It’s getting tight in the Aviva

SaracensRugby_1The Aviva Premiership is getting close to the half-way point of its 2013/2014 season, with each club having played nine matches entering the weekend of December 20-22. It’s been a tightly contested league thus far, with no single club distancing itself significantly from the pack, and only one side, the Worcester Warriors, lagging significantly behind the rest. So now that we’re nearly at the middle of what has been a wonderful season thus far, it’s the perfect time to check in on the standings in addition to the outlooks for top clubs.

Of course, fans everywhere are making predictions every week. However, for what is theoretically a more accurate representation of the action thus far and more astute prediction of what is to come, we’re turning to Betfair and their updated betting odds on each team’s chances to win the Premiership. This site keeps odds updated constantly, between matches and throughout each week, with the sports odds makers’ best estimates of each club’s status, as represented by the odds themselves. With that information in hand, here’s a look at the five clubs that the betting odds suggest will compete for the Premiership title.

With 15/8 odds to win the Premiership, Saracens are the easy betting favourite at this stage, and it’s no wonder why. The only club to have won eight matches through nine played (their sole loss was at the hands of the Northampton Saints in Round 6 of matches), Saracens are atop the league standings with 36 points.

Northampton Saints
If any team has an argument with Saracens to be the favourite, it’s the Saints. Not only was their Round 6 defeat of Saracens fairly decisive (41-20), but they’re second in the standings with 34 points. However, the betting odds have them as second best, too, with 5/2 odds to win the Premiership.

Leicester Tigers
The defending champion Leicester Tigers are right in the mix as well, as expected, and actually share the 2nd best odds at 5/2. Currently 5th in the standings, Leicester is off to a bit of a slow start, but has a huge opportunity in a December 21st showdown with Saracens.

With 17/2 odds to win it all, Harlequins – currently slated at 4th in the standings – are given the 4th best odds as well. It’s worth noting, however, that since a disappointing loss to the London Irish in Round 5, Harlequins have looked very sharp in rattling off 4 straight wins. If the club continues to refine its form, it could be right in the mix at the top.

Bath Rugby
Just behind Harlequins with 9/1 odds, Bath Rugby are currently 3rd in the league standings, and could have a make or break match coming up against – you guessed it – Harlequins. There is clearly plenty of rugby to be played, but this match could go a long way in determining who, if anybody, joins Saracen and Northampton scrapping for the title.

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