This week’s predictions

Date published: March 21 2015

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

The Six Nations takes cente stage this weekend as four teams head into the final weekend with a chance at the title, while the remaining two battle it out to avoid the Wooden Spoon.

First up Wales will try to run up a score away in Italy to pile the pressure on their title rivals, before Ireland try to bounce back from defeat with a win in Scotland. Finally it's Le Crunch at Twickenham where England will be searching for a first Six Nations title in four years.

While the Six Nations will steal the headlines, there are also some big Super Rugby encounters and the LV= Cup final to look forward to on Sunday.

So without further ado let's have a look at Paddy Power's rugby odds for this weekend.

Six Nations

Italy v Wales

Momentum will be critical to Wales and if they can keep the tempo high, the points will come. Wales by 30.

Looking more closely, you will get your money back on any first try-scorer bets if your try-scorer crosses during the game, so with that in mind, we really like Rhys Webb at 17/2 to score first.

We also think that it's worth going for the over 47.5 points with Wales likely to throw caution to the wind. Unlike last week in Rome, the conditions should be much improved and conducive to some running rugby.

Scotland v Ireland

Scotland won’t lie down, but they also won’t keep the pace in what will be a pivotal point in the context of the day with England waiting for their turn. Ireland by 12.

While Vern Cotter's side have caused everyone problems, we think that Ireland will have a little too much in the tank. With that in mind it seems a good bet that an Irishman will pick up the man of the match award, and Tommy Bowe looks very tempting at 25/1 if Ireland can finally use their wings in an attacking manner.

Having said that, this might be a little tighter than in Rome, and it wouldn't be a surprise for the total points to come in under 39.5.

England v France

England are heavy favourites but France have at least been difficult to break down in this Six Nations. England should still win but it might be closer that people expect. England by 7.

Given France's defensive record, we think they should cover the 10 handicap, and the 39.5 points tally also seems high. In fact only once has it been covered in the eight games played by the sides so far in the tournament. In terms of try-scorers, Luther Burrell has been fairly quiet this season, and is maybe lucky to still be starting. He's got a good try-scoring record though, and scored one in this fixture last year, so why not go for Burrell at 14/1 to score first.

Super Rugby

Sharks v Chiefs

The Sharks' record against the Chiefs is not a good one, but the visitors will be missing two key players from midfield. Nevertheless, the Chiefs look like genuine title contenders while the Sharks have failed to convince. Chiefs by less than seven points.

As we're backing the Chiefs to win, the fact the Sharks are being made two-point favourites makes the handicap very tempting, and a Chiefs win outright is 11/10. The Kiwis showed their ability to overcome a slow start last week, so 7/1 on the Sharks to lead at half-time and Chiefs to win is also worth a look.

Waratahs v Brumbies

The Waratahs have to click into top gear eventually but the Brumbies pack has taken no prisoners in recent weeks and may prove too powerful. This one could be high-scoring. Brumbies by 5.

Just like in Durban, we're backing the underdogs, so why not go for the Brumbies by 1-5 at 10/3

Other Superbru predictions
Bulls v Force – Bulls by 20
Crusaders v Chiefs – Crusaders by 12

LV= Cup Final

Prediction to come when teams are announced

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