The Guinness Pro12 – so named for sponsorship reasons – is a rugby union tournament that takes place annually in which 12 sides from Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales compete. Originally known as the Celtic League, the inclusion of Italian teams clearly called for a renaming of the tournament and the Pro12 was born. This hard-fought competition has been growing in popularity in recent years and here we bring you the lowdown on the 2015-16 season with our predictions and betting tips for the outright winner market along with the latest live betting odds comparison to ensure you get the best price whoever you back.
At the time of writing it is the Scarlets – from Llanelli in south west Wales – who top the Pro12 table having won eight of their nine games to date and with a plus 58 points difference. Despite their excellent start to the campaign, however, Wayne Pivac’s side are nowhere near the top of the outright winner betting and are priced at a very favourable 14/1 with BetVictor. If the Scarlets are able to maintain their fine form through January and February there is no reason they couldn’t make it through to the semi-final stage and then, if confidence is high, they could go to the Grand Final and become champions.
The bookies think otherwise, however, with the side currently in third place in the table – Munster – priced as the 10/3 favourite in the outright winner betting with Ladbrokes. The Red Army are certainly a formidable side but they have already lost three matches in the current campaign and there is a level of inconsistency that has crept in that makes us shy away from betting odds as short as that given the highly competitive nature of the tournament.
Next in the betting comes another Irish side, Leinster, and we fancy they could make it to the semi at least as the Leo Cullen-coached side have a good mix of power and dynamism that few teams can live with at the moment. They’ve lost two of their eight matches this term but with a plus 52 points difference compared to Munster’s rather modest minus two, we fancy they will simply be able to outscore most opponents and their price of 7/2 with Unibet to go all the way might just be worth considering.
Pat Lam’s Connacht, from Galway in Ireland, could be the dark horses of the Pro12 this season, and betting odds of 14/1 with Ladbrokes look very generous to us given that the side currently in second place in the table, have lost just twice in nine matches and are just a point off top spot. With a rock solid pack and an energetic backline that is not afraid to do the dirty work, the work ethic of the Connacht players is palpable and it is this which we think could lead to Pro12 glory this season.
Of course, at this relatively early stage, there are still plenty of teams in with a shout of finishing in the top four and thus making the semis, and once there it is something of a lottery as to which sides will make the Grand Final and be crowned champions. But we predict that both Scarlets and Connacht will be amongst the semi-finalists so we would put both sides down as our value betting tips for this season’s Guinness Pro12.Google+