The late Aviva Premiership start on Saturday promises a titanic battle between table toppers and East Midland rivals Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints. The Tigers occupy top spot at the moment thanks to a Saints slip up last weekend and as the home side at Welford Road they are 4/11 favourites with Boylesports bookmakers. Saints need to get back to winning ways and are at tempting odds of 2/1, with the draw available at odds of 20/1.
Leicester Tigers are two points clear of bitter rivals Northampton at the top of the Aviva Premiership, albeit having played two games more. They have lost only one of their last seven in all competitions and comfortably overcame Exeter 22-15 last weekend, whilst Saints suffered a shock 16-13 defeat at home to sixth placed Harlequins. Leicester have home advantage on Saturday and will be backed by a vociferous 24,000 sell out crowd which gives them a slight edge according to bookmakers.
However, there is a general feeling in rugby union that Leicester are merely warming Northampton's spot at the top of the table and Tigers coach Richard Cotterill admitted as much when he said that Saints were playing the best rugby in the division recently. Northampton will have a point to prove on Saturday and the handicap market with Boylesports looks very generous as Saints are at odds of 10/11 with a handicap of +6 points. In what is sure to be a close encounter that looks tempting and when you consider they have not lost two matches on the trot in all competitions since April it might be worth backing them.
If Saints do win they would complete a remarkable double over their East Midland foes after they overwhelmed Leicester 27-19 at Franklin's Gardens in September. That day Soane Tonga'uiha wreaked carnage with two tries in the opening ten minutes and he looks great value with Boylesports.com to score the first try on Saturday at odds of 33/1. Alternatively his odds of scoring a try anytime are 5/1 and not bad for a man with five tries under his belt this season. Leicester's main threat could come from the highly rated Manu Tuilagi who has scored five tries as well and is industry best priced odds of 12/1 to score the first try.
Northampton will be hurting after their defeat to Harlequins and could come out all guns blazing on Saturday as they look for that double over their rivals and aim to regain the top spot they believe is rightly theirs. The double result of a half time Saints win and full time Saints win is at shortened odds of 7/2 with Boylesports bookmakers, and with a close match in store the Saints win by a margin of 1-5 points could be the way to go with odds of 11/2.
Leicester v Northampton Tips
Tip #1: Soane Tonga'uiha to score the first try @ 33/1 or to score a try anytime @ 8/1 with Boylesports.com
Tip #2: Northampton to win by a margin of 1-5 points @ 11/2 with Boylesports.com
Tip #3: Double result of a half time Northampton win and full time Northampton win @ 7/2 with Boylesports.com
10/11 Leicester -6
10/11 Northampton +6
Winning Points Margin Odds
5/1 Leicester by 1-5 points*
9/2 Leicester by 6-10 points
5/1 Leicester by 11-15 points*
11/2 Northampton by 1-5 points
8/1 Northampton by 6-10 points
12/1 Northampton by 11-15 points*
First Try Scorer Odds
8/1 Alesana Tuilagi
9/1 Chris Ashton
10/1 Matty Smith*
12/1 Paul Diggin*
12/1 Manu Tuilagi
14/1 Geordan Murphy*
16/1 Ben Foden*
16/1 Anthony Allen
16/1 No Tryscorer*
* Denotes an industry best price. Odds supplied by Boylesports.com, who provide several other betting markets for this match and all Aviva Premiership fixtures.
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