Your Expert Super Rugby Tips

Throughout the Super Rugby Season, the Analysts will be providing their Super Rugby Tips for every round. They’ll give their expert preview on the game, along with providing their best selection, exclusive to the Betfair Hub.

2018 Super Rugby Season

Crusaders v Lions

Saturday 4th August 5.35pm AEST – AMI Stadium

The Crusaders host the Lions in the final of the Super Rugby competition and the Crusaders go in the biggest favourites in the history of the league, favoured by as much as 19.5 points. The Crusaders are in their record 13th final and chasing their record ninth title while the Lions are in the decider for the third straight year as they chase their maiden championship. Finals have been typically close with 12 of the last 15 deciders settled by 10 points or fewer so that gives a big edge to the Lions here getting nearly three converted tries start.

The Crusaders defeated the Lions in last year’s decider 25-17. The teams have met four times over the last three seasons with the Crusaders winning three by single digits and the Lions claiming the other. The biggest loss the Lions have suffered outside South Africa this season is 14 and they have not suffered an international loss of more than 17 since the 2015 season.

The line here is too big.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Lions +17.5

Crusaders v Hurricanes

Saturday 28th July 5.35pm AEST – AMI Stadium

The defending champion Crusaders are just one win away from their 13th Super Rugby final and the powerhouse from Christchurch should have few issues with a Hurricanes team that has underperformed this season. A Week 15 24-13 loss to the Crusaders in Christchurch set in motion a three-game losing streak and the Hurricanes have never really recovered with just two wins in their last six – an uninspiring win at home to the hapless Blues and one-point win over the Chiefs in the quarter final. The Crusaders have just continued to get better this year though with 13 straight wins with their last three all coming by margins of 23 or more. The Hurricanes have won six of their last nine against the Crusaders but the teams are on opposite trajectories. The minus is golden here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Crusaders -7.5

Lions v Waratahs

Saturday 28th July 11.05pm AEST – Emirates Airlines Park

The Lions look set to make it three Super Rugby finals on the trot when they host a Waratahs team who surprised the Highlanders in Sydney in the quarter finals. Four wins in the last five games have them entering this with a fair degree of momentum. They were highly impressive in putting the Jaguares to the sword at Emirates Airline Park last week. The Lions have now won four straight home games by 17 points or more. The Waratahs have also won four of five but have struggled in out-of-conference games with just three wins from nine. The Lions defeated the Waratahs 29-0 in Allianz and have now won three straight against the ‘Tahs. The Waratahs have just two wins overseas from their last 13 international journeys – and both of those were against the Sunwolves.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Lions -9.5


Waratahs v Highlanders

Saturday 21st July 8.05pm AEST – Allianz Stadium

The Waratahs broke a long drought for Australian teams against New Zealand foes when they walloped the Highlanders 41-12 at Allianz Stadium in Week 14. The Tahs finished the season with four wins from their final six games and it is their attack that has been most impressive with three scores of 40-plus and not tally under 27. The Highlanders have lost three of their last four road games and struggled to defeat the woeful Reds in the other.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Waratahs +2.5

Lions v Jaguares

Saturday 21st July 11.05pm AEST – Ellis Park Stadium

The Jaguares head into the Super Rugby finals for the first time but face a tough task against last year’s beaten finalists the Lions. The Lions rediscovered their best form over the last month of the regular season with three wins in their final four games that saw them top the South African conference and get the second ladder position. The Lions downed the Jaguares by 20 when they played at Emirates Airlines Park in Week 2. The situation should prove too great for the Argentine team.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Lions -8.5

Hurricanes v Chiefs

Friday 20th July 5.35pm AEST – Westpac Stadium

The Hurricanes may have gone down to the Chiefs last week but with eight wins in the last 11 clashes and their season on the line, it is Chris Boyd’s team that should be winning. The Hurricanes have won 21 of their last 22 matches at the Cake Tin and have not lost at Wellington this year with an average winning margin of 12.38. The Chiefs are only 5-3 on the road this year and have lost four straight quarter finals. The Hurricanes bounce back.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Hurricanes – 5.5

