2021 Super Rugby Round 17 Preview

Super Rugby Trans Tasman Round 5

It’s the final round of Super Rugby Trans-Tasman and all five New Zealand sides can qualify for the Final next weekend, although some will need a whole lot of help.

The good news for fans is that it sets up an intriguing weekend of action with something guaranteed to be on the line in just about every game.

Admittedly the 2-18 record from the Australian sides is not a great sign however they enjoyed a profitable time in Round 4, covering the spread in four of the five games.

With the season now entering its final days we have one last full round preview on the cards as we chase a profit on our Super Rugby Preview and best bets.

Hurricanes Vs Reds

Friday 11 June, 5:00pm, Sky Stadium

Hurricanes 43 – Reds 14

The Reds pulled off the dirtiest of backdoor covers last weekend, kicking a late penalty to reduce the deficit against the Blues to seven points and cover the +8.5 point handicap.

All things considered it was an impressive effort considering they lost their key playmaker in James O’Connor a few hours before kickoff and were on the back foot for most of the 80 minutes.

The Hurricanes put themselves behind the eight ball by losing in Canberra last week and sliding down to fourth place.

For them to make the final, they will need to beat the Reds and hope that two of the Blues, Highlanders and Crusaders lose.

While it does not seem overly likely, the Hurricanes will do all they can to make it happen and I can see them just having too much run for a Reds side that will be ready to head into the offseason.

SGM: Hurricanes to Cover -10.5 & Over Total Points

Brumbies Vs Highlanders

Friday 11 June, 7:50pm, GIO Stadium

Brumbies 12 – Highlanders 33

It’s a real shame that the Brumbies could not produce a gritty showing like that a few weeks ago however they held on to claim their first win of the Super Rugby Trans Tasman competition.

They welcome the Highlanders to Canberra who will be full of confidence after trouncing the Waratahs by 36 points last week.

A simple win will not be enough for the Highlanders who sit in second place only on points differential.

They will need a bonus point and knowing the Crusaders are playing the Rebels, the biggest possible margin of victory to try and hold of the Super Rugby Aotearoa champions.

Not to mention if they can gain a point (and 28 in the points differential column) on the Blues, a home Grand Final could be on the cards as well.

It feels like the Brumbies have run their race getting that one victory and I’ll back the visitors to storm home.

Back the Highlanders to Cover -6.5 @ $1.90

Rebels Vs Crusaders

Saturday 12 June, 2:30pm, Leichardt Oval

Rebels 26 – Crusaders 52

If any game is going to get out of hand this weekend, this will probably be it.

The Crusaders will face a simple equation, hope that the Highlanders do not secure a bonus point win, which would mean that will be enough to jump into second (and maybe first) place.

Should the Highlanders gain maximum points against the Brumbies, the Crusaders will need to win by 12 more points than their rival’s margin of victory which should put the rather large line into play.

To their credit, the Rebels have reduced their margin of defeat in every match thus far however it would take a brave person to back against the Crusaders getting the result they need.

I have seen this story far too many times to not expect the Crusaders to win this one by a lot.

SGM: Crusaders to Cover -26.5 & Over Total Points

Blues Vs Western Force

Saturday 12 June, 5:00pm, Eden Park

Blues 31 – Force 21

It’s a simple equation for the Blues, take care of business at home and they will be hosting the Grand Final next week.

Few people would blame the Western Force for not putting up their toughest fight considering this is their third straight game in New Zealand and their last outing before their season ends.

They have enjoyed a successful campaign making the Super Rugby AU Finals and three of their four defeats in the Trans-Tasman competition have been by less than 10 points and that scrappiness could help them out here.

I have to go with the numbers here and a line of over three converted tries is far too high for my liking.

Back the Western Force to Cover +24.5 @ $1.90

Waratahs Vs Chiefs

Saturday 12 June, 7:50pm, Brookvale Oval

Waratahs 7 – Chiefs 40

A season from hell comes to a merciful end for the Waratahs when they in all likelihood will lose their 13th straight Super Rugby match.

To put it into perspective, they have conceded over 30 points in 10 matches, over 40 points in seven matches and over 50 points three times, including in both of their last two matches.

