Leicester v Gloucester – Premiership Rugby Betting

Premiership Rugby Betting

Leicester v Gloucester, Sat 29th December, 1700 GMT Sky Sports one. Tigers -6 Paddypower, Gloucester +8 Stanjames

Gloucester are only six point underdogs with most bookies coming into this game off the back of a better-than-expected run of form. Looking back at their last five games they’ve lost both away games and won three at home. All five of those games have a story to tell when it comes to tomorrow’s clash at Welford road.

They beat Leicester at home after a try in the opening two minutes from the first phase of play. They grimly held on despite being down to 13 men towards the end, and last season’s 36-3 hammering at Welford road was a big motivator here in helping them secure the win against a strong-ish Tigers side. Following this they’ve had a big home win against Sale (where it must be noted they left a bonus point behind, seeming more interested in showing off Freddie Burn’s boot than scoring tries) and snuck past Exeter at home last week by two points with a penalty in the dying minutes.

The two away games were losses against Quins and Saracens, and are interesting results for some unobvious reasons. Gloucester managed to pick up two losing bonus points, and at first glance it’s it makes the start of +6 tomorrow look more attractive. However, it must be remembered that both Quins and Saracens were disrupted by international call-ups for both of these games.

Tomorrow’s game swings the revenge motivation back around to Leicester again, and there are some notable changes from the side that lost at the shed five rounds ago. Hamilton isn’t on the wing (despite scoring a try in that game his lack of pace was costly) and Ben Youngs comes back in to partner Toby Flood (Harrison started there five rounds ago, and he’s nowhere near the player Youngs is).

There are a lot of similarities between this game and the aforementioned hammering that Leicester gave Gloucester last March. Firstly, leading up to that game Gloucester were on a fantastic run of form and were expected to run Leicester extremely close, yet they were beaten off the park in the muck and wet – tomorrow’s weather will be almost identical.. Secondly, Youngs and Flood had just been re-united at half back as they are tomorrow, and with Flood recently stating he’s not bothered about international call-ups and more interested in the Aviva Premiership, he’ll be delighted his favourite dance partner Youngs is back to give him good ball. Thirdly, before last march’s game both teams were neck and neck in the table, just as they are for tomorrow (third and fourth). And finally, the guts of that Gloucester side that lost here last year are either starting or on the bench tomorrow.

There are changes in the backrow for the better but it’s still a side that is yet to be really tested this season. Jimmy Cowan is another change at scrum half but for me Cowan is a liability in attritional games and he will be targeted tomorrow by the Leicester backrow and a sniping Ben Youngs. Rob Cook has been excellent recently for Gloucester at full back, but he misses out through injury tomorrow and is replaced by former Dragons full back Martyn Thomas. This enforced change could be crucial in the weather conditions and he’s unlikely to have an easy ride tomorrow.

Main Premiership rugby bet

– We’ve taken Leicester -6 at 10/11 in Paddypower (as big as -8 elsewhere). Gloucester have definitely improved from last season, particularly in the back row, but for us that won’t be enough to hold Leicester back tomorrow. There’s huge impact on the Tiger’s bench, and Gloucester’s scrum will come under plenty of pressure in foul weather. Tigers will be up for revenge in a major way, and morale in the club should be sky high with plenty of players signing new contracts this week, and class players like Parling and the excellent Steve Mafi deciding to stay at the club. We’ve also learned our betting lesson from last March; foolishly I had a big bet on Gloucester on the plus handicap, believing in their form leading up to the game. Tomorrow I’m fairly confident we’ll be taking back that loss with interest. (Teams below)

Side bets- The alternate handicap is interesting in Ladbrokes if you expect a repeat of that game last March and a bonus point for Leicester ( as I do), with Tigers -22 at 11/2, small stakes only of course. Toby Flood is also interesting for anytime try – he’ll secretly want to prove a point against Freddie Burns and he’ll see plenty of chances, and knows where the tryline is. Prices not out everywhere so hold fire on this until tomorrow, small money again.

Leicester:15 Geordan Murphy, 14 Niall Morris, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Brett Deacon, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Louis Deacon (c), 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 George Chuter, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Steve Mafi, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 George Ford23 Matt Smith

Gloucester: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Shane Monahan, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Akapusi Qera,6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 Jim Hamilton (c),4 Will James,3 Shaun Knight, 2 Huia Edmonds, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Tom Savage, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Tim Molenaar, 23 Drew Locke.

