides in Super Rugby this season that have been tougher to trust from a betting perspective than the Highlanders.
They have won only three of their past seven games as away favourites and they have covered the line in only two of their past 11 games on the road.
The Sunwolves may have only won two games this season, but they have played some decent rugby in the process.
They have actually won three of their past seven games as home underdogs for a clear profit and they are 5-2 against the line in this scenario.
There is nowhere near as much between these two teams as the current market suggests and the Sunwolves are great value to cover the line.
Back The Sunwolves To Cover The Line (+10.5 Points)
Saturday 27 April, 7:50pm, Westpac Stadium
Hurricanes 47 – Chiefs 19
The Hurricanes will start this clash with the Chiefs as clear favourites.
The Hurricanes’ only losses this season have come at the hands of the Crusaders, but these two sides did play out a draw six weeks ago.
Westpac Stadium has been a fortress for the Hurricanes and they have won their past seven matches as home favourites, but they are a poor 2-5 against the line in this scenario.
The Chiefs had their winning streak ended by the Lions last weekend, but there is still no doubt that they have improved in the second half of the season.
They have won two of their past five games as away underdogs for a small profit and they are 4-1 against the line in that situation.
The Chiefs can give the Hurricanes a genuine scare and they are a great bet to cover the line with a healthy start.
Back The Chiefs To Cover The Line (+11.5 Points)
Saturday 27 April, 7:45pm, Bankwest Stadium
Waratahs 15 – Sharks 23
The SCG gets a break from Super Rugby this weeekend as the Waratahs host the Sharks at the brand new Bankwest Stadium.
The Waratahs got their season back on track with a narrow win over the Rebels last weekend and they will start this clash as clear favourites.
They have been an unconvincing 3-3 as home favourites this season and their record against the line is identical.
The Sharks season hit a new low when they went down to the Reds last weekend and it doesn’t get any easier for them against the Waratahs.
They have won only one of their past six matches as away underdogs and their record against the line in this scenario is no better.
The Waratahs should win this clash comfortably, but there is no value at their current price.
Saturday 27 April, 11:05pm, Newlands
Stormers 24 – Bulls 23
The Ladbrokes market suggests that this will be the most competitive match of the weekend in Super Rugby and there is plenty on the line for both sides.
The Stormers went down to the Brumbies last weekend, but they will still go into this clash with the Bulls as narrow favourites.
They have won three of their past four games as home favourites and they have covered the line in each of these victories.
Winning back-to-back games has proven to be an issue for the Bulls throughout this season and they have done so only once in the past 12 months.
They have won only two of their past seven games on the road and the home side has won ten of the past 12 games played between these two sides.
This is close to a must-win game for the Stormers and I expect them to get the job done.
Back The Stormers To Cover The Line (-1.5 Points)
Sunday 28 April, 7:45am, Estadio Jose Amalftiani
Jaguares 20 – Brumbies 15
The Brumbies go into this clash with the Jaguares on the back of a rare win in South Africa following their victory over the Stormers last weekend.
They will still be underdogs in this clash, but they have now won three of their past eight games as away underdogs for a clear profit and they are 6-2 against the line in this scenario.
The Jaguares have recorded two big wins on the trot to get them right back in the finals mix and they need to continue that momentum.
They have won their past four games as home favourites and they have covered the line in every single one of these victories.
This is a game that the market does look to have just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
All four Australian Super Rugby sides were beaten in Round 10 and it doesn’t get much easier for them this weekend.
The Waratahs are on the bye, but the three remaining Australian franchises face very tough assignments.
We have analysed all six games set to take place this weekend and our complete 2018 Super Rugby round 11 tips can be found below.
Friday 27 April, 5:35pm, Westpac Stadium
Hurricanes 43 – Sunwolves 15
In a worrying sign for their visitors, the Hurricanes enter this game on a six match winning streak and are showing no signs of slowing down.
