Fiddes' Cent

On the back of his winning start, rugby tipster Jordan Fiddes picks out the best bets from this weekend's Heineken Cup action

By Jordan Fiddes - Twitter: @JordanFiddes85.   Last Updated: 27/04/13 9:29am

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Brad Barritt: Backed to cross the whitewash against Munster

Brad Barritt: Backed to cross the whitewash against Munster

Now that we have all calmed down after England's emphatic victory over the All Blacks at the weekend, it's time to turn our heads to the Heineken Cup.

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Those who read last weekend's column hopefully followed my faith in England, backing them to prevail with the +16 handicap.

Remarkably, Stuart Lancaster's men would have actually covered a -16 handicap, but I think the men in white coats would have been sent for if I had tipped that up.

However, we shouldn't get too carried away as this week we're dealing with a totally different animal - European club rugby.

There's a lot more to consider for the Heineken Cup compared to the international fixtures, with cross-competition form more difficult to read, while long-distance travel can potentially have a huge bearing.

On Saturday, we see in-form Saracens travel to Thomond Park in search of their first ever victory over Munster in the Heineken Cup.

Saracens will head to Ireland in confident mood, however, having won their first two matches to leave the sitting top of Pool 1.

Charlie Hodgson is the tournament's top points scorer as it stands with 40 from the first two rounds of matches.

At Sky Bet, you can get 11/10 on Saracens to win the 'Race to 10 Points' so with Hodgson taking to the kicking tee, I see that as a good way to start your weekend's betting.

Even more of a boost for the Londoners is the return of England heroes Owen Farrell, Alex Goode, Brad Barritt and Chris Ashton.

The sight of Ashton's infamous swallow dive was a welcome return for England but, more importantly, Saracens as he looks to improve his try-scoring form of late.

Unfortunately, that try against the All Blacks will have a detrimental effect on the try-scorer market for this one as he is joint favourite to score the first try at 9/1.

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Backing Barritt

That is too short for an opening try given his drought heading in to last Saturday's victory, so I'll be going for Barritt to score anytime at 5/1.

He is in great form this season and will be full of confidence after crossing the whitewash against the All Blacks.

There is no need to look at the handicap for this one as Saracens are the value bet this weekend, outright at 6/4.

Talking of handicaps, one I will be taking advantage of is Toulouse -16 at 10/11.

The four-time Heineken Cup winners are taking on an injury-hit Ospreys side who have only won one game out of 11 in France in this competition.

The Welsh outfit have a number of young players making their Heineken Cup debuts, which, as always, can go one of two ways.

Rather than them thriving in knock-out rugby, I can see them crumbling under the pressure amid a hostile French atmosphere.

In a similarly one-sided affair, Harlequins travel to Parma to face Zebre knowing a victory will almost certainly guarantee them a place in the quarter-finals.

Zebre are the new boys in the competition and have yet to post a win, something which is hard to see changing as they face a Quins side welcoming back players certain to be full of confidence from their England exploits.

Mike Brown returns after a highly impressive stint on the England wing and Danny Care claims back his scrum-half role.

Consistency is key in Europe and Harlequins name an unchanged pack to rub to dent Zebre's hopes even further.

I'm even tempted to go for an alternative handicap in this one with Harlequins 7/4 to beat Zebre by more than 22 points.

The other games this weekend are much tighter but if you are looking for a couple to boost an accumulator, I'd be tempted for Racing Metro at home to Edinburgh with a -9 handicap and Exeter +5 away at Scarlets.

A word from the Sky Bet Trading Room...

"Saracens look good this weekend on the handicap and we have already taken a lot of money for them at +4.

"Ashton is once again popular so we have cut him from 10/1 to 9s. If you are looking at try-scorer bets, Ernst Joubert has a great record in the competition and offers better value.

"We've got him at 11/2 to score anytime, which rates his as having a 16 per cent chance of scoring, however he managed to score in 19.7 per cent of his games last year."

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