It’s a huge week of Super Rugby action across Australia and New Zealand.
The Reds and Brumbies face off with the minor premiership on the line while the Crusaders look to bounce back from a shock defeat last week.
Find out who we are backing in our preview below!
SUPER RUGBY AU ROUND 8
Friday 9 April, 7:50pm, AAMI Park
The first meeting between the Rebels and Force was not exactly memorable for anything that happened on the field, but for the light towers going out in the closing stages of the game.
It’s fair to say this season has not been overly profitable for the Western Force with just the one victory over the Waratahs so far.
Since their readmission to the competition last year the Rebels have won all three head to head meetings between the two sides and I can’t see any scenario where they do not make it four from four here.
Every single meeting has been decided by five points or less and the Force have shown enough of a spark to keep this game competitive.
The 9.5 point line seems far too high and I’ll back the visitors to keep it close and cover that.
Back the Force to Cover +9.5 @ $1.91
Saturday 10 April, 7:50pm, Suncorp Stadium
If this game provides even half the drama of the first meeting in Canberra then we are in for a Saturday night treat.
A win for the Reds would all but secure top spot on the Super Rugby AU ladder heading into next month’s finals series and extend their perfect start to seven from seven.
Suncorp Stadium has been a happy hunting ground for the Reds, winning their last nine home games, including a 26-7 win in September last year.
This is the season Brad Thorn’s rebuilding project has finally come to fruition and I’ll back them to take another step towards a home Grand Final.
Back the Reds to Cover -2.5 @ $1.91
SUPER RUGBY AOTEAROA ROUND 7
Saturday 10 April, 5:00pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium
After a historically bad start to their Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign, the Chiefs have finally found their footing with a pair of close fought wins over the Hurricanes and Blues.
Most impressive is the fact they have won in very different styles in those games, scoring 35 on the Hurricanes before grinding out a 15-12 win at home against the Blues.
The Highlanders will be full of confidence themselves however, stunning the defending champion Crusaders with a 33-12 win in Christchurch.
In spite of the Highlanders massive win last year and very profitable history of four wins and a draw from the last five head to head meetings, I just can’t shake this feeling the Chiefs are on the way back.
I’ll back the upset and the Highlanders winless streak at home in 2021 to extend to three games.
Back the Chiefs to Win @ $2.30
Sunday 11 April, 1:30pm, Sky Stadium
In a way, you almost have to feel sorry for the Hurricanes with the Crusaders up next on the schedule.
Nobody wants to see the Christchurch side on a good day, let alone when they’re irritated and coming off an embarrassing home loss.
The Crusaders do not lose back to back games, with their average margin of victory coming off a loss or draw in the last three seasons sitting at 28.6 points including a 66-0 demolition of the Rebels in June 2019.
This could be ugly and a 10.5 point line is awfully generous to the Crusaders punters.
Back the Crusaders to Cover -10.5 @ $1.91
Friday 20 March, 5:05pm, Orangetheory Stadium
Friday 20 March, 7:15pm, AAMI Park
Saturday 21 March, 2:45pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium
Saturday 21 March, 5:35pm, Eden Park
Saturday 21 March, 7:45pm, Scully Park
Sunday 22 March, 12:05am, Jonsson Kings Park
Sunday 22 March, 6:40am, Estadio Jose Amalftiani
There’s an international flavour to Round 8 of the Super Rugby season with all four Australian sides facing overseas opponents.
Pacesetters the Rebels host the Sunwolves while the Brumbies have the unenviable task of facing the Crusaders in Christchurch.
Over in South Africa the Lions look like they are rounding back into form and will take on the Sharks.
We have previewed every Round 8 game for Super Rugby and found our betting plays right here.
Friday 5 April, 5:35pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium
Highlanders 28 – Hurricanes 31
After three straight losses on the road, the Highlanders will be glad to get their first home game since February when they take on the Hurricanes.
It’s been a rough month for the Otago based side with five points coming from three bonus points for losing by seven or less and two from their cancelled game against the Hurricanes.
