In the blink of an eye, we are at the final round of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific Regular season and the top eight is all but set.
While movement in the top seven is possible, it would require a surprising upset in a competition not known for them to disturb the established order.
Perhaps the biggest intrigue comes in the unlikely battle for eight place, with the Force still a mathematical chance of pipping the Highlanders.
We’ve got our previews and best bets for Round 15 below so read on and see who we are backing.
Friday 27 May, 5:35pm, Orangetheory Stadium
Crusaders 28 – Reds 15
A likely quarter final preview kicks off Round 15 with the second placed Crusaders hosting the seventh placed Reds and it’s probably not going to be pretty for the Aussie side.
Following the same storyline for the last few weeks, the Reds will continue to battle and scrap their way through matches but the injury list is just too big of an obstacle to overcome.
Against a side like the Crusaders they need far too many things to go their way to have a chance of an upset and losing James O’Connor to a hamstring injury is a massive blow not just for their chances here but of making any noise in the playoffs.
Brad Thorn will want his side to give the Crusaders something to think about ahead of their likely rematch but the hosts will just have too much firepower.
Back the Crusaders to Cover -17.5 @ $1.83
Saturday 28 May, 1:00pm, Churchill Park
Drua 34 – Chiefs 35
For the second time this season, Super Rugby heads to Fiji with Churchill Park in Lautoka, just north of Nadi the venue for this clash.
Last time the Drua utilised that home field advantage and almost pulled off an upset win over the Highlanders, but the Chiefs are a much tougher opponent.
The Chiefs are one of four sides to score over 400 points this season while the Drua have the competition’s second most porous defence, giving up 483 points to date.
For all of their enterprising play, it hasn’t always translated to points on the scoreboard and if the Chiefs get on a roll early, they should be able to run away with it.
As the second match of the round, the Chiefs will need to ensure they take care of business knowing full well that a shock loss could see them drop as low as sixth… not that it is something I’ll be backing.
Back the Chiefs to Cover -15.5 @ $1.91
Saturday 28 May, 5:05pm, Mt Smart Stadium
Moana Pasifika 32 – Brumbies 22
The disappointment of losing to the Blues will have to be shaken off quickly for the Brumbies as they have this final tune up for the playoffs.
With the Chiefs likely taking a bonus point victory off the Fijian Drua, the Brumbies will want maximum points off this game to lock up third spot.
Considering the home side will be backing up from a game on Tuesday night (and a loss to the Force no less), they might not have much left in the tank either.
Look for the Brumbies to put down a marker with a comfortable victory.
Back the Brumbies to Cover the Line
Saturday 28 May, 7:45pm, Leichhardt Oval
Waratahs 17 – Blues 20
This is going to be the toughest game to tip of the weekend as it really could go in many different directions depending on how they want to approach it.
For the Blues they are facing the rest or rust dilemma having already wrapped up top spot on the Super Rugby ladder after a bruising battle in Canberra last week.
As for the Waratahs, by the time this game kicks off, they’ll know a bit more about their likely finishing position and assuming things go the way we expect them to, will know they cannot finish lower than sixth.
Chances are that is where they will wind up ahead of a likely Quarter Final against the Brumbies so they may even opt for a rest policy themselves.
However, with the coaching staff looking to maintain their momentum they will likely look to go all out in this one.
For that reason, the Waratahs might actually have a chance of pulling off an upset here.
Back the Waratahs to Win @ $2.38
Saturday 28 May, 10:00pm, HBF Park
Force 27 – Hurricanes 22
A midweek win over Moana Pasifika kept the Rebels slim finals hopes alive and they will still be in with a chance when they kick off against the Hurricanes in the wild west.
They will need a pair of miracles to earn a shot at the Blues next weekend but it’s tough to see things breaking their way.
Even if the Hurricanes are locked into fifth place by kickoff, they will want to keep their momentum going on the back of three straight wins.
It might not be an easy game however with the Force capable of causing a few scares at HBF Park and the Hurricanes losing two of their three games in Australia so far.
Travelling to Perth could be a bit of an equaliser in a game that the Hurricanes would have likely otherwise ran away with.
Back the Force to Cover the Line
Sunday 29 May, 2:05pm, AAMI Park
Rebels 31 – Highlanders 30
It could all be academic for the Highlanders by Sunday afternoon, anything less than a win for the Force on Saturday means this game amounts to little more than a training run with a finals spot already locked up.
