Heineken Cup Betting Preview 27th Apr

Heineken Cup

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Published: 27/04/2013

The Heineken Cup reaches the semi-final stage this weekend featuring two French sides, one from England and one from Ireland. Here is our guide to the best of the bets from the acton this weekend.

The first game is the Saturday battle between Clermont and Munster on Saturday evening in Montpellier. The French side are as short as 5/6 (SPREADEX) to win the entire tournament as they sit top of the French league and look the dominant force in European Rugby at the moment. It seems unlikely that Munster will stop them though you will not get rich backing them at 1/7 (GENERAL). If you think Munster can spring the big shock then they can be backed at 7/1 (sportingbet). The Handicap market for this game meanwhile has been set at between 11 and 13 points. The bet then may be in the winning margin market where Clermont should showcase their superiority but Munster will not be steamrolled. I am going to recommend a play on the French side to win by 11-20 points which can be backed at 9/4 (paddy Power) and this can always be covered in running if the game looks like being closer then expected. The tryscorer markets in this game are headed by Napolioni Nalaga who is 7/1 (GENERAL) favourite to grab the first try ahead of Stiveni Siviatu who is an 8/1 (ladbrokes/CORAL) chance while Noa Nakaitaci can be backed at 10/1 (bet365/ladbrokes/CORAL) and Wesley Fofana is 11/1 (CORAL). If Munster are to win this game then they will depend heavily on the boot of Ronan O’Gara. He looks value then at 20/1 (BETVICTOR) to be named man of the match as if they are to spring the shock then I would expect most of the points to come from the boot of O’Gara.

The second semi-final on Sunday is expected to be a much more competitive affair with bookmakers struggling to split Saracens and Toulon. The English side are a best priced 11/10 (STAN JAMES) while the French side are a best priced 21/20 (SPREADEX). The game is being touted as a battle between England past and England future at the fly-half position. Saracens are represented by Owen Farrell while Toulon have a Jonny Wilkinson who seems to have turned the clock back this season. I think Toulon are the better side and despite being away should be able to come through this game and therefore I would recommend siding with them. To me they have the stronger scrum, the stronger attack, the stronger defence, everything about them screams stronger team and they should be odds in so to find them at 21/20 screams value. This promises to be a tight encounter between two physical teams and it could be a case of both sides depending on their kicker as they struggle to break down two stubborn defences. This means it might be worth a play on the try markets. At the time of writing no bookmaker was priced up on these markets but this might change as we get nearer to the game on Sunday. Look then to get on this game having very few if any tries at all.

This weekend also sees the semi-finals of the European Challenge Cup with Leinster odds on to lift the trophy. They play Biarritz on Saturday in the semi-final while on Friday night Perpignan take on Stade Francais.

BEST OF THE BETS

GOLD: Toulon to beat Saracens, 21/20 (SPREADEX)
SILVER: Clermont to beat Munster by 11-20 points, 9/4 (paddy Power)
BRONZE: Ronan O’Gara man of the match in Saracens v Toulon, 20/1 (BETVICTOR)

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