One of those close losses came in Wellington, going down to the Hurricanes 25-22 and you would think that the home ground advantage would get them over the line here.
In the last 12 months they have gone 5-1 at home and won the only other time they have gone into a game as a home underdog.
This looks like a genuinely tight game to pick but a home underdog is too good value to ignore in this case.
Back the Highlanders to Win @ $2.20
Friday 5 April, 7:45pm, Suncorp Stadium
Reds 24 – Stormers 12
A week after a huge win over the Brumbies, the Reds were brought back down to earth by a Rebels team last week.
Now as they face the Stormers, who are halfway through their away trip having dropped both games in New Zealand.
Travel has been the deciding factor in this game with the home side winning each of the last four matchups.
So far this season the Stormers have gone 1-3 as the visiting side and even though the Reds have only won once at home so far, the Stormers are closer to the level of the Brumbies than the Crusaders.
The line in this game could swing the Reds’ way if the early punters see the value in the Reds forward pack getting on top in this game so I’ll jump on the Reds as an early underdog.
Back the Reds to Win @ $2.00
Saturday 6 April, 4:10am, Ellis Park
Lions 5 – Sharks 42
Three straight wins and 120 points for the Lions and they are on top of the South African conference.
Fresh off a bye they host the third placed Sharks side who they lead by two points and are coming off a tough loss at home to the Bulls.
The Sharks did beat the Lions last time they met in June but before that it has been mostly all Lions with the previous seven going the way of the defending conference champions.
With this game being played at Ellis Park there is a massive advantage coming for the Lions as well with a 7-1 record at home and going 6-2 against the line in the last 12 months.
Five of those Lions wins have been by 13 or more points so I’ll take on a bit of a risk for a higher value play and back a big Lions win.
Back the Lions to Win by 13+ @ $3.00
Saturday 6 April, 3:15pm, AMI Stadium
Crusaders 36 – Brumbies 14
Eight weeks into the season and the Crusaders market is look like what we would expect it to.
A three converted try line against the visiting Brumbies and even the most patriotic and hopeful Aussie rugby fan knows even that might not be enough.
In the Brumbies last four trips to Christchurch, they have lost by an average of 18 points and as the defending champions round into form, you have to think they will want to put together another big win.
In their two home games this season, they have crushed the Hurricanes and Chiefs and you can back the Brumbies being added to that list with some confidence.
Back the Crusaders to Cover -20.5 @ $1.88
Saturday 6 April, 5:35pm, Eden Park
Blues 32 – Waratahs 29
The onetime easybeats are not living up to that billing anymore with three straight wins as the Blues prepare to host their fourth straight home game.
New South Wales has dropped its last three against the Auckland based side and will be desperate to atone for an embarrassing loss to the Sunwolves last weekend.
You would have to think the Waratahs will recall Bernard Foley and company for this game however his form doesn’t make this an automatic boost to the team.
It’s too hard to ignore the Blues form and it looks like it could be a good weekend for the home teams.
Back the Blues to Cover -5.5 @ $1.88
Saturday 6 April, 7:45pm, AAMI Park
Rebels 42 – Sunwolves 15
There weren’t a lot of negatives for either team to take away from last weekend with the Rebels getting a massive win in Brisbane while the Sunwolves beat the Waratahs.
It’s time to start taking the Rebels seriously as they continue to set the pace for the Australian sides and you would think they can maintain or even extend their lead this weekend.
The Rebels have won all three meetings against the Sunwolves with the smallest winning margin being 20 points.
While the Sunwolves two wins this season have been entertaining, it’s unlikely that they will be able to replicate that effort this weekend.
Back the Rebels to Cover -13.5 @ $1.88
Sunday 7 April, 12:05am, Loftus Versfeld
Bulls 20 – Jaguares 22
One week, the Bulls are blowing out the Sharks, the next they are getting blown out by the Chiefs before winning a low scoring struggle away to the Sharks.
In short, the Bulls are mightily inconsistent but capable of winning games a few different ways which is encouraging.
The Jaguares on the other hand have no problems falling into a pattern with three straight losses following two wins and before that four straight losses.