It’s fair to say their defence has not been up to par and up next is a Chiefs side that is still somewhat dangerous even if it is missing its best players.

Chances are this game is going to be a dead rubber with the Chiefs needing three of the other four New Zealand sides to lose without a bonus point to have any hope of stealing a spot in the final.

That does not seem like something you should be taking a punt on however the Chiefs should still be able to run riot over a Tahs side that has had arguably its worst ever year.

SGM: Chiefs to Cover -24.5 & Over Total Points


2020

*MATCHES CANCELLED*

Chiefs Vs Rebels

Friday 22 May, 5:05pm, FMG Stadium

Reds Vs Hurricanes

Friday 22 May, 7:15pm, Suncorp Stadium

Highlanders Vs Sunwolves

Saturday 23 May, 5:05pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium

Waratahs Vs Brumbies

Saturday 23 May, 7:15pm, Bankwest Stadium

Sharks Vs Crusaders

Saturday 23 May, 11:05pm, Jonsson Kings Park

Stormers Vs Lions

Sunday 24 May, 1:15am, DHL Newlands

Jaguares Vs Bulls

Sunday 24 May, 7:40am, Estadio Jose Amalftiani


2019

In the penultimate round of the 2019 Super Rugby season, there is plenty on the line as teams jostle for conference titles and finals positions.

The Crusaders are all but home in New Zealand and could lock up the top overall seed when they host the Rebels in Saturday’s first match.

Elsewhere it looks like it’s on the Brumbies and Jaguares to lose the Australian and South African titles from here as they have some margin for error going into the final fortnight, however both would undoubtedly want to get things sorted as quickly as they can.

There’s plenty up for grabs in the Wild Card race and we have previewed all seven Super Rugby matches set to take place this weekend with our bets for every game.

Highlanders Vs Bulls

Friday 7 June, 5:35pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium

Highlanders 24 – Bulls 24

For the Highlanders, this game has a simple equation around its result, lose and don’t make the finals.

Of course, if they win it’s no sure thing that they make it either but it will certainly help their chances at least bringing the team up to eighth spot.

The Bulls go into the weekend on the back of a draw with the Blues in Auckland last week and they have picked up six points from their tour already.

This fixture has been a good one for the Highlanders winning the last three meetings but their recent form against the spread hasn’t been that encouraging.

They have failed to cover in their last four games and have gone 1-5 against the spread in their last six home games as well.

This game really could go either way so I’ll take the Bulls to cover here.

Back the Bulls to Cover +9.5 @ $1.91

Reds Vs Blues

Friday 7 June, 7:45pm, Suncorp Stadium

Reds 29 – Blues 28

The Reds have become this year’s “almost” side and the last two weeks sums up how their fortunes are tracking at the end of the season.

They were unable to break down the Chiefs defence as time ran out despite several phases on the goal line two weeks ago, then, with a bonus point in hand pushed for a win over the Jaguares, only to have an intercept try after the siren cost them that point (if not more).

It sums up a season that showed flashes of promise but also showed that this young team still has some developing to do.

In their penultimate game, they have a chance to farewell their home crowd for another year with a win and they have a great chance considering the Blues road struggles.

It’s a risky play but considering the Reds have nothing to lose in this one, I’m happy to take them as underdogs here.

Back the Reds to Win @ $2.10

Crusaders Vs Rebels

Saturday 8 June, 5:35pm, AMI Stadium

Crusaders 66 – Rebels 0

If the Rebels want to have any hope of stealing the Australian Conference from the Brumbies, they just have to beat… the Crusaders… in Christchurch.

Last time they travelled there they were crushed by a score of 85-26 but this is a very different team now.

The Crusaders on the other hand are looking to rebound from a disappointing 40-27 loss to the Chiefs in Fiji and know that with finals approaching, now is not the time to be struggling for form.

I have no doubt that the Crusaders will bounce back with a win here but I do think they can keep it relatively close and cover the line.

Back the Rebels to Cover +19.5 @ $1.91

Waratahs Vs Brumbies

Saturday 8 June, 7:50pm, Bankwest Stadium

Waratahs 24 – Brumbies 35

It’s better late than never for the Waratahs as their late season surge has them in the mix for an unlikely finals spot.