Chiefs v Hurricanes

Friday 13th July 5:35pm AEST – FMG Stadium Waikato


The Chiefs and Hurricanes have played a remarkable 10 times over the last five seasons and it is the Hurricanes who have had the best of it with eight wins. The Chiefs have, however, won two of the three clashes played in Hamilton and can get the Hurricanes again with almost nothing on the line but pride here. The Chiefs have been a very good 5-2 at home this year while the Hurricanes have dropped three of their last four.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Chiefs

Reds v Sunwolves

Friday 13th July 7:45pm AEST – Suncorp Stadium

The 13th-placed Reds host the 15th-placed Sunwolves in what is a match that is as far from playoff rugby as one will find. Both teams have been horrid this year. The Reds have finished the season with just one win in their last six while the Sunwolves have won three of their last six after opening the season with nine straight defeats. The teams met in Tokyo in mid-May and the Sunwolves won 63-28. There is no reason at all the Reds should be as short in betting as they are.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Sunwolves

Crusaders v Highlanders

Friday 6th July 5:35pm AEST – AMI Stadium

The Crusaders have won 7 of their last 10 against the Highlanders and on the back of a stunning 25-17 loss when the teams met earlier in the season, they will be ready to bounce back. Canterbury have won 10 straight since that loss and defeated the Chiefs in Waikato before a bye. With two weeks to prepare, the Highlanders look to be in a lot of strife. The Highlanders have won just three of their last six and were hammered by the Chiefs at home last week.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Crusaders -7.5

Hurricanes v Blues

Saturday 7th July 5:35pm AEST – Westpac Stadium

The Hurricanes have dropped three straight and look to be in all sorts following a stunning loss to the Brumbies when heavily favoured. If any team can play them into form though it is the lowly Blues, who have beaten only one non-Australian team all year. The Hurricanes have won six straight against the Blues, who have not beaten a New Zealand team since the opening round of the 2016 season.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Hurricanes -12.5

Bulls v Jaguares

Saturday 7th July 11:05pm AEST – Loftus Versfeld

It has been a coming of age year for the Jaguares, who have won seven on the trot and look finals bound. Across that streak has been four straight wins on the road so the Argentinian team has found a way to win away from South America. The Bulls have dropped three straight and five of their last six and are ruing a disappointing season that looks all but over.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Jaguares

Blues v Reds

Friday 29th June, 5:35pm AEST – Eden Park

Australian Super Rugby clubs have won just two games against New Zealand franchises over the last two seasons, a run of 40-plus games. The Blues have lost eight of their last 10 but are deservedly massive favourites against a Reds team that has also lost eight of their last 10 with three of their last four road losses by margins of 21-plus, conceding an obscene 45.75 points per game in those clashes. The Blues are in need of a big win and the Reds are there for the slaughter.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Blues -10.5

Brumbies v Hurricanes

Saturday 30th June, 7:45pm AEST – GIO Stadium

The Test break couldn’t have come at a better time for the Hurricanes after back-to-back losses to main title rivals the Crusaders and Highlanders gave them their first consecutive losses since the first two rounds of 2016. With the finals looming, they are in desperate need of a form-finding win and can get that against an out-of-sorts and injury-ravaged Brumbies. The teams met twice last year with the Hurricanes averaging a win of 28 points. The Brumbies have averaged a loss of 18.17 points in their last six against New Zealand teams.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Hurricanes -11.5

Rebels v Sunwolves

Friday 25th May, 7:45pm AEST – Aami Park

The Sunwolves are the best of the week, with the market significantly over the odds on the team from Tokyo. The Sunwolves absolutely dominated the Reds two weeks back and then stunned the Stormers in Singapore. They travel to Melbourne this week to tackle the Rebels in what is a very winnable game. The Rebels have lost three straight home games and five of six overall. Huge value with the Sunwolves.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Sunwolves +17.5

Jaguares v Sharks

Saturday 26th May, 5:40am AEST – Estadio José Amalfitani

The Jaguares are riding a five-game win streak here and have put themselves into playoff calculations because of it. On home soil, they will be desperate to keep their momentum up. With the Sharks just a slot behind the Jaguares though on the table, they are the team more in need of a win. The Sharks are playing some great rugby with three wins in their last four and they nearly pipped the Hurricanes in Week 8.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Sharks +6.5

