Fiddes' Cent

Sky Bet's Jordan Fiddes chooses his tip for this weekend's Aviva Premiership Final

By Jordan Fiddes - Twitter: @SkyJordanFiddes.   Last Updated: 23/05/13 11:47am

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Sky Bet

After 22 gruelling encounters, it all comes down to the Aviva Premiership Final for Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints this weekend.

In what is a somewhat surprising climax to the season, I've noticed a few more safe bets for this fixture.

Leicester - who finished the season in second place - were 2/1 to win this year's Grand Final before the opening day, however they are now strong 2/5 favourites to take the crown on Saturday.

Northampton, on the other hand, finished the season in fourth place and were a massive 14/1 to claim the title at the start of the campaign.

This weekend, the Saints are +6 on the handicap at 10/11 which seems too low for me.

As we know, Leicester are the experienced side when it comes to Premiership finals, with this being their ninth successive appearance in the season's showpiece.

However, they don't have a great record in the climax game losing the last two and five of the last eight.

In 2011/12 final they were again 2/5 favourites to beat Harlequins in the match but ended up on the wrong end of a 30-23 score line.

Facing a team who lost eight games this season, I'm expecting the Tigers to have learnt their lessons from last year and walk away from Twickenham triumphantly.

Northampton - Looking to avenge two defeats this season

Form guide

To win the game by more than six points - which they have done twice in their last three meetings with the Saints - they are 20/21, yet there may be some value in the 'Alternative Handicap' for this one.

In the last meeting between the two sides, Leicester covered the handicap of -8 comfortably after they ran out with a convincing 36-8 win at Franklin's Gardens.

It was less convincing at Welford Road, however, when they only just won by a four-point margin.

However, the Tigers were severely hampered that day with international call-ups and with all their top men playing, they also won 35-21 in their other visit to Franklin's Gardens in 2012.

With this in mind, I'm going for the -9 handicap at 13/10 on Saturday.

No side has ever won the Premiership title from fourth and Northampton have never been crowned the champions of England in their history.

Coupled by the fact that Leicester have won their last seven games against the Saints in all competitions - including a 26-14 victory in the Anglo Welsh Cup final in Worcester last season - the odds look good for a comfortable victory for the Tigers this Saturday.

View from the Sky Bet trading room...

"The smart money is on Leicester for the final; however we said that last year.

"They do come into this game in great form, having not lost just once in the Premiership since February, so we are expecting the -6 handicap to increase come Saturday afternoon.

"Northampton seem to have come from nowhere to join the race this year so they are rightly outsiders for the game.

"We've seen a few ambitious bets for the Saints outright at 9/4 but expect the big game experience of the Tigers to prevail this weekend."

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