Super Rugby Pacific Quarter Finals Betting Tips

The following are betting tips for the quarter finals of the 2023 Super Rugby season.

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To take advantage of the odds before they possibly shorten, these previews are 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 rotation of international players in the lead up to this year’s World Cup.

Season Notes

Total scores remain elevated under the new rules that were designed to speed up play this season. There have been 8.2 tries per game this year, compared to six in 2022. Having said that, the scores have been gradually coming down. The average total score across the last 37 games was 56.2, compared to 61.3 for the first 47 games. Nationality has played a key role in the totals. New Zealand domestic games have averaged 49.1 points, while Australian domestic games have averaged 61.1. Trans-Tasman games have averaged 59.0 total points.



Blues (3) vs. (6) Waratahs


The Blues finished the regular season with a 10-4 record. They bring 7-1 form into this clash and they went 4-1 against Australian opponents this season. In mixed injury news, the Blues welcome back flyhalf Beauden Barrett for this clash, but they have lost lock Patrick Tuipulotu for the rest of the season.

The Waratahs limp into the playoffs on the back of a home defeat to the wooden spoon recipients Moana Pasifika. Almost 20,000 fans showed up for Michael Hooper’s farewell party, but the lacklustre performance wasn’t an ideal build up for this knockout clash. The Waratahs finished the season as the 6th seed with a 6-8 record and a 1-4 record against New Zealand opponents. Ominously, the Waratahs went 0-6 this season against the five sides that finished above them in the table.

The statistics stack up against the Waratahs for this game. They have lost 14 of their previous 15 visits to Eden Park and they are on an 8-game losing streak against the Blues across all venues. The Waratahs’ last two visits to Eden Park saw them lose 48-21 (2021) and 55-21 (2023). All four of the Blues’ wins over Australian teams this season were by 13+ margins, while the Waratahs’ three away games against New Zealand sides resulted in 17, 34 and 24 point defeats. One caveat to those stats is the Waratahs sent an under-strength side over for their round 9 defeat to the Blues.

The spanner in the works for betting on this game is the fact that the Blues have gone 2-7 at the line at home over the last twelve months and there’s little appeal in the 1.09 head-to-head odds. Four of their six home wins were by 1-12 points and three were by 1-7 points. At the same time, I don’t have enough confidence in the Waratahs to take them with the 18.5 head start. I will keep an eye on the development of the odds, but for now, if I were to bet on this game, I would back the Blues -10.5 in the alternative line market at 1.48 (bet365).


Chiefs (1) vs. (8) Reds


The Chiefs had nothing to play for last week, and despite making 11 changes to the side, they still managed to inflict a 43-19 win over the Force who had previously not lost in Perth this year and who still had everything to play for. The result showcased the squad depth at the Chiefs as well as their high coaching standards and professionalism. They finished the season with a 13-1 record, a clear step above the Crusaders at 10-4, and a 4-1 record against Australian sides. The Chiefs boasted both the best offensive and best defensive records this season. The Reds defeated the Chiefs 25-22 earlier this year, but the game was played in New Plymouth rather than Hamilton, and the Chiefs had made nine squad changes for that clash. If anything the result only made the Chiefs stronger. Despite the tough run of fixtures that followed, the Chiefs only conceded 17 points per game after that defeat, compared to 19 up until then.

The Reds squeaked into the playoffs as the 8th seed with a 5-9 record and a 1-4 record against New Zealand sides. They finished the campaign with three consecutive defeats, but all three were tough fixtures. Apart from their shock win over the under-strength Chiefs, all of the Reds’ wins this season were against sides that finished 7th or below in the standings. The Reds have proven to be a tough nut to crack away from home this campaign. Three of the Reds’ four away defeats this season were by 1-7 points, however their sole 8+ defeat came just last week, when they were beaten 17-41 by the Drua in Fiji. The end of season schedule has been rough on the Reds. This will be their third consecutive game played outside of Australia.

The line stats are interesting. The Chiefs have gone 5-2 at the line at home this season (5-1 in Hamilton), while the Reds have gone 5-2 at the line away from home and 3-0 at the line as the away underdog. The Reds have covered the line in each of their last four games against the Chiefs as well as three of their last four away games against them. The line is 19.5 at the time of writing, but you have to go back to 2018 for the last time that the Chiefs beat the Reds by more than six points. My fear for the Reds, however, is the toll of their travel schedule leading up to this game. Two of their last three defeats were by 19+ points. Also, three of their four defeats to New Zealand sides were by 13+ margins. Apart from when they rotated their squad and lost to the Reds, the Chiefs only had one other home game against an Australian opponent this season, and that resulted in a 19-point win over the Rebels. If it weren’t for their travel schedule, I would have considered the Reds at the line. Instead, I will back the Chiefs 13+ at 1.50 (bet365).


Crusaders (2) vs. (7) Fijian Drua

Fijian Drua

The Crusaders finished as one of three teams with a 10-4 record, but secured the No. 2 seed courtesy of picking up the most bonus points. They have won nine of their last eleven games and the Crusaders boast a phenomenal home playoffs record. They suffered a one-point defeat to the Hurricanes last week, but the Crusaders have gone 3-0 both in the head-to-head and the line on the back of a loss over the last twelve months. You have to go back to 2018 for the last time they lost consecutive games and back to 2015 for the last time the Crusaders lost a home game on the back of a defeat. The Crusaders have endured a heavy injury toll this season, as highlighted by the fact that they’ve had to bring in John Afoa and Ryan Crotty to address the shortages, but they will start as the heavy favourite this weekend.

The Fijian Drua qualified as the third seed with a 6-8 record. Their home form on Fijian soil was crucial to their playoffs qualification. The Drua went 5-1 in Fiji this season, compared to 1-8 in their remaining fixtures. The Drua’s only win outside Fiji this season was a two-point victory over the last placed Moana Pasifika.

The Drua beat the Crusaders 25-24 in Lautoka in Round 3, but the Crusaders chose to rest Richie Mo’unga and Leicester Fainga’anuku for that fixture. The Drua have lost six consecutive away games and five of their six away defeats this season were by 13+. The Drua’s last five losing margins away from home were 33, 15, 33, 20 and 14 points. Both of their previous two visits to New Zealand this season saw them lose by 33-point margins. Five of the Crusaders’ six home wins this season were by 13+ (the other was by 12 points) and they thrashed the Drua 61-3 at this venue last year. I would back the Crusaders 13+ at 1.37 (bet365).


Brumbies (4) vs. (5) Hurricanes


On paper this is the most competitive quarter final. The Brumbies qualified as the 4th seed with a 10-4 record, while the Hurricanes finished 5th with a 9-5 record. The Brumbies went 2-3 against New Zealand teams this season, while the Hurricanes went 5-0 against Australian opposition.

The Brumbies went 6-1 at home this season, but tellingly, they went 0-1 both in the head-to-head and the line as the home underdog, when they lost 21-31 to the table-topping Chiefs.

The Hurricanes enter this clash having lost three consecutive away games, however the Wellingtons have gone 4-1 as the away favourite this season and 2-0 away against Australian opponents.

The Brumbies have won four on the trot at home against the Hurricanes. They have also gone 3-1 both in the head-to-head and the line for the last four occasions as the home underdog against the Hurricanes. I’m expecting a competitive clash. The Brumbies have yet to lose by 13+ at home this season, while the Hurricanes have yet to lose by 13+ as the away team. I would back both the Brumbies 1-12 at 3.25 (Unibet) and the Hurricanes 1-12 at 3.10 (Unibet).


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