Super Rugby Aotearoa round 2: Chiefs v Highlanders betting tips, odds

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Welcome to our Chiefs v Highlanders free betting predictions for the week-two clash of the Super Rugby Aotearoa season at FMG Stadium, Hamilton, on Friday, March 5. 

The Chiefs are playing their first match of the season and unfortunately thie match will be played behind closed doors with COVID-19 restrictions in effect.

The other Super Rugby Aotearoa match scheduled for this weekend, Crusaders v Hurricanes, has been shifted from Saturday to Sunday afternoon in the hope the restrictions will be lifted on time and crowds can attend the match at Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch.

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The Highlanders were brave in defeat losing 26-13 to red-hot title favourites the Crusaders in Dunedin in their opening match, but bookmakers have made the Chiefs the firm favourites to win this match at around $1.68.

Former Highlanders favourite Bryn Gatland starts at No.10 in his first match for the Chiefs, who have other debutants in front-rower Sione Mafileo, breakaway Samipeni Finau and winger Jonah Lowe.

The Highlanders have experimented with their starting halves, with young duo Folau Fakatava and Josh Ioane named to start, with Aaron Smith moving to the bench and Mitch Hunt to fullback.

How does Super Rugby work this season?

With South Africa out of the equation, the Super Rugby season has three components: Super Rugby AU (Australian regional tournament), Super Rugby Aotearoa (New Zealand regional tournament), then the combined Super Rugby Trans-Tasman (starting May 14).

Chiefs v Highlanders teams

Chiefs team

Damian McKenzie, Jonah Lowe, Sean Wainui, Anton Lienert-Brown, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Bryn Gatland, Brad Weber (c-capt); Luke Jacobson, Sam Cane (co-capt), Samipeni Finau, Naitoa Ah Kuoi, Tupou Vaa’i, Sione Mafileo, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Reuben O’Neill. Reserves: Bradley Slater, Ollie Norris, Angus Ta’avao, Mitchell Brown, Mitchell Karpik, Xavier Roe, Alex Nankivell, Shaun Stevenson.

Highlanders team

Mitch Hunt, Connor Garden-Bachop, Ngantungane Punivai, Sio Tomkinson, Jona Nareki, Josh Ioane, Folau Fakatava; Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, Billy Harmon, Shannon Frizell, Jack Regan, Josh Dickson, Siate Tokolahi, Ash Dixon (co-capt), Daniel Lienert-Brown. Reserves: Liam Coltman, Josh Hohneck, Jeff Thwaites, Manaaki Selby-Rickit, Liam Squire, Aaron Smith (co-capt), Solomon Alaimalo, Hugh Renton.

Continue reading for our free Chiefs v Highlanders tips for the Super Rugby Aotearoa match in Hamilton on Friday, March 5. 

Chiefs v Highlanders odds

Head to head odds: Chiefs $1.68, Highlanders $2.18
Handicap betting: Chiefs (-3.5 points) $1.96, Highlanders (+3.5 points) $1.84
Super Rugby Aotearoa title betting: Crusaders $1.67, Blues $4, , Chiefs $9, Hurricanes $9, Highlanders $11.

Chiefs v Highlanders betting tips

Our rugby tipster has examined the odds and found several Chiefs v Highlanders tips for the round 2 Super Rugby Aotearoa clash.

Either team wins by 7 points or less

This option with Unibet is enticing given how little there has been between these teams in recent time. The visiting Highlanders have a good record, going undefeated in their past four matches against the Chiefs, who are expected to lift under interim head coach Clayton McMillan.

Highlanders to score first and win (including overtime)

This option is one way to add a little value to the winning price for the Highlanders, who we think should hit the ground running. This option is available at Unibet and is paying around $3.85

Chiefs v Highlanders prediction 5/3/2021

The last time these two teams met the Highlanders beat the Chiefs 33-31 in July 2020 at Hamilton. The weather forecast is for steady rain and this is a match we expect to be lower scoring than that last meeting but it would also be a surprise if either team won by a big margin. The game under their belts should be helpful early for the Highlanders. Our final Chiefs v Highlanders prediction? Highlanders to cause a mini boilover and win a close one.

Chiefs v Highlanders Super Rugby Aotearoa details

How can I watch Super Rugby Aotearoa matches in 2021?

In New Zealand: Sky Sport 1.

How can I watch Super Rugby Aotearoa matches outside New Zealand?

Australia: Stan Sports. South Africa/Africa: SuperSport. United Kingdom: RugbyPass.

What time does the Chiefs v Highlanders match start?

The game starts at 7.05 local time (5.05pm AEDT) on March 5, 2021.

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