Sky Bet's Jordan Fiddes casts his eye over Sunday's Heineken Cup action in the pursuit of winning bets.
By Jordan Fiddes - Twitter: @JordanFiddes85. Last Updated: 15/12/12 8:23pm
Rémi Tales: Backed to lead Castres to a comprehensive victory
Sunday's Heineken Cup action offers up the perfect chance for sides to bounce back in the reverse legs, but I only see Saracens dishing out revenge.
After letting us down against Connacht last week, Biarritz proved that it was just a blip, bouncing back with a 17-0 win against the same opposition on Friday night.
They managed to beat the bookies' handicap of -15 after an overhaul both on and off the field, so we'll follow the lead of the club's hierarchy in blaming those relieved of their duties.
I'm going for an equally convincing result for Castres this weekend, backing them to cover their -15 handicap at home to Glasgow.
Although they were only marginal victors last week, edging a 9-6 thriller, home advantage will prove significant for the men from France this weekend.
The Warriors on the other hand have made wholesale changes since that loss at the Scotstoun Stadium.
Nine players come in as they attempt to avenge that result and I fear such changes will only have a negative impact.
There are some experienced players taking a back seat this weekend and a lot of youngsters being hurled into the hostile atmosphere in France.
Ruaridh Jackson and Niko Matawalu come in to the backs but face tough opposite numbers in Rémi Tales and Thierry Lacrampe.
Therefore, the -14 handicap on Castres is worth a bet at 10/11 this weekend.
Saracens v Munster is the toughest-to-call clash on Sunday with a -5 handicap handed to the hosts.
However, that margin looks likely to expand with punters offering overwhelming support for Sarries to extend their unbeaten run at home this season.
The fact that last weekend's encounter, in the absence of any tries, was decided by the superior efficiency of Ronan O'Gara over Owen Farrell, with the former landing all five of his penalties compared to the latter's four out of seven, indicates the points could have gone the other way.
With the support of Vicarage Road behind them, Saracens look worth backing with a narrow victory appealing at 9/2 for a 1-5 points winning margin.
My final addition to the accumulator will be Sale, again on the handicap, at +24 against Toulon.
The Sharks were competitive enough in their 17-6 loss last week to indicate this will not be as one-sided as the bookies are predicting.
As a side bet, Matt Giteau is 10/1 to score first. The centre has an excellent try-scoring record for Australia and against some less experienced backs at Sale, he is a good each-way price.
A word from the Sky Bet trading room...
"We've been taking a lot of money on the 'tryscorer' market this weekend with Giteau and Brad Barritt proving popular for Saracens.
"On the handicap market, we have also seen plenty of money on Sarries at -5, which will probably be more like -7 come kick-off if the interest in the match continues to be so one-sided.
"They were narrowly beaten last week but have opted to move Owen Farrell into fly-half this weekend.
"With his kicking game and further International experience, they are the most popular team with the Sky Bet customers so far this weekend."