It is that time again to place our head on the chopping block with our weekly predictions.
It is that time of the week where we put our head on the chopping block with Planet Rugby’s weekend predictions.
What a few weeks we have in store as nations go head-to-head just one year out from the World Cup. That backdrop is sure to add something extra to the November fixtures as teams look for any psychological edge they can get before returning for the big one on English and Welsh soil in 2015.
Crucial games await then but why not make them that bit more interesting by having a bet using Paddy Power‘s selection of rugby markets?
New Zealand are 1/3 favourites to pick up a sixth win in seven games at Twickenham, with England priced at 12/5 to replicate their 2012 upset.
When that happened England won 38-21 – another win of more than 13 points, while unlikely, is priced at 10/1.
Look out for the home side to lead at half-time at 7/2, but should that happen with the All Blacks coming through to win then the odds are 11/2. Could England win if behind at half-time? 9/1 is definitely tempting.
Unsurprisingly given his record of eight tries in four games against England, Julian Savea is 7/1 to score the first try, 5/1 for a double and 22/1 for a hat-trick. England debutant Semesa Rokoduguni is 12/1 to get the first try. Look out for Sonny Bill Williams as an anytime scorer at 12/5 as well.
Other odds of interest include England to score no tries at 3/1, a drop goal from either side to be the first points at 20/1, along with the prospect of a red card at 18/1.
We expect New Zealand to win by about 12 points – on offer at 5/1 with the 11-15 margin with Paddy Power.
These meetings are seldom dull and we can expect another heart-stopping game at the Millennium Stadium as Wales hope to end this nightmare run against the southern trio.
Surely a new hybrid pitch should lead to more than 45.5 points being scored by these two impressive line-ups so we will definitely be backing that at 10/11 on Saturday, with the likes of Israel Folau, George North, Michael Hooper and Rhys Webb capable of going over.
One man who we like as first try is Tevita Kuridrani and with Paddy Power’s special of ‘if your losing first try-scorer scores anytime, we’ll refund your stake as a free bet’, the Wallaby at 16/1 to go over before anyone else is good. If he doesn’t, he is a likely scorer later on.
We also fancy Australia to start well due to a greater amount of time together over recent months so -2 on them leading at half-time is decent.
It’s a tough ask to expect Ireland to click first time out this November, especially with such an untried centre combination coinciding with Sean O’Brien, Cian Healy and Rory Best being injured. South Africa meanwhile are building nicely so we will side with their -6 handicap.
The second and back-row battle catches the eye as quality players go toe-to-toe, with Duane Vermeulen and Marcell Coetzee good outside try-scoring bets anytime. The duo are 10/3 and 11/2 respectively while South Africa to score a try in both halves at 4/6 is also tasty.
Argentina are narrow favourites at 4/5 to conquer Scotland at Murrayfield, with a victory by 13 points or more priced at 9/2.
Scotland though, playing under Vern Cotter for the first time at Murrayfield, could race out of the blocks and develop a strong half-time lead between 8-14 points at 11/2. Argentina coming through that to win is 13/2.