There’ll be plenty of excellent opinion and stats for the other weekend Premiership rugby games in the Betting forum here

Premiership relegation battle betting 2013 – Updated 7/1/2013

Premiership rugby relegation –

Sale beat welsh today, all tables and posts updated later.

Update 7/1/2013, week 3

As you can see from our updated spreadsheet, Sale’s odds have again increased to be relegated, meaning the bookies are seeing it as increasingly less likely. The weekend’s results saw London Welsh get a losing bonus point at home to Quins (Quinsfan at the game in the forum said they were lucky to do so), as expected. Irish shocked alot of people and beat Gloucester away and that will be a huge boost to them, with the bookies pushing their odds out to 4/1. Sale were slightly unlucky to pick up nothing away at Saracens, and they were well in the hunt for a losing bonus point until the 61 minute mark when they were cut open off a Sarries lineout move (helped by some obstruction).

With the favourable run of fixtures, at this point Irish look very likely to stay up and it’s a head to head battle now between Sale (evens) and Welsh (6/4) to go down (or stay up!). The next fixtures are not until the 9th of February and if Sale can pick up a win at home to a stuttering Exeter side, they’ll be only six points behind Welsh who are unlikely to get anything away at Leicester.

One thing’s for sure, that 33/1 initially pointed out is long long gone!

Update 2/1/2013, week 2

Current points after last week – Sale 11, Irish 12, Welsh 20. Last weekend we got two right and one wrong – with Sale getting four points, Irish getting zero and Welsh getting zero (we expected a losing bonus for them). Odds on Sale have been slashed as we anticipated originally (original post below), dropping from 33/1 to 8/1 now. Directions on how to use the table are on the document itself or at the bottom of this post.

Google Doc table has been updated.
Premiership Relegation table viewing/download link

Original table image here – click to enlarge

premiership-rugby-relegation-betting 2013-dropkickrugby.com

Week 1 of relegation battle calculator

We’re almost at the midpoint of the Premiership season and it is now clear that there will likely be just three teams battling to stay afloat in the Premiership for the rest of the year; Sale, London Irish, and London Welsh.

The current situation has Sale favourites to go down on seven points, London Irish on 12 points, and London Welsh on 20 points. The purpose of this table is to compare possibilities and try to find some value in the betting for relegation.

Sale are favourites with most Bookies to go down, with the biggest price available at 1/4 in bet365. At first glance it looks as though the bookies have already condemned Sale to the Championship for next season but we’re not so sure. London Welsh have a series of tricky fixtures to come and Sale undoubtedly have enough talent to stay up if they can get their coaching act together. For us, Irish are the most likely to stay up of the three, having decent fixtures and the most quality in their squad.

Moving onto the table below, we have entered our estimated table-point outcomes after each fixture. These are of course very subjective and we’ve provided you access to this table yourself so you can enter your own score predictions and total point outcomes (more on that below).

So in brief- Green colouring on the fixtures means winnable, Orange means tricky, and Red means very difficult. The teams in white are expected to be affected by International call-ups (and therefore may give more hope of a result to our three relegation contenders)

As you can see (click on the image above to isolate it if you like), we currently have London Welsh finishing equal on points with Sale after our own estimated results. Should this occur, then the least number of overall wins will be the deciding factor in who gets relegated.

You may have noticed that the Odds on london Welsh to go down are very big – at 33/1 in Bet365 and Sportingbet. We think this is overpriced and we’ve had a small bet ourselves on London Welsh to go down for a number of reasons. First, they are new to this division and while we’ve been hugely impressed with their commitment so far (and it has been serious bodies on the line stuff at times) it will be difficult for them to keep that going and manage to keep their squad fully fit. Second, they have a horrendous run of fixtures from the end of February onwards that the likes of Sale will have to take advantage of. If Sale can get their act together and start picking up some wins, the 33/1 will look like a steal.

Sale showed on Sunday at Wasps that there’s life in them yet – with an injury time try by Johnny Leota to earn a losing bonus point. They’re a club with alot of history and sooner or later they’ll kick into gear and make a run at staying up. The crucial fixture will be the virtual eight-pointer on the 16th of february, and that’s a game we have penned in as a tight win for Sale assuming they’ll have developed more coherence by then ( and big Tony Buckley keeps up his AWESOME offloading game!).

