This Friday sees Castres take on Montpellier in the final of the Top 14, the main domestic title in France, and here is our latest free rugby betting picks for the big match.
Yes, there’s just one more big final to come in the northern hemisphere before the domestic leagues finish for their respective summers and the national sides take over with their tours.
France is the destination for this final, and Castres and Montpellier are the teams fighting for the title.
The best sites for Rugby betting online are struggling to separate the two teams, and when you look at the top of the league table, you will see why.
Table-toppers Castres finished the season just two points ahead of opponents Montpellier. And this after Montpellier could only manage one win and three defeats from their final four matches. Castres won all four.
So, this final is coming down to the form of Castres, against the promise of Montpellier. In the latest Rugby betting odds, Castres are just edging favoritism. Pierre-Henry Broncan’s Castres team is -135, while Philippe Saint-André’s Montpellier team is +105.
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2022 Top 14 Final; All You Need To Know
It’s important to understand how the two teams contesting this Friday’s final got here and to do that you will need to know how the Top 14 in France works.
The system is similar to the that used in the majority of top American sports; There is a league competition, followed by playoff to decide the winner.
In France there is 14 teams in the league, hence the name. The top 6 qualify for the playoffs.
The team in 6th place faces off against the team that finished 3rd, while the teams who finished 4th and 5th play each other.
The winners of both of those matches go through to the semi-finals. Here the winners of the fixture between 3rd and 6th face the team who finished 2nd in the league table. The winners of the fixture between 4th and 5th face the team who topped the table.
Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to one or both of the top two teams not reaching the final. Thankfully, this season that is not the case, and the top 2 teams have made it safely through to the finale.
- What; Top 14 Playoff Final - Castres v Montpellier
- Where; Stade de France, Saint-Denis, Paris
- When; Friday, June 24th, 2022
- Time; 3.45 pm ET
Castres; Gunning for Sixth Domestic Title
The 2021/22 table-toppers were Castres. The team coached by Pierre-Henry Broncan finished the season with 76 points from their 26 matches. They won 17 fixtures, drew one, and lost eight.
Significantly, Castres finished the season strongly, winning their last five league fixtures and then winning their semi-final by 24 points to 18 over Toulouse. This sees Broncan’s team coming into the final as the in-form team.
For the record, Castres have won the French championship five times in their history. Their most recent win came back in 2018 - against Montpellier.
???? It will be a Castres v Montpellier #Top14 final this Friday.
✍️ Here's a detailed round-up of the weekend's semi-finals. https://t.co/Y7ebsjnzXC
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) June 20, 2022
Can Montpellier Land Their First French Title?
Philippe Saint-André’s Montpellier team was in the shake-up until an awful run-in saw them lose three of their last four matches and finish second in the table behind Castres.
In the end, Montpellier got 74 points, two more than third-place Bordeaux and two less than Castres. Saint-André’s team finished the season with 15 wins, two draws, and nine defeats from their 26 matches.
In their semi-final win over Bordeaux Begles, Saint-André’s team ran out 19-10 victors. The match was overshadowed by stories of a half-time bust-up in the Begles dressing room that may or may not have aided Montpellier’s win.
Either way, Montpellier will feel they should have topped the league table and should be going into this match as the betting favorites. This match gives them one last chance to put the record straight this season.
Castres v Montpellier Betting Picks
It looks like the indifferent form of Montpellier in the run-in has seen Castres given the tag of betting favorites with the top Rugby betting sites.
The best online sportsbooks still rate the chances of Montpellier, otherwise, their odds would be far longer than the +105 still currently available on the Moneyline.
In the handicap, there is a 1.5 points difference in favor of Castres. Showing that this is a tough match to call.
- Castres -135
- Montpellier +105
- Castres (-1.5 points) -115
- Montpellier (+1.5 points) -115
With the odds being so close and the points difference on the handicap not of any real significance, there seems little point in covering both markets.
There also seems little point in wagering on Castres on the Moneyline at -135. Castres may as well be backed to win from -1.5 points on the handicap. For the sake of 2 points difference, it’s worth the risk.
All of that isn’t relevant if you’re following my pick. I’m thinking Montpellier will feel they still have unfinished business with Castres. Saint-André’s team has a rare second chance to set the record straight, and I think they will take it.
Therefore my rugby betting pick for the 2022 Top 14 final is for Montpellier to win on the Moneyline at +105.
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