2018 Super Rugby Round 4 Preview

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There are a host of big games in Super Rugby this weekend.

The highlight will be the Saturday Night Blockbuster between the Hurricanes and the Crusaders, while the Rebels host the Brumbies in a crucial Australian Derby.

We have analysed every game set to take place this weekend and our complete 2018 Super Rugby Round 4 tips can be found below.

Highlanders Vs Stormers

Friday 9 March, 5:35pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium

Highlanders 33 - Stormers 15

The Highlanders started their Super Rugby season with a win over the Blues and they will start this clash with the Stormers as clear favourites.

Forsyth Barr Stadium has been a genuine fortress for the Highlanders in recent seasons and they have won their past seven games as home favourites, while they are 4-3 against the line in this scenario.

The Stormers have an awful record against New Zealand Super Rugby franchises and they were no match for the Crusaders last weekend.

They have lost their past six games as away underdogs and their record against the line isn’t much better.

It is tough to see the Stormers improving their records in New Zealand and the Highlanders should be able to record a comfortable win.

Back Highlanders To Cover The Line (-14.5 Points)

Rebels Vs Brumbies

Friday 9 March, 7:45pm, AAMI Park

Rebels 33 – Brumbies 10

This is a big opportunity to the Rebels to start the season with three straight wins.

The Rebels have recorded big wins over the Reds and the Sunwolves and they will go into this clash with the Brumbies as clear favourites.

Winning at home has been something of an issue for the Rebels, but they did win their only game as home favourites last season.

The Brumbies produced a truly awful performance against the Reds last weekend and they will need to improve significantly to have any chance of beating the Rebels.

They have won two of their past four games as away underdogs for a profit, but it really is tough to back them off their effort against the Reds.

This is a match that the market looks to have just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.

No Bet

Hurricanes Vs Crusaders

Saturday 10 March, 5:35pm, Westpac Stadium

Hurricanes 29 – Crusaders 19

This is easily the biggest game of the weekend in Super Rugby and the market can’t split the two sides.

The Hurricanes started their Super Rugby season with a shock loss at the hands of the Bulls, but they bounced back to beat the Jaguares last weekend.

They have won six of their past seven games at home and they did beat the Crusaders in Wellington last season.

The Crusaders have looked nothing short of outstanding in their two wins over the Chiefs and the Stormers, but winning in Wellington has proven to be an issue for them.

They have lost the past four games they have played against the Hurricanes away from home and they have not beaten them at Westpac Stadium since 2012.

In saying that, it has been hard not to be impressed by the style of rugby that the Crusaders have produced in recent weeks and they may never have a better chance to win at Westpac Stadium.

Back Crusaders To Win @ $1.91

Reds Vs Bulls

Saturday 10 March, 7:45pm, Suncorp Stadium

Reds 20 – Bulls 14

The Reds scored a very tough win over the Brumbies last weekend and they will go into this clash with the Bulls as clear favourites.

There was plenty to like about the character that the Reds showed in that win and there are a number of positive signs for the future – even though they failed to score a try.

The Reds have won only one of their past three games as home favourites and have failed to cover the line in any of these fixtures, but their record against the Bulls in Australia is a good one.

The Bulls were not disgraced against the Lions last weekend and they have made a fairly promising start to the Super Rugby season following their win over the Hurricanes.

Winning away from home has been an issue for the Bulls and the home side has won the past six games played between these two sides.

I can’t get the Reds as short as their current price, but I can’t back the Bulls on the road with any confidence.

No Bet

Sharks Vs Sunwolves

Sunday 11 March, 12:05am, Kings Park Stadium

Sharks 50 – Sunwolves 22

The Sharks are the shortest-priced favourites of the weekend in Super Rugby.

They are still chasing their first win of the Super Rugby season following their draw with the Waratahs and the side will go into full crisis mode if they fail to win this clash.

The Sharks have won four of their past seven games as home favourites, but they are a poor 2-5 against the line in this situation.

