Best bet

Taranaki v Auckland

Points Start:

Taranaki are struggling at the moment having lost their last three games - their last two by an average of 25 points. That's not promising for the Bulls, who this weekend clash with the form team of the competition, Auckland. Alama Ieremia's side were convincing in their win over Canterbury last weekend, though a couple of late tries from Canterbury made the score look close.


Auckland have been one of the best teams to bet on so far this season and there's no indication that things will change this weekend. They have covered four of five and both of their away games this season, while the Bulls have covered just two of six and none of their last three.

Next best
Manawatu v Wellington
Points Start: Wellington -14.5 ($1.87)

Manawatu haven't won since week one and have shown no promising signs since then. Their average margin of defeat is 20.8 points during their current five-game losing run and against arguably the best attack in the competition, the Turbos are going to struggle.

Wellington have covered three of their last four games, and all three games this season in which they were double-digit favourites.

Best roughie
Hawke's Bay v North Harbour
Head to Head: Hawke's Bay ($2.80)

North Harbour are deserved favourites in this encounter but trends show it will be a close affair. Hawke's Bay's two home games this season have finished with winning margins of four points and one point while Harbour's away games have seen an average winning margin of 6.5 points. The Magpies pack can target their Harbour counterparts and are a chance of winning at McLean Park.

Best real wide
Manawatu v Wellington
Winning Team & Margin (10pt): Wellington 21-30 ($4.25)

Manawatu put up strong fights against Canterbury and Tasman but coming off a game on Wednesday, they might be a little out of gas to handle a strong Wellington team. Twice this season Wellington have recorded 40+ point winning margins and it should come as no surprise if the Lions deal to the Turbos.

Auckland -5.5/Wellington -14.5/Tasman -11.5