Another crucial set of games is this coming week, when Sale host Worcester (who they were unlucky not to draw with away from home, butchering a try chance at the death) and Welsh play Wasps at home. If Wasps beat London Welsh away, and Sale win at home, that 33/1 will vanish quicker than a Steve Diamond smile.

How to input your own match-result values on the table

You can substitute your own values into the points columns by clicking the link to the google document below, and then Clicking ‘FILE’ and then ‘Download as’.

Premiership Relegation table download link

If you don’t have Gmail, we recommend downloading as an Excel spreadsheet. Then just open the download and play around with the points columns – the totals will change automatically once you enable editing. It’s better if you have Gmail. Just login to your Gmail account, then click the link just above to open the google document (or refresh this page after you’ve logged in), then hit ‘File, and MAKE A COPY’. You can then edit the columns as you please in your own time, the totals will change as you enter your expected match points. The original Spreadsheet will be updated weekly by us until the end of the season.

If you have any questions or want to discuss this or anything else, head over to the Premiership rugby section in the forum here.

Northampton v Harlequins Rugby Betting

Premiership Rugby Betting

Northampton v Harlequins, Sat 21st December, 1515 Sky Sports two. Saints -3 everywhere, Quins +4 ladbrokes

There’s plenty of excellent opinion and stats for the other weekend Premiership rugby games in the Betting forum here

This is probably the clash of the weekend in the Aviva Premiership, and despite initial impressions that this is a top of the table clash between two English heavyweights; the form of both teams in the league over the past five games from round six to ten is surprisingly average.

Looking first at Quins, and they’ve been beaten by Exeter (comprehensively) and Bath away from home. Their three wins have all been by exactly three points at home to Gloucester and Worcester (late drop goal) and away at London Irish (through the luckiest try of the season at the end). So realistically we could be looking at one win against Gloucester, one draw at home to Worcester, and three losses. Not the most spellbinding of form for Quins backers. I don’t think their European Cup form matters too much here as their group is the weakest in the competition.

Moving onto Saints, and the general theme is underwhelming. They had three losses on the bounce in rounds six, seven and eight; they lost at London Irish with a weakened starting fifteen, were beaten at home by Saracens, and away by Leicester. The loss to Saracens was tough and they were a little unlucky and ultimately lacking any creativity to work their way back into the game having gone behind. The loss as Leicester by four points was quite positive however, and I felt they were very hard done by the referee on the day (as most teams are at Welford road). Their last two games have been dutiful wins over Sale and London Welsh that didn’t set the pulse racing. The win away at Ulster does need to be taken with a slight pinch of salt considering how poor in general Ulster were last week, however you feel they’ve shaken a huge ape of their backs that has arguably been there since the capitulation to Leinster two years ago in the final.

For me tomorrow is simply about who wants it more. The backline’s look similar to me with Quins edging it in the creativity stakes, however in tomorrow’s weather what that edge will mean is debateable. Nick Evans versus Myler on place kicks is pretty even too with Evans on middling enough form for his high standards. Foden for me is a better full back than Brown, with better decision making overall and both will be tested tomorrow with expected territorial kicking.

The lineouts should be pretty even with plenty of ability in the Saints back row making up for weakness at lock, but I see a clear advantage in the front row for Saints and that’s where I see this game won and lost tomorrow, with poor weather forecast and with Johnston being a big weakness for Quins at scrumtime. Mujati is on the bench again and we saw his impact last week when he came on in the second half against Ulster. Myler has been picked to start because he’s reliable with the boot and in tomorrow’s conditions they’ll need a ten that can attack the gain line and keep it tight; functions he is far better at executing than Lamb.

Premiership Rugby main bet
– We’re taking the 1-12 Northampton win at biggest 7/4 in Stanjames. Games between these two are usually tight and Northampton are unlikely to score many tries here, especially with the wet weather and heavy ground. With Myler at ten the game plan looks clear- win at all costs and try to dominate them in the forwards. They can go top of the table this week by taking advantage of Quins marginal form on the road and after beating Ulster away last week they should have plenty of confidence. The minus three handicap at 10/11 is also attractive but its unlikely Saints win by 13+, so I’m happy to take the bigger price for slightly more risk.


