THE MONEY MAN is backing the Chiefs to end the Stormers' unbeaten start to the season with a 10-point victory at Newlands on Saturday.
Hurricanes vs Waratahs
The Canes' team selection will raise some eyebrows as it seems they've targeted the Waratahs as an easy win. They will argue team rotation, but there can be no doubt that this is a second-string lineup. With that in mind, the Waratahs, with an 18.5 handicap headstart, are an attractive proposition and I'll be placing a R500 bet on them to not lose by 19 or more points. It pays R450 and my stake back.
Sunwolves vs Bulls
I don't expect the Bulls to be big in Japan. They've already played the Sunwolves once, winning by 13 at Loftus. The bookies have, for some reason, inserted the Bulls as 15.5 favourites, but I'm not exactly sure what they've done to garner this type of favouritism. They've conceded an average of 31.6 points per game. While I see them winning, I don't think it'll be by 16 or more. With a R1,000 bet-placing, I'm picking the Sunwolves to not lose by 16 or more points. The bet pays out R900 and the stake.
Highlanders vs Blues
The Highlanders have one win and three defeats against New Zealand opposition, but fortunately for them that victory came against the Blues. The Auckland-based franchise, as predicted, show plenty of ability, but are prone to mistakes and for that reason I fancy the Highlanders to win at home. I will be putting down R1,000 to win R900 on the Highlanders to beat the Blues by six or more points.
Brumbies vs Reds
There is no handicap betting as of Thursday afternoon, but the Brumbies should be favourites to win by eight or more. The Reds have lost five games in a row and shouldn't trouble the Brumbies, who I expect to win by 10 or more.
Sharks vs Jaguares
Like the two encounters between these sides last year, which both went the way of the Sharks by less than five, I expect this game to be a close contest. The Jaguares are a much improved side this year and what I like most about them is that they keep the scoreboard ticking over with sensible, pragmatic rugby. For R500, I'm taking the Jaguares to not lose by seven or more. It pays R450 plus my stake back.
Stormers vs Chiefs
Regardless of who wins on Saturday I will be happy to bet on the Chiefs to bring the Stormers crashing down to earth. Some may be confused by that statement, so let me explain!
Seldom does a bet like this come along and when it does, as a punter or investor you need to act and bet accordingly.
The Stormers have been praised all year for starting 5-0. Because we live in Cape Town (at least I do), we tend to heap too much praise on what the Stormers have accomplished but let's put things into perspective.
They have played four teams with a combined 4-17 record. That is a dismal 19% success rate and they almost lost to the Sunwolves. The Chiefs are by far the better side and will offer up a test that will in all likelihood start a rot of five consecutive losses for the Stormers. Of course, I'm talking about four games after this match, against the Lions, Crusaders, Hurricanes and Highlanders.
If the Stormers do win on Saturday, then great, but I expect a heavy defeat and will be putting down R2,000 on the Chiefs to coast to victory by four or more points. The return is R1,800 plus my stake back.
Force vs Kings
I won't be betting on this game. In fact, I will not even bother getting up early to watch it.
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images