2018 Super Rugby Round 5 Preview

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There were plenty of surprises in Super Rugby last weekend and we are set for another interesting round.

The Melbourne Rebels now sit on top of the Super Rugby ladder and they take on the Waratahs in a huge Australian Derby on Sunday afternoon.

We have analysed all seven games set to take place this weekend and our complete 2018 Super Rugby round 5 tips can be found below.

Chiefs Vs Bulls

Friday 16 March, 5:35pm, FMG Stadium Waikato

Chiefs 41 – Bulls 28

The Chiefs recorded their first win of the season last weekend and they will start this clash with the Bulls as dominant favourites.

FMG Stadium has been a serious fortress for the Chiefs in recent seasons and they have won their past five games as home favourites, but they are a surprisingly poor 1-4 against the line in this scenario.

It has been an eternity since the Bulls won a game outside of South Africa and they missed out on a golden opportunity to do just that against the Reds last weekend.

This is obviously a much tougher scenario and it is tough to have any faith in a side that has won only one of their past five games as away underdogs.

The betting market that does appeal in this clash is the Total Points and the Under does look like an excellent bet.

The Under has saluted in five of the past six games played by the Bulls on the road and has also been a profitable betting play in fixtures involving the Chiefs.

Back Under 57.5 Points

Highlanders Vs Crusaders

Saturday 17 March, 5:35pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium

Highlanders 25 – Crusaders 17

This is easily the biggest game in Super Rugby this weekend.

The Crusaders were beaten by the Hurricanes last weekend and they will actually go into this clash as underdogs.

They have lost their past two games as underdogs and they are a side that the market does seem to get right.

In saying that, they will not have their own way against a Highlanders outfit that has recorded impressive wins over both the Blues and the Stormers so far this season.

The Highlanders have won their past eight games at Forsyth Barr Stadium, but the last team to beat them at the venue was the Crusaders and the Crusaders have won nine of the past 11 games between the two sides.

I think that the market has got this game wrong and the $2 for the Crusaders to win is over the odds.

Back The Crusaders To Win @ $2

Brumbies Vs Sharks

Saturday 17 March, 7:45pm, GIO Stadium

Brumbies 24 – Sharks 17

The Brumbies may have the home ground advantage, but it is the Sharks that will start this clash as narrow favourites.

The Sharks recorded their first win of the season over the Sunwolves last weekend, but it has still be an inconsistent start to the year,

They have won two of their past three games as away favourites and they have beaten the line in both of these wins.

The Brumbies were no match for the Rebels last weekend and it could prove to be a long season for the Canberra-based outfit.

They have lost their past four games as home underdogs and even more damming is the fact that they have failed to cover the line in any of these defeats.

The Sharks beat the Brumbies in Canberra last season and they can do the same on Saturday night.

Back The Sharks To Win @ $1.80

Stormers Vs Blues

Sunday 18 March, 12:05am, DHL Newlands

Stormers 37 – Blues 20

This is another game where there is not a great deal between the two teams in betting.

The Blues scored an upset win over the Lions last weekend and they will go into this clash as narrow favourites on the back of that big win.

Winning away from home has been something of an issue for the Blues and they have won only two of their past four games as away favourites for a loss.

It has been a brutal start to the Super Rugby season for the Stormers and they finally return to South Africa after losing to the Waratahs, Crusaders and Highlanders while in Australasia.

The Stormers have won two of their past three games as home underdogs for a big profit and they have won five of their past six games against the Blues.

It may be tough for the Blues to replicate their effort from last week and the Stormers are good value at their current price of $2.

Back The Stormers To Win @ $2

Lions Vs Sunwolves

Sunday 18 March, 2:15am, Emirates Airline Park

Lions 40 – Sunwolves 38

The Lions are the shortest-priced favourites in Super Rugby this weekend and they are at unbackable odds to beat the Sunwolves this weekend.

The Lions suffered a shock loss at home against the Blues last weekend, but it is very tough to see them suffering back-to-back defeats.

They have won 14 of their past 15 games as home favourites, but they have actually been a losing betting play against the line as home favourites.

A promising start to the season for the Sunwolves hit something of a roadblock when they were flogged by the Sharks last weekend and they are always a tough side to trust from a betting standpoint.

They have lost their past seven games as away underdogs and they are a poor 3-4 against the line in this scenario.

The Lions should win this clash comfortably, but the line is excessive and there is no value at their current price.

No Bet

Jaguares Vs Reds

Sunday 18 March, 7:40pm, Estadio Jose Amalfitani

Jaguares 7 – Reds 18

This clash between the Jaguares and the Reds is one of the most interesting betting games of the weekend.

It is the Jaguares that will start this clash as clear favourites following their win over the Waratahs, but they are a very tough side to trust from a betting perspective.