There is a case to be made for the Rebels to possibly spring an upset if this is a dead rubber, especially considering their form at home has not been awful, with their last three games being decided by a combined total of 11 points.
However with their season done and dusted and only the visitors having something to play for, I’ll back the Highlanders to win this one comfortably.
Back the Highlanders to Cover -8.5 @ $1.91
Super Rugby Trans Tasman Round 3
As much fun as some of the clubs had during Super Rugby AU, the Trans Tasman version has been nothing short of a nightmare for the Australian sides.
In fact you pinpoint the exact moment when the last bit of goodwill from that epic Grand Final at Suncorp Stadium evaporated and it was 336 hours almost to the second from James O’Connor’s last gasp try.
Since then, all ten matches have gone the way of the Kiwi sides with the local champion Reds on the wrong end of a Richie Mo’unga masterclass on Saturday night.
Unsurprisingly, our Super Rugby Trans Tasman Round 3 preview has taken the one sided nature of the competition into account.
Read on and see who we are backing this weekend.
Friday 28 May, 5:00pm, McLean Park
Hurricanes 43 – Western Force 6
Were this match taking place in Perth, I would probably find a way to talk myself into thinking the Force have a shot of at least covering the line.
For the same reason that I would give the Perth based side a chance at home, I’m also giving them next to no chance here.
Scoring has not been an issue for the Hurricanes over their two games so far, putting 64 past the Waratahs in Round 1 and a further 35 on the Rebels last week.
Also working in their favour is the fact the Rebels have not been able to score a whole lot of points in recent weeks, failing to top 20 points in each of their last three games.
They have tallied just 34 points across their two Super Rugby Trans Tasman games and when you struggle to score, you cannot keep pace with a side that much better than you.
Even with their innate ability to be a real pain against much classier side than them, the trip to Napier is going to be too much for the Force here.
Back the Hurricanes to Cover -21.5 @ $1.91
Saturday 29 May, 3:00pm, WIN Stadium
Waratahs 28 – Crusaders 54
A Saturday afternoon Super Rugby game in Wollongong should be a beautiful, picturesque sight, although that’s shaping up as the only pleasant thing about this fixture for the Waratahs.
Unless the Crusaders somehow get lost and wind up in Wodonga, forcing the 23 fittest guys in Crusaders jerseys in the stands to take to the pitch, the Tahs have no hope, head to head and against the line.
If you thought the masterclass they put on at Suncorp Stadium was spectacular, just wait to see how many tries they might put up here.
Over two rounds, the Tahs have given up 112 points and if things do go awry for them, we could be in for a record score and margin of victory.
If the line was in the 50 point range I might consider the Tahs but not at this number.
Back the Crusaders to Cover -32.5 @ $1.91
Saturday 29 May, 5:15pm, Eden Park
Blues 38 – Brumbies 10
The Blues stumbled to the finish line of Super Rugby Aotearoa but have found their stride in the last fortnight, recording comfortable wins over the Rebels and Waratahs.
For the second straight week they will be at home, although the Brumbies should present a slightly tougher challenge in the final game of their New Zealand road trip.
Their minimal risk style of play is perhaps best suited to keeping things close against the much stronger New Zealand opponents, but they will need to defend almost flawlessly to keep it close.
A 12.5 point line looks about right and I am happy to stay out of that market.
I’ll take advantage of the new Super Rugby Same Game Multi option and pair a Blues win with the total points line, the Brumbies have the ability to keep them under 30 points here but I can’t see them doing enough with the ball to reach that total themselves.
SGM: Blues to Win and Under Total Points
Saturday 29 May, 7:50pm, Queensland Country Bank Stadium
Reds 40 – Chiefs 34
Super Rugby heads to Townsville with the Reds hosting the Chiefs at the 18 month old Queensland Country Bank Stadium.
It might not provide the oppressive conditions that North Queensland is known for earlier in the year, but it is sure to be a much warmer climate than the Chiefs have been dealing with lately.
At this stage the Reds will need all the help they can get after two abject performances all but ending their hopes of adding another trophy to their cabinet this year.
Perhaps they should be flattered that the market still believes in their chances with the smallest line of the weekend at just 8.5 points in favour of the visiting Chiefs.
