Exeter Chiefs vs Leicester Tigers - Free Rugby Union Betting Tips

Exeter Chiefs
Leicester Tigers

It would be hard to imagine a tougher game in which the beleaguered Leicester could come back to the Gallagher Premiership than a Saturday evening trip to Exeter. Rob Baxter’s men have been to the last two Premiership finals and are fancied for a return, while Tigers are very distant fourth favourites for the English Rugby Union title. This evening’s Exeter Chiefs vs Leicester Tigers betting tips lean heavily towards the men from Devon, whose record at Sandy Park gives Matt O’Connor’s side little encouragement ahead of the game.

Exeter Chiefs vs Leicester Tigers Best Odds

01. September 2018 | 16:30
Rugby Union » Gallagher Premiership

Finding The Best Bets

Tip:
Exeter (-12)
Best odds:
10/11
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Risk
Tip:
Exeter by 11-20 pts
Best odds:
12/5
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Risk
Tip:
Leicester HT, Exeter FT
Best odds:
6/1
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Risk

Leicester’s last few trips to Exeter have ended in defeat, and it’s not usually close. Picking Exeter to win with the handicap – set at 12 points by Ladbrokes – seems like a reasonable bet to make at 10/11. That said, if you’re going to bet at that level, it makes sense to pick a points margin bet. Exeter by between 11 and 20 seems to be a fair assumption and 12/5 at Coral seems like the Exeter Chiefs vs Leicester Tigers best odds of the evening. Looking for more of a punt? You could pick a half/half bet on Leicester to start well enough and lead at half time, but watch the game drift away in the second half as Exeter’s greater depth of talent prevails. Betfred have 6/1 on that.

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Odds
10/11
Bet Tip:
Exeter (-12)
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Coral logo
Odds
12/5
Bet Tip:
Exeter by 11-20 pts
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Betfred logo
Odds
6/1
Bet Tip:
Leicester HT, Exeter FT
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Exeter Chiefs vs Leicester Tigers Betting Tips: Form Guide

Exeter Not Fixing What Isn’t Broken

The last time we saw Exeter playing competitive rugby, they were being absolutely no match for Saracens, who beat them 27-10 in last season’s Premiership final. That was revenge for Exeter nicking a title the Allianz Park men have come to see as their own in recent years. Nonetheless, it came at the end of a season in which Baxter’s side again topped the table in the regular season – an eight-point gap lay between them and their eventual conquerors in the final, so there is at least some sort of moral victory they can claim.

Sensibly Baxter hasn’t gone for major surgery on his squad, a group curated over time to positive effect, although the arrival of Alex Cuthbert from Cardiff will give them options on the wing, where they haven’t exactly lacked up until now. Both Cuthbert and Jack Nowell are recovering from surgery at present, so the not-too-shabby pairing of Santi Cordero and Olly Woodburn will deputise this evening. Will Chudley’s departure for regional rivals bath means Nic White starts at scrum-half, while the forward pack is much as expected – power in the front row, while the 6-7-8 axis of Don Armand, Matt Kvesic and Sam Simmonds will give Tigers fans nightmares.

Many if not most of the Exeter Chiefs vs Leicester Tigers match previews written this weekend will note that this is the first competitive match for Exeter since the departure of prolific Number 8 Thomas Waldrom, who played for both sides during his stint in England. The fact that he was surplus to requirements for the home side indicates just what a deep squad they have right now.

Leicester Not Fixing What Is Broken

At the end of last season, a win at the AJ Bell Stadium saw Leicester hold off the challenge of their hosts Sale Sharks as well as Gloucester to ensure they qualified for the European Champions’ Cup. The fact that their qualification was in doubt, and that the Tigers finished in fifth place, missing out on the Premiership playoffs, is something that would have been unforeseeable just a few years ago. Leicester have been drifting for a while, though, and rumours of O’Connor’s job being under threat served only to raise the hopes of fans who have by now seen more false dawns than a Vicar of Dibley lookalike convention. He’s still in situ at the moment, but a shoddy start could make his position untenable.

That it took a win over Sale to secure even a European spot was down in no small part to two defeats immediately preceding it, both of which occurred at former fortress Welford Road. Losses to Newcastle (coached by former Tiger Dean Richards) and Northampton Saints (unacceptable for reasons of local rivalry) would have been stinging for the denizens of the Crumbie Stand if only they had been remotely surprising. Last season’s standout player, Matt Toomua, is leaving the club to return to Australia at the end of the season, and taking with him most of the invention and wit in the backs; O’Connor will hope that Toomua’s farewell tour is glorious.

In terms of recruitment the club has seen more players leave than arrive; the departed include Logo Mulipola, Luke Hamilton and human highlight reel Harry Thacker. New arrivals in the XV to face Exeter here are limited to two – back row David Denton and lock Will Spencer, both from Worcester. Interestingly for Exeter Chiefs vs Leicester Tigers betting tips for today, the visitors field a full-strength back department including Manu Tuilagi, Johnny May and Telusa Veianu, with Kyle Eastmond on the bench. How much of the ball they’ll see given the mismatch in back row strength remains to be seen.

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The Last 5 Games

Exeter Chiefs VS. Leicester Tigers

  • Exeter Form4 wins and 1 loss in the last five matches
  • Exeter Points156 points in the last five matches
  • Leicester Form3 wins and 2 losses in the last five matches
  • Leicester Points131 points in the last five matches
Exeter Chiefs -
Leicester Tigers
Exeter Chiefs
VS.
Leicester Tigers

Exeter Chiefs vs Leicester Tigers Preview: Recent Meetings

The last meeting between these sides came at Sandy Park on the 31st of December last year. After 23 scoreless minutes, Henry Slade got the hosts on the board first with a penalty. George Ford replied in kind for the visitors, and a longer-range kick from Gareth Steenson just before half time gave Exeter a lead that lasted the length of the mid-game break, as Ford equalled things in the opening minutes of the second period. That 6-6 scoreline was as good as it got for Leicester.

Armand, lock Johnny Hill and hooker Jack Yeandle, as well as token back Slade scored tries in a final thirty minutes which emphasised the gap in quality between these sides. Particularly concerning for the visiting fans was the way that Exeter pushed over the line with a rolling maul for Yeandle’s try with the clock having turned red, having decided to kick to the corner in pursuit of a try-scoring bonus point. That’s what Leicester used to do to other teams, and it wasn’t an ideal way to see out 2017.

Exeter Chiefs vs Leicester Tigers Prediction: Comfortable Home Win

Early September, with its relatively firm pitches and lack of big piles of sand where there should be grass, is a favourable time for a team with an exciting backs division like Leicester’s – if they can get fast ball to those backs and get men to the breakdown. It’s on this latter point that the Tigers gameplan is likely to fall down. There’s every chance of Telusa Veianu running one in from 80 metres, or Johnny May kicking ahead for Johnny May to run on to the loose ball (he’s that fast), but you can’t build a strategy around the moments of genius of which the Leicester back three are undoubtedly capable.

Exeter, under Baxter, have put together a team that knows what it is doing at every point across the 80 minutes. Some of the players in that team aren’t household names, although that may have more to do with an England setup that prefers to call up big forwards rather than good ones. Exeter will continue to do things in their unfashionable, winning Exeter way, and our Exeter Chiefs vs Leicester Tigers prediction is really rather simple. Exeter will win this one, and there’s little reason to believe that Leicester will run them close.

Thanks for reading this Gallagher Premiership rugby union preview; we’ll be back with more as the season goes on, ensuring that you have the information you need to make the smartest bets. Keep coming back to Betting.org for more previews on rugby (league and union) as well as football, tennis and more besides!

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