Chiefs v Waratahs

Saturday 26th May, 5:35pm AEST – FMG Stadium Waikato

The Chiefs were desperately unlucky last week in going down to the Sharks in South Africa when four All Blacks were taken out of the lineup to attend an All Blacks training camp. They will take plenty out of the 28-24 defeat. The Waratahs ended the 39-game win streak New Zealand teams had over Australia with a dominant clipping of the Highlanders. Winning on the road in New Zealand though is a totally different proposition with the Tahs dropping six straight in NZ.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Chiefs -10.5

Waratahs v Highlanders

Saturday 19th May, 7:45pm AEST – Allianz Stadium

Not much more needs to be said than 39-0 … the current streak New Zealand teams are on against Australian sides. The Waratahs were home for all money against the Crusaders last week but blew a 29-0 lead in what was a truly gutting result. It is easy to envisage them totally capitulating this week. The Highlanders have won four of their last five and their last four against Australian teams have been by margins of 16 or greater.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Highlanders -5.5

Sharks v Chiefs

Saturday 19th May, 11:05pm AEST – Kings Park Stadium

The Chiefs continue to be underrated by the market with the Betfair Super Rugby Model rating them clear-cut favourites to defeat the Sharks at Kings Park. The Chiefs showed their mettle with a gritty 15-9 win over the Stormers last week and are proven travellers with six straight overseas victories.

The Sharks have been far from reliable at home this year despite winning their last two with a draw against the Waratahs and a 40-10 loss to the Bulls suggesting they are far from good things on home turf.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Chiefs +6.5

Jaguares v Bulls

Sunday 20th May, 07:40am AEST – Estadio Jose Amalfitani

The Jaguares are going through their best run as a Super Rugby outfit with four straight wins, all of which were won on the road. They face a tough test though against the hard-nosed Bulls team. The Jaguares are just 2-3 in Argentina this year while the Bulls won the last meeting between the teams, a 26-13 victory last year. The model has this one as close to a pick ‘em so happy to take the start.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Bulls +4.5

Sunwolves v Reds

Saturday 12th May, 1:05pm AEST – Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium

The winless Sunwolves won’t get a better chance to open their account for the 2018 season when they host the Reds. Australian rugby could not be in a worse spot and is every chance to sinking to a new low in Tokyo this week. The Reds are the fourth Australian team to travel to Tokyo this year and while the Sunwolves haven’t won, they only went down to the Brumbies by seven and fought on well after a slow start to the Rebels. The Reds have lost their last two road games by 20-plus. The Sunwolves provide plenty of value here.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Sunwolves

Brumbies v Rebels

Saturday 12th May, 7:45pm AEST – GIO Stadium

Forget the Rebels’ start to the season, they have fallen into an awful hole. They have dropped five straight with four of those losses coming by 16 or more. Twice over that run they have conceded 50 points. The Brumbies have also lost their last three and have won just two of five at home this season but their defence has been significantly better than the Rebels, conceding more than 21 just once in their last six. The Brumbies have won seven of their last eight home games against Australian opposition.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Brumbies

Stormers v Chiefs

Saturday 12th May, 11:05pm AEST – DHL Newlands

The Chiefs have surprisingly come up a very good price in this clash with the Stormers at Newlands. The Chiefs were shock losers to the Jaguares at home last week but have won six of their last eight. Among those were their only two overseas jaunts, which resulted in a 51-point win over the Sunwolves and a 24-point win over the Reds. The Chiefs have now won five straight and eight of their last nine overseas matches, including back-to-back quarter final wins over the Stormers at Newlands.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Chiefs

Bulls v Sharks

Sunday 13th May, 1:15am AEST – Loftus Versfeld

The Bulls have certainly had the wood on the Sharks with the Sharks’ last win over their South African rivals coming back in Round 1 of the 2014 season, a stretch of six straight matches. The Bulls have lost back-to-back games but have hardly been playing awful rugby with three straight wins prior. These teams met just a month back and the Bulls thumped the Sharks 40-10 at Kings Park. The Sharks are 1-5 on the road this year.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Bulls