While every Reds fan would love to see them kick start their campaign with a win here and keep whatever minimal hope they have of sneaking into the final, they’ll have to pick things up.
When they do, I might even consider backing them again.
Back the Chiefs to Cover -8.5 @ $1.91
Sunday 30 May, 3:00pm, Leichardt Oval
Highlanders 42 – Rebels 27
In an effort to get this match played, Leichardt Oval in Sydney will now be the venue rather than Sir John Davis Oval in Queenstown.
Overall it should not change too much in terms of the overall complexion of the game, the Highlanders are still better and the Rebels have had a disrupted build up trying to get things sorted on the home front.
The Rebels found themselves on the wrong end of a 35-13 scoreline in Wellington last week and the Highlanders have looked quite strong thus far.
I’ll back them at the line.
Back the Highlanders to Cover -21.5 @ $1.91
Friday 8 May, 5:05pm, Sky Stadium
Friday 8 May, 8:00pm, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
Saturday 9 May, 2:45pm, FMG Stadium
Saturday 9 May, 5:05pm, Eden Park
Saturday 9 May, 7:15pm, VENUE TBC
Saturday 9 May, 11:05pm, Emirates Airlines Park
Sunday 10 May, 5:40am, Estadio Jose Amalftiani
Let’s not sugar coat it, this has been a nightmare season for Super Rugby betting.
Even teams like the Crusaders, which are usually pretty safe bets, aren’t setting the world alight as we saw with them being held to a draw by the Sharks last weekend.
They’re not losing but they aren’t consistently covering or losing against the spread either.
Even the Sunwolves are finding ways to mess up your strategy of backing against them (which has been fairly profitable through most of the team’s lifespan).
Don’t even start me on the middle of the pack teams, good luck finding team you can feel confident in week in, week out.
Perhaps that’s the strategy to run with though, if a team looks like it might be starting a run, back them to trip over?
Enough rambling, let’s get into the action for the fourth last round of the 2019 Super Rugby season.
Friday 24 May, 5:35pm, FMG Stadium
Chiefs 19 – Reds 13
While a loss here won’t technically doom either side’s finals hopes, it makes it almost impossible.
Sitting in 13th and 14th respectively, they both enter this game on the back of a disappointing loss, the Reds received a massive blow with captain Samu Kerevi forced to rest for this game.
That being said, I’m still strangely confident in the Reds and their ability to get something from this game, their side still has plenty of difference makers and it’s unlikely they’ll go 1/6 on conversions this week.
Losing Kerevi has scared me off backing them outright but it’s also seen the line bump out to a point where I’m happy to back them to cover.
Back the Reds to Cover +10.5 @ $1.91
Friday 24 May, 7:45pm, GIO Stadium
Brumbies 22 – Bulls 10
In a season where nothing goes to plan, the Brumbies bye week went about as well as it could have.
It means they enter the run home with the Australian conference fully under their control and they can take one step closer to a home final with a win over the Bulls.
They have had a good recent run against the South African side winning the last three meetings including a big 10 point win away from home last May.
This time around they are bringing some excellent for into this clash winning four of their last five Super Rugby matches and with such a small line you have to like them to cover here.
Back the Brumbies to Cover -4.5 @ $1.91
Saturday 25 May, 3:05pm, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
Sunwolves 7 – Rebels 52
If there was ever a chance for the Rebels to have a “get right” game, this is it.
Since upsetting the Waratahs at the end of May, the Sunwolves have lost five straight, giving up at least 29 points in each of those games and being held scoreless twice.
That run started with a comprehensive 42-15 thumping from the Rebels in Melbourne and by the time this game kicks off, they will know if the Brumbies have put any distance between them.
Bottom line here, the Rebels are a much better side and can play themselves into form with a big win.
Back the Rebels to Win by 13+ @ $2.75
Saturday 25 May, 5:35pm, AMI Stadium
Crusaders 19 – Blues 11
The Crusaders had to battle in South Africa but will be glad to be back home for this clash with the Blues.
While a finals spot is all but secured, even just a bonus point from this game would be enough to mathematically book their place in the finals (again).
Realistically their eyes will be set on claiming the New Zealand conference and gaining some ground on the Hurricanes who are on a bye this weekend.