The Sunwolves ran out of steam late against the Rebels last weekend, but they were in the game for a long way and there is no doubt that they have improved this season.

A win on the road continues to elude the Sunwolves, but they are 4-3 against the line as away underdogs.

The Sunwolves are capable of giving the Sharks a scare and they can cover the line with a healthy start.

Back Sunwolves To Beat The Line (+17.5 Points)

Lions Vs Blues

Sunday 11 March, 2:15am, Emirates Airline Park

Lions 35 – Blues 38

This is one of the most interesting games of the weekend in Super Rugby.

The Lions continued on their winning ways with a comfortable victory over the Bulls and it should come as no surprise that they will start this clash as clear favourites.

They have proven to be just about impossible to beat as favourites and they are now 5-4 against the line as home favourites.

The Blues have played well in both their games in the Super Rugby season to date, but they were unable to come away with wins against both the Highlanders and Blues.

They have now their past three games as away underdogs and they have not beaten the Lions in South Africa since 2011.

Backing the Lions continues to be a profitable betting play and there is no reason to drop off them this weekend.

Back Lions To Cover The Line (-8.5 Points)

Jaguares Vs Waratahs

Sunday 11 March, 8:40am, Estadio Jose Amalfitani

Jaguares 38 – Waratahs 28

The Jaguares may have the home ground advantage, but it is the Waratahs that will start this clash as clear favourites.

The Waratahs played some solid rugby to draw with the Sharks last weekend and they will take confidence from the fact that they performed well on the road.

They only played one game as away favourites last season and they were able to win, while they are 6-1 against the line when playing away from home.

The Jaguares were no match for the Hurricanes last weekend and it looks set to be another long season for the Argentine side.

They have won only three of their past eight games at home and they are an awful 1-7 against the line in this scenario.

I am always happy to oppose the Jaguares and the Waratahs can continue what has been a decent start to the season.

Back The Waratahs To Cover The Line (-4.5 Points)


2017

It is another big weekend of action in Super Rugby and there are a number of interesting games spread right across the weekend.

The round starts with a New Zealand Derby between the Crusaders and the Blues on Friday before the Rebels host the Chiefs.

The Waratahs and Brumbies meet for the inaugural edition of the Dan Vickerman Cup, while the Reds face a tough assignment against the Lions in South Africa.

Crusaders Vs Blues

Friday 17 March, 5:35pm, AMI Stadium

Crusaders 33 - Blues 24

The Crusaders only scrapped home against the Reds last weekend, but they will still go into this clash as clear favourites.

They weren’t at anywhere near their best against the Reds, but their will to win and composure in the final stages got them home.

The Crusaders have won six of their past seven games as home favourites, while they are 4-3 against the line in this scenario.

The Blues are yet to beat a New Zealand Super Rugby team this season after going down to the Chiefs and the Highlanders in back-to-back weeks.

Winning as away underdogs has been an issue for the Blues and they have lost their past four games in this scenario, while they are 2-2 against the line.

The Crusaders should prove far too strong for the Blues and the line of 4.5 points will not be anywhere near enough.

Back The Crusaders To Beat The Line (-4.5 Points)

Rebels Vs Chiefs

Friday 17 March, 7:45pm, AAMI Park

Rebels 14 - Chiefs 27

The Rebels have been extremely poor during the Super Rugby season to date and it is no surprise that they will go into this clash as clear underdogs.

The Rebels have been beaten by a combined total of over 100 points in their two games this season and they have failed to cover the line in their past five games as home underdogs.

The Chiefs made it three wins on the trot with a fighting victory over the Hurricanes and they should prove far too strong for the Rebels.

They have covered the line in six of their past nine games away from home and it would not surprise to see them put up a very big strong.

The line of 17.5 points will not be anywhere near enough.

Back The Chiefs To Beat The Line (-17.5 Points)

Bulls Vs Sunwolves

Saturday 18 March, 4:00am, Loftus Versfeld

Bulls 34 - Sunwolves 21

The Bulls have lost two games on the trot, but they are still the shortest-priced favourites of the weekend.

