Northampton Saints make worthy Aviva Premiership favourites
With only two weekends of the regular season left in the ultra-competitive Aviva Premiership 2014/15, six sides are still in with a shout of Grand Final glory.
Chief among those are Northampton Saints. Last season’s title winners upset the Saracens applecart in dramatic extra-time fashion at Twickenham and Jim Mallinder’s side have since proved themselves no flash in the pans over the course of 2014/15.
Saints head into their remaining pair of fixtures five points clear of the chasing pack, the only team assured of their play-off spot and leading Ladbrokes Grand Final winners’ market at 6/4.
The fact they play relegated London Welsh at fortress Franklin’s Gardens in their penultimate match of the season will virtually guarantee a first-place finish.
The obligatory bonus-try win over a woeful London Welsh, should ensure their final game at Leicester will be inconsequential.
Of course, this will lead to home advantage against whoever takes fourth-place in the play-offs, and having only been turned over by Exeter Chiefs in front of their own this season, another Twickenham date is within touching distance.
On that note, Mallinder and co will be keen as mustard to see the fifth-placed Chiefs either get squeezed out the play-off picture altogether, or muster a third-place finish, after the Devon side completed a memorable double over Saints recently.
With only six points separating Bath 9/4, Saracens 11/4 and Leicester 12/1, in second, third and fourth respectively, only one bet stands out.
The Tigers may not have compiled the most memorable of campaigns, but the play-offs ignite something special in the record-holding 10 title holders.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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