Super Rugby returns after the international break and there’s a short run to the finals with only three weeks left.
Punters have seven games to bet on this week, starting with the Blues vs. Reds on Friday night and we have free tips and form for every Round 17 Super Rugby game this week.
5:35pm Blues vs. Reds @ Eden Park
It has been a poor season for the colours with both the Blues and Reds having a season they would rather forget.
The Blues are coming off a 20-10 loss to the Rebels in Week 16 and they will be hoping the international break has sparked some life into them, but we wouldn’t be banking on that.
It has been another dismal for the Reds as well. They have been able to pull off the odd upset result, much like the Blues, but there’s a lack of substance in the team and they could struggle to beat the more physical Blues side on Friday night.
This game won’t be pretty but the bookmakers look to have the market spot on.
Betting tip: Blues –10.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Blues by 17
7:45pm Rebels vs. Waratahs @ Melbourne Stadium
Scoring points hasn’t been a problem for the Waratahs in recent times, scoring 52 points when beating the Reds 52-41 in Round 16.
They were also 41-12 winners over the Highlanders in Round 14 and that was their best performance this season without a shadow of a doubt. They will be looking to replicate that performance in the run to the playoffs against the Rebels.
The Rebels are playing with a cause after looking poor in the middle stages of the season. Since being beaten by the Crusaders in Round 12, the Rebels have won their last three games.
Wins over Brumbies, Sunwolves and Blues were all quality victories and although not against the best opposition, it will instill some confidence in the side.
This game will be closer than expected on Friday night.
Betting tip: Waratahs to win @ $1.66 (BET NOW)
Waratahs by 3
5:35pm Highlanders vs. Chiefs @ ANZ National Stadium (Fiji)
The Highlanders play the Chiefs in Fiji this week which should be a great occasion for the Fijian fans and punters alike.
Both teams possess quality Fijian players, especially the Highlanders with All Blacks winger Waisake Naholo, who will be keen to cross the white line for a try.
Coming off a 30-14 win over the Hurricanes, the Highlanders will look to make a push towards the playoffs in the competitive New Zealand conference and the loss against the Waratahs should have been put behind them.
It’s hard to bet against the Chiefs because they pack a lot of punch offensively, but it has been their defence which has lacked this season. It will need to be at full strength to get past the Highlanders and injury problems could factor into the result this Saturday.
Highlanders should get the job done.
Betting tip: Highlanders to win @ $1.51 (BET NOW)
Highlanders by 10
7:45pm Brumbies vs. Hurricanes @ GIO Stadium
There’s a reason why the Hurricanes are short-priced favourites to win this game and anything but a ‘Canes victory would be a shock.
The men from Wellington are coming off a 30-14 loss to the Highlanders but they had excuses that day and even with a couple of players potentially missing for this game, they shouldn’t have many problems against the Brumbies.
The Brumbies used to have an identity in Super Rugby and they consistently made it to the later stages of the playoffs but how times have changed. To their credit, they have won their last two games but it’s about to get harder.
They play the Hurricanes and Chiefs in consecutive weeks and the Australian teams have a shocking record against their NZ counterparts.
Expect this one to go the way of the visitors.
Betting tip: Hurricanes –11.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Hurricanes by 22
11:55pm Sunwolves vs. Bulls @ Singapore National Stadium
Singapore gets a taste of Super Rugby action this week when the Japanese-based Sunwolves take on the South African-based Bulls.
The Sunwolves have improved this season by scoring a couple of wins and although they’re still the worst team in the competition, there are encouraging signs.
Singapore’s crowd should be in favour of the Sunwolves but there will be some ex-pat South Africans cheering on the Bulls, which need a win after a poor stretch of form.
Losing to the Lions and Brumbies isn’t going to instill any confidence but they’re still a quality side on any given day and they should account for the Sunwolves here.
Betting tip: Bulls –8.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Bulls by 15
1:15am Sharks vs. Lions @ Kings Park Stadium
This should be an exciting game between two sides which know how to score points.
The Lions have been in red-hot form recently after starting the season poorly. They currently sit at the top of the South African conference and this will be a key game for them this week.
Sharks are all but eliminated from the playoff race with only pride to play for, which should swing this game in the favour of the Lions, who need to hold off the Jaguares for the top spot.
Bookmakers have this game a little closer than we had predicted but that means punters are getting better value for the Lions.
Betting tip: Lions –4.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Lions by 10
3:40am Jaguares vs. Stormers @ Buenos Aries
The Stormers are 3-0 against the Jaguares in the history of Super Rugby but we’re predicting a changing of the guard this week.
Jaguares are in hot form, winning their last six games and although the national side is coming off a poor international series, that shouldn’t have a negative effect on this squad.
The Stormers are struggling to find form with three straight losses and travelling to Argentina isn’t going to help their cause. That could be enough to see the Jaguares score their first win over the Stormers.
Bookmakers seemingly agree with the Jaguares paying just $1.36.
Betting tip: Jaguares –8.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Jaguares by 18