Their recent away form has let them down with five straight losses outside of Argentina and that could very well extend to six with a big defeat here.
Back the Bulls by 13+ @ $2.38
The Super Rugby Round 8 action gets underway with an interesting clash between the Hurricanes and Sharks on Friday night, but the highlight for Australian fans will be on Saturday when the Brumbies host the Reds in an Australian Derby.
This is a crucial game for both sides as they try to keep in touch with the Rebels, who currently sit well-clear on top of the Australian Conference.
We have analysed all six games set to take place this weekend and our complete Super Rugby Round 8 tips can be found below.
Friday 6 April, 5:35pm, McLean Park
Hurricanes 38 – Sharks 37
The Hurricanes are the shortest-priced favourites in Super Rugby this weekend after their dominant win over the Rebels last weekend.
The Hurricanes are always tough to beat in New Zealand and they have won seven of their past eight games as home favourites for a clear profit, while they are 5-3 against the line in this scenario.
They conceded 40 points, but the Sharks were still able to come away with a win over the Blues and they scored 63 points in the process.
This is obviously a much tougher challenge, but their recent form away from home has been strong and they have covered the line in four of their past five games as away underdogs.
The Hurricanes should be able to win this clash comfortably, but their is no value at their current price and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
Saturday 7 April, 3:15pm, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
Sunwolves 29 – Waratahs 50
The Waratahs have won two games on the trot and they will go into this clash as clear favourites.
Winning away from home has been something of an issue for the Waratahs and they are 1-1 as home favourites over the past 12 months, but they are 5-2 against the line when they are on the road.
The Sunwolves were unable to back-up their impressive performance against the Lions and they were simply no match for the Chiefs last weekend.
The Japanese side have won two of their past seven games as home underdogs for a profit, but they are only 3-4 against the line in this scenario.
This Waratahs outfit should prove too strong for their rivals and the line of 15.5 points will not be enough.
Back Waratahs To Cover The Line (-15.5 Points)
Saturday 7 April, 5:35pm, FMG Stadium
Chiefs 21 – Blues 19
The Blues have been pilloried in the New Zealand media following their poor defensive effort against the Sharks and the pressure is on them to produce an improved effort against the Chiefs.
It is no surprise that the Blues will go into this clash as clear underdogs and their recent record against the Chiefs is extremely poor.
In saying that, the Chiefs have covered the line in two of their past three games as away underdogs and they did give the Chiefs a scare when they met earlier in the season.
The Chiefs extended their winning streak with a fighting win over the Highlanders and they have now won their past six games as home favorites, but they are still only 2-4 against the line in this scenario.
The Blues can bounce back to a semblance of their best form and it would not surprise to see them give the Chiefs another scare.
Back Blues To Cover The Line (+8.5 Points)
Saturday 7 April, 7:45pm, GIO Stadium
Brumbies 45 – Reds 21
The Brumbies were upset by the Reds earlier this season, but they are clear favourites to avenge that defeat at GIO Stadium on Saturday night.
They have won only one of their past four games, but they generally do save their best form for GIO Stadium and they have won their past two games as home favourites.
The Reds played some good Rugby during their tour in South Africa and there is no doubt that they have been one of the big improvers in Super Rugby this season.
This is still a tough test for Brad Thorn’s men and they have won only one of their past seven games as home underdogs, while they are 3-4 against the line in this scenario.
The Brumbies can return to winning form and cover the line of 3.5 points in the process.
Back Brumbies To Cover The Line (-3.5 Points)
Sunday 8 April, 1:15am, Emirates Airlines Park
Lions 52 - Stormers 31
This is a big game in the South African Conference as a win for the Stormers would see them close the gap on the Lions significantly.
The Lions have lost two games on the trot at the hands of the Jaguares and the Crusaders, but they will still go into this clash as clear favourites.
They have won eight of their past nine games as home favourites, but they are only 4-5 against the line in this scenario.
The Stormers are one of the most predictable teams in Super Rugby from a betting perspective – they generally win when they are favourites and lose when they are underdogs.