To do that they need to get by the Brumbies who, by kickoff, may need just a bonus point to lock up Australian Conference.

There’s a lot of reasons to like the Brumbies here with four straight wins and six from their last seven all up.

The Brumbies also have beaten the Waratahs five of the last six times they have met including a 19-13 win in Canberra.

At this point in time, I have to back the hot hand and in this case, it’s the Brumbies to get over the line.

Back the Brumbies to Win @ $2.00

Lions Vs Hurricanes

Saturday 8 June, 11:05pm, Ellis Park

Lions 17 – Hurricanes 37

As it stands, it looks like we could be seeing these two teams meet again in the first round of the finals as the top two wild card teams.

Both sides are in pretty strong form right now with the Lions coming off a huge win over the Stormers to make it four wins from their last six while the Hurricanes have won six of their last seven.

The Lions aren’t underdogs at home a whole lot but they have won eight of their last 10 at Ellis Park and I’ll back them to win here and pick up a bit of confidence ahead of a likely finals matchup.

Back the Lions to Win @ $2.38

Stormers Vs Sunwolves

Sunday 9 June, 1:15am, Newlands

Stormers 31 – Sunwolves 18

The Sunwolves bubble has definitely burst coming off another huge loss at the hands of the Brumbies at home.

Thing is, the Stormers aren’t exactly full of confidence right now with their finals hopes taking a big blow after losing to the Lions last week.

As expected there’s a huge line for them to cover and while I can’t rule anything out against a side that looks like it’s ready for the offseason, that is just too high for me to touch.

NO BET

Jaguares Vs Sharks

Sunday 9 June, 5:40am, Estadio Jose Amalftiani

Jaguares 34 – Sharks 7

By the time the Jaguares kick off against the Sharks, they could be confirmed as South African Conference Champions but they will still have plenty to play for even if they are.

Going into the weekend they will have a two point lead over the Brumbies in the race for the second seed which could be the difference between a home semi final and a long flight.

With three straight away wins, all of which were real tests for the Argentine side, now take on a Sharks side they put 51 on when they faced them in Durban in April.

While another 34 point win might not be in the mix, another win that covers the line is certainly in play here.

Back the Jaguares to Cover -6.5 @ $1.91


2018

Blues Vs Reds

Friday 29 June, 5:35pm, Eden Park

Blues 39 – Reds 16

The Reds began Queensland’s disappointment against New South Wales with an 11-point loss to the Waratahs earlier this month.

Losing a game in shootout fashion like that is never easy, but Queensland should have taken plenty of positives away from the defeat.

For the first time in a while, the Reds started out hard and fast, cracking the scoreboard within the first minute of the game. They backed that up with two other tries in the first half, as the Reds’ attack looked free-flowing for the entirety.

Fortunately for Brad Thorn’s side, the Blues have been nothing but disappointing as of late. Auckland’s last win came way back in Round 12 over the Waratahs, while their 10-point loss to the Rebels last time out raised major concerns for this side moving forward.

In more good news for the Reds, the Blues have lost seven straight home games dating back to the start of the season. Auckland also held a nice 11-game undefeated streak against Australian opponents, but thanks to the Rebels, that all came to an end during Round 16.

The Blues will still feel confident they can at least give their minimal home fans something to cheer about this week, though.

The Reds haven’t won since Round 11 themselves, placing them as the heavy underdogs on the road, a task that poses an even tougher test. In their seven away games this year, Queensland have managed to win just one.

If you do fancy an upset here, there is one thing punters can hang their hat on: the inclusion of Lukhan Tui. The Wallabies back-rower impressed during the test against Ireland, and he should bolster the Reds’ defence nicely.

Back the Reds to Win @ $3.50

Rebels Vs Waratahs

Friday 29 June, 7:45pm, AAMI Park

Rebels 26 – Waratahs 31

The Rebels have sprung up the ladder in recent months, winning three straight to sit comfortably in seventh overall. The Waratahs, meanwhile, have coughed and spluttered their way down to sixth after losing three of their last five.

Having previously met back in March, these two are more than familiar with eachother. That encounter saw the Waratahs walk away with a cruisy 51-27 victory, but things could turn out to be a little different this time out with the Rebels playing at home.

