Despite how easy it’s seemed over the last 4 weeks I am always grateful to come out of any weekend in profit as continually making money is the launch pad that leads to thoroughly walloping the bookmakers as we did last week. So it’s with that in mind that I will carry on employing the strategy of caution when required in difficult to read games and trying to identify value when it becomes apparent. With this explained let’s get stuck into another week of European action.
Preview Section: This is the final week of the European Cup Pool stage which on the face of it should make the games fiercely contested, however so many teams are eliminated from qualification that very few of the ties are competitive. What I expect to happen is many motivated first teams facing off against sides that are playing reserve 15’s, leading to huge mismatches in many contests and a quick glance at the odds suggests the bookies know this too with most sides that require a victory prohibitively short odds.
My strategy here then will be to have a big stake short odds accumulator to try and put us in profit for the week and go hunting for value in the games I expect to be either won by a margin bigger than the handicap or be closer affairs than the odds predict.
From the fixtures I expect Clermont to beat an eliminated Harlequins side, Ulster to destroy a second string Bath team, Exeter to beat La Rochelle as they go looking for a home Quarter Final, Munster to beat Ospreys and get a bonus point, Saracens to make use of home advantage and beat Racing and Toulouse to defeat Gloucester in France. So that will do for a 6 fold paying around 8/11.
Recommended Bet: 20 Points 6 FOLD - Clermont To Beat Harlequins (1/8), Ulster To Beat Bath (1/18), Exeter To Beat La Rochelle (1/33), Munster To Beat Ospreys (1/25), Saracens To Beat Racing (1/5) and Toulouse To Beat Gloucester (1/7) – 6 Fold Pays 0.72/1 (1.72 Decimal) at Betfair Sportsbook.
I apologise for how slim pickings are here as this accumulator has been sat around 5/6 most the week but with the team announcements that’s caused the odds on favourites to shorten further. On the flip side of that is that upsets in these matches really shouldn’t happen so the chances of this bet returning a winner have increased.
Ulster vs Bath: With motivation to qualify and a home tie against a weakened Bath side, I expect Ulster to run away with this match and although the handicap of 23 points looks a bit large I have no qualms about taking Ulster -15.5 on the alternative match handicap at 2/5.
Munster vs Ospreys: Similar to the Ulster game I can see a full strength Munster side putting Ospreys to the sword in Ireland and am happy to double the Ulster -15.5 tip with Munster -16.5 at 4/9 in a double paying just above evens.
Recommended Bet: 8 Points DOUBLE Ulster -15.5 (2/5) and Minster -16.5 (4/9) Alternative 2 Way Match Handicap – Double Pays 1.02/1 at Bet365
Sale vs Glasgow: Another week and another game featuring Glasgow that I expect to be very very close. Exeter vs Glasgow was incredibly rewarding for us last week with the half time time draw and full time draw yielding 34 points of profit from an individual game, an outrageous return by anyone’s standards. So it’s with that in mind I will employ the exact same strategy on this game as I can either side leading at half with the other at full time so I will play the half time full time markets and because I see it being very tight cover off with the potential draws at either half or full time.
Recommended Bet: 2 Points Sale Half Time Glasgow Full Time at 11/2- Bet365
Recommended Bet: 2 Points Glasgow Half Time Sale Full Time at 12/1- Bet365
Recommended Bet: 1 Point Half Time Draw at 13/1 – Betfair Sportsbook or Paddy Power
Recommended Bet: 1 Point Full Time Draw at 25/1 – Ladbrokes or Boylesports
Saracens vs Racing: This is the most mouth-watering clash of the weekend, Saracens need a win and possibly with a bonus point to qualify whilst Racing will want a home Quarter Final to maximise their chances of making the Semi Finals, so have named their strongest possible side. Based on the stipulations in play and how much I rate Saracens as a team I expect them to win this game, however I feel it could be closer than the bookies expect so the handicap of Racing +15 points appeals. I also think it’s worth the play on the half time full time markets as Racing are plenty capable of leading early in this one.
Recommended Bet: 10 Points Racing +15 points Match Handicap at 10/11 – Ladbrokes or Coral
Recommended Bet: 2 Points Racing Half Time Saracens Full Time at 6/1- Betfair Sportsbook or Paddy Power
Recommended Bet: 1 Point Saracens Half Time Racing Full Time at 20/1- Bet365
Toulouse vs Gloucester: I expect Toulouse to overcome Gloucester in France on Sunday and secure themselves a home Quarter Final but with Gloucester still in contention for qualification I expect a lively affair. I have been very impressed with Gloucester this season and think they are on the rise as a club, however without Danny Cipriani their influential Fly Half winning at Toulouse is a monumental task. I do however think Gloucester can stay with the hosts early so will risk a couple of points on Gloucester half time Toulouse full time and will also risk 1 point at massive odds on Toulouse half time Gloucester full time in case Gloucester produce a historic effort and gain the win.
Recommended Bet: 2 Points Gloucester Half Time Toulouse Full Time at 13/2- Betfair Sportsbook
Recommended Bet: 1 Point Toulouse Half Time Gloucester Full Time at 22/1- Bet365