They have lost their past seven games as away underdogs and their record against the line in this scenario is not much better.
This is another game that the market has just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
Sunday 8 April, 7:40am, Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Jaguares 14 – Crusaders 40
The Crusaders started their tour with a win over the Lions and they are dominant favourites to account for the Jaguares.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Crusaders were able to grind out a win over the Lions to maintain their unblemished record as favourites and they have covered the line in four of their past six games as home favourites.
The Jaguares went into the bye on the back of one of the biggest wins in their history over the Lions and they played some excellent Rugby in the process.
They have now won two of their past three games as home underdogs, but their overall record at Estadio Jose Amalfitani is poor.
It would not surprise if this was a much more expansive clash than they one that was played out between the Crusaders and the Jaguares, while backing the Over in games involving either of these sides has been a profitable betting play.
Back Over In Total Points Betting
Off-field matters have dominated Super Rugby discussion this week – as the Force and the Rebels both fight for survival – but there is still a weekend of fixtures set to be played.
The actions begins on Friday night when the Crusaders should be too strong for the Sunwolves before the Reds have the chance to return to winning form against the Kings on Saturday afternoon.
We had profitable week with our Super Rugby tips last weekend and we are hopeful that will be able to continue in round 8.
Friday 14 April, 5:35pm, AMI Stadium
Crusaders 50 - Sunwolves 3
Super Rugby mismatches do not get much better than this one and the Crusaders are unbackable favourites to account for the Sunwolves on Friday.
The Crusaders maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a comfortable win over the Waratahs before their week off and they have covered the line in six of their past eight games as home favourites.
The Sunwolves produced their best performance of the season to record an upset win over the Bulls and they are sure to have taken plenty of confidence from that win.
They are yet to win a game away from home in their history, but they have improved their record to 4-3 against the line away away underdogs.
Apart from their first round defeat at the hands of the Hurricanes, the Sunwolves have been fairly competitive this season and the line for this clash is a massive 38.5 points.
Such a big line is always tricky to assess from a betting perspective and I am more than happy to stay out of this clash.
Saturday 15 April, 3:05pm, Suncorp Stadium
Reds 47 - Kings 34
The Reds have lost six games on the trot, but they will still go into this clash with the Kings as clear favourites.
The Reds could hardly have been more disappointing against the Brumbies last weekend and it is tough to get them as short as their current price.
They have won three of their past four games as home favourites, but their record against the line in that scenario is a poor 1-3.
The Kings were only narrowly beaten by the Force last Sunday afternoon and they are a better team than they are being given credit for.
They have won only one of their past eight games as away underdogs, but they are 6-2 against the line when being given a start.
This will be much closer than the market suggests and the Kings are an excellent bet to beat the line with a healthy start.
Back The Kings To Beat The Line (+17.5 Points)
Saturday 15 April, 5:35am, Eden Park
Blues 24 - Hurricanes 28
The Hurricanes have an excellent record against the Blues and they will go into this Super Rugby clash as clear favourites.
The Hurricanes did enough to dispatch the Waratahs last weekend and winning away from home has not been an issue, with the Hurricanes covering the line in three of their past five games as away favourites.
The Blues went down narrowly to the Highlanders last weekend and it really doesn’t get any easier for them against the Hurricanes.
They have actually won six of their past eight games as home underdogs for a profit and they are 2-0 against the line in this scenario.
This is a game that the market looks to have got just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting standpoint.
Saturday 15 April, 7:45pm, AAMI Park
Rebels 19 - Brumbies 17
The off-field controversy surrounding the future of the Rebels has overshadowed the fact they are yet to win a game this season and they will go into this clash as clear underdogs.
The Rebels have been fairly noncompetitive throughout the Super Rugby season and they have lost all five of their games as home underdogs over the past 12 months, while they are 1-4 against the line in this scenario.
The Brumbies continue to be the standout side in the Australian Conference and they were excellent against the Reds last weekend.
They have won two of their past three games as away favourites for a narrow profit and they are 4-2 against the line when away from home.
