The 2017 Super Rugby Round 9 action gets underway when the Hurricanes host the Brumbies on Friday afternoon before the Waratahs have the chance to return to winning form against the Kings.
The Crusaders take on the Stormers in a crucial clash on Saturday afternoon before the Force face a very tough challenge against the Chiefs.
We have closely analysed every game set to take place this weekend and our Super Rugby round 9 tips can be found below!
Hurricanes Vs Brumbies
Friday 21 April, 5:35pm, McLean Park
The Hurricanes made it four wins on the trot with their victory over the Blues and it is no surprise they will go into this clash with the Brumbies as dominant favourites.
The Brumbies have won five of the past six games played between these two sides, but the Hurricanes have won eight of their past nine games as home favourites and a Australian side is yet to beat a New Zealand side this season.
The worst performance of their season to date saw the Brumbies go down to the Rebels last week and it does not get any easier for them against the Hurricanes.
They have won just one of their past three games as away underdogs, but they are 2-1 against the line in this scenario.
The Hurricanes really should win this clash comfortably, but there is no value at their current price and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
Waratahs Vs Kings
Friday 21 April, 7:45pm, Allianz Stadium
The Waratahs have won only two games this season, but they will still start this clash with the Kings as dominant favourites.
It is fair to say that Waratahs weren’t disgraced against the Hurricanes in their final game before the bye, but consistency does continue to be an issue.
They have won only three of their past five games as home favourites and they have been a losing betting play against the line.
The Kings have not won a game during their Australian tour, but they have not been disgraced against either the Force or the Reds.
They have won only one of their past nine games as away underdogs, but they are 7-2 against the line in this scenario and are constantly underrated by the market.
There is no reason that they can’t beat the line once again.
Back The Kings To Beat The Line (+20.5 Points)
Lions Vs Jaguares
Saturday 22 April, 3:00am, Emirates Airline Park
The Lions claimed an upset victory over the Stormers last weekend and they will go into this clash with the Jaguares as clear favourites.
The Lions continue to be one of the most consistent betting teams in the entire Super Rugby and they have won their past nine games as home favourites, while they are 7-2 against the line in this scenario.
A promising start to the season has come to a halt for the Jaguares and they were very poor against the Bulls last weekend.
Winning away from home continues to be an issue for the Jaguares and they have not won a game as away underdogs for the past 12 months.
The Lions can continue their unbeaten run and cover the line in the process.
Back The Lions To Beat The Line (-12.5 Points)
Highlanders Vs Sunwolves
Saturday 22 April, 3:15pm, Rugby Park
The Highlanders are the shortest-priced favourites in Super Rugby this weekend and they are at unbackable odds to account for the struggling Sunwolves.
The Highlanders went into their bye on the back of a fighting victory over the Blues and they have now won five of their past seven games as home favourites, while they are 4-3 against the line in this scenario.
It came as no surprise that the Sunwolves were no match for the Crusaders last weekend and it doesn’t get any easier against the Highlanders.
They are yet to win a game away from home during their Super Rugby existence, but they are 4-3 against the line in this situation.
There is always plenty of variance in games with such a large line and I am keen to avoid this clash from a betting standpoint.
Crusaders Vs Stormers
Saturday 22 April, 5:35pm, AMI Stadium
The Crusaders are the only unbeaten side left in Super Rugby and they are clear favourites to continue that record this weekend.
They were nothing short of dominant against the Sunwolves last weekend and they have now won seven of their past eight games as home favourites, while they are 6-2 against the line in this scenario.
The Stormers suffered their first loss of the season against the Lions last weekend and their draw really does get tougher from here.
They have lost their past five games against the Crusaders and they really would need to improve on their last start effort to have any chance against their rivals.
The Crusaders are one of the safest bets of the weekend and should be able to cover the line of 14.5 points.
Back the Crusaders To Beat The Line (-14.5 Points)
Western Force Vs Chiefs
Saturday 22 April, 7:45pm, NIB Stadium
The Force went into their bye on the back of a win over the Kings, but they go into this clash with the Chiefs as heavy underdogs.
The Force famously upset the Chiefs back in 2014, but a repeat of that looks unlikely this weekend.
They have won only one of their past five games as home underdogs and their record against the line is just as bad.
The Chiefs returned from South Africa with a win over the Cheetahs, but they continue to be a team that is tough to trust from a betting standpoint.
