Best Bets for PRO14 Round 15 (2020) – Edinburgh to Beat Glasgow and More
The PRO14 returned in style last week with excellent displays across the board.
Conference A leaders Leinster overcame Munster at the Aviva in the tie of the round, while Conference B champs Edinburgh cemented their status as semi-finalists with a win over Glasgow in a tough 1872 Cup clash.
This week, we have a return of both the Scottish and Italian derbies to look forward to, as well as rotated matches between Ireland’s four provinces and Wales regional quartet.
With most teams having nothing to play for other than pride, could we see this affect the results in Round 15 of the PRO14? Or will the big boys carry their seasonal form into the final stage of the regular season?
I’ll be talking odds and bets for the PRO14 this weekend while giving you my pick for who to back in all six matches.
Let’s start with the tie of the round in Edinburgh and work our way through the other big clashes.
Tie of the Round – Edinburgh (-225) vs. Glasgow (+162)
Edinburgh bagged a home semi-final with a spirited comeback win over rivals Glasgow at Murrayfield last weekend. If anything, they will fancy their chances of making it two from two this Friday.
The leading rugby betting sites have Edinburgh priced at -225 to emerge as victors over Glasgow again in the world’s oldest inter-district rugby derby.
Richard Cockerill’s men are also +450 to in the PRO14 Grand Final, and if they can keep their momentum going, they have to be considered as in with a shout.
Edinburgh will host Ulster in Edinburgh, regardless of the result on Friday. Avoiding a tie in Dublin with Leinster in the semis has to be considered a good thing, but the chances are that they will meet the reigning champions in the final, should they get passed Ireland’s northern province in the next round.
One of the key questions I have ahead of this game surrounds Edinburgh’s mentality. Will they take their foot off the gas in anticipation of their semifinal tie next weekend? Is there a risk that some players might not commit wholeheartedly to the cause on Friday, especially if doing so would increase the risk of missing out on a shot at glory?
If that is the case, Danny Wilson’s Warriors will profit. But in all likelihood, I don’t see this being the case. Most players are not as match sharp as they would like to be, so the more competitive action they get, the better.
Now Glasgow’s playoff hopes are nothing but a distant memory, they will be playing for nothing but pride. Last weekend, they demonstrated real guile and at one point had Edinburgh where they wanted them. But their failure to adapt to newly introduced changes to the breakdown resulted in Wilson’s side giving away far too many penalties.
It should be a tough but super exciting game between these two at Murrayfield on Friday, but I’m expecting Edinburgh to come through with the win.
Edinburgh -6 Points-110
Dragons (+187) vs. Scarlets (-200)
Despite having an extra man, the Dragons could only manage a draw with Welsh interregional rivals, the Ospreys, at the Liberty Stadium.
Wales winger George North was dismissed after just 14 minutes for an illegal tackle on Aaron Hewitt and promptly received his marching orders. That left the home team with a lot of work to do, and they would have probably snatched it if not for two superb tries from Hewitt himself.
This week, the Dragons take on Scarlets at Rodney Parade. The visitors are still in the mix with a spot in the semi-finals, making this a must-win game for the only Welsh side with a chance of progressing this year.
Glen Delaney oversaw an excellent performance in his first match as boss last weekend against the Blues. The home side dominated the Arms Park boys, with Steff Evans and Johnny Williams particularly impressive.
Given what is at stake here, I think you have to class the Scarlets as favorites. They are the best team in Wales and should prove that with a dominant performance on the night.
Scarlets -5 Points-110
Ulster (+192) vs. Leinster (-225)
If the Christmas tie between these two was anything to go by, we can expect another thriller on Saturday.
In what was up there with the best games of the year in 2019, Leinster put their provincial rivals to the sword, coming away with an impressive 54-42 win. The defending champions scored eight tries on a night of awesome entertainment at the RDS.
Ulster will be looking to set things right against the Conference A leaders and will still be hurting after their 22-20 loss to Connacht on the same pitch last weekend. With a PRO14 semi-final against Edinburgh next weekend already in the bag, this will be a good chance for Dan McFarland’s men to get their match fitness up.
Leinster are unbeaten in their campaign this season but came close to seeing that blow up in their faces against Munster last weekend. Leo Cullen’s side will have to be more cautious of the last 20 minutes against this Ulster team, who will be looking to exploit any weakness they find.
All good runs must come to an end. Could Leinster see their 22-game winning streak snapped at the Aviva? Well, they could. On account of Ulster’s discouraging performance against Connacht last week, the Dublin-based side will be expecting a backlash.
I’ll take Leinster to edge it by a converted try.
Leinster -6 Points-110
Munster (-500) vs. Connacht (+409)
The prospect of a third consecutive PRO14 semi-final against Leinster should be enough reason for Munster to bag the points against Connacht on Sunday.
Ireland’s southern province hasn’t enjoyed the best of campaigns and will be hit hard by the news of World Cup-winning RG Snyman’s ACL tear.
The South African was forced to leave the pitch in the opening minutes of his new team’s loss to Leinster at the Aviva last weekend and will be a huge blow to their chances of winning the title this year. That is if Munster even makes the semis at all.
The Limerick-based outfit scraped a 19-14 win the last time the teams met at the Sportsground. But I think this weekend might be a little clearer cut, even with the absences of key men like Snyman and Joey Carberry.
Munster has a point to prove following their loss to Leinster last week and will be looking to carry the momentum of almost doing their rivals over into this clash.
I Expect a big performance from Johann Van Graan’s men, but perhaps not a win by a margin of more than 12. Connacht looked impressive at times against Ulster in the last round and could run them very close on Sunday.
Connacht +12 Points-110
Cardiff Blues (-187) vs. Ospreys (+180)
It was a frustrating return to action for the Blues last weekend, as they left West Wales with nothing to show for their efforts.
This weekend, they face the Ospreys at the Arms Park with a great shot of putting their defeat against the Scarlets behind them. They enter the game as the favorites, and I can see them having too much for the Swansea-based side on the day.
The Ospreys have been very poor this year but were unlucky not to come away with a win against the Dragons at the Liberty. But they will visit Cardiff without star winger George North, and that will be a blow.
The Blues should have enough in them to get the result here. The line is 5.5 points, and I think they will cover it.
Cardiff Blues -5.5 Points-110
Zebre (+120) vs. Benetton (-150)
Zebre took the bragging rights at last weekend’s Italian derby and will be hoping to make it two from two this Sunday.
The favorites, Benetton, struck first in that match via a Paolo Garbisi penalty, only for Zebre to build up a 10-3 lead courtesy of Tomasso Boni’s try and a five-point haul from Carlo Canna.
Garbisi hit back with another penalty in the second half before Zebre took the match over. Despite a fairly timid affair, the win was well received.
I’m expecting a similar affair between these two. But I fancy Benetton to nick it on account of their quality.
Benetton -2 Points-110
Betting On the PRO14 Semi-Finals?
With the final round of matches in the PRO14 regular season set to be contested this weekend, fans will now be looking ahead to next week’s semi-finals.
We should have confirmation of those matches upon the completion of the round. I’ll be back with the best bets and odds for the PRO14 semi-finals next week, so make sure to give our betting picks section a quick bookmark before you go so you don’t miss out.
Good luck with your bets!