The Brumbies should cruise to another win over their Australian rivals and the line of 9.5 points will not be enough.
Back The Brumbies To Beat The Line (-9.5 Points)
Saturday 15 April, 11:05pm, Toyota Stadium
Cheetahs 27 - Chiefs 41
The Chiefs suffered their first loss of the Super Rugby season when they went down to the Stormers last weekend, but they are still dominant favourites to account for the Cheetahs this weekend.
The Chiefs have now won only three of their past five games as away favourites following their loss to the Stormers and they are 2-3 against the line in this scenario.
The Cheetahs went into their bye on the back of an extremely poor effort against the Stormers and they really have been fairly lacklustre this season.
They have won only one of their past four games as home underdogs and they are a mediocre 2-2 against the line in this situation.
This is another game where there is not a great deal of betting value and I am more than happy to stay out of the action.
Sunday 15 April, 1:15am, DHL Newlands
Stormers 16 - Lions 29
This is a crucial game between the two sides that sit on top of the respective South African Conferences.
The Stormers stamped themselves as genuine Super Rugby title contenders with their win over the Chiefs and they will go into this clash as clear favourites.
They have now won six of their past seven games as home favourites, but they are still a lacklustre 3-4 against the line in this scenario.
The Lions went into the bye on the back of a fighting win over the Sharks and they have lost just the one game so far this season.
Their record as away underdogs does not inspire confidence – they have won just one of their past four games in this situation and they are 2-2 against the line.
The Stormers really have played some quality rugby so far this season and they should be able to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
Back The Stormers To Win @ $1.62
Sunday 15 April, 3:30am, Loftus Versfeld
Bulls 26 - Jaguares 13
This is one of the most interesting games of the weekend and it is the Jaguares that will start this clash as favourites.
The Jaguares away from home continued last weekend when they went down to the Sharks and they have now won only one of their past six games away from home, while they are yet to cover the line as away favourites.
The season of the Bulls hit a new low when they went down to the Sunwolves last weekend and there is no doubt that they will be pleased to return to home soil.
The Bulls have won their only game as home underdogs over the past 12 months and they do represent value to upstage a Jaguares side that have shown a complete inability to win away from home.
Back The Bulls To Win @ $2.10
There are a number of big games in round 8 of the 2016 Super Rugby season.
The Waratahs and the Brumbies are the two best teams in the Australian Conference and they will do battle at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night, while the Lions and Stormers will face off in a South African Derby in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Friday 15 April, 5:35pm, AMI Stadium
Crusaders 32 - Jaguares 15
The Crusaders have flown under the radar somewhat during the 2016 Super Rugby season, but they have now won five games on the trot and will start this game as clear favourites.
The Crusaders only narrowly got the job done against the Force last weekend and they have been a losing betting proposition as home favourites this season, while they are 3-3 against the line in this scenario.
The Jaguares produced their worst performance of the season to date when they lost to the Hurricanes last weekend and the week to week pressure of Super Rugby appears to be too much for the Argentinean side.
They are now 0-3 as underdogs in head to head betting and their record against the line is only just better.
The Crusaders should be able to continue their winning streak, but their is no real value at their current price and I am happy to stay out of this game from a betting perspective.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Friday 15 April, 7:45pm, AAMI Park
Rebels 13 - Hurricanes 38
The Rebels went to the bye on the back of a season-defining victory over the Waratahs and they are now back in the hunt for the Super Rugby Finals.
They will still start this game as clear underdogs, but they are 6-3 against the line in this scenario and they have been a profitable betting proposition as home underdogs in the past 12 months.
This is a very tough assignment for the Rebels as they face a Hurricanes side that has won four games in a row and scored plenty of points in doing so.
This has not made the Hurricanes a particularly profitable betting team, but they are 2-1 against the line as away favourites and they have a good record against the Rebels.
The Hurricanes have scored plenty of points in recent weeks, but they have generally been an unders team in total points betting markets over the past 12 months and the under has salute in four of the past games at AAMI Park.
