The following are betting tips for selected fixtures in Round 9 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 should wait for the squad lists before wagering. This is especially important given the periodic resting of international players in the lead up to this year’s World Cup.
Total scores remain elevated under the new rules that were designed to speed up play this season. The average total scores in Rounds 1-8 have been 60.6. This is in contrast to 52.4 in 2022. There have been almost eight and a half tries per game this season, compared to six in 2022.
There have been plenty of blowouts this season. Of the 44 games played, 19 were won by 17+ margins.
Chiefs vs. Fijian Drua
The Chiefs are 7-0 for the season and they have been particularly strong at home, where they have gone 6-1 at the line over the last twelve months. The Chiefs have covered the line in each of their last five home games. The Fijian Drua have gone 1-6 away from home over the last twelve months and five of those defeats were by 13+. The Drua’s last visit to New Zealand saw them lose by 33 points to the Highlanders. Five of the Chiefs’ six home wins over the last twelve months were by 13+. I would back the Chiefs 13+ at 1.42 (bet365). As always, those who are more risk averse may prefer to wait and see how strong the Chiefs starting XV is before wagering. If they field a full-strength squad then they are a good chance of covering the -22.5 line at 1.91 (bet365).
Rebels vs. Crusaders
The Crusaders have won six games in a row against the Rebels and all six wins were by 22+ margins. Australian teams have a 1-11 record against New Zealand sides this season. The Rebels are an improved side this year, however, while the Crusaders haven’t been at their best this season. I will steer clear of the -17.5 line and simply back the Crusaders in the head-to-head at 1.10 (bet365).
Keep an eye on the total score market when it is released. The Rebels’ last eleven fixtures have all gone over the total. The same can be said for their last three home fixtures against the Crusaders. The Rebels’ last home game against the Crusaders had a final score of 26-52 and their last six games against the Cantabrians all saw 60+ points. You then throw in the fact that the new laws this season have resulted in higher average scores compared to previous seasons.