The question is whether or not they will go super-ruthless here and after dropping points last week, they probably will.
Let’s not forget that the Blues can’t really travel either, losing their last seven outside of Auckland.
If there ever was a team to steadfastly stick by in Super Rugby this season, it’s got to be the Crusaders so I’ll hold firm and take them to win and cover.
Back the Crusaders to Cover -13.5 @ $1.91
Saturday 25 May, 7:50pm, Bankwest Stadium
Waratahs 15 – Jaguares 23
After ending a three game losing streak by beating the Reds last weekend, the Waratahs take to the new Bankwest Stadium this weekend.
They will be hosting a Jaguares side in a great run of form winning five of their last six.
Backing up from a victory hasn’t been the Waratahs strength, going 3-6 on the back of a win and they have lost both meetings with the Jaguares.
It’s hard to see them being able to match the intensity they brought to Suncorp last weekend so I’ll take the value play of the underdogs here.
Back the Jaguares to Win @ $2.20
Saturday 25 May, 11:05pm, Newlands
Stormers 34 – Highlanders 22
It’s been five years since the Stormers last beat the Highlanders but this is perhaps their best chance since that day in 2014.
Since then, they have made three unsuccessful trips to Dunedin but do come into this game with the confidence of holding the Crusaders to a draw last weekend.
On the first game of their South African tour, the Highlanders had their four game unbeaten run snapped by the Lions, but they have had moments which make you think they could be competitive in this game.
Unfortunately competitive won’t be enough here, the Stormers have gone 5-2 against the line at home, while the Highlanders have gone 0-5 straight up as an away underdog so I’ll back the Stormers to do the halftime/fulltime double.
Back the Stormers Halftime/Fulltime @ $2.25
Sunday 26 May, 1:15am, Kings Park
Sharks 27 – Lions 17
It’s third against fourth in the South African conference and depending on how the other teams go this weekend, it could spring a team into top spot… or send someone down to the bottom of the table.
Either way this is a huge game for both sides looking to set themselves up for a finals run.
The Lions look like they might be finding their feet after winning three of their last four, while the Sharks have picked up just one win in that same time span.
Sure, the Sharks did blast the Lions off the park in March but they have played some pretty poor rugby lately and the Lions could be out for revenge here.
Were the Sharks underdogs here, I’d probably talk myself into backing them as a value bet but instead I’ve got to take the Lions here.
Back the Lions to Win @ $2.50
It doesn’t get much bigger in Super Rugby than a Friday afternoon blockbuster between the Crusaders and Hurricanes.
The winner will be in the box seat to finish the regular season as minor premiers and the result could lead to a change in Super Rugby outright betting.
There are six other interesting games set to take place in Super Rugby this weekend and our complete 2018 Super Rugby Round 15 tips can be found below.
Friday 25 May, 5:35pm, AMI Stadium
Crusaders 24 – Hurricanes 13
What a way to start the weekend with the two form sides going head to head with top spot in the competition on the line.
While the Crusaders hold a historical advantage over just about every team in the competition, the Hurricanes have won five of their last seven, including a 29-19 victory in Wellington in March.
One streak will come to an end this weekend and this is a tight game to pick but the Crusaders at home are largely an unstoppable force, they may not want to give the Hurricanes a 29 point start they way they did the Waratahs two weeks ago however.
This is what it takes for the Crusaders to be a good value play at home but you can’t pass up this opportunity.
Back the Crusaders to Win @ $1.80
Friday 25 May, 7:45pm, AAMI Park
Rebels 40 - Sunwolves 13
Something has clicked for the Japanese side in the past two weeks, belting the Reds and springing an upset over the Stormers.
The Rebels are coming off a bye week after ending a five game losing streak and will enjoy another match inside the Australian conference.
Four of the Rebels five wins this year have come against sides in their conference including a Round 2 win in Japan by a score of 37-17.
It is hard to ignore the way the Sunwolves have played in the last two weeks though and a 24.5 point line is a huge margin with the form both sides are in.
They are yet to win away from home this season but that line is too big to not take here.
Back the Sunwolves to Cover the Line (+24.5) @ $1.90
Saturday 26 May, 5:35pm, Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Jaguares 29 – Sharks 13
Five wins in a row and six in their last seven for the Jaguares has them sitting in second place in the South African Conference.