The Bulls have won three of their past four games as home favourites for a narrow loss and they are only 2-2 against the line.

It was an improved performance from the Sunwolves last weekend and they only went down to the Cheetahs by seven points.

The Sunwolves are yet to win a Super Rugby game away from home and they are 4-4 against the line as away underdogs.

This is a game that the market looks to have got just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.

No Bet

Hurricanes Vs Highlanders

Saturday 18 March, 5:35pm, Westpac Stadium

Hurricanes 41 - Highlanders 15

This is the game of the weekend and should be a highly entertaining clash.

The Hurricanes went down to the Chiefs last weekend, but they will still go into this clash as clear favourites.

Winning at home has now been a problem for the Hurricanes and they have won eight of their past nine games as home favourites, while they are 5-4 against the line in this scenario.

The Highlanders scored a fighting victory over the Blues last weekend and their early-season form has been better than what their position on the ladder suggests.

They have won two of their past three games as away underdogs for a clear profit and they are 2-1 against the line in this scenario.

There is not as much between these teams as the current betting market suggests and I am keen to back the Highlanders with a start of 9.5 points.

Back The Highlanders To Beat The Line (+9.5 Points)

Waratahs Vs Brumbies

Saturday 18 March, 7:45pm, Allianz Stadium

Waratahs 12 - Brumbies 28

This is a crucial game for both the Waratahs and the Brumbies.

The Brumbies claimed their first win of the season when they beat the Force last Friday night, while the Waratahs return from South Africa winless.

It is the Waratahs that will start this clash as home favourites and this is a position in which they have struggled – they have won just three of their past five games in this scenario and they are 2-3 against the line.

The Brumbies are definitely lacking depth this season and they are not the same team they have been in recent seasons.

They have lost their past two games as away underdogs and their record against the line away from home does not inspire confidence.

Both these teams are tough to trust from a betting standpoint and this is another clash that I am happy to stay out of.

No Bet

Lions Vs Reds

Sunday 19 March, 2:15am, Emirates Airline Park

Lions 44 - Reds 14

The Lions suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of the Jaguares last weekend, but they will still go into this clash with the Reds as clear favourites.

The Lions have been flawless at home as favourites over the past 12 months – they have won their past eight games in this scenario and they are 7-1 against the line.

The Reds suffered a heart-breaking loss at the hands of the Crusaders last weekend and it will be interesting to see how they bounce back mentally.

They showed plenty of positive signs against the Crusaders, but stringing together positive performances has been an issue.

The Reds have not won a game away from home over the past 12 months and they are 104 against the line as away underdogs.

There is no doubt that the Lions are one of the safest betting plays of the weekend and they should be able to cover the line comfortably.

Back The Lions To Beat The Line (-12.5 Points)

Sharks Vs Kings

Sunday 19 March, 4:30am, Growthpoint Kings Park

Sharks 19 - Kings 17

The Sharks are the shortest-priced favourites of the weekend and the line has been set at a massive 30.5 points.

The Sharks face a non-Australian team for the first time this season and they really should get the job done, but their is no value at their current price.

They have won only four of their past six games as home favourites for a clear loss and they are an unconvincing 3-3 against the line in this scenario.

The Kings were no match for the Stormers last weekend and they have now won only one of their past seven games as away underdogs, but they are 5-2 against the line in this scenario.

The line does seem excessive in this clash and I am happy to back the Kings with a start of 29.5 points.

Back The Kings To Beat The Line (+29.5 Points)

Jaguares Vs Cheetahs

Sunday 19 March, 6:40am, Estadio Jose Amalfitani

Jaguares 41 - Cheetahs 14

The Jaguares beat the Lions in impressive fashion last weekend and they will go into this clash with the Cheetahs as clear favourites.

