We have expert betting tips for Super Rugby Final between the Blues and Highlanders at Eden Park on Saturday.
The Kiwi teams dominated the season and it was the Auckland and Otago-based franchises that came out on top.
It’s a rare final for both teams, but they deserve to play for the inaugural Trans-Tasman final, which should be an exciting contest.
Super Rugby Trans-Tasman Final Predictions
Blues vs Highlanders @ Eden Park
The Blues secured their place in the final when beating the Force 31-21 last week. It wasn’t the most emphatic victory, but they did enough to make the final.
It has been a terrific season for the Blues, which entered the competition as underdogs behind the likes of the Crusaders, Chiefs and Hurricanes.
The team has always had plenty of ability, and despite not showing that in the Super Rugby NZ competition, facing Australian opposition has helped. However, they now need to beat a Kiwi team and that hasn’t been easy in recent years.
The Highlanders were given little chance of making the final. Bookmakers had them paying $12 to win the competition with a round to go. The Crusaders were $1.50, but failed to make the final after falling six points short when beating the Rebels 52-26.
It was an excellent effort from the Highlanders who produced a 21-point win over the Brumbies. They were too slick for the opposition and they shouldn’t be discounted against the Blues at Eden Park on Saturday.
It’s a bleak outlook weather-wise, so it could be damp conditions in Auckland. That will suit the Highlanders and their experienced players could come to the fore.
We speak of All Black half Aaron Smith, who controls the game better than any other halfback in the world. He doesn’t have as many weapons outside of him as the Blues have, but his class can make up for it.
Without Smith in the squad, the Highlanders would be $4.50 underdogs instead of $3.16. Most of the money has come for the Blues and it’s not hard to see why.
They have the likes of Rieko Ioane, Hoskins Sotutu and Bryce Heem, so there is plenty of talent in the squad. However, they will have to cover a 7.5-point spread for punters to cash, which won’t be easy.
We’re not expecting there to be much between them when the final whistle is blown. The soggy conditions will only bring the Highlanders into contention and it should keep the ball in the forwards more.
We’re not brave enough to take the Highlanders in the head-to-head market, but we would comfortably suggest taking them with the points. Finals are often closely-fought games and the Highlanders come in with the better Round 5 performance.
Look for Smith to lead them around the park and put up a good fight.
In other markets, we like Jona Nareki to score first. The Highlander’s star is $13 to score the first try of the game and he could get the visitors off to a positive start.
He is also paying $2.63 to score at any time, which is value worth taking. Punters should also include Josh Ioane for a bit of value. He’s an experienced type who could enjoy the wet conditions, so the $3.60 is worth including in rugby multi bets this weekend.
Betting tip: Highlanders +7.5 @ $1.90 – Bet @ Sportsbet
After graduating from the University of Auckland (BA – English), Daryl was thrown into the world of sports and horse racing journalism.
Having worked as a racing journalist for two years, he decided to move into the online world of horse racing and sports writing. After years of honing his craft, Daryl became a professional punter in 2009 – with a focus on horse racing, NRL, AFL, NBA, Rugby, NFL, and US college sports. Daryl’s tips have been featured on various websites around the world before joining the GoBet team. When he’s not working, Daryl tries to avoid making bogeys on the golf course.