Blues v Jaguares

Saturday 28th April, 5:35pm AEST – Eden Park

The Blues have managed just two win this year but look well placed to knock off the Jaguares. The Blues are 2-2 against non-New Zealand opposition this year while they are 0-4 in local derbies. The Jaguares have swept to consecutive wins against Australian opposition but are 0-9 all-time against New Zealand opposition including five straight losses of 17 or more. The Blues defeated the Jaguares at Eden Park by eight in their only meeting.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Blues – 9.5

Bulls v Highlanders

Sunday 29th April, 1:15am AEST – Loftus Versfeld

After a slow start to the season, the Bulls have found their rhythm with three straight wins, all by double digits. The Bulls have played just four games at Loftus Versfeld this year with three wins and a loss to rivals the Lions. The Highlanders make their first trip outside New Zealand making their ability to travel hard to gauge but last year they went 4-0 in international matches. The Bulls are a hard-nosed tough proposition though and are great value as the home dog.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Bulls + 5.5


Blues v Highlanders

Friday 20th April, 5:35pm AEST – Eden Park

The Highlanders have dropped both road games this year and their inauspicious form away from Otago can give the Blues their first win against New Zealand opposition in a long time. They have dropped four straight away dating back to last season. The Blues have won two games this year and have three one-score losses against New Zealand opposition. All signs point to a close game.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Blues

Waratahs v Lions

Friday 20th April, 7:35pm AEST – Allianz Stadium

There is no doubt the Lions haven’t lived up to expectations this year, despite posting a 5-3 record. The wheel looks to have turned the last two weeks though with a close home loss to the Crusaders before a 52-31 win over the Stormers. They are very capable of upsetting the Waratahs. The Waratahs have won just one of their last 11 against non-Australian Conference teams.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Lions

Bulls v Rebels

Saturday 21st April, 11:05pm AEST – Loftus Versfeld

After a slow start to their campaign where the Bulls won just one of their opening five matches, the Bulls have won two straight, putting together impressive wins against the Stormers and Sharks. The Rebels are very much heading in the other direction with just one victory in their last four after surprising in winning their opening three games. The Rebels head overseas for just the second time this year – after a big win against the Sunwolves in Week 3 – and they have not won overseas against opposition other than the Sunwolves since Round 1, 2015. Four of their last five overseas jaunts have been losses of 40-plus so have to be with the Bulls.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Bulls -11.5


Sunwolves v Blues

Saturday 14th April, 1:05pm AEST – Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium

The Sunwolves remain winless this year and have lost their last three home games by margins of 20-plus but are the bet here against a Blues team struggling again. The Blues have won just one of six games this year and were soundly beaten 48-21 when they travelled to Japan last year, an embarrassing performance for the Auckland-based team. The Blues will take in plenty of mental scars from that loss.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Sunwolves +16.5

Rebels v Jaguares

Saturday 14th April, 3:15pm AEST – AAMI Park

After a raging start to the season where they rattled off three straight wins, the Rebels have been brought back to earth over the last three weeks, conceding 50-plus in losses to the Waratahs and Hurricanes. The Jaguares have won two of three against Australian teams this year and have scored 38-plus in two of their last three. The Jaguares won 32-29 when the teams met in Melbourne last year and can pull off another similar upset.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Jaguares +11.5

Sunwolves v Waratahs

Saturday 7th April, 3:15pm AEST – Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium

The Sunwolves have been a plucky outfit this year and though they have yet to record a win this year, they have played in two one-score games from five games, including a near-miss away to the Lions. Their two matches against Australian teams have been solid with losses to the Brumbies by seven and the Rebels by 20. The Waratahs have not won in eight straight outside of Australia.

Betting Strategy

  BACK – Sunwolves +15.5

Chiefs v Blues

Saturday 7th April, 5:35pm AEST – FMG Stadium Waikato

The Chiefs had a three-game win streak ended to the Highlanders this week but will be happy with the drop in class when the Blues come to town. The Blues stunned the Lions in South Africa this year but suffered four losses either side, including a 27-21 defeat when these rivals met earlier in the season in Auckland. The Blues have conceded a whopping 135 points in their last three games and are riding a long losing run against New Zealand rivals that stretches back 13 games to the opening round of the 2016 season.