If memory serves Melbourne correctly, they’ll certainly remember the name Taqele Naiyaravoro. The 26-year old winger scored two tries during their last contest with the Waratahs, and since he was snubbed for Wallabies selection, the big man will have something to prove.

This one shapes up as a blockbuster down in Melbourne, and if the underdog Rebels can pull off the upset, they’ll rightfully claim top of the table in the Australian conference. It’s certainly doable, but Melbourne will have to find some offensive production elsewhere following Jordan Uelese’s season ending injury during the Rebels win in New Zealand earlier in the month.

With three weeks to prepare for this one, the Waratahs on the other hand will see this is as a game to earn back trust. They too may be without their star man in Israel Folau, but this is a chance to put their spotty form behind them and push for finals.

Back the Waratahs 13+ @ $3.20

Highlanders Vs Chiefs

Saturday 30 June, 5:35pm, ANZ National Stadium

Highlanders 22 – Chiefs 45

Searching for three straight, the Highlanders are making a strong push towards the top three of the overall ladder.

Not to be outdone, the Chiefs sit just three points behind the Highlanders in fifth place, but they’ll be keen to put Round 16’s horror show against the Crusaders behind them.

The Chiefs have won three of their last five encounters against the Highlanders, but are 1-4 as the away underdog over the last 12 months.

The Highlanders hold a 3-2 record as the home head-to-head favourite against the Chiefs.

Odds wise the Chiefs look hard to back, but with All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick returning to the side, there’s certainly room for interest. Throw in the likes of forward Tyler Ardron, who could also make his return this weekend, and suddenly there’s value to be had.

The Chiefs will need everything to go their way if they are to move up in the New Zealand conference, and it all starts this week with a win over the Highlanders.

The majority of the Chiefs’ games have been close this season, and if they can find some poise on defence, they could hold on for a close win.

Back the Chiefs to Win @ $2.38

Brumbies Vs Hurricanes

Saturday 30 June, 7:45pm, GIO Stadium

Brumbies 24 – Hurricanes 12

Don’t look now, but the Brumbies have won two straight.

Both of those wins came rather cheaply against the Bulls and Sunwolves though, and the Brumbies will need to really dig deep if they wish to knock off one of the top teams in the competition right now.

Winning three of their last five, recent history shows the Hurricanes hold the advantage over the Brumbies. Both of last seasons games were hardly close, and since the Brumbies have managed just five wins all year, they’ll be hard pressed to make it six at home this week.

It’s probably no surprise to see the Hurricanes hold a 12-3 record when they enter as the favourite, and on the heels of two straight losses to the Crusaders and Highlanders, they’ll be keen to bounce back to winning ways.

The Brumbies copped a blow midweek with the announcement that Chance Peni will miss this weekend’s game due to suspension. It’s a big blow not only ahead of Saturday’s game, but also to the any hope the 11th placed Brumbies had of playing finals.

Back the Hurricanes  13+ @ $2.75

Sunwolves Vs Bulls

Saturday 30 June, 9:55pm, Singapore National Stadium

Sunwolves 42 – Bulls 37

The two bottom dwellers square off on Saturday night, as the 14th placed Blues take on the wooden spoon favourite Sunwolves.

It’s been a long time in between drinks for the Blues, with their last win dating back to May. Keep in mind that victory was over the Waratahs, though, while this is also the same Blues team that completely controlled the Sunwolves when they last met back in April.

Japan have struggled all season, but they’ve also had their moments. The Sunwolves own wins over the Reds and Stormers this season, and although they’ve been blown out on more than one occasion, Japan won their last encounter against the Bulls 21-20.

The Bulls hold a 1-1 record as the away favourite vs. the Sunwolves, but those of these teams will be hoping they can finish the season on a high.

With three games left to play, all that’s left is bragging rights, and since the Sunwolves have managed to put up some points in recent weeks, including 31 against the Brumbies, it’s smart to stick with the home favourites.

Back the Sunwolves to Win @ $3.00

Sharks Vs Lions

Sunday 1 July, 1:15am, Kings Park Stadium

Sharks 31 – Lions 24

Can the Sharks make a late push for second in the South African division?

The odds already looked stacked against them in this fixture, having last won against the Lions way back in 2015.