Winning as home favourites has proven to be somewhat of an issue for the Jaguares since they entered Super Rugby and they have improved that record to 4-2 in terms of head-to-head betting, but they are still 3-3 against the line.

The Cheetahs were far from impressive against the Sunwolves, but they still came away with the victory and they have two two of their three games this season.

The Cheetahs are generally an easy team to predict from a betting standpoint – they win when they are favourites and lose when they are underdogs.

They have not won a game as away underdogs over the past 12 months and they are only 2-4 against the line in this scenario.

Both these teams are tough to trust from a betting standpoint and I am happy to stay out of this clash.

No Bet


2016

Round 4 of the Super Rugby season begins on Friday afternoon when the Hurricanes take on the Force and the game of the round follows when the Waratahs host the Highlanders at Allianz Stadium.

The Bulls take on the Sharks in the South African Derby in the pick of Saturday’s games before the Jaguares play in Argentina for the first time when they host the Chiefs on Sunday morning.

Hurricanes Vs Force

Friday 18 March, 5:35pm, Central Energy Trust Arena

Hurricanes 41 - Force 6

The Hurricanes finally scored their first win of the season with a solid performance against the Blues last weekend, while the Force were no match for a rampant Brumbies.

The Force have never beaten the Hurricanes in Super Rugby and based on betting they won’t be ending that losing streak this weekend.

The Hurricanes are 7-2 as favourites in front of their home fans in the past 12 months and it is no doubt that they will prove very tough to beat on Friday afternoon, but there really isn’t a great deal of valye in their current price and their record against the line as favourites is only a fair 7-6.

The New Zealand-based side have struggled with their execution in 2016 to date and the line of 15.5 points is simply too great.

Recommended Bet: No Bet

Waratahs Vs Highlanders

Friday 18 March, 7:45pm, Allianz Stadium

Waratahs 26 - Highlanders 30

This is one of the highlights of the round as these two teams met in the Super Rugby Semi-Finals last season, with the Highlanders prevailing before they beat the Hurricanes in the Final.

The Waratahs are fresh off the bye and they are set to start this game as favourites, despite the fact that the Highlanders have won their past two games against quality opposition.

The Sydney-based side have an excellent record against the line as favourites in the past 12 months, while the Highlanders are not a winning betting proposition as underdogs.

This will be a hard-fought game, but the Waratahs quality should get their home in the end and they are a good bet to cover the line of 1.5 points.

Recommended Bet: Back The Waratahs To Beat The Line (-1.5 points)

Bulls Vs Sharks

Saturday 19 March, 4:ooam, Loftus Versfeld

Bulls 16 - Sharks 16

This is an intriguing South African Derby, with the Sharks set to start favourites following their upset win over the Stormers last weekend.

The Bulls were badly beaten by the Stormers in the opening round of the season and they bounced to beat the Rebels in round 2, but that does not look like the strongest form line.

The Sharks have won six of their past seven games as favourites, but their record against the line is not great in this scenario, while the Bulls are 4-2 as underdogs.

The Bulls have a simply outstanding record in front of their home fans at Loftus Versfeld and they are a great chance to get the job done this weekend, but I am keen to take the 1.5 points start for some insurance in what is set to be a very close affair.

Recommended Bet: Back The Sharks To Beat The Line (+1.5 points)

Sunwolves Vs Rebels

Saturday 19 March, 3:15pm, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium

Sunwolves 9 - Rebels 35

The Sunwolves looked set to record their first every Super Rugby victory when they opened up a big lead against the Cheetahs last weekend, but they were run over the top of late and suffered a heart-breaking defeat.

The Rebels were able to improve their record to 2-1 with a narrow win over the Reds, but it was far from a convincing performance and they will need to improve to win this weekend.

As we saw last weekend, the Rebels don’t have a great record as favourites and they are 2-5 against the line in this situation.

On the other hand, the Sunwolves have beaten the line in both of their games this season to date and their is no reason they can’t do the same again this weekend – especially with the juicy start of 5.5 points.