They have claimed plenty of big scalps in that time including a monumental win over the Crusaders and that form has them as almost unbackable favourites here.
As for the still winless Sunwolves, they are allowing a concerning 40+ points per game and the Hurricanes will be looking to fine tune their attack.
When playing outside the New Zealand Conference the Hurricanes average points scored goes up significantly but even so, a margin that big is too much for me to back with any confidence.
Friday 27 April, 11:05pm, DHL Newlands
Stormers 34 – Rebels 18
Week two of the Rebels’ South African tour and they are in desperate need of a win here to avoid losing touch with the suddenly resurgent Waratahs.
Unfortunately for them they face a Stormers side that has won nine of their last 11 matches at home, losing only to the Lions and Chiefs last season.
After starting off the season so well, the Rebels attack has dried up significantly topping 20 points just once in the last three matches.
Perhaps the only reason for the Rebels to feel confident is the fact the Stormers have lost three straight but even so, I am still backing the better side at home.
Back the Stormers to Cover -14.5 @ $2
Saturday 28 April, 3:05pm, Suncorp Stadium
Reds 27 – Lions 22
Queensland gets its annual Saturday afternoon game and the one time easy-beat Lions are heavy favourites to come away with a win at Suncorp Stadium.
After starting the season off with a relentless defensive approach, the Reds travel schedule has begun to catch up with them, as they are not playing with the same vigour from the early rounds.
The Lions showed no ill effects of their travel to Australia, blanking the Waratahs last weekend and they will be ready to put on a show with a big win.
Back the Lions to Cover -12.5 @ $1.91
Saturday 28 April, 5:35pm, Eden Park
Blues 13 – Jaguares 20
While the Blues may be struggling to beat the other New Zealand sides, they are still playing well against their non-conference opponents.
Their schedule has seen them take on the mantle of road warriors so far with just two of their first eight games coming at Eden Park.
Travel is not something that bothers the Jaguares as they are used to playing away from home and are in the middle of a four game trip which has already yielded two wins.
The Blues will represent a step up in class over their last two opponents but their style should allow them to keep the game close.
Back the Jaguares to Cover +9.5 @ $1.91
Saturday 28 April, 7:45pm, GIO Stadium
Brumbies 8 – Crusaders 21
Facing the defending champions who are on a four match winning streak is not necessarily the remedy for a two match losing streak.
With the Australian Super Rugby losing streak to New Zealand teams now sitting at 35 matches, the Brumbies are considered long shots to end that streak.
The Crusaders are well and truly over their mid-March blip winning their last four matches by a combined total of 120-47.
While we know they are a phenomenal attacking side, their defence in recent weeks has been what is most impressive and with the Brumbies only topping 25 points twice this season, it is hard to see them keeping up with the Crusaders.
Back the Crusaders to Cover -14.5 @ $1.91
Sunday 29 April, 1:15am, Loftus Versfeld
Bulls 28 – Highlanders 29
The round closes out with the most intriguing contest and the closest matchup from a market perspective.
The Highlanders have built up some good momentum to start the season but will receive a solid test from a Bulls side looking for at least a wild card spot.
However this will be their first trip outside New Zealand all season which does put them at a disadvantage.
At home the Bulls are a solid side going 3-1 so far this year with each win being by a bigger margin than the last.
It should be a tight match that goes down to the wire, do not be surprised if it is very high scoring as both sides love to pile on the points but I am backing the home side to spring an upset here.
Back the Bulls to Win @ $2.60
It looks set to be another tough weekend for Australian teams in Super Rugby.
The Rebels host the Lions, the Reds face a tough challenge against the Chiefs in New Zealand and the Waratahs play the Blues before the Force take on the Sharks in South Africa.
We have analysed all games set to take place in Super Rugby this weekend and below you can find our complete 2017 Super Rugby Round 11 tips.
Friday 5 May, 5:35pm, Westpac Stadium
Hurricanes 41 - Stormers 22
The Hurricanes have lost only one game in Super Rugby so far this season and they will start this clash as clear favourites.