Ulster v leinster – Rabo Pro12 Rugby Betting

Rabo Pro12 Rugby Betting

Ulster v Leinster betting, Ulster -5 Paddypower/William hill, Leinster +8 stanjames

BBC2 NI 9:05 Friday, 21st December

Back to the Rabo then for Friday night’s derby showdowns. No doubt the most interesting clash in the RaboPro12 this weekend is between Ulster and Leinster in Ravenhill. Both sides come off the back of slight shocks in then Heineken Cup with Ulster going down by a point at home to Northampton and Leinster being systematically conquered by Clermont in Dublin. Comparing the two defeats you’d have to say Ulster’s loss was the most avoidable, with plenty of bad decision making, handling errors, and missed kicks. In contrast, Leinster just weren’t at the races and were like a jockey without a saddle holding on for dear life, ducking punches, trying to avoid the seemingly inevitable. They were devoid of ideas against one of the most complete team performances in European rugby in many years by Clermont, and it’s testament to their spirit that they pulled a hugely undeserved losing bonus point from the fire.

It’s difficult to draw comparisons between both losses – but arguably Leinster played better against the better team, and arguably emerge better psychologically compared to Ulster, whose much-vaunted winning streak has come to a crunching halt. Also, individual performances last week were arguably poorer on the Ulster side – with most players contributing to an astronomical error count, and Pienaar, Cave and Jackson showing particularly poorly. Jared Payne dropping and forcing passes was worrying as he has been the oil in the gears of this Ulster backline in big games. Tommy Bowe is now out injured for four months, Muller and Touhy are out and all of a sudden fortress Ravenhill isn’t looking impenetrable. On top of all that, some players ( definitely Gilroy and Cave – possibly more) haven’t trained in the Ulster squad and were sick during the week. Let’s take a look at the starting teams;

Ulster: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Chris Henry (c), 6 Robbie Diack, 5 Neil McComb, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 John Afoa, 2 Rory Best, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Callum Black, 18 Adam Macklin, 19 Alan O’Connor, 20 Roger Wilson, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Paddy Wallace, 23 Adam D’Arcy.

Leinster: 15 Noel Reid, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Gordon D’Arcy, 11 Fergus McFadden, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O’Brien, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Leo Cullen (capt), 3 Michael Bent, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Aaron Dundon, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Tom Denton, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Andrew Goodman, 23 Adam Byrne.

There is inexperience in that Leinster backline but you could say the poor form of Ulster’s backs makes this evens. And we’re not just basing Ulster’s poor form on last week either – they have squeaked though in their last three league games away at Scarlets, Zebre and Treviso. On recent form I’d choose Madigan and Reddan over Pienaar and Jackson, and when we move on to the pack the advantage starts to swing Leinster’s way. The lineout is Leinster’s, and the Leinster backrow is an all international unit and shades the undoubted quality for ulster. I can’t predict how the scrums will go but I think the other all international unit of Leinster will have the upper hand. Benchwise- both sides look equal enough, but with a little more experience for Leinster probably.

For me leinster are the better side here, and recent history points to them staying well within this handicap start –
In the past six years in the league games immediately following Heineken cup round four, the following results occurred;

Leinster 42 – 13 Ulster 2011
Ulster 13 – 30 Leinster 2010
Leinster 15 – 3 Ulster 2009
Ulster 13 – 21 Leinster 2008
Leinster 29 – 0 Ulster 2007
(leinster lost away at Munster in 2006)
Ulster 19 – 24 Leinster 2005

All Leinster wins. Case closed?

Main Rabopro12 Rugby bet

while the leinster win is tempting at biggest 9/4 in stanjames our main bet is taking Leinster with the start biggest +8 in stanjames at 10/11. The stats all point to leinster tomorrow night and despite some weakness in the Leinster backline Ulster are in no form to take advantage. Ulster’s form has been poor for the past six weeks if you forget the win away at Northampton, and Leinster hold the upper hand over the past six years and beyond in this fixture. The handicap started at +8 in Paddypower and has since contracted to +5 so there has been money for Leinster.

Other bookmakers have lowered the Leinster handicap too except Stanjames at +8. I’d also take +7 if I had to. Big teams bounce back after poor disappointing showings – i’m expecting Leinster to take their frustrations out on a wounded Ulster side this Friday, and while I fancy them for a win, I’m happy enough taking the excellent value +8.


Festive rugby betting accumulators

Rugby Betting speculators

Ok, its christmas, last week took a lump out of the heating fund, and the kids are all out collecting scrap this week- time to speculate!