Recommended Bet: Back The Sunwolves To Beat The Line (+5.5 Points)

Crusaders Vs Kings

Saturday 19 March, 5:35pm , AMI Stadium

Crusaders 57 - Kings 24

The Kings started strongly against the Chiefs last weekend, but they quickly gave up the fight and they suffered their second big defeat from as many games to date this season.

It doesn’t get any easier for the struggling South African side this weekend as they face a Crusaders side that will be refreshed after a week off for the bye.

It would be the biggest upset in Super Rugby history if the Kings were to beat the Crusaders and that is simply not going to happen, so line betting is the only way you can think about playing this fixtures.

The Crusaders are 5-4 against the line as favourites in the past 12 months, but at this stage of the season a line of 32.5 points is extremely large and the Crusaders will not cover unless they play aggressively throughout – something that may not happen if they kick away to an early lead.

Recommended Bet: No Bet

Reds Vs Blues

Saturday 19 March, 7:45am, Suncorp Stadium

Reds 25 - Blues 25

The Reds had their chance to score their first win of the Super Rugby season against the Rebels last weekend, but they were unable to get the job done and they face a much tougher assignment this weekend.

The Blues have suffered narrow losses to the Crusaders and the Hurricanes in their past two games, but they have played some good rugby in the process and this is the easiest challenge they have faced during this season to date.

The Reds are a shocking 1-5 against the line in front of their home fans over the past 12 months and while the Blues do have have a great record over this same period, they have far more quality in their side than their opposition and the line of 5.5 points will not be anywhere near enough.

Recommended Bet: Back The Blues To Beat The Line (-5.5 points)

Lions Vs Cheetahs

Sunday 20 March, 2:05am, Emirates Airlines Park

Lions 39 - Cheetahs 22

The Lions came crashing back to earth with their loss to the Hurricanes last weekend, while the Cheetahs were able to record their first win of the season with a come from behind victory over the Sunwolves.

Although the Lions were beaten last weekend, they will still consider it a successful trip to New Zealand following their win over the Chiefs and they are deserving of their status as short-priced favourites here.

The Lions have won their past five games as favourites, but their record against the line in this scenario is not as strong – although the sample size is fairly small.

It is hard to get excited about this Cheetahs side and they are basically a losing betting proposition in every scenario.

The Lions should be able to return to winning form, but their is no edge at their price and I am willing to sit out of this game betting wise.

Recommended Bet: No Bet

Stormers Vs Brumbies

Sunday 20 March, 4:15am, DHL Newlands

Stormers 31 - Brumbies 11

This is one of the games of the row and is set to be one of the most interesting games from a betting perspective.

The Brumbies have been the form team in Super Rugby this season, but the trip to South Africa is always a tough one and the Stormers are no slouches, despite their upset loss to the Sharks last weekend.

Stephen Larkham’s men have a great record as favourites and they are 3-1 against the line as away favourites, while the Stormers don’t have a great deal of experience as home underdogs.

The market appears to have got the line exactly right, but there is value in the Over/Under betting market.

The Stormers and the Brumbies are both traditionally Unders teams and this looks as though it will be a tough low-scoring affair.

Recommended Bet: Back The Under In The Overs/Unders Betting Market

Jaguares Vs Chiefs

Sunday 20 March, 8:40am, Estadio Jose Amalfitani

Jaguares 26 - Chiefs 30

The Jaguares have only played two Super Rugby games, but they have both been thrillers and they have shown that they will be more than competitive this season.

The Chiefs suffered a shock defeat to the Lions in round 2 of the Super Rugby season and they returned to winning form against the Kings, but it is fair to say that their performance was not particularly impressive.

It is still very early days of the Jaguares, but the market is still keen to throw their support behind the Argentinean side and they have come up as clear favourites here,

This is a bit of a knock on the Chiefs as I really feel they have been underrated here and they are 4-2 against the line as away underdogs.

Recommended Bet: Back The Chiefs To Beat The Line (+3.5 Points)