Betting Strategy

  BACK – Chiefs -8.5

Lions v Stormers

Sunday 8th April, 1:15pm AEST – Ellis Park Stadium

The Lions season is seemingly in disarray with three losses in their last four games but at their best they should be able to see out the Stormers. The Lions are riding an 18-game win streak against South African opposition including two comfortable wins against the Stormers. The Stormers have lost four straight away from Newlands.

Betting Strategy

  BACK – Lions -7.5

Chiefs v Highlanders

Friday 30th March, 5:35pm AEDT – FMG Stadium

The Chiefs have won three straight after going down to the Crusaders in their season opener and can make it four straight as a surprising home underdog against southern rivals the Highlanders. The Highlanders opened their season with three straight victories but on their first road trip went down to the Hurricanes last week. The Chiefs won the only meeting between the teams last year while the Highlanders have won just two of eight away games to New Zealand opposition.

Betting Strategy

  BACK – Chiefs

Rebels v Hurricanes

Friday 30th March, 7:45pm AEDT – AAMI Park

The Hurricanes are short in this but not short enough. No Australian team has defeated a Kiwi team since 2016 and it is hard to see the Rebels ending that run, even with their 4-1 record. The Hurricanes just operate on a different level to the Rebels. They have won three straight with their last two wins coming against powerhouses the Crusaders and Highlanders. The Hurricanes have won 12 straight against Australian teams with all wins by double digits and 10 by 16-plus.

Betting Strategy

  BACK – Hurricanes -10.5

Brumbies v Waratahs

Saturday 31st March, 7:45pm AEDT – GIO Stadium

It is surprising the Brumbies have come up as home underdogs in their derby with the Waratahs. The Brumbies have opened the season 2-2 but only played their first home game last week, a gritty 24-17 win over the Sharks. Losses to the Reds and Rebels have the doubters out but the Brumbies may still be the best Australian outfit. The Waratahs are 2-1-1 but have yet to win away from home as they ride a five-game winless streak on the road. The Brumbies have won the last three meetings between the teams.

Betting Strategy

  BACK – Brumbies

Bulls v Stormers

Sunday 1st April, 2:15pm AEDT – Loftus Versfeld

The Bulls season could not have started any more promisingly with a win over the Hurricanes at home but four dropped games since have tempered that enthusiasm. The Bulls have been handed one of the more difficult draws though and look in a good spot against a Stormers team who have been well beaten in all three road games this year.

  BACK – Bulls

Rebels v Sharks

Friday 23nd March, 7:45pm AEDT – Aami Park

The Rebels fast start to the season came to a crashing halt last week with a 51-27 defeat at the hands of the Waratahs. The Sharks have won just one of their opening four matches but are a major overlay in this one. The Rebels have won just two of nine against South African opposition since 2015. The Sharks have lost just two of their last nine against Australian opposition. The Sharks are a max bet this week.

Betting Strategy

  BACK – Sharks

Hurricanes v Highlanders

Saturday 24rd March, 5:35pm AEDT – Westpac Stadium

After a surprising first-up loss to the Bulls, the Hurricanes have bounced back in style with a 34-9 win over the Jaguares before a brilliant 29-19 victory at home to the Crusaders. The Highlanders themselves are also coming off a victory over the Crusaders, keeping their undefeated seasons going with a 25-17 home win over Canterbury. The Highlanders hit the road for the first time this year and they face a tough task having won just two of their last seven against New Zealand rivals away from home. The Hurricanes have won 14 of their last 15 home games with 13 of those victories coming by 9 or longer.

Betting Strategy

  BACK – Hurricanes -5.5

Jaguares v Lions

Sunday 25th March, 8:40pm AEDT – Velez Sarsfield Stadium

The model is very keen on the Lions in this one when they travel to Argentina to take on the Jaguares. Though Johan Ackermann’s team has won four of five games this year and sits atop the Super Rugby ladder, two disappointing performances – a home loss to the Blues and a two-point win over the Sunwolves – over the last two weeks has punters wary. This has seen them get out to a very backable price this week against a Jaguares team who have won just one of their last six home games. The teams met in South Africa in round two and the Lions won 47-27 on the back of an Aphiwe Dyantyi double. The Lions have tipped over here and are excellent value.

