Aviva Premiership 2018/19: Outright Preview

Aviva Premiership Round 22 Preview

Outright betting is now available for the 2018/19 Aviva Premiership season which gets underway this September.

There is some great early value when it comes to the outright Aviva Premiership market. Last year's runners-up, the Exter Chiefs, are currently trading at 2/1, while dark horses such as Gloucester and the Newcastle Falcons have some very tasty prices attached to their names.

Considering that the majority of the season will be played inside the World Cup year, it may well be worth having a crack on one or two of the outsiders who won't be as hard hit by international call-ups with their star players being rested.

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To Win Outright
Saracens 27/20
Exeter Chiefs 2/1
Wasps 6/1
Leicester 9/1
Gloucester 16/1
Bath 20/1
Newcastle Falcons 25/1
Northampton 33/1
Harlequins 33/1
Sale Sharks 66/1
Bristol 100/1
Worcester Warriors 250/1

Title Contenders
Okay, so the usual suspects like Saracens, Wasps and Exeter will surely be in the mix come May 2018 due to there solid star-filled squads, but whether these sides will be able to sustain a title run is up for debate.

The aforementioned teams have a number of English Internationals, who will be rested at some point during the campaign as it is a World Cup year. These same players will also be involved in the November Internationals as well as the 2018 Six Nations. As such, we could well see a few of these players suffer injury.

While 'Sarries have an extremely deep squad, Wasps and Exeter could well see their campaigns go to pieces should the likes of Elliot Daily or Sam Simmonds suffer a long-term injury.

I think it may be a shrewd move to back Gloucester instead of these big guns. Yes, the Cherry and Whites will have to balance Champions Cup duties with their domestic commitments but they have the squad to do this balancing act, especially considering the vast majority of their starting XV won't be turning out in the Six Nations or the November Internationals.

Another mid-table side that I think could be in the reckoning this year is the Newcastle Falcons. They played some great rugby last season and were thoroughly deserving of their semi-final berth. They have a very big price affixed to their name and are certainly worth a punt.

Dark Horse
The Sale Sharks may have only finished eighth last season but they did produce some great rugby at times. They have a very handy squad which features Springbok scrum-half and Premiership Player of the Season nominee, Faf de Klerk.

Like Gloucester, the Sharks don't actually have too many English internationals amongst their ranks, which means they won't be as hard hit by international call-ups and injuries.

Relegation Battle
This is likely to be a straight shootout between the Worcester Warriors and the newly promoted Bristol Bears. The latter have recruited heavily during this off-season and have managed a massive coup in the form of signing ex-All Black, Charles Pitau. They have also convinced experienced Aussies, Nic Stirzacker and George Smith to pen deals.

Verdict: Gloucester Champions 16/1
I just think the big guns will struggle this year. Saracens lost some very good players during the off-season with American International Chris Wyles hanging up his boots. Exeter could also struggle considering their squad doesn't really have that much depth, while the Wasps are a much weaker team without Danny Cipriani, who has moved to Gloucester, at 10.

With the above in mind, I'll be having a crack on Johann Ackermann's Gloucester to deliver the goods this year. They have a well-balanced squad and won't be as hard hit by International call-ups.  

In terms of the relegation battle, my money is firmly on Worcester to drop out of the Premiership. 

Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets.net

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