Bank on Highlanders in Bloem

THE MONEY MAN is putting R3,000 on the Highlanders to beat the Cheetahs on Saturday night.

I'm still not back from the bush and caution you to go easy this week! I won't go into too much detail on the accumulator as it's a long shot and a fun play for me: Bulls win outright @ 9/10, Rebels outright @ 7/10, Hurricanes outright @ 7/10, Waratahs -7.5 @ 9/10, Lions -0.5 @ 1/1 and Highlanders outright @ 5/10. I am putting down R200 to win R6,000.

Blues (+1.5) vs Bulls (-1.5)
Weather: Rain

The weather is expected to be heavy rain and it has rained already in Auckland this week. This should suit the Bulls who are fielding a strong side. I imagine the Bulls have targeted this one and will be well up for the Blues. The weather will not suit the Blues who are coached by a back and like to keep the ball alive. This has been part of their downfall this season. It will be fairly close but back the Bulls. I am putting R300 to win outright.

Reds (+2.5) vs Rebels (-2.5)
Weather: Fine

This is the biggest game for the Rebels in their short history. With back-to-back wins over the Chiefs and Blues you'd be a brave man to bet against the Melbourne side. Between them and the Lions it's neck-and-neck for most improved. The Reds are awful and the only thing that can stop the Rebels from winning is overconfidence. I doubt this will happen. I'm taking the 9/10 and putting R500 on them to win by three or more points. I also like the points high at 43.5 and am putting another R500 for there to be 44 combined points scored or more.

Hurricanes (-6.5) vs Chiefs (+6.5)
Weather: Fine

The Hurricanes' 10-1 record speaks for itself and they are the form team in the tournament. The Chiefs are 10 log points adrift of the Canes and really need to win this if they hope to catch them. This will be a tough ask especially with Sonny Bill not playing. The Canes have found ways to win games this year and at home they will be too good for the Chiefs. I do think 6.5 points is too much to cover as this should be a close game. Both teams play decent attacking rugby, racking up 64 tries between them, and I will be putting down R1,000 for both teams to combine for 44 or more points which will pay back my R1,000 plus another R1,000.

Waratahs (-7.5) vs Sharks (+7.5)
Weather: Fine

Which Waratahs side will pitch on Saturday? The team that lost to the woeful Force or the team that inflicted the only defeat on the Hurricanes? The next question is, does it make a difference with the Sharks as opponents? This has been a horrible season for the Sharks and the only thing they are No 1 at is red cards. I believe the Sharks will suffer their sixth defeat in a row but I am not touching this game. On paper and if I had to, I'd take the Tahs to win by eight or more points based on stats like these: the Sharks have missed 84 more tackles than the Tahs, made 1,300 less running metres than the Tahs, made 144 more kicks from hand than the Tahs and 717 less passes than the Tahs. It could be another ugly one for the Sharks, and barely worth watching.

Lions(+1.5) vs Brumbies (-1.5)
Weather: Fine

If you have followed me throughout the year, you will know I think the Brumbies are overrated with two blowout wins against the Reds padding their stats to a large degree. I like the Lions team, they are gritty and play for their coach and each other. This is one to stay away from regarding the handicap betting as it could go either way. I believe the Lions will win this match but my bet is for there to be 46 combined points or more, and I will be betting R500 for that to happen.

Cheetahs (+4.5) vs Highlanders (-4.5)
Weather: Fine

This is my banker. The Highlanders score loads of points and the Cheetahs give up loads of points. The Highlanders have to win this to keep the other teams that are breathing down their necks at bay for one of the final play-off positions. The Cheetahs have little to play for and the score will reflect this. The Cheetahs are still missing quality players and this will be a blowout. I am putting R3,000 down @9/10 to collect my R2,700 profit. Do the same and we will be back to winning ways.

SA Rugby magazine team's SuperBru picks

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