Where you should put your money in Super Rugby this weekend, according to MARK KEOHANE.
The Super Rugby season gets going again after a month's break for the June internationals and although the Springboks are playing Scotland, the New Zealand and Australian franchises are in action. The online bookies have wins for the Chiefs, the Rebels, the Crusaders, the Waratahs and the Force – and on betflash.co.za you can take that line of winners in their Flash Pots section, with odds of 9/1 on offer for getting all five teams right.
I'm going against the grain, though, and my list of winners this weekend are the Chiefs, the Reds, the Crusaders, the Brumbies and the Force.
Highlanders vs Chiefs
Again, the bookies see this as a tight match, with the Chiefs marginal favourites. I've got them to win by five points and therefore feel the bet worth getting into is the 126/100 on the Chiefs winning by four or more.
Rebels vs Reds
This is the first of what I think will be two upsets in this round. The Rebels are favourites to win and they will have a lot of support in Melbourne in front of their home crowd. The Reds have been poor this season but they will have appreciated the June break more than the Rebels, as the four weeks will have allowed the Brisbane franchise to regroup and assess what has gone wrong for them so far. I would take the 143/100 (that means a R243 return for every R100 staked) on the Reds winning by two points or more.
Hurricanes vs Crusaders
Believe it or not, I'm not going to have a bet on this match. That doesn't mean I'm sitting on the fence, though. I'm going for the Crusaders to win by three points, but the bookies are thinking along the same lines and have given the Hurricanes what is an effective 2-0 start. On that basis it is going to be tight on the books.
Waratahs vs Brumbies
The Waratahs seemingly have everything going for them. They are formidable in Sydney and top of the Australian conference. In fact, should they beat the Brumbies they will leapfrog the Sharks at the top of the combined table – although the Crusaders can also do so if they beat the Hurricanes well. However, I'm going for the Brumbies to produce the upset. By winning they will also swap places with the Waratahs at the top of their conference as things really start heating up ahead of the play-off rounds. I've got the Brumbies to win by three and betflash.co.za offers 163/100 on them winning after being given a one-point start. That's worth a punt!
Force vs Blues
The bookies have set the margin tight, with the Blues being handed an effective 1-0 lead, which means at the odds off 9/10 (R190 back for every R100 put down), the Force have to win by at least two points. I think they'll do better than that and have them to prevail by a margin of seven. The best value is therefore the 14/10 offered for the Force to win by five points or more.
There is no handicap on offer for the Springboks vs Scotland match and you won't get rich at odds of 3/100 on the Boks winning. For the record, Scotland are 10/1 to spring the upset.
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