The division leaders have lost just six games so far this season, and roll into this one on the back of two straight wins.

In the head-to-head market, the Lions 9-3 record as the favourites, and are 3-2 in away games.

The Sharks have been extremely inconsistent this year, having strung together back-to-back wins only once.

With that in mind, the Lions look the goods to make it two straight wins over the Sharks for the season.

Back the Lions 1-12 @ $3.20

Jaguares Vs Stormers

Sunday 1 July, 3:40am, Estadio Jose Amalfitani

Jaguares 25 - Stormers 14

On the back of six straight wins, the Jaguares meeting with the Stormers holds huge ladder implications in the South African division on Sunday.

With only five wins to their name, the Stormers have been underwhelming for most of the season, just like their record away from home.

The Stormers haven’t won a single game on the road so far, but they do have one thing for them here: a great record.

They’ve only met three times prior, but the Stormers have won all three of their encounters with the Jaguares dating back to 2016. It’ll take something special to knock off the Jaguares this time round, but as we saw earlier in the season, they are capable of losing in blowout fashion.

If the Stormers are to win this one, they’ll need to rely not only on Jean-Luc du Plessis’ boot, but also Raymond Rhule’s speed and agility. With both teams showing some spotty form however, this is probably a market you’re better off steering clear of.

No Bet


2017

This is the final round of the 2017 Super Rugby season and for the majority of the Australian teams in the competition it can’t come soon enough.

The Crusaders, Lions, Stormers and Brumbies have already been confirmed as Conference winners and they will be joined in the finals by the Hurricanes, Chiefs, Highlanders and Sharks.

That means that there are a number of teams with very little to play for, but there are still nine winners to be found and we are confident that we can finish what has been a successful Super Rugby season with a host of winners!

Highlanders Vs Reds

Friday 14 July, 5:35pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium

Highlanders 40 - Reds 17

It has been another season to forget for the Reds and they will go into this clash with the Highlanders as massive outsiders.

The Reds claimed a narrow victory over the Brumbies last Friday night, but they will obviously face a much tougher task against the Highlanders.

They have lost their past five games as away underdogs and they are 2-3 against the line in this scenario.

The Highlanders went into the international break on the back of a narrow loss to the Crusaders, but before that their form had been excellent.

They have won six of their past eight games as home favourites, but they are only 3-5 against the line in this scenario.

The Highlanders will be too strong for the Reds, but the line of 22.5 points looks about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting standpoint.

No Bet

Rebels Vs Jaguares

Friday 14 July, 7:45pm, AAMI Park

Rebels 29 - Jaguares 32

The Jaguares ended their losing streak against the Waratahs last weekend and they will go into this clash with the Waratahs as clear favourites.

It has been another tough season for the Jaguares, but their best form has generally come on the road and they have won their only game as away favourites, while they are 4-1-1 against the line away from home.

The Rebels gave up on this season a long time ago and they haven’t looked like winning a game since their 9-9 draw with the Sharks in April.

They have won only one of their past seven games as home underdogs and they are a lacklustre 3-4 against the line in this scenario.

The Jaguares should prove far too strong for the Rebels and the line of 8.5 points will not be enough.

Back The Jaguares To Beat The Line (-8.5 Points)

Kings Vs Cheetahs

Saturday 15 July, 3:00am, Nelson Mandela Stadium

Kings 20 - Cheetahs 21

This will be the final Super Rugby game for both the Kings and the Cheetahs as they have both been excluded from the competition next season.

The Kings have been one of the biggest surprise packages in Super Rugby this season and they will start this clash as favourites following their upset wins over both the Jaguares and the Bulls.

This will be the first time that they have started a game as favourites this season, but they have been a profitable betting play across every metric so far this season.

The Cheetahs were not disgraced against the Stormers last weekend, but they were still unable to come away with the victory.

They have lost their past five games as away underdogs and they are 2-3 against the line in this scenario.

Backing the Kings has been a profitable play all season long and there is no reason to change that this weekend.

Back The Kings To Beat The Line (-3.5 Points)

Sunwolves Vs Blues

Saturday 15 July, 1:05pm, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium

Sunwolves 48 - Blues 21

This is the biggest mismatch in Super Rugby this weekend and the Blues are dominant favourites to account for the Sunwolves.

