RaboDirect PRO12 Fixtures
Saturday, 1 Sep 2012
Friday night turned out to be a bit of a damp squib for us as far as the Rabo Pro12 rugby was concerned, with Glasgow falling just outside the handicap, and the Ospreys unable to score in the second half – missing penalties and over-elaborating a fair few tryscoring chances. Friday nights can often be a frustrating time in Rabo rugby, so we’ll take it on the chin and look forward to Saturday’s games.
Rabo Pro12 Rugby Betting – Connacht v Cardiff, 4:30pm GMT
There’s been money coming for Connacht since the teams came out on Thursday, especially in Ireland it seems, with Paddypower moving the handicap from Connacht +3 to Connacht -2! A huge swing indeed.
The reasons? The bookies probably initially looked at Cardiff’s win over in Galway last season by 26-20, took into account a few injuries and international absentees for Cardiff, and set it at -3 (probably a bit more sophisticated than mind you…). But there are a raft of injuries at Cardiff and they’re stretched to the limit. They’re playing most of their second team, and ther first team is nothing to shout about right now either with morale in the club at a low, with budget cutbacks and falling supporter spend numbers hitting the famous club hard. They have only four props available out of nine apparently, which means two of their front rowers are going to have to last the eighty minutes. They’re playing a ten at 12, and they have alot of inexperience taking the field tomorrow. Contrast tomorrow’s team with the team from last year’s win and you’ll see a big difference. Even taking away Welsh internationals like Halfpenny, Cuthbert and Roberts, players gone or injured from that day include the likes of Lualua, Zavier Rush, Paul Tito, Czjekai, Parks, Richie Rees, and Molitika.
Connacht have some inexperience themselves, with the likes of Junior world cup star Marmion starting at 9, but for the most part they’re fit and it’s the first team rotation. Connacht made big strides last season and there’s still big value available for them here. Betfred still have Connacht available for the straight win at evens (4/6 in paddypower) and you can even still get them at +1 at 10/11 in Betfred to negate the draw. There’s some windy rain forecast for this game in Galway tomorrow and you have to wonder if Cardiff will be arsed at all with the amount of excuses they have if they lose. You could take an extra gamble on the half/time full time aswell in Betfred- Connacht/connacht is 2/1. (closest elsewhere is 7/4 in stanjames, 8/5 in Paddypower, and as low as 5/4 in Ladbrokes). If Connacht get the toss they’ll probably take the wind in the first half, and you wouldn’t fancy the Cardiff bench to help claw things back if they go behind. A 50/50 for 2/1? Not quite, but close enough and still value.
Rabo Pro12 Rugby Betting – Scarlets v Leinster, 6:30pm GMT
Leinster travel to the Parc Y Scarlets with a threadbare side and a bench full of academy players. Smart punters were on the Scarlets +3 available on Thursday that has long since vanished. The best you can get now is -2 in Stanjames, and Leinster + 5 in Ladbrokes. Leinster are defintely missing big names, but the starting 15 is all good quality, Nacewa is at full back and won’t let anyone down, Madigan is no novice anymore at ten, and Jennings should be able to steer the youngsters in the right direction. Strauss and Van Der Merwe in the front row are class acts. In general some people seem to be glossing over the real quality in the Leinster 15 tomorrow.
It’s very tempting to follow the crowd and back the Scarlets with North and Davies and a full side, to go and beat the handicap well. But a couple of things are making us swerve this game. The Scarlets are anything but consistent, and were rubbish towards the tail end of last season when they had the playoffs at their mercy but bottled it. They may see this as a real chance to put one over on the current Heineken cup champs and increase their own profile a bit. But Leinster will turn up, and the 43-0 defeat to Northampton in a second side warm-up last week was just the kind of thing they needed to make them aware of that possibility this week.
We’re also uneasy about the distance the handicap has moved in Scarlets favour. Whenever this happens the bookies usually, miraculously find some way out of their liabilities. Our spidey senses are tingling big time;
Rugby Betting Spidey sense tingle reason 1. Nigel Whitehouse is in the TMO box, and whenever we see that happening in Parc Y Scarlets, we think twice about a bet. Anyone who saw London Irish v Scarlets in the Anglo-Welsh cup last year will know what we’re talking about. Logic tends to disappear and all sorts of oddities are occurring. Maybe he’s just really good and us mere mortals can’t see some of the things he does. Who knows…
Rugby betting Spidey sense tingle reason 2 The handicap has swung massively and the bookies are all carrying huge liabilities on the Scarlets. It wouldn’t surprise us in the slightest if the handicap somehow landed right on -2/3 or 4 to get a large wedge back for them. Funnily enough in that London Irish game at Scarlets mentioned above, the handicap had a big swing too, going from London Irish +5 all the way into London Irish at evens and -1. London Irish lost that game by eight after all sorts of oddness that even Nigel Owens was shaking his head at.
Rugby Betting Spidey senses tingling reason 3. Neil Patterson is refereeing the game…dear God no…NO!
So to summarise that’s- Whitehouse TMO (check), Bookies big liabilities (check), Neil Paterson refereeing (check)…….hmmmm
That can only mean……wait!….no?!
It’s the betting equivalent of the Bermuda triangle!!
Run for the hills!!
No time for the Children!!!