The team right behind them is the Sharks who have struggled to win away from home with their lone victory coming against the struggling Blues.
In their three away conference losses this season, they have all been by a converted try or less which makes the 6.5 point line a statement on how much credit you want to give either of these sides.
Conversely, the Jaguares have won both of their matches at home against South African opponents by 14 and 30 points.
The numbers suggest this will be an interesting game and I am backing the Jaguares to cover at home.
Back the Jaguares to Cover the Line (-6.5) @ $1.90
Saturday 26 May, 5:35pm, FMG Stadium
Chiefs 39 – Waratahs 27
Congratulations to the Waratahs for ending Australia’s 40 match losing streak against New Zealand sides, their reward for breaking that drought?
A trip to Waikato to face a Chiefs side whose conference hopes have just about evaporated and simply need to win to get in the best possible position for the finals.
The Waratahs have won five of their past seven games against the Chiefs including splitting the last four games at FMG Stadium.
New South Wales covering has been a profitable play lately and I am backing them to keep it close, even if an upset win might be out of reach.
Back the Waratahs to Cover the Line (+10.5) @ $1.90
Saturday 26 May, 5:35pm, Suncorp Stadium
Reds 15 – Highlanders 18
Reds fans will be happy their team managed to bounce back from their embarrassing loss to the Sunwolves with an admirable effort against the Hurricanes.
This is the first of back to back home games where the Reds have put together a solid 3-1 record at Suncorp Stadium, although their sole loss came against the Chiefs.
The Highlanders are not great travellers with all four of their losses coming away from home, including last week’s defeat in Sydney.
It will take a monumental effort from the Reds to pull this off and to their credit they are still pressing with several players in contention for Wallabies jerseys.
Back the Reds to Cover the Line (+11.5) @ $1.90
Saturday 26 May, 5:35pm, Loftus Versfeld
Bulls 28 – Brumbies 38
After winning their first game away from home the Brumbies have lost their last four as visitors as their South African tour continues.
In their last three losses they have given up 33, 43 and 42 points raising real questions about their ability to maintain their defensive patterns.
The Bulls are 4-2 at home which was the same number of wins they had all last season.
A loss here would almost mathematically end the finals hopes of the Brumbies and it looks like a big ask to end a five game losing streak.
Back the Bulls to Cover the Line (-9.5) @ $1.90
Sunday 27 May, 5:35pm, DHL Newlands
Stormers 23 – Lions 26
Despite sitting at opposite ends of the conference table, the Stormers and Lions bring relatively even form lines into this game.
Both sides have won three of their last seven however the Lions have the wood over the Stormers recenlty with three straight wins.
The Stormers last win against the Lions came on Februay 28, 2015 and they will see a chance of an upset here.
Even with the uneven form shown by the Lions lately they should still be able to take care of business but this one is a stay away for me.
It is a split round in Super Rugby this weekend and it will only be New Zealand and Australian sides in action.
This is the final chance that Australian players will have to impress before the Wallabies squad is selected for the mid-season Tests against Fiji, Scotland and Italy and the Reds, Waratahs and Force all have tough assignments.
We have closely analysed every game this weekend and our 2017 Round 15 Super Rugby tips can be found below.
Friday 2 June, 5:35pm, Eden Park
The Blues are one of three New Zealand-based sides that will be clear favourites against Australian opposition this weekend.
The Blues played out an exciting draw with the Chiefs last weekend and they really should be able to return to winning form against a struggling Reds.
They have won four of their past five games as home favourites, but they are only 2-3 against the line in this scenario.
The Reds season hit a new low when they went down to the Force last weekend and they have been truly horrid in recent weeks.
Their past five games as away underdogs have ended in defeat and they are only 1-4 against the line in this situation.
The Blues should prove far too strong for the Reds and they can cover the line of 14.5 points comfortably.
Back The Blues To Beat The Line (-14.5 Points)
Saturday 3 June, 12:35pm, AMI Stadium
The Crusaders are yet to lose in Super Rugby this season and they are clear favourites to account for the Highlanders this weekend.
Winning has become a habit for the Highlanders and they have now won seven of their past eight games as home favourites, while they are 6-2 against the line in this scenario.
The Highlanders continued their unbeaten run with a comfortable victory over the Waratahs, but this is their toughest encounter in well over a month.