The Jaguares have won only two of their past six games as home favourites and they have failed to cover the line in any of these fixtures.

The issue for punters is that the Reds’ record away from home is just as poor.

They have lost their past six games as away underdogs and their record against the line is not much better.

The Reds have clearly taken some big strides under Brad Thorn this season, but it is still tough to trust them on the road.

Defence can be an issue for both these teams and it is the Over in our Total Points betting market that appeals in this clash.

Back Over

Waratahs Vs Rebels

Sunday 18 March, 4:05pm, Allianz Stadium

Waratahs 51 – Rebels 27

The Rebels have made an unbeaten start to the Super Rugby season, but it is the Waratahs that will start this clash as narrow favourites.

The Waratahs produced a poor effort against the Jaguares and they continue to be a tough team to trust from a betting perspective.

They have won only two of their past four games as home favourites and their overall record against the line is poor.

It has been a very pleasing start to the Super Rugby season for the Rebels and they were far too good for the Brumbies last weekend.

One area they still need to prove themselves this season is on the road as they were nothing short of shocking away from home in 2017.

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

No Bet


There are a number of intriguing games in Super Rugby this weekend and plenty of betting opportunities.

The Rebels will fancy their chances to upset the Waratahs on Friday Night and the Brumbies have the chance to become the first Australian side to beat a New Zealand rival when they face the Highlanders on Saturday.

Our Super Rugby tips continue to profit this season and that winning run is set to continue this weekend!

Crusaders Vs Western Force

Friday 24 March, 5:35pm, AMI Stadium

Crusaders 45 - Force 17

The Crusaders have made an unbeaten start to the 2017 Super Rugby season and they will go into this clash with the Western Force as dominant favourites.

The Canterbury-based franchise have won six of their past seven games as home favourites for a clear profit and they are now 5-2 against the line in this scenario following their come from behind win over the Blues.

The Force have made a credible start to the Super Rugby season, but this will easily be their toughest test to date.

They have not won a game as away underdogs for over 12 months, but their record against the line in this scenario is 5-2 for a clear profit.

There is no doubt that the Crusaders should be able to record a comfortable victory, but the Force have been somewhat of a bogey side for the Crusaders and there is no value in the current betting market.

No Bet

Rebels Vs Waratahs

Friday 24 March, 7:45pm, AAMI Park

Rebels 25 - Waratahs 32

The Waratahs have made a very unconvincing start to the Super Rugby season, but they will still go into this clash as clear favourites.

The Waratahs were extremely poor against the Brumbies last weekend and they have now recorded three defeats on the trot.

Their record as away favourites continues to be a positive though and they have won their past three games in this scenario, while they are 2-1 against the line.

The Rebels produced easily their best performance of the season last weekend against the Chiefs, but they still fell away badly in the final stages of the game.

Winning as underdogs has proven to be a difficult task for the Rebels and they have not done it at home for the past 12 months, while they are an extremely poor 1-5 against the line as home underdogs.

The Waratahs have the talent to bounce back on Friday night and can cover the line of 5.5 points.

Back The Waratahs To Beat The Line (-5.5 Points)

Blues Vs Bulls

Saturday 25 March, 5:35am, QBE Stadium

Blues 38 - Bulls 14

The Blues have lost three games on the trot, but they will still go into this clash with the Bulls as dominant favourites.

While the Blues were beaten by both the Highlanders and the Crusaders, they didn’t play that badly and they are definitely a better side than they were 12 months ago.

The Blues have won four of their past five games as home favourites for a profit, but they are a very poor 1-4 against the line in this scenario.

The Bulls recorded their first win of the season over the Sunwolves last weekend, but they were far from impressive and they really have made a slow start to the season.

They have not won a game as away underdogs in the past 12 months and their record against the line is just as bad.

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

No Bet

Brumbies Vs Highlanders

Saturday 25 March, 7:45pm, GIO Stadium

Brumbies 13 - Highlanders 18

This is one of the most interesting games of the round and it is the Highlanders that will go into this clash as narrow favourites.

The Highlanders have been handed an extremely tough draw to start the season and that definitely took its toll when they suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of the Hurricanes last weekend.

Winning away from home has not been an issue for the Highlanders and they have won four of their past six games as away favourites, while they are 4-2 against the line in this scenario.

Many experts were quick to write off the Brumbies at the start of the season, but they have indicated they may still be the best team in the Australian Conference with wins over the Force and the Waratahs.

This is obviously a tougher challenge and their form at GIO Stadium does not inspire a great deal of confidence – they have won only five of their past nine games at home and were beaten by the Highlanders at GIO Stadium last season.

An Australian Super Rugby side is yet to beat a team from New Zealand this season and that looks unlikely to change this weekend.