They went into the bye with a comprehensive win over the Brumbies and they have now won their past nine games as home favourites, while they are 6-3 against the line.
The Stormers have lost three games on the trot since their positive start to the season and it doesn’t get any easier against the Hurricanes.
They have lost their past two games as away underdogs and they have covered the line in just one of their past four games when being given a start.
The Hurricanes should be able to cruise to another victory and cover the line in the process.
Back The Hurricanes To Beat The Line (-21.5 Points)
Saturday 6 May, 3:00am, Toyota Stadium
Cheetahs 41 - Highlanders 45
The Highlanders have won five games on the trot and they are clear favourites to account for a Cheetahs outfit that has really struggled in recent weeks.
The Highlanders have been able to put some big scores on their rivals in recent weeks and they really do look as though they will be too strong for the Cheetahs.
They have won four of their past five games as away favourites and more impressively they have the same record against the line.
The Cheetahs have not won a game since they bear the Sunwolves almost two months ago and they face another tough challenge this weekend.
They have won only one of their past six games as home underdogs and they are 3-3 against the line in this scenario.
The Highlanders can carry on their winning ways and the line of 13.5 points will not be anywhere near enough.
Back The Highlanders To Beat The Line (-13.5 Points)
Saturday 6 May, 3:00pm, AAMI Park
Rebels 10 - Lions 47
The Lions started their Australian Tour with a win over the Force and they are clear favourites to win again against the Rebels this weekend.
The Lions have won six games on the trot and there is plenty to suggest that they should have no problems accounting for the Rebels on Saturday afternoon.
They have won all three of their previous games against the Lions and they 3-0 as away favourites, but they have failed to cover the line in their past three games in this scenario.
The Rebels produced their worst effort of the season to suffer a heavy defeat at the hands of the Kings and it is tough to back them after that performance.
They have won only one of their past six games as home underdogs and they are 2-4 against the line in this scenario.
This is a game that the market looks to have got just about right and I am happy to stay out of from a betting standpoint.
Saturday 6 May, 5:35pm, Yarrow Stadium
Chiefs 46 - Reds 17
The Chiefs have not been particularly convincing in recent weeks, but they still go into this clash with the Reds as clear favourites.
While the Chiefs have won plenty of games, they have been tough to trust from a betting perspective – they have won four of their past five games as home favourites, but they are only 2-3 against the line in this scenario.
A lack of discipline cost the Reds badly against the Waratahs last weekend and they let slip a vital opportunity to score a win over their rivals.
The Reds have lost their past five games as away underdogs and their record against the line in this scenario is not much better.
This is another game where it is difficult to find value and this is another fixture that I am happy to stay out of.
Saturday 6 May, 7:45pm, Allianz Stadium
Waratahs 33 - Blues 40
The Blues returned to winning form against the Brumbies this weekend and they are clear favourites to account for the Waratahs this weekend.
The Blues have proven to be a very reliable betting proposition in Super Rugby this season as they generally win when they are favourites and lose when they are underdogs.
They have won their past four games as away favourites and they are an impressive 3-1 against the line in this scenario.
The Waratahs showed plenty of fight to record a narrow victory over the Reds, but they face a much tougher assignment against the Blues.
The Waratahs have won one of their past two games as home underdogs, but they have generally been a difficult team to trust from a betting perspective and they struggle to record back-to-back wins.
Backing the Blues as favourites has proven to be a profitable betting play all season long and there is no reason to jump off this weekend.
Back The Blues To Beat The Line (-5.5 Points)
Saturday 6 May, 11:05pm, Growthpoint Kings Park
Sharks 37 - Force 21
The Sharks have never lost to the Force and they are clear favourites to continue that this weekend.
It has been an unusual season for the Sharks as they are still a genuine chance of playing finals football, despite the fact that they have not looked particularly impressive.
