MARK KEOHANE on where to put your money in this weekend's round of Super Rugby fixtures.
Blues vs Crusaders
The general points spread here is that the Blues have an effective 4-0 start. Both teams lost their opening round matches, though the Crusaders left something like 20 points on the table and they will have bemoaned the fact they couldn't beat the Chiefs in Christchurch. Auckland can be an intimidating place to visit – just ask the Boks – but I've got the Crusaders to make more use of their chances and kick their penalties. I've got them winning by seven. The best way to back the, on betflash.co.za is the 0.8-1 offered for them to win by more than four points.
My suggestion: R100 would net you a R150 return.
Bulls vs Lions
The Lions have shot out of the starting blocks after being written off, by myself included, but they have to be applauded the way they put it all together against the Stormers last week. Just a few months ago the thought of the Lions travelling to Loftus to take on the Bulls might have evoked thoughts of a 25-point drubbing. Not this time. I have the Bulls still to win, but by three. The bookies have the spread at six points.
My suggestion: I'll sit on my money for this match.
Chiefs vs Highlanders
Both come off winning starts so will take the momentum and confidence into their second matches. But the Chiefs at home should be too strong. I've got them to win by 10.
My suggestion: betflash.co.za are offering 0.5 for the Chiefs to win by more than six. Take it. R100 would result in a R150 return.
Force vs Brumbies
The Brumbies looked all over the place in losing to the Reds at home last week and not even picking up a bonus point. You can see the hole that Jake White has left in the coaching structure of the Canberra side. They will be better this week – they have to – and come up against a team that will probably be in the bottom three at the end of the season.
My suggestion: The spread is six points and I have the Brumbies by five. That makes it too close to call. But betflash.co.za have odds of 0.5-1 for the Brumbies to win by more than two. Let's go with that. R100 would result in a return of R150.
Rebels vs Cheetahs
The South African franchise won't be spooked by the Melbourne outfit and the travel factor won't play a big role in determining the outcome of this match.
My suggestion: The bookies have set the match at one point in favour of the Cheetahs. This could be the bet of the week – last week our best bet was the Highlanders against the Blues and I hope you cashed in on that one. Here, the smartest way to bet on the spread is the 0.75-1 that's offered on the Cheetahs winning by more than one point. R100 invested would give a return of R175.
Stormers vs Hurricanes
I've had my say in the various columns and forums this past week so I'm not going to over-analyse the Stormers. Suffice to say that they should show enough hunger, commitment and downright mongrel at Newlands and send their faithful and passionate supporters home happy.
My suggestion: The bookies reckon the Stormers by six and I've got them by five. Again, we need to delve deeper into the spreads and let's go with this one; the Stormers to win by more than one. Odds on offer are 0.45-1. Every R100 would net you a return of R145.
Waratahs vs Reds: The two best Australian franchises meet in Sydney and home ground advantage will decide this one.
My suggestion: I agree with the bookies who have the spread at five points, but again, in the handicaps, look at the odds of 0.7-1 for the Waratahs to win by more than two. R100 would net you a return of R170.
Rolling accumulator on betflash.co.za
Try this one … Crusaders to win by more than four, Chiefs to win by more than five, Cheetahs to win by more than one and Stormers to win by more than one. If the scenario plays out you'll collect R685 for every R100 you've staked.
I came across this scenario on betflash.co.za, under the Super Rugby specials. And it's something which I feel offers fantastic value. Take the double of the Bulls winning at least one match against the Lions as well as the Stormers not being bottom of the log on 16 March. That double offers R24.40 in return for every R10 invested. Just R100 would see a return of R244. It's as close to a certainty as they come.
Photo: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images