Betting Strategy

  BACK – Lions -9.5

Stormers v Blues

Sunday 18th March, 12:05am AEDT – Newlands Stadium

The Stormers have opened the season with just one win from their opening four games but have been done no favours by the schedule with back-to-back losses on the road to the Crusaders and the Highlanders that that did have merit. The Stormers are 13-3 in their last 16 regular season clashes at Newlands. The Blues pulled off arguably the surprise of the season when they rolled the Lions last week but the concern will be that they have conceded 27-plus in all three games this year. The Blues have won just one of their last six in South Africa.

Betting Strategy

  BACK – Stormers

Jaguares v Reds

Sunday 18th March, 8:40am AEDT – José Amalfitani Stadium

The Reds make their first journey out of Australia when they travel to Argentina to tackle the Jaguares. The Reds have pulled off two surprise wins against the Brumbies and Bulls on the back of conceding 12ppg over the last two matches. The Jaguares are a tough beat on home soil though with five wins in the last 10. Against Australian opposition in Argentina, the Jaguares are 2-2. The Reds have lost their last nine overseas trips with eight defeats by 13 or more.

  BACK – Jaguares -6.5

Waratahs v Rebels

Sunday 18th March, 4:05pm AEDT – Allianz Stadium

All eyes in Australian rugby are focussed on the rejuvenated Rebels, who have been blistering in three wins from three games so far with their closest margin of victory being 20 points. While wins against the Reds and Sunwolves heightened expectations, it was the 33-10 hammering of the Brumbies that really got thoughts of top spot in the Australian Conference going. The Waratahs should not be forgotten though. They have a win at home against the Stormers, a draw away to the Sharks and a tough loss in Argentina. The Waratahs convincingly defeated the Rebels in both matches last season and went 4-2 against Australian opposition. The Rebels face a tough test here and seem major under the odds.

  BACK – Waratahs

Rebels v Brumbies

Friday 9th March, 7:45pm AEDT – AAMI Park

Two wins of 22-plus points have the Rebels sizzling under a new regime. They face their toughest test though when they host the Brumbies. The start could not have been worse for the Brumbies, who fell in against the Sunwolves before a stunning loss to the Reds. The Brumbies have won 11 of their last 13 v Australian teams, including two of their last three against the Rebels.

Betting Strategy

  BACK – Brumbies

Reds v Bulls

Saturday 10th March, 7:45pm AEDT – Suncorp Stadium

Don’t be fooled by the Reds’ shock win over the Brumbies – they are still likely the worst Australian team, which puts them down the bottom of the Super Rugby power rankings. The Bulls have been reasonably impressive across their first two games with a win over the Hurricanes and a reasonable showing against the Lions. The Bulls are 5-4 since 2015 against Australian teams but included in those wins were two double digit victories over the Reds.

Betting Strategy

  BACK – Bulls

Lions v Blues

Sunday 11th March, 2:15am AEDT – Emirates Airlines Park

The undefeated Lions have gotten their chase for a third straight final off to a strong start, averaging 40.67 points per game across the opening three rounds. Their only international opponent to date was the Jaguares, who they rolled 47-27. The Blues have lost two heartbreakers to the Highlanders and the Chiefs and now travel to South Africa, where they have beaten only the Kings in their last five treks east. All signs point to a big Lions win and cover.

Betting Strategy

  BACK – Lions – 9.5

Jaguares v Waratahs

Sunday 11th March, 8:40am AEDT – José Amalfitani Stadium

The Jaguares opened 2017 with three wins out of their first four home games and will be confident against a Waratahs team who are coming off a tough early schedule hosting the Stormers and then playing the Sharks in Durban before their Argentina jaunt. The Jaguares won well when the teams met in Sydney at the backend of last year and the Waratahs have been winless in their last seven overseas trips.

Betting Strategy

  BACK – Jaguares

Blues v Chiefs

Friday 2nd March, 5:35pm AEDT – Eden Park

A 41-34 loss to the Highlanders last week made it just one win for the Blues from their last 21 derby clashes against New Zealand teams. It is remarkable that a team with such a record is set to start favourite here against the highly touted Chiefs, who did put 23 points on the best team in Super Rugby. The Chiefs have won 11 straight against rivals the Blues and should make it 12 on the trot as an underdog.

