This weekend’s predictions

Date published: May 2 2015

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It is that time of the week when we put our heads on the chopping block with Planet Rugby's predictions.

It's a case of quality over quantity this week, with just two games in the northern hemisphere as we hit European finals weekend.

Down south Super Rugby continues, with a real battle to reach the playoffs and a couple of big derbies.

So let's take a look at where the best value is, scouring Paddy Power for your best punts.

Champions Cup

Clermont v Toulon

It will be a repeat of the 2013 final, and while the fans might not flock to Twickenham, everything points to an incredibly tight encounter.

The heart probably favours Clermont after so many near-misses but Toulon's chase of a historic treble is a compelling narrative. At their best Clermont should have just too much, but on the big stage it's hard to see past the defending champions. Toulon by 3!

In terms of your best punts elsewhere, we'll wait for the teams to be officially released, but Toulon to score first, lead at half-time and win is tempting at 3/1. While Clermont might seem like faster starters, Toulon's recent wins have all been founded on good first halves, so if you think they will win, this bet is probably a better option than simply going for a Toulon win.

More to follow…

Challenge Cup

Edinburgh v Gloucester

While finals are usually cagey affairs, Friday's clash at the Stoop pins two relatively attacking sides against one another.

We think Gloucester might just edge it, tipping them by three, but the 5 handicap Edinburgh are being given seems a little high. Gloucester are inconsistent and Edinburgh come into the game in reasonable form.

The over/under of 41.5 for points seems like very good value to go voer, with both teams keen to chuck it around and the weather expected to be dry.

In terms of try-scoring options, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and James Hook stand out at 16/5 and 7/1 anytime scorers, while John Afoa could be an intriguing punt at 40/1 for man of the match, if you feel the Gloucester pack can do a number in the scrum.

Super Rugby

Hurricanes v Crusaders

Super Rugby's most successful side travel to the current leaders and the Crusaders really need a win. The problem is the Canes got back to winning ways last week by dismantling the Reds, but the Crusaders were also comfortable in downing the Blues.

We think the Hurricanes should win it by 5, so why not take the -3 handicap on them, while Nehe Milner-Skudder at 15/2 for the first try is tempting. A bigger risk/reward bet might be Jordan Taufua, at 10/3 for an anytime try.

Bulls v Lions

While the Stormers lead the South African conference, these two are in hot pursuit and come into the game in good form.

The Lions came out on top when the two met earlier this season, but in Pretoria, the Bulls are a different prospect altogether. We think the Bulls should have too much and fancy them by seven, but the Lions might be worth taking at 8.

It might also be worth looking at 15/8 for the first try to be scored by a forward, with two powerful packs and some prolific back rowers, particularly for the Lions, this could well come in.

Other Super Rugby predictions:
Blues v Force:
Blues by 9
Rebels v Chiefs: Chiefs by 10
Cheetahs v Stormers: Stormers by 6

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