The Reds and the Rebels meet in Brisbane on Saturday for a spot in the final against the Brumbies and we take a look at the game from a betting angle.
The Reds were impressive last week in beating the table topping Brumbies 26-7 at home. The game was a dead rubber with both sides assured of their log positions, but it was nonetheless an impressive effort by the Reds particularly on defence.
The Rebels were pushed hard by the Force eventually winning 34-30 and bagging the victory which ensured their spot in the playoff.
This will be the 3rd meeting of the sides this season with the Reds having won 19-3 the last time they met in Brisbane and once again it was the defence that led them to victory as the Rebels were consistently on the attack in the second-half.
Earlier in the season the sides had played to an 18-18 draw which included Super Time.
BETTING – Click here to bet
Handicap: Reds (-8.5) at 9/10, Rebels (+8.5) at 9.10
Suggested Bet: Reds, Handicap (-8.5) at 9/10
For this bet to arrive we need the Reds to win by 9 points or more and given they are playing at home against a side which has been forced to be on the road all season I think it is a pretty good bet. The Reds are capable of absorbing long periods of pressure and if, as I expect, they get into the lead the Rebels will be forced to take risks and the Reds can capitalize.
REBELS v BRUMBIES
The Rebels beat the Force 25-20 last week, but only after a super time try after the sides had finished level. It was a disappointing performance from the Rebels especially given that the week before they put the Waratahs away by 19 points.
The Brumbies kept their 100% record when they came from behind to beat the Reds 22-20 with the final kick of the game sealing the win for the home team. It was their second nail biter having just edged the Waratahs 24-23 in Sydney a few weeks back and when the Brumbies and Rebels met in the early round of the competition it was the Brumbies who won 31-23 in Canberra
Handicap: Rebels (+5.5) at 9/10, Brumbies (-5.5) at 9/10
Suggested Bet: Rebels win at 18/10
This is not a confident call, but I haven’t been impressed by the Brumbies yet and if the Rebels can reproduce the sort of form they showed against the Waratahs they will be big runners in this one.
WESTERN FORCE v REBELS – Click here to bet
Western Force and Rebels have both been handicapped by the fact that they haven’t had home games this season and the sides meet in Sydney this week.
The Force were well beaten by the Brumbies 24-0 last week in Sydney and they are without a win in their opening 3 matches. They did at least compete more effectively in their opening games beating the handicap against the Reds in Brisbane and the Waratahs in Sydney.
The Rebels impressed me last week when they beat a well backed Waratahs side 29-10 in Sydney. They had opened slight favourites in the betting, but the money came for the Waratahs, however the Rebels never looked like being beaten. If the Rebels win this game they will most likely assure themselves of a spot in the Top 3 and a crack at the Finals.
These sides haven’t met since 2017 when the Force won 31-22 in Perth and all, but one of their 9 meetings, had been decided by a single point margin.
Western Force 33/10
Handicap: Western Force (+10.5) at 9/10, Rebels (-10.5) at 9/10
Suggested Bet: Winning Margin, Rebels Under 12.5 points at 17/10
As mentioned above this clash is historically tight and while the Rebels should win this, the Force are capable of keeping the score line respectable.
HURRICANES v BLUES – click here to bet
This looks like a cracking encounter with the Blues still in title contention and the Hurricanes showing signs of bouncing back to something like their old form.
The Blues beat the Hurricanes at home early in the Tournament and they also won their last match in Wellington earlier this season winning 25-14. That broke a run of 5 successive Hurricanes home wins against the Blues.
The Hurricanes were full value for their 17/11 win against the Highlanders in Wellington last week although those who backed them on the (-6.5) handicap would have been disappointed that they could not put the visitors away. Their other home match in this Tournament was a 39-25 loss to the Crusaders.
The Blues title hopes took a real blow last week as they lost by 11 points to the Crusaders despite leading at the break. Their other away match saw them beat the Chiefs 24-12 in Hamilton.
Suggested Bet: Winning Margin, Hurricanes under 12.5 at 18/10
The money has come for the home team and I fancy them to edge a tight one.