The following are betting tips for selected fixtures in Round 5 of the 2023 Super Rugby season.
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To take advantage of odds before they possibly shorten, these previews are often published before the team sheets are announced. Those who are more risk-averse may prefer to wait for the squad lists before wagering.
Total scores remain elevated. The average total scores in Rounds 1-4 have been 61.3, 69.8, 44.7 and 68.2. Both the average and the median for the season is 61.0. Keep in mind that the average total score was 52.4 in 2022. Another trend is that margins tend to be either pretty tight or total blowouts. Of the 24 games played so far, 12 were won by 1-7 points, one was won by 8 points and the rest were won by 17+ points.
Crusaders vs. Brumbies
The Crusaders will be backing up following their massive win over the Blues, so there might be some negative carryover from that match. The Crusaders boast a 7-2 home record over the last 12 months and they haven’t lost to the Brumbies in Christchurch since 2000, however it’s a different story at the line. The Brumbies have covered the line in their last three away fixtures against the Crusaders and they have gone 3-1 at the line as the away underdog over the last twelve months. The Crusaders, meanwhile, have gone 3-6 at the line at home over the same period. The Brumbies’ last visit to Christchurch saw them lose by just 2 points. As I’ve alluded to before, the best time to play the Crusaders is on the back of them winning. The Crusaders have gone 4-8 at the line (8-4 win-loss) on the back of a win over the last twelve months, compared to 4-1 at the line (5-0 win-loss) on the back of a defeat. Given the Crusaders’ strong likelihood of winning, plus their patchy line form and the Brumbies’ strong away line form, I would back the Crusaders 1-12 at 3.00 (Unibet).
Rebels vs. Reds
The Reds have won six in a row against the Rebels. The Queensland side has been predictable for bookmakers over the last year so it’s noteworthy that they have been installed as the favourite for this Saturday. The Reds have gone 6-1 as the favourite and 0-7 as the underdog over the last twelve months. Away from home they have gone 2-0 as the favourite and 0-5 as the underdog. It’s been a similar story in their head-to-heads against the Rebels. The Reds have gone 6-1-0 as the away favourite and 1-4 as the away underdog against the Melbourne franchise. The Rebels are a decent team this season, however, and they haven’t lost at home by more than 12 points over the last twelve months. They also boast a 5-0 line record as the home underdog over the same period. I would back both the Reds 1-12 at 2.75 (Unibet) and the Rebels 1-12 at 3.60 (Unibet).
Blues vs. Force
The Force have gone 0-3 as the away underdog over the last twelve months and they have a 0-5 away record against the Blues. The Blues lost to the Crusaders last week, which is probably bad news for the Force. The Blues have gone 2-0 both in the head-to-head and the line on the back of a defeat over the last twelve months. Six of the Blues’ last seven home wins were by 13+ points, while two of the Force’s last three away defeats were by the same margin. The Force lost by 8 points to the Highlanders last week and they’re a million miles removed from the strength of the Blues. I would back the Blues 13+ at 1.40 (bet365).