The Sharks have won six of their past seven games as home favourites, but they are only 3-4 against the line in this scenario.
The Force have struggled to win games so far this season, but they have played some solid football in recent weeks and were not disgraced against the Lions last weekend.
They have not won any of their past seven games as away underdogs, but they are 5-2 against the line in this scenario.
The Sharks have struggled to put away teams so far this season and the Force are a good bet to cover the line with a healthy start.
Back The Force To Beat The Line (+14.5 Points)
Sunday 7 May, 1:15am, Loftus Versfeld
Bulls 24 - Crusaders 62
The Crusaders are yet to be beaten in Super Rugby this season and they are clear favourites to maintain their unbeaten record this weekend.
The Super Rugby title favourites have scored over 40 points in their past five games and they have been able to run over a number of their rivals so far this season.
They have now won four of their past five games as away favourites, but they are only 2-3 against the line in this scenario.
The Bulls made it two wins on the trot with a fighting victory over the Cheetahs and there is no doubt that they have improved since their shock loss at the hands of the Sunwolves.
They have won five of their past six games in front of their home fans and their record against the Crusaders in South Africa is nothing short of outstanding.
This is a tricky game for the Crusaders and it would not surprise if the Bulls are able to give them a scare this weekend.
Back The Bulls To Beat The Line (+12.5 Points)
Sunday 7 May, 7:40pm, Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Jaguares 46 - Sunwolves 39
The Jaguares are the shortest-priced favourites in Super Rugby this weekend and they are almost unbackable favourites to account for the Sunwolves.
The Jaguares have lost four games on the trot following their promising start to the season and they continue to be a tough side to trust from a betting perspective.
They have won five of their past seven games as home favourites, but they are only 3-4 against the line in this situation.
The Sunwolves were far from disgraced against the Chiefs last weekend and they have played some quality rugby in recent weeks.
They have lost their past nine games as away underdogs, but they have been a profitable 6-3 against the line in this situation.
There isn’t as much between these two teams as the current betting market suggests and the Sunwolves can beat the line with the healthy start.
Back The Sunwolves To Beat The Line (+22.5 Points)
The highlight of round 11 of the 2016 Super Rugby season is on Saturday afternoon when the Chiefs and Highlanders do battle in what should be a very exciting New Zealand Derby.
The Sharks and Hurricanes will clash in another crucial game on Saturday night before the round concludes in the early hours of Sunday morning when the Blues travel to South Africa for a clash with the hapless Kings.
Friday 6 May, 5:35pm, AMI Stadium
Crusaders 38 - Reds 5
The Crusaders have now won seven games on the trot and they go into this clash with the Reds as almost unbackable favourites.
The Crusaders have lost just one of their past eight games as favourites and they are a profitable 5-3 against the line as the punter’s elect.
The Reds have played some improved rugby in recent weeks, but they will face a much stiffer challenge against the Crusaders than they did against the Cheetahs.
They have won just one of their past seven games as away underdogs and their record against the line in this scenario is a very poor 2-5.
This game could get very ugly and if the Crusaders perform at anywhere near their best they will have no problems covering the line of 19.5 points.
Recommended Bet: Back The Crusaders To Beat The Line (-19.5 Points)
Friday 6 May, 7:45pm, GIO Stadium
Brumbirs 23 - Bulls 6
This is a crucial game for the Brumbies as they have lost two games on the trot and have been leapfrogged on top of the Australian Conference by the Rebels.
The Brumbies will still go into this game as clear favourites, but they have struggled as the punter’s elect in the past 12 months and they are 2-4 against the line as home favourites.
The Bulls have flown under the radar somewhat, but they have now won five games on the trot.
In saying that, those wins came against the likes of the Reds and the Sunwolves and this is easily the toughest test that they have faced for over a month.
The Bulls have lost their past four games as away underdogs and their record against the line in this scenario is a middling 2-2.