The Blues have won three of their four games as home favourites this season and their record against the line is identical.

It has been a mixed bag for the Sunwolves so far this season and their two performances since the return of Super Rugby have left plenty to be desired.

They have won only one of their past five games as home underdogs and they are 2-3 against the line in this scenario.

The Blues will be far too strong for the Sunwolves and they can cover the line in the process.

Back The Blues To Beat The Line (-29.5 Points)

Chiefs Vs Brumbies

Saturday 15 July, 3:15pm, FMG Stadium

Chiefs 28 - Brumbies 10

Both these teams will be in the Super Rugby Finals, but the gap in quality between the Australian Conference and New Zealand Conference is evidenced by the price differential between these two sides.

The Chiefs have been outstanding during the Super Rugby season to date and they have won their five games as home favourites, but they are only 2-3 against the line in this scenario.

The Brumbies were unable to beat the Reds last weekend and there is little doubt that they will be beaten in the opening round of the Super Rugby finals.

In saying that, the Brumbies have been a decent team from a betting standpoint this season and they have won two of their four games as away underdogs, while they are 3-1 against the line in this situation.

The Chiefs should win this game, but the line of 16.5 points does seem excessive against a team that is as tough as the Brumbies.

Back The Brumbies To Beat The Line (+16.5 Points)

Hurricanes Vs Crusaders

Saturday 15 July, 5:35pm, Westpac Stadium

Hurricanes 31 - Crusaders 22

This is easily the pick of the fixtures in Super Rugby this weekend and could easily be a preview of the Super Rugby Grand Final.

There is plenty of uncertainty surrounding this clash as it is still unknown which All Blacks will be in action.

It is the Hurricanes that will start this clash as narrow favourites – despite the fact that they lost to the Crusaders earlier this season.

The Hurricanes have won nine of their past ten games as home favourites and they are 7-3 against the line in this scenario.

Winning away from home has not been an issue for the Crusaders this season and they are 1-1 as away underdogs, with an identical record against the line.

This game could be decided by which team starts more of their All Blacks and because of the home-ground advantage that is likely to be the  Hurricanes.

Back The Hurricanes To Win @ $1.80

Western Force Vs Waratahs

Saturday 15 July, 7:45pm, NIB Stadium

Western Force 40 - Waratahs 11

This could be the final game ever played by the Force and a win would secure them a second place finish in the Australian Conference.

The Waratahs season hit another low when they went down to the Jaguares last weekend, but they will still start this clash as favourites.

They have won their only game as away favourites this season and the covered the line in doing so, but their overall record as favourites is not good.

The Force accounted for the Rebels last weekend and they have generally performed well against their Australian rivals this season.

They have won only one of their past five games as home underdogs, but they are 3-2 against the line in this situation.

This is a game that the market has got just about right and I am keen to stay out of it from a betting perspective.

No Bet

Sharks Vs Lions

Sunday 16 July, 1:15am, Growthpoint Kings Park

Sharks 10 - Lions 27

This is another interesting game between the two best teams in South Africa.

The Lions have been most impressive during the 2017 Super Rugby season and they have lost only one game, so it is no surprise that they will start this clash as clear favourites.

They have won their past five games as away favourites, but they are only 2-3 against the line in this scenario.

The Sharks suffered a shock loss at the hands of the Bulls last weekend and that really isn’t the kind of performance you want to have heading into the Super Rugby Finals.

This will be the first time all season that the Sharks have started a home game as underdogs, but their record at home has generally been strong.

The Lions have won their past four games against the Sharks and that should continue this weekend, but there is no value at their current price.

Bulls Vs Stormers

Sunday 16 July, 3:30am, Loftus Versfeld

Blues 33 - Stormers 41

It is the Stormers that will start the final game of the 2017 Super Rugby season as narrow favourites.

The Stormers have scored plenty of points so far this season and they are a team that is very easy to trust as favourites – they have won their past three games as away favourites and they are 2-1 against the line in this scenario.

The Bulls were unable to build on their win over the Sharks and they went down to the Kings last weekend in a performance that has been typical of their season to date.

