Premiership Rugby Semi-Finals | Preview and Odds

After 22 rounds, we are down to final four in the Aviva Premiership as Saracens, Wasps, Exeter and Newcastle do battle for the two final berths at Twickenham.

Here are our rugby betting expert’s views ahead of the two semi-finals on Saturday afternoon.

Saracens v Wasps

The first of the semi-finals looks by far the more intriguing of the two with Wasps travelling to Allianz Park to face Saracens.

Mark McCall’s side have home field advantage after finishing second in the league campaign while their opponents finished six points behind them in third.

Saracens’ recent form has been excellent, winning their last five Premiership matches stretching back to March. Their Champions Cup exit to Leinster in April seems to have refocused them and enabled them to concentrate on peaking for their domestic challenge.

The home side are the firm favourites at 2/11 with for this one.

Their opponents Wasps, who came so close to winning the competition last year, losing 23-20 after extra time to Exeter are aiming to go one better this time round.

Dai Young’s men haven’t been able to replicate the consistency that saw them come so close last year, but they still won 14 league games to clinch a semi-final spot.

Wasps have won their last three games and with the likes of Wille Le Roux and Christian Wade in their ranks plus the fact that the departing pair of Danny Cipriani and James Haskell will be desperate to end their time at the club with a trophy, mean that Saracens should not be taking anything for granted.

The Coventry-based side are 7/2 to reach their second consecutive Premiership final.

Saracens are the rightful favourites for this one, they are a formidable outfit on their home patch and after their semi-final defeat last season, they will be determined to reclaim the title.

Wasps’ recent resurgence in the Premiership has come largely due the huge financial backing they have and with the likes of Lima Sopoaga and Brad Shields joining up next season they are going to get stronger and stronger.

Saracens will probably win as they have the better defence and they’re likely to eventually work out how to nullify Wasps’ attacking backline. However, Wasps have a golden chance to not only show the rest of England but Europe that is a club going places.

I think Wasps +9.5 on the handicap at 11/10 is tempting is especially if Wasps come out of the blocks quickly, which in my opinion is the only way they can win.

Exeter v Newcastle

If the first semi-final has the potential to be a close affair, the second looks much more of David vs Goliath-type contest.

Newcastle travel to Sandy Park and face an Exeter side who finished top of the league after another commanding campaign.

The Chiefs arrive here in terrific shape, having won nine successive matches including seven in the Premiership.

They won 17 of their 22 league matches and come into this one as the overwhelming 1/7 favourites with

I think it’s fair to say that few Newcastle Falcons fans would have expected to see their side in the Premiership semi-finals at the beginning of the season.

This is their first time at the semi-final stage and they’ve already secured their best finish since winning the competition 20 years ago.

They’ve continued to surprise many throughout the campaign and are more than deserving of their place in the semi-finals.

Dean Richards’ side are 9/2 to continue their remarkable run here.

As the odds suggest, Newcastle face an uphill battle to reach the final. They have failed to beat Exeter on any of their 10 trips to Sandy Park and their hosts are in ominous form and seem to be peaking at the perfect time.

Exeter should be far too strong for the Falcons and I fully expect them to win both halves at 4/5 while Exeter on the second-half handicap at 10/11 also looks inviting. The Chiefs have covered the handicap in the second period in their last four games and I fancy them to continue that run again on Saturday.





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