Friday 19 October
Leicester Tigers (-3) v Scarlets (+4)
7:45pm, BT Sport 2
Leicester were right in their clash with Ulster before a second-half collapse, which promoted coach Geordan Murphy to complain about workloads in the Premiership. Had it not been for a crooked lineout with 50 minutes gone then they might have had a greater say and one can understand their position as favourites back at Welford Road against the Scarlets.
However, the Scarlets are a force to be reckoned with in Europe and who were only just outmuscled by last season’s runners-up Racing despite being dominated in terms of territory and possession. A late penalty try cancelled out excellent scores from Gareth Davies and Johnny McNicoll on a tough day for cohesive back play but the weather promises to be better this weekend and Scarlets are strong travellers.
They were unlucky to lose at Toulon last season before trashing Bath on the road, as well as beating Glasgow comprehensively in the Pro 14 semi-finals, and they can be competitive with a start of seven points as offered by Ladbrokes. Also, of interest – and perhaps a better bet than any match handicap – is taking over 48 points. That may appear to be a high number, but they have already seen three games go over that total this season and another of their encounters went to 46 points. The weather ought to be much better than it was at Ravenhill last week, allowing George Ford and Ben Youngs a better chance to spread the ball to last week’s try scorer Manu Tuilagi, along with Kyle Eastmond, Jordan Olowofela, and the returning Johnny May.
Scarlets have also seen three games go over that line and with calmer winds than last week, will hope to see the best of Johnathan Davies and Hadleigh Parkes in the centres whilst Leigh Halfpenny can keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Advice: 2 pts Over 46.5 points (10/11 Paddy Power) 1 pt Scarlets +7 (8/11 Ladbrokes)