Betting Strategy

  BACK – Chiefs

Reds v Brumbies

Friday 2nd March, 8:00pm AEDT – Suncorp Stadium

A 45-19 Round 1 loss to the Rebels suggests the Reds could be in for a particularly long season. The Brumbies, expected to be the top Australian franchise, won by seven in Tokyo over an improved Sunwolves. The Reds have conceded 34-plus in four of their last five and went just 3-5 at home last season.

Betting Strategy

  BACK – Brumbies -4.5

Sunwolves v Rebels

Saturday 3rd March, 3:15pm AEDT – Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium

There was plenty to like about the Sunwolves in their opening round loss to the Brumbies. The Jamie Joseph era didn’t start with a win but an improved toughness would have pleased the new mentor. The Rebels were expected to improve this year and didn’t disappoint with Will Genia leading them to a big first-up win against the Reds. The Sunwolves have won just three of 31 games but look great value at home.

Betting Strategy

  BACK – Sunwolves

Sharks v Waratahs

Sunday 4th March, 12:05am AEDT – Kings Park

The Waratahs have lost their last three matches in South Africa across the last three seasons with the last two losses coming by 19-plus. The Sharks have not lost across the last three seasons to an Australian team and have won two of those clashes by 25-plus. The Sharks are quickly improving this year and will want to get their season off to a quick start with a comfortable win here.

Betting Strategy

  BACK – Sharks -6.5

Highlanders v Blues

Friday 23rd February, 5:35pm AEDT – Forsyth Barr Stadium

The Highlanders finished last season winning five straight at Forsyth Barr and should extend that streak against a Blues team that failed to win six matches against New Zealand opposition in 2017. Over the last three years the Blues are 1-17-2 in local derbies. The Blues have been ravaged by injury with Jerome Kaino, Bryn Gatland and Blake Gibson all out.

Betting Strategy

  BACK – Highlanders -6.5

Rebels v Reds

Friday 23rd February, 7:45pm AEDT – AAMI Park

Expectations are high for the Rebels this year, consolidating by acquiring 11 former Western Force players as well as coach Dave Wessels. The former Force mentor has named nine Wallabies for the season opener against the Reds, including scrumhalf Will Genia. The Reds are 9-3 all-time against the Rebels and Melbourne have won just one of their last eight home games. The Reds need to be taken as an outsider here.

 Betting Strategy

  BACK – Reds +4.5

Waratahs v Stormers

Saturday 24th February, 7:45pm AEDT – Sydney Football Stadium

The Stormers kicked their 2018 campaign off in fine style with a gritty 28-20 home win over the Jaguares. The model has thrown them up as significant favourites against a Waratahs team that again seems overrated. The Stormers have won 8 of their last 10 against Australian teams. The big start in this is well wrong.

Betting Strategy

  BACK – Stormers +8.5

Stormers v Jaguares

Sunday 18th February, 12:05am AEDT – DHL Newlands

The Stormers have been dominant at home during the regular season over the last two years with a 12-3 record. Five of those six home wins last season were by margins of eight or more, posting 30-plus in all six of those regular season home victories. The Jaguares are just 2-7 all-time in South Africa with both those wins coming against teams no longer playing Super Rugby. The Stormers have won both all-time matches against their Argentine foes and with the Jaguares adapting under a new coaching setup a convincing win is on the cards for the Stormers.

  BACK – Stormers -8.5

Lions v Sharks

Sunday 18th February, 2:15am AEDT – Emirates Airlines Park

Riding a four-game win streak against the Sharks, the Lions are expected to continue their winning run. The dominant South African team after back-to-back finals, the Lions have a squad full of Springboks with 12 on the books including an entire backline that turned out for the national team in 2017. The Sharks are in the throes of a rebuild under new coach Robert du Preez and while they should improve, a brutal first-up affair against the Lions will be beyond them.

  BACK – Lions -8.5

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Utilising a vast array of variables and proven statistical methods, the Super Rugby Prediction Model takes a purely statistical approach to ...