They have won only four of their past six games as away favourites and they are a non-profitable 2-4 against the line in this scenario.
This is another game that the market looks to have got just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting standpoint.
Bulls Vs Cheetahs
Sunday 23 April, 1:15am, Loftus Versfeld
The Bulls ended their losing streak with a win over the Jaguares and they will go into this clash with the Cheetahs as clear favourites.
While the Bulls were excellent last weekend, they have still struggled for consistency so far this season and they have been a losing betting proposition across just about every metric.
The Cheetahs suffered their fourth loss on the trot against the Chiefs last weekend, but they were far from disgraced.
Winning as underdogs has been a huge issue for the Cheetahs – they have lost their past six games as away underdogs – and they are only 1-5 against the line in this scenario.
Both these teams are very tough to trust from a betting standpoint and this is another fixture that I am keen to stay out of.
Sharks Vs Rebels
Sunday 23 April, 3:30am, Growthpoint Kings Park
The Rebels claimed a much-needed win over the Brumbies last weekend, but it is the Sharks that will start this clash as dominant favourites.
The Sharks have won the four previous meetings between these two sides and they have won their past seven games in front of their home fans for a clear profit.
The Rebels produced their best performance of the season to date to beat the Brumbies, but winning away from home has still been an issue for the underfire franchise.
They have won just one of their past six games as away underdogs and they are 2-4 against the line in this scenario.
The Sharks really should be too strong for the Rebels and can cruise to an easy win.
Back The Sharks To Beat The Line (-15.5 Points)
The Super Rugby weekend action begins with an exciting Friday night fixture between the Highlanders and the Sharks before the Rebels host the Cheetahs at AAMI Park.
The two newest Super Rugby franchises will face-off for the first time in Japan on Saturday before the Hurricanes and Chiefs do battle in a New Zealand Derby.
The round concludes on Sunday afternoon with arguably the pick of the fixtures when the Brumbies and Crusaders face-off in Canberra.
Highlanders Vs Sharks
Friday 22 April, 5:35pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium
The Highlanders have had a week off following their shock loss to the Reds at Suncorp Stadium, while the Sharks go into this clash on the back of three straight losses at the hands of the Crusaders, Lions and Blues.
The Highlanders had their outstanding run as favourites ended by the Reds, but they are still a perfect 6-0 as home favourites in the past 12 months and they are 4-2 against the line in that scenario.
The Sharks have fallen in a hole in the past three weeks – especially in attack – and they have been a losing betting proposition across just about every metric in the past 12 months, but they are a positive 4-2 against the line as away underdogs.
The Highlanders are a safe bet to get the job done this weekend, but the line of 8.5 points seems just about right and I am happy to stay out of this fixture from a betting perspective.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Rebels Vs Cheetahs
Friday 22 April, 7:45pm, AAMI Park
The Cheetahs will come into this game full of confidence following their 92-17 drubbing against the Sunwolves last weekend, but they will still go into this clash with the Rebels as underdogs.
They have won only one of their four games as away underdogs in the past 12 months, but they have still been a profitable betting side in this scenario and their big win over the Sunwolves came on the back of much improved performances against the Brumbies and the Bulls.
The Rebels returned from the bye with another uninspiring performance against the Hurricanes and they have really struggled to measure up against the better teams in the competition.
The Cheetahs don’t belong in that category, but they have played some good football in recent weeks and the Rebels are 1-3 against the line as home favourites in the past 12 months.
The Cheetahs are a great chance to record an upset win here and they appear to be a very safe bet with a start of 5.5 points.
Recommended Bet: Back Cheetahs To Beat The Line (+5.5 Points)
Sunwolves Vs Jaguares
Saturday 23 April, 3:15am, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
This will be the first ever meeting between the newest franchises in Super Rugby and it is a great chance for the Jaguares to return to winning form.
The Jaguares have now lost six games on the trot and their record as favourites against the line is a very poor 0-3, but it is very tough to see them not beating a Sunwolves side that leaked 92 points against the Cheetahs last weekend.
The Sunwolves have fallen away in a big way in recent weeks and although they have beaten the line in three of their four games as home underdogs this season it is tough to have any faith in them following their dismal effort against the Cheetahs.
That defeat is sure to have sucked any confidence out of the Japanese side and the Jaguares should be able to record a big victory this weekend.
