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Exeter to continue red hot run? Get Rugby Premiership tips

Ben Darvill 14 Apr 2019

Who will come out on top in the huge relegation-clash between Newcastle and Leicester, will Bristol stun Saracens, and can Exeter maintain their superb run? Read on for our three best bets for the games in the Rugby Premiership this weekend. 

Newcastle vs Leicester (Friday, 19:45 BST)

What a massive game this has become with both Newcastle and Leicester in real danger of dropping from the Premiership to the second-division this season. As things stand, hosts Newcastle sit at the bottom with 29 points following six wins, while the Tigers are just five points above them due to the fact they have managed to pick up 10 bonus points this year. However, not even this can save them from danger, with the side entangled in a relegation battle few saw coming for the side. With just four games of the season left to come, this is a must-win for both clubs.

At home, Newcastle have looked fairly good of late, winning their last two matches in a row, while they have won three of their last four as their hopes of staying in the Premiership have been revitalised. Leicester by contrast have one win in their last six games, while they have not won on the road since October 6th, with six losses since then. While the Tigers will fight tooth and nail to get the points in this one, we think that the home side, who are enjoying a decent run of form, will have too much for them, especially with the home fans right behind them. We are therefore backing Newcastle with a -4 point handicap, with Leicester likely to sink further down the table. 

Bristol vs Saracens (Saturday, 17:30 BST) 

Bristol have managed to put their woes behind them to a certain extent, with the side able to build an eight point gap over Newcastle at the bottom of the table. Six wins along with a massive 13 bonus points means they are ahead of seasoned-veterans Leicester, while they are only five points short of Wasps, who are a place above them. Saracens meanwhile arrive looking to maintain their hunt for a home playoff, even if finishing at the top of the table is likely beyond them. Sarries have won 14 and picked up 11 bonus points, meaning they trail Exeter, who have 15 wins and 16 bonus points, by nine points. Exeter have looked so good of late we cannot see them dropping enough points to let Sarries top the table, but the side still have the ability to secure a berth in front of their home fans in the playoff semi-finals, something they will be desperate to do, so expect no complacency.

While Bristol have managed to climb the table of late, they have not been in the best of form of late. Indeed, they have lost both of their last two including a home defeat to struggling Worcester, but before this they had won two, only to lose the two before that. Clearly, they are not an overly consistent side, while wins at home have not been the be-all and end-all, with victories on the road also coming. However, while they can stay competitive on the road, their home stadium has not been a fortress, something Sarries will be very aware of. Saracens arrive on the back of a two-game winning run, with victories over Newcastle and Harlequins seeing the side bounce back from their loss to Bath. However, they have been awful on the road recently, losing their last four in a row, with losses to Bath, Gloucester, Sale and Exeter seeing the outfit struggle away from home. While many will back Sarries to win, we are backing Bristol due to Sarries poor form along with the fact that the home side are very tough to beat whether at home or on the road and, with some decent odds, we think it is worth backing the underdogs. 

Exeter vs Wasps (Sunday, 15:00 BST)

What a season it is proving to be for Exeter with the side continuing to lead the table. 15 wins in 18 is incredibly impressive, while they have also picked up a massive 16 bonus points, three more than their closest competitors. Currently sitting on 76 points, the Chiefs lead Saracens by nine points, while they have already secured a home semi-final, with Gloucester and Harlequins 21 and 26 points behind respectively. Wasps arrive in eighth in the league after what has been a hugely disappointing performance in the league this year. Eight wins in 18 along with 10 bonus points means the side have picked up a total of 42 points. While they are only seven points behind fourth-placed Harlequins, they are unlikely to get close to the playoff spots, with the outfit far too inconsistent this season. 

Currently unbeaten in their last five Premiership games, Exeter are on a real roll, while they have not lost any of their eight home games this year. Worryingly for Wasps is the fact that Exeter have won by 32 and 19 points in their last two games, while they put 42 points on the side in the reverse of this fixture. Victory in the away side’s last game puts an end to a four game losing run, while the visitors have only won four of their nine away games this season, which only dents our confidence in Wasps more. With this in mind, we are backing Exeter with a -14 point handicap, and we think they will win comfortably. 

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