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.
We’re in to our second instalment of the November internationals and like last weekend, there are several exciting fixtures lined up. The big clash is at Twickenham between England and South Africa but the action kicks off on Friday when Italy host Argentina and Canada face Samoa.
The north v south battles continue at Murrayfield and the Stade de France on Saturday where Scotland and France host New Zealand and Australia respectively, and there’s also action between some lower tier nations with Romania hosting Japan in Bucharest and Tonga and the USA facing off at Kingsholm in Gloucester.
On Sunday, Ireland face Georgia in final Test of the weekend.
Crucial international games await then but why not make them that bit more interesting by having a bet using Paddy Power‘s selection of rugby markets? Let’s take you through them.
Despite being at home, England haven’t beaten the Springboks since 2006 so the visitors are favourites for the win at 6/5 while the hosts are priced at 8/11 for victory. Odds for half-time has England at 10/11 and the Boks at 5/6. We quite fancy South Africa to sneak both.
Willie le Roux seems a handy bet at 16/1 for the first try-scorer while England’s new wing Anthony Watson is at 10/1 for the opening crossing at Twickenham if you fancy him instead.
Scotland were (+26) on the handicap before New Zealand named their team and have since had that reduced to 21 points at the usual 10/11 price. We’re staying clear of that one now.
Whisper it quietly but the Scots might be fancying their chances against this second string – we use that term cautiously – All Blacks line-up. They are 12/1 for the victory with Paddy Power. Yes that is unlikely against the world champions but maybe a play on them to be leading by 1-7 points at half-time (6/1) is worth a punt. On that same logic the half-time full-time of Scotland/New Zealand at 7/1 also caught our attention for the Murrayfield clash.
New Zealand’s bench duo of Sonny Bill Williams and Julian Savea are exceptional back-ups and may cross late on but our anytime try advice is going to be Malakai Fekitoa at 21/10 and Richie McCaw (3/1). There’s also good value on one of the Grays (50s) to be first try-scorer.
The French seemed to have regained some confidence with their win over Fiji, but their recent run of poor results can’t be overlooked. If it clicks, they can certainly cause the Wallabies a lot of trouble, but if their set-piece doesn’t dominate, and they keep turning over the ball, it could get away from them quickly. We’re going for it to be tight early on with the Wallabies to eventually pull away and win this game at the Stade de France by eight.
In terms of other bets from the game, we quite like the over 41.5 for the total points given that both sides have defensive frailties, while France half-time/Australia full-time is at 7/1.
Taking into account last week’s performances, as well as the vast difference in experience between the two sides, it’s difficult to bet against Italy securing a rare home win against los Pumas. We’re backing them to get home by two points at Stadio Ferraris in Genoa.
Elsewhere, the sniping Tomas Cubelli at 22-1 to be first try-scorer is tempting, especially after his brace off the bench against Scotland. A red card at 18/1 could also be worth a punt. Craig Joubert was assistant for France v Italy in the Six Nations and recommended a pair of red cards after a scuffle late on. While he can be lax on general play, he won’t be afraid to send someone off if there is some real niggle, and given the history between the two sides, especially with a trio of Argentinian-born players starting for the Azzurri, that’s a possibility.
Wales are favourites to win this one at 1/25 while Fiji are priced at 9/1 to secure an upset victory. This is expected to be a high scoring match, but we believe the bookies have overdone this slightly at 57.5. We will be going for under that at the Millennium Stadium.
We also think Fiji inside centre Nemani Nadolo is a worth a flutter at 22/1 to score the first try of the match while free-scoring centre Vereniki Goneva to cross anytime is a nice 3/1.
We’ve tipped Wales to win by 18 points which is a handy option at 7/1 in the 16-20 victory.
As expected Ireland are overwhelming favourites for victory at 1/100 while Georgia are at 14/1 to win this one. Ireland to win by between 66-70 points is worth a bet at 20/1 as they could run away with this one. The first score of the game to be an Ireland try is 11/10.