This is a match that the market seems to have got just about right and I am more than happy to stay out of it from a betting perspective.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Saturday 7 May, 3:15pm, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
Sunwolves 22 - Force 40
This could be one of the best chances that the Sunwolves have to record another win in front of their home fans.
The Sunwolves went into the bye on the back of their first ever Super Rugby victory over the Jaguares, but they will still start this game as clear underdogs.
The Japanese side may have only won a single game, but they have been a profitable betting play as home underdogs and they are 4-1 against the line in this scenario.
This will be just the third time in the past 12 months that the Force have started a game as favourites and they actually lost both of those fixtures, while they have a very poor record against the line in just about every metric.
The Sunwolves are more than capable of pulling off an upset over the hapless Force and the $2.38 currently on offer is a good price.
Recommended Bet: Back The Sunwolves To Win @ $2.38
Saturday 7 May, 5:35pm, FMG Stadium
Chiefs 13 - Highlanders 26
This a crucial New Zealand Derby and could be a preview for the Super Rugby finals.
The Chiefs will start this game as clear favourites and will be chasing their eighth straight victory following their narrow victory over the Sharks last weekend.
While the Chiefs have been winning, they have not been a particularly profitable betting side in the past 12 months and they are 2-4 against the line as home favourites.
The Highlanders returned to winning form against the Brumbies last weekend and there is plenty to suggest that they could record an upset win this weekend.
They have won three of their past five games as away underdogs and they have been a profitable team against the line in this scenario.
This will be a very close contest and I am keen to back the Highlanders with a start of 6.5 points.
Recommended Bet: Back The Highlanders To Beat The Line (+6.5 Points)
Saturday 7 May, 7:45pm, Allianz Stadium
Waratahs 21 - Cheetahs 6
The Waratahs have got themselves back in the hunt in the Australian Conference after back-to-back wins over the Force and the Stormers and they are clear favourites to make it three wins on the trot.
The Waratahs have not been a profitable betting team as favourites this season, but they do have a positive record against the line when giving away a big start and they have scored plenty of points in recent weeks.
The Cheetahs were awful against the Reds last weekend and they have won just one of their past six fixtures.
They have won just a single game as away underdogs in the past 12 months and their record against the line in this scenario is a poor 2-4.
The Waratahs should prove far too strong for Cheetahs and they are a great bet to cover the line this weekend.
Recommended Bet: Back The Waratahs To Beat The Line (-16.5 Points)
Saturday 7 May, 11:00pm, Growthpoint Kings Park
Sharks 32 - Hurricanes 15
There has been very little between the Sharks and the Hurricanes historically and betting suggests that this will be the closest game of the round.
The Hurricanes will start this game as favourites following their big win over the Lions in South Africa last weekend and they have proven a very safe bet as favourites this season, while they are 3-1 against the line as the punter’s elect away from home in the past 12 months.
The Sharks were far from disgraced against the Chiefs last weekend, but they continue to struggle to beat the best teams in the competition.
This will be the first time that they have started a home game as underdogs in the past 12 months, but it should be noted that they have an outstanding record of 6-1 against the line when they are given a start.
You can make an argument for backing both these sides, but I think that the market has got the prices just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Sunday 8 May, 1:10am, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Kings 18 - Blues 34
This will be the first ever meeting between the Kings and the Blues and the Blues will start this game as dominant favourites.
The Blues scored a tough victory over the Rebels last weekend after beating the Sharks previously and they have now improved their record as favourites in the past 12 months to 3-1-1, but they have not covered the line in their past five games as favourites.
The Kings put up another pitiful performance against the Jaguares last weekend and their record at home is truly horrendous – they are 0-4 in both head to head betting and line betting in this scenario.
While the Blues do have a very poor record against the line in recent seasons, if they play at anywhere near their best they will prove far too strong for the Kings and the line of 25.5 points will not be enough.
Recommended Bet: Back The Blues To Beat The Line (-25.5 Points)