Which Teams Will Advance to the Quarterfinals of the European Champions Cup: Expert Opinions and Odds - Ruck

Which Teams Will Advance to the Quarterfinals of the European Champions Cup: Expert Opinions and Odds

The line-up for the Round of 16 in this season’s European Champions Cup is set, with some fascinating clashes to look forward to. Reigning champions La Rochelle are still in the mix, along with last season’s runners-up Leinster.

Here’s how the Round of 16 is shaping up with a look at the latest odds and predictions of who may find their way through the quarter-finals.

Harlequins vs Glasgow Warriors

Quins were runners-up in their pool stage behind French powerhouses Toulouse, the only side to beat them in the round-robin. But they were untroubled for the rest of the campaign, scoring well and heading into this clash with the odds of 4/11 from betting sites. So they’re heavy odds-on favourites against the Warriors who battled through to a third-place finish in their section with a W2 L2 record. Glasgow were the second lowest-scoring side in the section and should have a tough afternoon at the Stoop against the free-running Quins.

Bulls vs Lyon

The Bulls and Lyon were paired up in this season’s Pool A and the South African side took second place, one spot ahead of Lyon by a margin of three points. There was a great match between them in December in France, with Lyon posting a 29-28 win. That’s two wins in three that Lyon have posted against the Bulls from previous meetings, but the Top 14 side are big 5/1 outsiders for this duel. The Bulls have been powering along both in the European Champions Cup and United Rugby Championship recently, and are justifiable 1/6 long odds-on favourites to get to the quarter-finals.

Exeter vs Bath

An all-Premiership clash with a fairly tight match outright market at the bookmakers. Bath are narrow 8/11 favourites despite having to travel south for the fixture. Exeter Chiefs lost four of their first five matches of 2024, their only win coming against Glasgow Warriors in the European Champions Cup. Bath have been far from perfect defensively in recent matches, but have won their last three on the spin against the Chiefs and have to be favoured.

Stormers vs La Rochelle

In December’s pool stage clash, Stormers took a 1-point victory over Stade Rochelle in Cape Town. That sparked a run of six straight wins from them in all competitions, before being toppled by the Bulls in early March. La Rochelle are narrow 8/11 favourites against the 6/5 Stormers for this rematch. But from September through to February, La Rochelle lost eight of ten matches on the road and the French unit could be vulnerable.

Bordeaux Begles vs Saracens

This should be a good battle up front in France, but Bordeaux Begles look the clear favourite to sweep their way into the Round of 16. They won their pool stage section with a +89 points difference and the joint-highest tally of tries scored in the stage. They also played Saracens in mid-January and hammered the Premiership side 55-15. It’s hard to argue against Bordeaux being firm 1/4 odds-on favourites to secure another win over Sarries.

Leinster vs Leicester Tigers

A trip to Leinster is one of the last fixtures that Leicester would have wanted at this stage, having lost their three previous visits there, including a 55-24 drubbing in last year’s tournament. Leinster have had such a powerful season overall, that they may well breeze past the Tigers, who are as long as 9/1 with some bookmakers in the match outright.

Northampton Saints vs Munster

An eye-catching fixture with the Saints doing so well in the Premiership. Home advantage will bolster their chances, despite only winning one of three previous matches against the provincial side. The Saints carried their domestic form over into Europe by winning their section, while Munster had a nervy fourth-place finish to qualify. The Saints are 2/5 odds-on favourites against the visitors and should boss it at Franklin’s Gardens.