We’ve gone Toulouse (4/6), Clermont(4/9), Glasgow(2/5), Castres (2/7), Stade Francais (1/3) at 5/1 in paddypower – biggest overall price on the five teams currently.

Some brief reasoning;

Both Toulouse and clermont have won every game in the top 14 the week after Round 4 of the Heineken Cup for the last four years. They’re also both chasing Toulon for the top spot in the league and every point counts now, so they’ll both be after wins here (maybe more so than previous years). Clermont are in great form after beating Leinster away and name a strongish side (some concern with Radoslevic and Skrela in the halves starting) and there’s plenty of backup on the bench for their game on the road against an ordinary Bordeaux side.

Toulouse usually react well after a bad performance. In fairness the loss to the Ospreys was as much due to their abysmal handling as the Ospreys grinding them down for the full 80. Noves said publicly this week that his players are entitled to a slump every now and again – but you can bet he had them marching the canard at training during the week. I’m expecting a backlash from Toulouse – slight danger here is that Grenoble are unbeaten at home this season, but they’re missing their big game man Sowerby, which says to me they might be expecting a beating. Plus, they haven’t played any real quality at home in that unbeaten sequence.

Castres have either won (3 times) or drawn ( once, away) in the last four years after euro competition (three years Heineken cup). They’re an excellent side, rested a few last week, and are on a great run of form. Racing metro, despite winning last week at Edinburgh by 12 points, could easily have lost, and were very lucky that Edinburgh had a one legged pirate at ten (at least, his kicking (Piers Francis) seemed like he had one wooden leg). I’d be very surprised if this Racing side upset Castres here.

Stade Francais are on a good run in the Amlin Challenge Cup and Biarritz tend to do badly in the league after round four of European competition (they’ve lost the last four years running), and interestingly this is the exact same fixture from last year after round four, which Stade Francais won, beating Biarritz 23-10. Biarritz are on an awful league run, and last week’s slog in the bog against Connacht should have taken it out of them too.

Lastly Glasgow at home to Edinburgh in the Scottish derby. These tend to be close enough but Glasgow are at home with a seven point handicap. They look the stronger side to me, particularly in the backs, and that man Piers Francis (who last week against Racing metro was missing kicks by 20-30 metres wide of the posts at times) is kicking at ten for Edinburgh (assuming Laidlaw at scrumhalf isn’t kicking from the start). Lord knows what coach Bradley is at picking him again at ten, but he is. This Edinburgh side are massively low on morale and despite marginally having the better of it at home to Racing metro – they still haven’t scored a try or picked up a point in Europe in four rounds – that has to be a killer psychologically. After not scoring a try in so may European games, and not having an even semi-reliable kicker starting, it’s hard to see how Edinburgh get enough points to win this game so i’m happy to add Glasgow in here.

So there you have it, our first festive acca so far, prices biggest in PaddyPower at just over 5/1.

We’ve also taken a small interest in this same accumulator, but with leinster (2/1) and Scarlets (4/5) added in bringing the previous 5/1 to a handsome 30/1. The Scarlets have a better side out than Cardiff, and there’s definite mismatches in the backline and superiority for the Scarlets, particularly with North running at 18 year old Harry Robinson. This will likely be tight, but the Scarlets were decent enough at Exeter and while I couldn’t back them on a proper sized bet, adding them into the main acca for small money is ok.

Leinster at 2/1 are obviously the main danger of dashing in your small 30/1 punt onto the rocks, but Ulster are on a bad run – barely squeaking their last few league wins and losing at home to an ordinary Northampton side in the Heineken. With Pienaar, Cave and Jackson all starting here after DISMAL performances against Northampton, and a few bodies missing through injury, they can be got at. The Ulster freight train could be about to suffer a temporary loss of steam before they pick themselves up for round five in January. This leinster pack looks better to me and will be seeking a reaction after last week’s slight humiliation against Clermont at home. As above on the Scarlets, I won’t be backing the outright, but i’m happy tacking them onto this supplementary accumulator. I’ve already taken the +8 available in stanjames with a single on Leinster, and most bookies have seen money coming for them with handicaps contracting as low as +5 having started around seven or eight.

more to come on this thread and others later.

And don’t forget; you can get a total of £/€250 in free bets from Paddy Power through our links below, as opposed to the measly £/€50 you get if you join them directly.