Recommended Bet: Back The Jaguares To Beat The Line (-14.5 Points)
Hurricanes Vs Chiefs
Saturday 23 April, 5:35pm, Westpac Stadium
This is one of the biggest games of the weekend and there is very little between these two sides that are doing battle for the top spot in the New Zealand conference.
The Hurricanes have recorded five wins on the trot and they will go into this game as clear favourites, but this is the toughest assignment that they have faced since they played the Blues over a month ago.
Their record as home favourites is an almost flawless 8-1 over the past 12 months and they have also been a profitable betting side against the line in just about every metric over this time period.
The Chiefs have also recorded five wins on the trot and it is fair to say that they have faced a stiffer challenge in recent weeks, having beaten the Brumbies and Blues in back-to-back weekends.
They have been a profitable betting play as underdogs this season, but their record against the Hurricanes is very poor and they have won just one of the past six games played between the two sides at Westpac Stadium.
The Hurricanes are always a safe betting proposition as favourites and I am confident that they can get the job done against this afternoon.
Recommended Bet: Back The Hurricanes To Win @ $1.80
Force Vs Waratahs
Saturday 23 April, 7:45am, NIB Stadium
The Force have been a bogey side for the Waratahs in regular seasons and they have won the past three meetings between the two sides, but the Waratahs will still start this game as clear favourites.
The Waratahs’ chances of qualifying for the finals took a big hit when they suffered back-to-back losses to the Rebels and the Brumbies and their hasn’t been many positives to take from their recent performances.
Their record as favourites in the past 12 months is far from convincing and they are 5-7 against the line as favourites and an even poorer 1-3 as away favourites.
The Force went into the bye on the back of two credible performances against the Highlanders and the Crusaders, but they have still lost five games on the trot and only have a win over the Reds to their name this season.
In head to head betting markets they have not been a profitable betting side and they are 2-3 against the line as home underdogs.
It is tough to have any faith in either of these teams from a betting perspective at this stage of the season and I am happy to stay out of this game from a betting proposition.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Stormers Vs Reds
Saturday 23 April, 11:00pm, DHL Newlands
The Stormers are now only one point clear on top of the African Conference following their loss to the Lions last weekend, but they have an excellent chance to return to winning form against the Reds.
The Stormers will start this game as clear favourites and this has been a position in which they have been shaky in the past 12 months, while they are a very poor 3-6 against the line as home favourites.
I have made it clear throughout this season that the Reds have been a horrible side from a betting perspective for a number of seasons and, despite their win over the Highlanders a fortnight, that remains the case.
The Reds have won just one of their past six games as away underdogs and their record against the line in this scenario is only 2-4.
This is another game that the market appears to have got just about right and I will let this game through without having a bet.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Kings Vs Lions
Sunday 24 April, 1:10am, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
The Lions trail the Stormers by just two points in the African Conference and they are probably the safest bet of the weekend to walk away with at least four points.
The Lions have recorded two big wins in as many weekends against the Sharks and the Stormers and it would be a major surprise to see them go down to a Kings side that lost by 32 points against the Bulls last weekend.
The Johannesburg-based side has been flawless as favourites in the past 12 months and their record against the line as the punter’s elect is a profitable 4-2.
Defense has proven a very big problem for the Lions throughout this season and this is one of the major reasons they have been such a poor side – both in a rugby and a betting sense – this season.
The Lions are 0-3 against the line as home underdogs this season and the line of 20.5 points does not look as though it will be anywhere near enough.
Recommended Bet: Back The Lions To Beat The Line (-20.5 Points)
Brumbies Vs Crusaders
Sunday 24 April, 4:05pm, GIO Stadium
This is another big game and could be a preview of what we see during the Super Rugby Finals.
The Brumbies returned to winning form with a professional effort against the Waratahs last weekend and they will start this game as favourites.
This is a position in which they have struggled in over the last 12 months and they are 3-3 as home favourites in head to head betting as well as 2-4 against the line.
The Crusaders do not start many games as underdogs, but when they do they have a very good record and they are a profitable 3-2 as underdogs in the past 12 months.
They have done nothing wrong during their six game winning streak and the $2.12 on offer for them to make it seven wins in a row is a great betting play.
Recommended Bet: Back The Crusaders To Win @ $2.20