This weekend's predictions!

Date published: September 8 2014

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It is that time of week where we put our head on the chopping block with our predictions.

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

The madness is officially upon us. Back into action swing the Premiership and Pro12 on Friday to go with the return of the Rugby Championship as the Top 14 continues in France! Enough rugby for you? We think so.

With that in mind, here is the first of another bumper set of predictions to keep you busy. Take a look.

Rugby Championship

New Zealand v Argentina: The gap in pricing couldn't be clearer for this one, with Argentina priced at 16/1 for the win and New Zealand at 1/66 with Paddy Power.

We're expecting the All Blacks to win by around 18 points, based of the average margin of victory in this fixture over the last two years combined with their outstanding form against Australia in Auckland.

It's hard to ignore Julian Savea as a first tryscorer at 9/2, but the anytime's for New Zealand are the most interesting. Even after scoring last week, Richie McCaw is 10/3, with Aaron Smith at 11/5.

What about Argentina? Nicolás Sánchez has been the star of the show and is 9/1 to score a try anytime, with a Pumas drop goal as the first score of the game down at 40/1. Bath wing Horacio Agulla, back in the XV, is a 25/1 first try scorer. That said, we expect New Zealand to win by 18.

Australia v South Africa: Such a difficult game to call due to selection changes, but we should expect more of a backline threat wider out from the Wallabies due to the inclusion of Bernard Foley and Tevita Kuridrani.

However, up front the Springboks just seem to have the edge and one cannot underplay what the return of calming figure Victor Matfield will bring to their game. South Africa are definitely capable of nicking a 1-5 point win (10/3) here.

We also like the anytime try price on both openside flankers Michael Hooper (11/2) and Marcell Coetzee (9/2). Hooper, who crossed against New Zealand in Auckland, is a regular running threat for the Wallabies while it is likely we shall see Coetzee at the back of a Bok driving maul.

Another market to consider is 'will there be a drop-goal' as with Morne Steyn back in the fly-half jersey for the Springboks and Foley more likely that Kurtley Beale to sit back in the pocket, we can expect at least an attempt in open play. The odds of a successful drop are 5/4. We fancy South Africa by 2!

Aviva Premiership

First things first, look out each week for our SuperBru predictions and join our league right here.

Northampton v Gloucester: The first game of the new season is an absolute monster, as the champions take on the big-spending Cherry and Whites.

Gloucester have turned over their coaching staff and much of their playing squad in a bid to banish mediocrity in order to make the top six again and beyond. That all said, winning at Franklin's Gardens is a thankless start, hence their 10/3 price.

In at fly-half is James Hook, a 7/1 anytime try scorer, with his Wales colleague George North fetching the same odds as a first try scorer for the Saints.

We're expecting a fairly fractious affair as Gloucester's new front-row look to make their mark, with a red card down at 20/1. That all said, Northampton should get off to a winning start. Saints by 7!

More SuperBru picks:

Saracens v Wasps – Saracens by 8
Sale v Bath – Bath by 5
Leicester v Newcastle – Leicester by 12
London Irish v Harlequins – Quins by 3
London Welsh v Exeter – Welsh by 4

Top 14

It's tough to spot the best value in this weekend's Top 14 games, but Grenoble should be able to beat the 16-point handicap at home to La Rochelle.

The promoted side might have impressed against Toulouse last week but on the road they look miles off the pace.

Going back to the top try-scorer markets after three rounds, there is money to be made on Metuisela Talebula. The Bordeaux winger missed two of the first three games, and his odds have now drifted to 25/1. While he might struggle to overhaul fellow Fijian Alipate Ratini, he's definitely worth an each-way punt.

Finally, if you fancy a real long shot, try Racing to get a draw at Clermont. They struggled at the Marcel Michelin last year, but in recent years they twice came very close to toppling Clermont at their peak, and have done well on the road this year. At 22/1 it would be a nice little earner.

Pro12

As with the Premiership, look out each week for our SuperBru predictions and join our league right here.

Munster v Edinburgh: Focusing on this contest in Limerick, Munster aren't at full strength for the visit of Alan Solomons' Edinburgh outfit.

Donncha O'Callaghan captains the side with no Paul O'Connell or Peter O'Mahony around, although Ian Keatley is in at fly-half. Edinburgh on that basis are nicely priced at 7/2.

All eyes will be on Simon Zebo following his injury woes, priced at 13/2 to score first, while Andrew Smith is 4/1 to score anytime on debut.

Finally, don't rule out Edinburgh leading at the break before Munster win the match at 6/1. We're going with Munster by 5.

More SuperBru picks:

Ospreys v Treviso – Ospreys by 7
Scarlets v Ulster – Ulster by 5
Connacht v Newport Gwent Dragons – Dragons by 3
Glasgow v Leinster – Glasgow by 6
Zebre v Cardiff Blues – Blues by 12

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