Back The Highlanders To Win @ $1.80

Sunwolves Vs Stormers

Saturday 25 March, 9:55pm, Singapore National Stadium

Sunwolves 31 - Stormers 44

The Stormers head to Singapore for a clash with the Sunwolves and they are the shortest-priced favourites in Super Rugby this weekend.

The Stormers have made a flawless start to their Super Rugby season and they really should be able to make it four wins from as many starts.

They have won three of their past five games as home favourites for a narrow loss, but they are 3-2 against the line in this scenario.

The Sunwolves are yet to win a game in Super Rugby this season, but outside of their opening round humiliation at the hands of the Hurricanes they have been far from disgraced.

They have won one of their past six games as home underdogs for a big profit, but they are a tough side to trust from a betting standpoint.

The Stormers should be able to cruise to victory, but there is no value in this market.

No Bet

Kings Vs Lions

Sunday 26 March, 12:05am, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

Kings 19 - Lions 42

The Lions are another very short-priced favourite in Super Rugby this weekend.

They returned to winning form with a dominant effort against the Reds and there is nothing to suggest that they will have any problems against the Kings this weekend.

The Lions won both their games as away favourites last season, but were unconvincing against the line in this scenario.

The Kings were excellent against the Sharks last weekend and even though they failed to come away with the win they will still take plenty of confidence from that performances.

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium has not been a happy hunting ground for the Kings and they have won just one of their past seven games as home underdogs, while they are 2-1-4 against the line.

The Lions really should prove too strong for the Kings and it would not surprise to see them put up a big score.

Back The Lions To Beat The Line (-25.5 Points)

Cheetahs Vs Sharks

Sunday 26 March, 2:15am, Toyota Stadium

Cheetahs 30 - Sharks 38

The Cheetahs have the home-ground advantage, but it is the Sharks that will go into this clash as clear favourites.

The Sharks have not set the world on fire this season and they got out of jail against the Kings, but they have still won three games on the trot.

This will be the first time in 12 months that the Sharks have started an away game as favourites, but they have been a winning proposition away from home over the past 12 months.

The Cheetahs made a promising start to the season, but they took a step backwards with a poor performance against the Jaguares last weekend.

They are a side that struggle to beat teams above them on the Super Rugby ladder and they have won just one of their past ten games as underdogs.

The Sharks should make it four wins on the trot and the line of 4.5 points will not be enough.

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

Jaguares Vs Reds

Sunday 26 March, 7:40am, Estadio Jose Amalfitani

Jaguares 22 - Reds 8

The Jaguares have made a strong start to the Super Rugby season and they go into this clash with the Reds as clear favourites.

The Jaguares stamped themselves as serious contenders in the South African Conference with their win over the Lions and they proved that was no fluke with a big win over the Cheetahs.

They have now won five of their past six games as home favourites and they are 4-2 against the line in this scenario.

The Reds were no match for the Lions last weekend and they go into this clash without both James Slipper and Quade Cooper.

Their form away from home has been truly putrid and they have not won a game on the road for well over a season, while they are 1-5 against the line in this scenario.

The line has been set at 13.5 points and the Jaguares are one of the best bets of the weekend to cover that margin.

Back The Jaguares To Beat The Line (-13.5 Points)


2016

Hurricanes Vs Kings

Friday 25 March, 5:35pm, Westpac Stadium

Hurricanes 42 - Kings 20

The Kings return to Super Rugby has been nothing short of a disaster and it doesn’t get any easier for them this weekend against a Hurricanes side that were ruthless against the Force last weekend.

The Hurricanes are extremely short favourites and the only bet of interest will be at the line, with the Wellington-based franchise only 5-5 against the line as home favourites in the past 12 months.

The Kings lost by 33 points last weekend, but that was still enough for them to beat the line for the first time this season

Games involving the Kings have been very tricky from a betting perspective this season I am more than happy to stay out of this game.

Recommended Bet: No Bet

Chiefs Vs Force

Saturday 26 March, 4:35pm, FMG Stadium

Chiefs 53 - Force 10

This is another game with a very short favourite as the Chiefs are expected to be far too good for the Force following their upset win over the Jaguares last weekend.

The Chiefs have been a losing betting proposition as favourites in the past 12 months and they are an extremely poor 1-5 against the line as home favourites.

The Force were very poor against the Hurricanes last weekend and they are a middling 5-6 against the line as underdogs, but that record improves to 4-2 as away underdogs.

I normally like to stick with the data, but from a rugby perspective the line of 16.5 points does not seem like enough and I can see the Chiefs inflicting another heavy defeat on the Force.

Recommended Bet: Back The Chiefs To Beat The Line (-16.5 points)

Rebels Vs Highlanders

Saturday 26 March, 6:45am, AAMI Park

Rebels 3 - Highlanders 27

The Rebels produced their best performance of the season to date to beat the Sunwolves comfortably last weekend, while the Highlanders survived a second-half comeback from the Waratahs to record their third straight win.