They have won only one of their past three games as away underdogs and their record against the line is no better.
The Crusaders really should be able to continue on their winning ways and they can cover the line in the process..
Back The Crusaders To Beat The Line (-7.5 Points)
Saturday 3 June, 3:05pm, FMG Stadium Waikato
The Chiefs have not won a game for almost a month, but they are still dominant favourites to beat the Waratahs.
The Chiefs go into this clash on the back of a loss at the hands of the Crusaders and a draw with the Blues, but the Waratahs obviously represent a much weaker opponent.
They have won their past four games as home favourites, but they are 2-2 against the line in this scenario.
The Waratahs were not disgraced against the Highlanders last weekend and they have improved somewhat in recent weeks.
Winning as away underdogs has been tough for the Waratahs – they have won only one of their past six games as away underdogs and they are 3-3 against the line in this scenario.
This is a game that the market looks to have got just about right and I am more than happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
Saturday 3 June, 7:45pm, GIO Stadium
The Brumbies have recorded two wins on the trot and they are clear favourites in this clash with the Rebels.
The Brumbies cemented their place on the top of the Australian Conference with wins in South Africa over the Kings and the Jaguares and they now look set to return to the Super Rugby Finals.
They have won four of their past five games as home favourites and they are now 3-2 against the line in this scenario.
It has not been a happy couple of months for the Rebels and they have now lost five games on the trot.
The Rebels have won only one of their past six games as away underdogs and they are 2-4 against the line.
The Rebels really have been poor in recent weeks and I am happy to take them on this weekend.
Back The Brumbies To Beat The Line (-14.5 Points)
Saturday 3 June, 9:55pm, NIB Stadium
The Hurricanes are clearly the shortest-priced favourites in Super Rugby this weekend.
The Hurricanes head into this clash on the back of big wins over both the Cheetahs and the Bulls, while they will take confidence that they have not lost to the Force in their history.
While the Hurricanes have won four of their past five games as away favourites, they are only 2-3 against the line in this scenario.
The Force bounced back from their lacklustre effort against the Highlanders to beat the Reds and they have generally been competitive this season.
They may have won only one of their past five games as home underdogs, but they are 3-2 against the line in this scenario and were only narrowly beaten by the Lions, Chiefs and the Blues.
The line of 18.5 points does look just about right and I am happy to stay out of this contest from a betting standpoint.
Saturday 1 July, 3:00am, Growthpoint Kings Park
The Sharks went into the mid season break with four wins from their past five games and they will start this clash with the Bulls as clear favourites.
The Sharks have won seven of their past eight games as home favourites for a clear profit and they are 4-4 against the line in this scenario.
It has been a Super Rugby season to forget for the Bulls and they went into the break on the back of four straight losses.
The Bulls have lost their past five games as away underdogs and they are a very poor 1-4 against the line in this situation.
The Sharks should be far too good for the Bulls and they can cover the line comfortably.
Back The Sharks To Beat The Line (-11.5 Points)
Saturday 1 July, 9:05am, Estadio Jose Amalfitani
The Jaguares have won just one of their past seven games, but they will still go into this clash with the Kings as clear favourites.
It has been another disappointing season for the Jaguares and they have proven to be very tough to trust from a betting perspective – they have won six of their past nine games as home favourites, but they are 3-6 against the line in this scenario.
The Kings went into the mid season break on the back of a heavy defeat at the hands of the Lions, but they have actually played some solid rugby so far this season.
They have won two of their eight games as away underdogs for a big profit and they are a most impressive 7-1 against the line in this scenario.
The Kings are an outstanding bet to cover the line with a 13.5 points start.
Back The Kings To Beat The Line (+13.5 Points)
Saturday 1 July, 11:05pm, Toyota Stadium
The Stormers are another team that went into the mid season break in poor form, but they will still start this clash as favourites.
The Stormers have won just one of their past six games, but they are a side that can be trusted as favourites and they are 4-0 as away favourites, while they are 3-1 against the line in this scenario.
A win over the Sunwolves delivered the Cheetahs their first win in over two months, but this is obviously much tougher and their record against the Stormers is very poor.
The Cheetahs have won just one of their past seven games as home underdogs, but they are 4-3 against the line in this scenario.
The Stormers should be able to return to winning form, but there is no value at their current price and I am happy to stay out of this clash from a betting perspective.
