This week’s predictions

Date published: March 6 2015

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

While the Six Nations may be taking a week off, it's still packed weekend, with Super Rugby, Premiership, PRO12, and of course Top 14 action on the agenda.

Derby weekend in South Africa should throw up some surprises, while the race for play-off spots across Europe's top three leagues is as tight as ever.

Intrigued? Well let's check the best bets that Paddy Power has on offer to fill your pockets.

Super Rugby

Stormers v Sharks

Potentially the top two teams from South Africa this season, especially with the Bulls' slow start, so there is a lot riding on the result in Cape Town. This game will be close but the Stormers have the momentum and will be victorious. Stormers to win by five points!

Given that the Stormers are at 8/13 to win the game, there isn't much value in betting on them straight up. A handicap of -3 is more tempting, and we reckon they'll overcome it. In terms of try-scorers Dillyn Leyds is not worth backing at that price, but Damian de Allende at 16/5 against a rusty Sharks midfield might be worth a punt.

Cheetahs v Bulls

If the Cheetahs succeed in their quest of starving the Bulls from gaining momentum there is no reason why they should not be able to win it. The Bulls have, however, made great strides after suffering back-to-back losses at home. The men from Pretoria are likely to be the more desperate of the two teams and should edge their hosts. Bulls by five points.

The Cheetahs backline certainly looks dangerous, but up front the Bulls will look to take them on as ever. So why not take a look at Adriaan Strauss at 13/2 to score, or if you're really brave, 25/1 on there being a red card in a feisty local derby.

Other Superbru predictions:
Reds v Waratahs: Waratahs by 15
Blues v Lions: Blues by 12

Aviva Premiership

Bath may have lost their last three matches but remain a potent force at The Rec, where Northampton were rare victors a few weeks back. With that in mind Sale are 7/2 on to win, but the Sharks did infact win here last season 12-11 in a slightly controversial ending. 

The hosts are listed at 11/8 to win by 1-12 points in what feels like a sensible move, their recent record aside. 

No rain is forecast but this one seems likely to remain a tight affair nonetheless rather than both sides opening up their backline, making the total points under 33 stand out at 2/1.

Semesa Rokoduguni leads the first try scorer odds at 7/1 and look out for a couple of anytime scorers in Magnus Lund, who signed a new contract this week, at 13/2. Bath are 13/8 to get a bonus-point try too.

Other Superbru predictions:
Harlequins v London Irish: Quins by 6
Exeter v London Welsh: Exeter by 35
Gloucester v Northampton: Saints by 5
Wasps v Saracens: Wasps by 8
Newcastle v Leicester: Leicester by 7

Guinness Pro12

The game of the weekend takes place in Swansea where the Ospreys simply have to beat Munster.

The Welsh side have struggled of late, and host a Munster side fresh from an impressive win over Glasgow.

So we think the visitors might edge this one, effectively ending Welsh hopes in the competition as a result. Munster by 5!

Other Superbru predictions:
Glasgow v Zebre:
Glasgow by 30
Cardiff Blues v Connacht: Blues by 3
Treviso v Edinburgh: Edinburgh by 4
Scarlets v Leinster: Scarlets by 3
Dragons v Ulster: Ulster by 5

Top 14

Toulouse kick things off in Oyonnax in the cold, but there is more value to be had on Saturday. There are some huge lines for home teams, and while Clermont and Montpellier might well cover, we think Grenoble should be able to get within 12 away at Racing-Métro.

Going the other way, Toulon at -20 look very good value against a Brive side which has shipped 50 home and away in their last two fixtures against the champions.

Finally look for Castres to win but not cover against Lyon, who are being given nine points in the battle of the league's bottom two.

Predictions:
Oyonnax v Toulouse: Oyonnax by 3
Bordeaux-Bègles v Stade Français: Bordeaux by 12
Castres v Lyon: Castres by 4
Clermont v Bayonne: Clermont by 24
Montpellier v La Rochelle: Montpellier by 16
Racing-Métro v Grenoble: Racing by 8
Toulon v Brive: Toulon by 30

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