(When you get back from the hills, head on over over to the rugby betting Forum for the Munster game picks- we can’t make our mind up…)
(Friday Night’s rugby betting previews)
The Rabodirect Pro12 gives us the first games to bet on for this busy weekend of European club rugby, and having the early Friday kick-offs back again is a welcome change as the days get shorter. It’s always wise to keep your powder fairly dry for a few games at the start of the season, but we’ve picked through the six games this weekend and found a few prospects. Don’t pay too much attention to past opening day results for the Celtic league. In our experience of the Rabo you have to analyse each game on it’s own betting merits, with historical results and form coming a close second.
RaboDirect PRO12 Fixtures
Friday, 31 August 2012
Newport-Gwent D’gons v Zebre, 19:00
Treviso v Ospreys, 19:05
Ulster v Glasgow, 19:05
Saturday, 1 September 2012
Connacht v Cardiff Blues, 17:00
Scarlets v Leinster, 18:30
Edinburgh v Munster, 20:00
Rabodirect Pro12 Betting Dragons v Zebre, 7pm GMT
Dragons (-9 10/11 PaddyPower) v Zebre (+11 10/11 Ladbrokes)
This game is obviously quite a tough one to call, but looking at the team lineups we think the +11 available on Zebre is probably the lesser of two evils. Yes they’re a new team, but they have a fair few Italian internationals in their side from the Aironi leftovers, and a decent and experienced enough looking backline. The likes of Sinoti Sinoti (so good they named him twice) and Venditti are well able to score tries. They’ve a few injuries but so do the Dragons; notably they’ve no recognised seven. Zebre are no doubt aware that they need to make a strong statement in their first game of season, and what easier way to do that than away to the Dragons?
The Dragon’s will more than likely be dodging wooden spoon honours this year. If you look at ther side they have Lydiate and Faletau, but precious little else. They lost the likes of Aled Brew and a few others, and while they weren’t world beaters, they were journeymen who conributed to a difficult cause. They have a ten that couldn’t kick snow off a rope last season in Steffon Jones, and you’d hope for his sake that they’ve given him some personal attention in the off season. And because of their defensive frailties you don’t even get to see much of Faleteau on the charge because he’s too tired from making tackles (pretty much the way Wales use him).
This game could go either way, especially with George Clancy manning the whistle, but if you must have a punt the +11 in Ladbrokes is the way to go.
Rabodirect Pro12 Betting Dragons v Zebre, 7pm GMT, BBC
Ulster (-3 10/11 Stanjames) v Glasgow (+5 Bet365 10/11)
Similar to the Dragons game, there’s quite a big discrepancy with the bookies in the best handicap prices for this game, as you can see above. Ulster have very importantly lost Wannenberg to Castres this seaons, and he’ll be a big miss. They’ve also got a brand new centre partnership, and a fragile Paddy jackson at outhalf. Nick Williams is among two debutants in the back row. All in all a green looking Ulster team then.
Contrast that with Glasgow’s side and the +5 on Glasgow becomes more appealing. This is the guts of the side that came quite close to beating Leinster in the Rabo Semi-final last year. They’re missing Richie Gray who is gone to Sale, but Gray was hyped up far more than his worth last season. Few things really stand out in my mind about him from last season, except when standing up an evasive Rob Kearney (who can blame him!) in the six nations. They were winning away all last season, and are a gritty and determined outfit. They’ve an excellent backrow, with a star of the future in Harley by our reckoning. And they’ve a better looking bench to deal with the bad weather that is forecast for tomorrow evening.
The +5 on Glasgow in Bet365 looks the way to go; we couldn’t back Ulster this early on with such a green looking side. If you fancy something exotic, Nick Williams is 4/1 anytime tryscorer, and 18/1 first tryscorer in Skybet. Williams doesn’t do much, but if Ulster get a five metre scrum you can be sure he’ll be sniffing out the tryline for his weekly five minutes of actual rugby play!
Rabodirect Pro12 Betting Treviso v ospreys, 805pm GMT, BBC2
Dragons (+4 5/6 Stanjames) v ospreys (-2 10/11 Paddypower)
One thing struck me about this game more than anything- John Lacey from Ireland is refereeing, and he’s usually decent enough for the home team. The two touch judges are Italian, and so is the TMO. Advantage, Treviso? Quite possibly.
Right, now that’s out of the way, we’ll look at the Ospreys. Missing a few internationals (most notably Tipuric, who’s made of glass it seems), they still field a very strong looking side that is well capable of an opening day win. The only thing that should give Osprey-backers pause is the quality Treviso back-row of Zanni, Barbieri and to a lesser extent Favaro. These three, along with other international scattered through the team, will keep Treviso competitive.
It’s due to rain for this game, and this, combined with the heavy looking Treviso bench sould prevent any run-away resluts for the Ospreys. It’s a game they should win, but I wouldn’t be confident backing them on the -2. If they win ( and they should) it won’t be by more than 12 points.
This one should be tight, but the Ospreys should be able to just nick it as they did on tough away encounters on a number of occasions last season. he 1-12 winning margin at 6/4 in ladbrokes and paddypower takes away the 1 and 2 point Ospreys win that would scupper the handicap pick. There’s 15/8 available for Treviso 1-12 in Ladbrokes, and we wouldn’t put anyone off it despite the above. Treviso will be really fired up and the officials should all give them the 50/50’s.
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More to follow