Sunday 2 July, 1:15am, Emirates Airlines Park
The Lions are the form South African team in Super Rugby and they are easily the shortest-priced favourites of the weekend.
The Lions have won their past 14 games as favourites and they are 6-3 against the line as home favourites.
Winning has been tough for the Sunwolves so far this season, but on the most part they have been competitive when they have faced South African sides.
The Sunwolves have lost their past eight games as away underdogs, but they are an impressive 6-2 against the line in this scenarip.
This is another clash where it is very difficult to find any real betting value.
Super Rugby finally returns after a month off for the mid-season break.
There are two very big New Zealand Derbies in round 15 of the Super Rugby season.
The round starts on Friday afternoon when the Chiefs host the Crusaders at ANZ National Stadium before the Hurricanes and Blues do battle on Saturday afternoon.
The other big game of the weekend is in the early hours of Sunday morning when the Lions take on the Sharks in a key fixture in the South African conference.
Friday 1 July, 5:35pm, ANZ National Stadium
Chiefs 23 - Crusaders 13
The Chiefs and Crusaders currently sit on top of the New Zealand Conference and this is a massive game for both sides.
The Crusaders have lost just two games this season and they will go into this clash as clear favourites, but they have lost their past three games against the Chiefs.
In saying that, they have proven to be a very safe bet as favourites in the past 12 months and they are 3-0 as away favourites in this period.
The Chiefs went into the midseason break on the back of a disappointing loss to the Waratahs and they have been a touch inconsistent this season.
They have been a losing betting proposition as favourites, but as uinderdogs they are yet to suffer a defeat and have been highly profitable in this scenario.
This match should be an absolute ripper, but the market has got this game just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Friday 1 July, 7:45pm, GIO Stadium
Brumbies 43 - Reds 24
The Brumbies have won 20 of their 26 Super Rugby games against the Reds and have won the past three games played between the two teams in dominant fashion.
The Brumbies found their best form in the lead-up to the mid season break and they are clear favourites to record their fourth straight win on Friday night.
Favourtism has been a position that has suited the Brumbies in the past 12 months and they have an excellent record of 4-2 against the line as home favourites.
The Reds beat the Sunwolves in the final round before the mid season break, but there was still not a great deal to like about their performance.
They have not won a game away from home in the past 12 months and their record against the line as away underdogs is a average 2-4.
The Brumbies beat the Reds by a combined total of 73 points last season and they should have no trouble covering the line of 13.5 points.
Recommended Bet: Brumbies To Beat The Line (-13.5 Points)
Saturday 2 July 3:15pm, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
Sunwolves 12 - Waratahs 57
This will be the first ever meeting between the Sunwolves and Waratahs and the Waratahs will start this game as a very short-priced favourites.
The Sunwolves went into the mid season break after suffering a heavy defeat at the hands of the Brumbies, but they have saved their best performances for their home games.
They may have only won a single game, but their record against the line as home underdogs is a highly profitable 5-2 and they have been given a start of 23.5 points.
The Waratahs produced their best performance of the season against the Chiefs and they could prove to be a genuine threat if they are able to sneak into the finals.
They have won both their games as away favourites this season, but they are only 1-1 against the line and often save their worst performances for teams that they should beat handily.
It would not surprise to see the Waratahs produce a rusty effort and I am keen to back the Sunwolves with a start of 23.5 points.
Recommended Bet: Back The Sunwolves To Beat The Line (+23.5 Points)
Saturday 2 July, 5:35pm, Westpac Stadium
Hurricanes 37 - Blues 27
The Hurricanes scored a narrow victory over the Blues earlier in the season and they are clear favourites to make it four wins on the trot against their rivals.
The Hurricanes got themselves back into finals contention with a win over the Highlanders in their final game before the mid season break, but they have been a tough side to trust from a betting perspective this season.
They are a non-profitable 4-2 as home favourites and their record against the line is an average 2-4, while they have covered the line in only two of their past five games against the Blues.
The Blues have been an improved side in 2016, but they are another side that has proven tough to trust from a betting perspective.
They have won only one of five games as underdogs in the past 12 months and they are a far from convincing 1-2 against the line as away favourites.