The Highlanders have been one of the best betting teams in Super Rugby in the past 12 months and they have beaten the line on eight occasions as favourites in the past 11 games, which includes a 3-1 record as away favourites.

The Rebels are 8-7 against the line in the past 12 months and that record improves to 5-3 in games where they are underdogs.

In saying that, the line of 4.5 points does not look like enough and the Highlanders are a fairly safe bet to get the job done this weekend.

Recommended Bet: Back The Highlanders To Beat The Line (-4.5 points)

Sunwolves Vs Bulls

Saturday 26 March, 8:55pm, Singapore National Stadium

Sunwolves 27 - Bulls 30

The Sunwolves are still chasing their first ever Super Rugby victory and they head into this clash with the Bulls on the back of their worst performance yet.

The Bulls played out a nail-biting draw with the Sharks last weekend and they are clear favourites to return winning form against the Japanese side on Saturday night.

The Bulls have really struggled in games away from home in the past 12 months and they have won just won game in their past eight away from home, while they are 3-4 as favourites against the line.

I am hopeful that the Sunwolves can bounce back this weekend give the Bulls, who have struggled to score points this season to date, a challenge

Recommended Bet: Back The Sunwolves To Beat The Line (+16.5 Points)

Cheetahs Vs Brumbies

Saturday 26 March, 11:05pm, Toyota Stadium

Cheetahs 18 - Brumbies 25

The Brumbies suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of the Stormers last weekend and they need to win this game in order to return from South Africa with something to show for their troubles.

The Cheetahs were no match for the Lions in Johannesburg last weekend and it comes a no surprise that they head into this fixture as heavy underdogs.

Backing the Brumbies to beat the line in the past 12 months has been a narrow winning proposition and they have a good record in their limited experience as away favourites, while the Cheetahs are 2-4 against the line as home underdogs.

I am confident that the Brumbies can atone for their poor effort last weekend and I expect them to score a comfortable win over the Cheetahs

Recommended Bet: Back The Brumbies To Beat The Line (-8.5 Points)

Sharks Vs Crusaders

Sunday 27 March, 1:15am, Growthpoint Kings Park

Sharks 14 - Crusaders 19

This is probably the game of the round and the betting suggests that it will be the closest fixture of the weekend.

The Sharks were written off somewhat at the start of the season, but they are yet to lose a game following their draw with the Bulls last weekend and they will start as favourites.

In head to head betting this has been a position in which the Sharks have thrived in recent seasons and they are 4-1 as home favourites, but that record is nowhere near as good against the line.

The Crusaders don’t start many games as underdogs, but they are still able to win the majority of their games when they are in this position and they have played well in recent weeks.

The $2.25 currently on offer for the Crusaders to win is definitely value and I am confident that they can deliver the Sharks their first loss of the season.

Recommended Bet: Back The Crusaders To Win @ $2.25

Jaguares Vs Stormers

Sunday 27 March, 7:40am, Estadio Jose Amalfitani

Jaguares 8 - Stormers 13

The Jaguares have been involved in a number of nail-biting games during their brief stint in Super Rugby to date and they suffered their second straight four point defeat at the hands of the Chiefs last weekend.

The Stormers bounced back from their defeat at the hands of the Sharks to beat the Brumbies in very comfortable fashion and it is somewhat of a surprise that the Jaguares have come up as such clear favourites.

In the past 12 months, backing the Stormers as underdogs has been a winning betting proposition and they are 3-2 against the line in this scenario.

In contrast, the Jaguares are yet to beat the line in any of their three games to date and although they have played some good rugby they have to date lacked that killer punch required to seal games.

The Stormers should not be anywhere near as long as $2.25 and they are one of the best bets of the weekend at that price.

Recommended Bet: Back The Stormers To Win @ $2.25

Reds Vs Waratahs

Sunday 27 March, 3:05am, Suncorp Stadium

Reds 13 - Waratahs 15

This is one of the fiercest rivalries in Super Rugby and it took the Waratahs a number of years before they were finally able to beat the Reds in Super Rugby, but they have dominated in recent seasons.

The Waratahs were dreadful in the first half against the Highlanders last weekend before they turned it on in the second half to almost snatch victory.

There is no doubt that the Reds have improved significantly following the sacking of Richard Graham and they deserved their draw against the Blues last Saturday night, but whether they will be good enough to beat the Waratahs is another question.

The Waratahs have generally been a losing betting proposition as favourites in the past 12 months and they are 6-6 as the punters elect, while the Reds are 5-7 against the line as underdogs.

The market appears to have gotten this game just about right and I am more than happy to sit it out from a betting perspective.

Recommended Bet: No Bet