This weekend's predictions!

Date published: September 14 2013

It is time for us to put our heads on the block and give you Planet Rugby's calls for this weekend's action from around the world.

It is time for us to put our heads on the block and give you Planet Rugby's calls for this weekend's global action.

A bumper weekend of matches kicks off on Friday with Round Two of the Aviva Premiership and RaboDirect PRO12, combined with matches in the Top 14 and of course, The Rugby Championship.

As we begin to settle into the new domestic season in Europe, cast your eye over the increased number of possible bets below.

So, let's get started…

The Rugby Championship

New Zealand v South Africa

South Africa might be receiving plenty of pre-match hype, but the bookies still favour New Zealand for the match at 2/7. The Springboks sit at 11/4.

What isn't in doubt however is that the All Blacks haven't been challenged like this for some time. Unbeaten at Eden Park since 1994, a winning margin of 1-12 points is priced at 13/8. For South Africa to win by the same margin, the odds are 7/2. A Springbok win by more than 13 is 11/1.

Two match scenarios in particular stand out. Should New Zealand lead at half-time but South Africa come through to win, the odds are 10/1. The reverse is on offer at 6/1.

Try scoring sensations Ben Smith and Julian Savea lead the first try odds at 9/1, whilst for South Africa the best bets are Bryan Habana and Willie Le Roux at 12/1 and 14/1 respectively.

Bismarck du Plessis and Francois Louw, dynamic players around the fringes when attacking, are both anytime try scorers at 15/2.

Prediction: New Zealand will sneak home, within 1-7 points.

Australia v Argentina

What a chance for the Pumas. Morale in Australia is at rock-bottom but the Wallabies are still favourites at 2/9, with Argentina at 10/3.

An Argentinian win by either 1-12 points (4/1) or 13 points plus at 16/1 are definitely worth considering. Backing Argentina to win after trailing at half-time is down at 13/1, along with the Pumas winning between 6-10 points at 12/1.

The wing duo of Horacio Agulla and Juan Imhoff are both available at 14/1 as first try scorers, whilst Nick Cummins (almost forgotten about in a Wallaby back-three featuring James O'Connor and Israel Folau) is down at 9/1.

Ben Mowen, the Wallabies' 80th captain in history, is at 7/2 as an anytime try scorer as he leads Australia for the first time.

Prediction: With the Wallabies in freefall, this is Argentina's best chance for that elusive first win. The Pumas can do it.

Aviva Premiership

Harlequins v Northampton

It is a rare thing to see Harlequins perceived as underdogs for a fixture at the Stoop, and that is almost the case as the match betting of Quins at 8/11 and Saints at 11/10 underlines how tight this one will be.

Northampton have the glitzy new signings including George North, with the Lions winger down at 10/1 to be a first try scorer.

Quins were unconvincing last weekend against Wasps at Twickenham and might be slow out of the blocks this week, so a Saints lead by 8-14 points at the break at 6/1 is feasible.

Don't rule out a late Harlequins comeback either after trailing at half-time, down at 13/2. Tom Williams, a player with a handy knack of finding the try line, is a first try scorer for the hosts at 12/1.

Prediction: Saints to make a statement at the Stoop.

Sale Sharks v Newcastle Falcons

Nobody fancied Sale to go to Gloucester and turn the tables last weekend. Now back at home, last season's strugglers need consistency if they are to avoid another season in the mire.

Newcastle on the other hand were shut out at home – the reason they are priced at 10/3 to win in Salford. A win from behind though after losing at half-time is 11/1. Sale captain Dan Braid is an intriguing first try scorer at 12/1.

Prediction: Sharks to continue their bright start.

Elsewhere in the Aviva Premiership, Gloucester could pull off a surprise at 3/1 to defeat Saracens on Sunday, so take a gamble.

RaboDirect PRO12

Zebre v Munster

Zebre might have never won in the RaboDirect PRO12, but Munster's several changes for their trip to Italy might put them at a disadvantage.

The Irish side are 6/1 to win after trailing at half-time, with new man Andrew Conway at 10/1 to score a try on his first appearance for his new side.

Prediction: Zebre's quest for a win will continue.

Cardiff Blues v Connacht

The Blues are favourites to win on their new artificial surface at Arms Park and heavily at that, with a win by 13 points or more only on offer at 7/5.

Connacht's odds of success are therefore more favourable – 7/2 to win by 1-12 points, 11/1 to win after trailing at half-time.

A Connacht try as the first score of the match is worth considering at 9/1.

Prediction: Blues to take the victory.

Ulster v Glasgow Warriors

Expected to bounce back from their loss last weekend away at the Dragons, Ulster welcome last season's semi-finalists Glasgow to Ravenhill.

Should Ulster still be suffering a hangover from last weekend, then a second-half comeback victory is 6/1. A blowout victory by 16-20 points is 9/1.

Stuart Hogg is set to return for Glasgow and is down at 14/1 as a first try scorer.

Prediction: Ulster to bounce back at home.

Edinburgh v Dragons

The Lyn Jones era in Newport got off to the perfect start last weekend thanks to the good work of fly-half Jason Tovey.

Now the Dragons have to back it up on the road, taking on an Edinburgh side whose form in the RaboDirect PRO12 in the last two seasons has been dismal.

A Dragons half-time lead by 1-7 points at 3/1 is a must-bet, with a Dragons win at 9/1 after trailing at half-time worth noting.

Prediction: Very close. Edinburgh to come through.

Top 14

Away form has been non-existent across the Top 14 all season, so backing a visiting side seems foolish.

That being said, Montpellier travel to Perpignan on Friday and are 11/1 to win by 13 points or more. Should Montpellier lead at the break, Perpignan are down at 6/1 to come through and take the result.

Oyonnax, the great giant-killers, are yet to win away from home but that could all change when they travel to face Bordeaux-Begles at 6/1.

Otherwise, Toulouse are 1/100 to defeat Biarritz given the league strugglers are sending a weaker side to the Stade Ernest-Wallon – summing up the dire state the Basque outfit find themselves in.

Toulon, who travel to champions Castres, are 7/1 to win by more than 13 points.

Good luck!