Betting Preview for Exeter Chiefs vs. Toulouse – ERCC Semi-Final (September 26, 2020)
Exeter Chiefs welcome four-time European Rugby Champions Cup winners Toulouse in the second of two ERCC semi-finals at Sandy Park this Saturday.
The Chiefs are appearing in the last four of this tournament for the first time and will fancy their chances against the visitors. The bookmakers have made Exeter the slight favorites, and I’ll be discussing those odds a little later.
The English side overwhelmed fellow Premiership side Northampton by 38 points to 15 last weekend, securing another step closer to European glory. Against Toulouse, they will welcome one of the most potent attacks in the competition.
The French club gained their ticket to this semi-final by way of a 36-8 stomping of Ulster in the quarters last weekend. A win at Exeter would see Ugo Mola’s troops appear in their first ERCC final since losing to Leinster in 2019.
Keep reading for the odds for Exeter vs. Toulouse, as well as my breakdown of Saturday’s crunch Anglo-French semi-final.
"For this squad, who are still very young, to reach another semi is really satisfying.”— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) September 23, 2020
Ugo Mola knows there's plenty more to come from his youthful @StadeToulousain side… ?
But will they make the #HeinekenChampionsCup Final?https://t.co/l0AwUEl88i
Exeter vs. Toulouse Odds
- Exeter Chiefs to Win -154
- Toulouse to Win +110
The odds for Exeter to beat Toulouse are -154, which indicates that the Chief’s home advantage vs. the French side’s away form is key.
Still, Toulouse at +110 is an intriguing option. After all, they have an incredible band of players capable of tearing any defense apart. But yes, their performances on the road over the past twelve months have left a lot to be desired.
There are no injury worries for either team ahead of this match. Exeter might have Olly Woodburn and Alex Cuthbert available, which would be a boost for the Premiership leaders.
Although there is no head to head stats between these two sides to go by, there is always room for an interesting statistic or two. Well, here’s one — Exeter has won five of their previous six games against French clubs, with their last three Anglo-French ties going in their favor.
Toulouse, on the other hand, are on a six-game win streak against English clubs. That’s something to take into account.
How will these two match up in their first competitive match in this competition? Let’s take a look, shall we?
Both Exeter and Toulouse enter this match with unbeaten records in the ERCC this season.
The Chiefs won five and drew one of their six matches in Pool 2, while the French outfit pulled off a clean streak of six wins over Gloucester, Montpellier, and Connacht.
But as impressive as that sounds for Toulouse, there must be some worry over their inability to do it on the road. In fact, most of their away wins in this competition came back in 2019. They have lost four of their last five ties away from home in 2020, beating only Connacht from those games.
In contrast, Exeter’s home form has been excellent this year. They have won 11 from 12 matches in their own backyard, losing just the one, to Sale, with a weak team. Rob Baxter’s boys know how to get the job done at HQ.
Where the Game Will be Won
With superstar backs like Cheslin Kolbe, Antoine Dupont, Sofiane Guitoune, and Romain Ntamack, Toulouse are extremely dangerous in open play.
If they hit Exeter fast and get the early momentum, they could end up punishing the English team. This is their second ERCC semi-final in two years, and they will be heading to Sandy Park looking to bury the demons of last year’s 30-12 loss to Leinster.
But they will meet a highly organized team that will battle for every single inch. With an emphasis on keeping things tight, Exeter will look to close off Dupont and Ntamack and attack them at the setpiece.
With an average gain of 481 meters per match this season, Toulouse leads the charts on meters made. They are also managing an average of 12.3 offloads per game, which is just incredible.
Naturally, the breakdown is going to be key in this game. Exeter have the competition’s best turnovers conceded stats per game at 10.6, while Toulouse have some of the worst at 15.6
Exeter or Toulouse – Who Wins?
It’s going to be an incredible match between two excellent sides. It’s 50/50 as it comes, really, which means taking into account the small details that could swing the favor towards either team.
Therefore, I have to take Toulouse’s away form into account. It was a worrying factor last season and I think it’ll show itself to be something that really needs to be addressed by their next European campaign.
Of course, Toulouse is your typical French team in the sense that they can upset any statistic or trend on the day. They can absolutely turn up at Sandy Park and blow the hosts out of the water. But this time, I don’t think they will leave empty-handed.
This Exeter team is an absolute unit that is so well-drilled and mechanical in their phase play. Providing the setpiece works well, we should see the likes of Sam Simmonds, Henry Slade, Jack Nowell, and Stuart Hogg being rewarded for their efforts.
It will be a tight game, but I’m tipping the Chiefs to bag the win. You can get odds of +225 on Exeter to win by 1-7 points with Betway and I think this is a good wager.
Exeter to Win by 1-7 Points+225
I really like the look of this Exeter team and believe that the best is yet to come for them in Europe.
Securing a spot in the final would be a massive achievement in itself, but I do believe that the Premiership leaders have what it takes to go all the way. They will have their work cut out on Saturday, that’s for sure.
Toulouse is an excellent team that has the bones of a side capable of dominating Europe in the near future, although there is still some work to be done before they add that elusive fifth star to their crest.
Well, they are my thoughts. Feel free to let me know what you are thinking in the comments section, below.
Enjoy the rugby!