They have lost their past three games as home underdogs and they have won just one of their past eight when they aren’t favourites.

The Stormers can win and the line of 3.5 points does not look like enough.

Back the Stormers To Beat The Line (-3.5 Points)


2016

This is the final round of the 2016 Super Rugby regular season.

Eight teams will qualify for the Super Rugby Finals and there will likely still be plenty of positions in the finals up for grabs heading into the final round of the season.

There are a number of key games in the New Zealand Conference – with the Crusaders set to battle the Hurricanes and the Highlanders taking on the Chiefs – while the Lions can finish their stellar regular season with a win over the Jaguares.

Blues Vs Waratahs

Friday 15 July, 5:35pm, Eden Park

Blues 34 - Waratahs 28

The Waratahs chances of making the Super Rugby Finals are now extremely slim, but they need to win this clash to have any opportunity whatsoever and they can finish as low as 11th with a loss.

The Blues are now out of finals contention and have nothing to play for but pride, but they market still can’t split these two sides and they are both available at a quote of $1.92.

The Blues recorded a very impressive victory over the Brumbies last weekend and they have proven to be a fairly safe betting proposition in front of their home fans, but in saying that the Waratahs have won four out of their six games away from home this season.

The problems for the Blues this season has been a lack of consistency and they have recorded back-to-back wins just twice this season, while the Waratahs are 4-2 on the back of a loss.

This factor as well as the reality that the Waratahs have more to play for gives them the narrow edge in this fixture.

Recommended Bet: Back The Waratahs

Reds Vs Rebels

Friday 15 July, 7:45pm, Suncorp Stadium

Reds 28 - Rebels 31

This has been a season to forget for both teams and they are go into this clash on the back of embarrassing defeats last weekend.

The Reds were beaten 50-5 by the Chiefs last weekend and they lost to the Rebels earlier this season, but they are still set to start this clash as clear favourites.

This is an unusual position for the Reds and their record as the punter’s elect isn’t anything to write home about – they are 2-1 in head to bead betting and 1-2 against the line.

The Rebels were simply shocking against the Crusaders and conceded a staggering 85 points, while scoring 26 points of their own.

They have won two of their six games as away underdogs this season for a narrow loss and they are a mediocre 3-3 against the line in this situation.

These two teams are both extremely tough to trust from a betting perspective and I am more than happy for them to finish their seasons without my money involved.

Recommended Bet: No Bet

Sharks Vs Sunwolves

Saturday 16 July, 3:00am, Growthpoint Kings Park

Sharks 40 - Sunwolves 29

This will be the first ever meeting between the Sharks and the Sunwolves and both teams have very little to play for.

The Sharks were able to beat the Cheetahs last weekend, but their loss the week before to the Lions ended their chances of playing finals and they could finish in the second half of the ladder.

They have been far from profitable as home favourites in head to head betting markets this season, but they are 3-2 against the line.

The Sunwolves look set to finish this season with a whimper following their 50-3 loss and their form away from Japan and Singapore has been extremely poor – they have failed to win a single game on the road and they are 2-4 against the line.

The line of 35.5 points does seem excessive, but recent results suggest that the Sharks should have no problems covering if they play at anywhere near their best.

Recommended Bet: Back The Sharks To Beat The Line (-35.5 Points)

Crusaders Vs Hurricanes

Saturday 16 July, 3:15pm, AMI Stadium

Crusaders 10 - Hurricanes 35

This is a crucial game as both these sides can still finish on top of the Super Rugby Ladder if they win this weekend and other results go their way.

The Crusaders were at their dominant best against the Rebels last weekend and they will go into this clash as dominant favourites.

The Crusaders are one of the safest betting teams in all of Super Rugby and they have won six of their past seven games as home favourites, while they are 5-2 against the line in this scenario.

In saying that, the Hurricanes are also one of the best betting teams in the competition and they have won two of their four games as away underdogs this season, with a profitable record of 3-1 against the line.

This is set to be a thrilling match and will likely be the game of the round, but the market has got the prices just about right and I am happy to stay out of this clash from a betting perspective.

Recommended Bet: No Bet

Highlanders Vs Chiefs

Saturday 16 July, 5:35pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium

Highlanders 25 - Chiefs 15

This is another extremely exciting match between two sides that can finish on top of the Super Rugby ladder.