Recommended Bet: Back The Under
Saturday 16 April, 3:00am, Toyota Stadium
Cheetahs 92 - Sunwolves 17
This will be the second meeting between the Cheetahs and Sunwolves after the Cheetahs beat the Sunwolves by a single point in an absolute thriller earlier this season.
The Cheetahs have lost three games on the trot, but they will still start this game as dominant favourites, which is a position they don’t have a great deal of experience in.
They have actually not won a single game as favourites at Toyota Stadium in the past 12 months and their record against the line in front of their home fans is very poor.
The Sunwolves are still chasing their first Super Rugby win and they were fairly poor against the Stormers, but they will taken confidence from the fact that they got as close as they did to the Cheetahs last time.
The Sunwolves are 4-2 against the line this season and I am confident that they will finish within 15.5 points of their rivals in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Recommended Bet: Back The Sunwolves To Beat The Line (+15.5 Points)
Saturday 16 April, 5:35pm, Eden Park
Blues 23 - Sharks 18
The Blues have struggled against the Sharks in recent years and they have lost the past six games played between the two sides, but they are set to start this game as clear favourites.
The Blues went down to the Chiefs last weekend and the they have not been a winning betting proposition as favourites either at home or away.
The Sharks head into this fixture on the back of back-to-back losses and they were poor against the Lions, but they have a winning record of 3-2 against the line as away underdogs and they have beaten the Blues in their past three meetings as underdogs.
The Blues are deserving favourites, but the $2.55 on offer for the Sharks is too good to ignore and they are one of the underdogs in Super Rugby this weekend.
Recommended Bet: Back The Sharks To Win @ $2.55
Saturday 16 April, 7:45am, Allianz Stadium
Waratahs 20 - Brumbies 26
This is a key game as the Waratahs really need to beat the Brumbies to bridge the gap between the sides in the Australian Conference.
The Waratahs lost three of their past four games before they went on the bye and they will start this game as underdogs – the first time they have been in this position at home in the past 12 months.
Their record as underdogs across the board is profitable 2-1 and they have the same record against the line, but they have won just one of their past four games against the Brumbies as underdogs.
The Brumbies also went into the bye on the back of a loss and it is very rare to see the Canberra-based side record two wins on the trot.
They are 4-1 as away favourites in the past 12 months and they were far too good for the Brumbies when they met earlier this season, making them one of the safest bets in Super Rugby this weekend.
Recommended Bet: Back The Brumbies To Win @ $1.67
Sunday 17 April, 1:05am, Loftus Versfeld
Bulls 41 - Reds 22
The Reds recorded one of the biggest upsets of the Super Rugby season when they beat the Highlanders at Suncorp Stadium and they will head to South Africa with an unprecedented level of confidence.
They are still clear underdogs to beat the Bulls, but it is fair to say that they would be a much longer price if they were unable to get the upset win last weekend.
The Reds have really struggled in South Africa in recent years, but they have been a credible 7-5 against the line as underdogs in the past 12 months.
The Bulls have not lost a game since the opening round of the season and they were far too strong for the Kings last weekend.
The Bulls have been only a narrow winning betting proposition as favourites in the past 12 months, but their record against the line is poor in this scenario and they are 1-3 against the line in front of their home fans.
I need to see the Reds produced another strong performance because I concede that they have improved and I am more than happy to stay out of this game from a betting perspective.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Sunday 17 April, 3:15am, Emirates Airline Park
Lions 29 - Stormers 22
The Lions and Stormers are two of the form teams in the South African conference and this is one of the biggest games of the weekend.
The Lions have been one of the surprise packages in Super Rugby this season and they stamped themselves as a genuine threat with their win over the Sharks last weekend.
Their record as favourites in the past 12 months is a very impressive 5-0 and they are also 3-2 against the line in this scenario.
The Stormers have won three games on the trot and their form over the past 12 months suggests that they can win again – they are 2-1 as underdogs and have the same record against the line.
This game will be extremely close and I am happy to back the Stormers with a start of 2.5 points in what should be a very entertaining game of rugby.
Recommended Bet: Back The Stormers To Beat The Line (-2.5 Points)