The Hurricanes should win this contest, but there is no edge at their current price and the line is just about right.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Saturday 2 July, 7:45am, AAMI Park
Rebels 31 - Stormers 57
This will be just the fourth ever meeting between the Rebels and the Stormers and the market suggests that it will be the closest game of the weekend.
The Rebels ended a three game losing streak with a win against the Western Force and they still have a chance to finish on top of the Australian Conference, but they will start this game as underdogs.
The Rebels rarely win when they aren’t expected to – they have not won a single game as home underdogs and they are 0-3 against the line in this scenario.
The Stormers have been one of the most inconsistent sides in Super Rugby this season and that has made them a tricky betting proposition.
They are 1-1-1 as away favourites in the past 12 months and they are 3-6 against the line as the punter’s elect, but they have won three of their four meetings with the Rebels.
The data suggests that the Stormers are a risky bet in this fixture, but they do have a genuine quality edge over the Rebels and I am confident that they will be able to get the job done.
Recommended Bet: Back The Stormers To Win @ $1.80
Saturday 2 July, 11:00pm, Toyota Stadium
Cheetahs 30 - Force 29
The Cheetahs and the Force both struggled before the mid season break, but have the chance to start the second part of their season with a victory.
The Cheetahs have won just two of their past eight games, but they are still set to start this game as clear favourites.
They don’t start game as favourites often, but when they do they genuinely win and they are 3-0 as the punter’s elect in the past 12 months.
However, their record against the line in the same scenario is just 1-2 and they are giving away a start of greater than a converted try.
The Force have won just one of their past eight games and they are 1-9 as underdogs in the past 12 months, but they have beaten the line in three of their past five games as away underdogs.
A number of their defeats this season have been by only narrow margins and the Force are good enough to push what is a fairly average Cheetahs outfit.
Recommended Bet: Back The Force To Beat The Line (-7.5 Points)
Sunday 3 July, 1:10am, Emirates Airlines Park
Lions 37 - Sharks 10
The Lions scored an upset victory over the Sharks earlier this season and another victory would lengthen their lead at the top of the African Conference.
Both these sides went into the mid season break on the back of three victories, but it is the Lions that will start this clash as favourites.
It is fair to say that there has been no safer betting play in Super Rugby this season than the Lions – they are 4-0 as home favourites in both head to head and line betting, while they haven’t lost a game as the punter’s elect in the past 12 months.
In saying that, they face a difficult assignment against a Sharks side that has a more than credible record away from home.
The Sharks have won three of their five games as away underdogs this season for a healthy profit, while they are 5-0 against the line in this scenario.
The Sharks are capable of competing with the best outfits in Super Rugby on their day and they are worth a gamble at their current price of $2.55.
Recommended Bet: Back The Sharks To Win @ $2.55
Sunday 3 July, 3:20am, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Kings 18 - Highlanders 48
The Kings may have won their only previous meeting with the Highlanders, but they are still set to start this clash as huge underdogs.
The Kings’ return to Super Rugby has gone poorly to say the least, but they were able to head into the mid season break on a high after they were able to beat the Jaguares.
That victory now means that they have been a profitable betting proposition as home underdogs, but they are 2-4 against the line in this scenario.
The Highlanders dropped back to fourth in the New Zealand Division following their loss to the Hurricanes, but there is little doubt that they will be able to return to winning form this weekend.
The question is whether they will be able to cover the sizable line of 29.5 points and data suggests that they probably won’t
The Highlanders are just 1-3 against the line as away favourites in the past 12 months and they are not a side that is noted for putting their rivals to the sword.
This is another fixture that I am happy to stay out of betting wise.
Sunday 3 July, 7:40am, Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Jaguares 29 - Bulls 11
The Jaguares have been one of the biggest disappointments in Super Rugby this season and the Argentinean side has won just one of their past eight games.
They will start this game as underdogs and that has been a position in which they have really struggled during their maiden Super Rugby season – they have lost all five of their games in this scenario and are 1-4 against the line.
The Bulls hit somewhat of a form slump before the mid season break, losing three of their past four matches, but they have a great chance to return to winning form this weekend.
The Bulls have won all three of their games as away favourites in the past 12 months and they are 2-1 against the line in this scenario for a tidy profit.
They are a much better outfit than this struggling Jaguares side and they should be able to record a comfortable win.
Recommended Bet: Back The Bulls To Win @ $1.73