The Highlanders have an extremely impressive record against the Chiefs and they have won the past five games played between the two sides, which is one of the reasons they are set to start this clash as favourites.

The Highlanders have lost just one game as home favourites this season for a solid profit, but they are only an average 3-3 against the line in this scenario.

The Chiefs were outstanding against the Reds last weekend and their has been plenty to like about their two performances since the competition resumed after the international break.

The Chiefs have won all four of their game as away underdogs this season for a sizeable profit and they are more than capable of ending their losing streak against the Highlanders at a very juicy price.

Recommended Bet: Back The Chiefs To Win @ $2.24

Brumbies Vs Force

Saturday 16 July, 7:45pm, GIO Stadium

Brumbies 24 - Force 10

The Brumbies are in the box-seat to finish on top of the Australian Conference and they can secure that title with a bonus point victory over the Force on Saturday night.

The Brumbies were very disappointing against the Blues last weekend, but they obviously face a much easier assignment against the Western Force and will start this clash as very short-priced favourites.

This has not been a profitable play for the Brumbies this season in head to head betting, but they are 5-2 against the line when giving away a start in front of their home fans.

The Force have won just one of their past eight games – against the lowly Sunwolves – and they have proven to be a losing betting proposition across just about every metric this season.

The only exception is the fact that they are 4-2 against the line as away underdogs and that does make me somewhat cautious ahead of this fixture.

The line of 20.5 points seems just about right and this is another game that I am willing to let go through to the keeper from a betting perspective.

Stormers Vs Kings

Sunday 17 July, 1:05am, DHL Newlands

Stormers 52 - Kings 24

The Stormers have won their past two previous meetings with the Kings and they are almost unbackable favourites to win by again this weekend.

The Stormers returned from their tour of Australia with two comfortable victories over the Rebels and the Force, but there is some evidence to suggest that they won’t be able to cover the sizeable line of 33.5 points against the Kings this weekend.

They have won their two previous meetings against the Kings by a combined total of only 21 points and their record against the line as home favourites is a very average 4-2.

The Lions were on the receiving end of a hiding against the Lions last weekend, but a similar performance against the Stormers would be enough for them to beat the line and they have only lost one of their past six games by more than 33.5 points.

It is tough to have any faith in the Lions, but I am confident that they are capable of finishing the season on a positive note and can beat the line of 33.5 points.

Recommended Bet: Back The Kings To Beat The Line (+33.5 Points)

Cheetahs Vs Bulls

Sunday 17 July, 3:15am, Toyota Stadium

Cheetahs 17 - Bulls 43

This is another game with nothing on the line as neither of these teams can qualify for the Super Rugby finals.

The Bulls have been extremely inconsistent this season, but they did record a big win over the Sunwolves last weekend and they will start this game as clear favourites.

Away favourtism has been a surprisingly profitable position for the Bulls and they are 3-0 in this scenario, while they are 2-1 against the line.

The Cheetahs really struggle against teams that are better than them and it should come as no surprise that they have not won a single game as underdogs this season.

They are 2-1 against the line as home underdogs, but overall they are 4-6 when giving away a start and 5.5 points does not seem as though it will be enough.

Recommended Bet: Back The Bulls To Beat The Line (-5.5 Points)

Jaguares Vs Lions

Sunday 17 July, 7:40am, Estadio Jose Amalfitani

Jaguares 34 - Lions 22

The Lions have already secured their place in the Super Rugby Finals, but they will claim the minor premiership if they are able to beat the Jaguares this weekend.

The Lions have been one of the revelations of the 2016 Super Rugby season and it should come as no surprise that they are set to start this clash as clear favourites.

They have been the most reliable betting team in Super Rugby this season and they have won both their games this season as home favourites, from they are 4-2 against the line away from home.

It is fair to say that the Jaguares have been highly disappointing in their rookie Super Rugby season and they were no match for the Highlanders last weekend.

The Jaguares have lost all six games that they have started as underdogs this season and they are a truly woeful 1-5 against the line in this scenario.

Backing the Lions has proven to be a very profitable play all season long and there is no reason to jump off them this weekend.

Recommended Bet: No Bet