THE MONEY MAN is backing the Sunwolves to not lose by 26 or more against the Stormers in Singapore.
Last weekend was the worst performance I've ever had in Super Rugby. For those of you who broke even or made a profit, well done. Most guys took a beating on SuperBru and only the bookies made a fortune.
I am down R5,000 for the year and will work hard this week to recover some of that money, if not all of it.
Highlanders vs Crusaders
This will be a very close contest, but the bookies have installed the Crusaders as two-and-a-half-point favourites. The Crusaders have barely put a foot wrong this season with their only loss coming against the Chiefs. However, I believe they have had an easier schedule than most other teams, making their overall record a little flattering. The Highlanders are the defending champions and showed their mettle last weekend when they beat the Chiefs by 13 points in Hamilton. This is going to be a tough game, but you'd be crazy to bet against the Highlanders at home. I'm placing a R500 bet on the Highlanders to record an outright win over the Crusaders. It pays even money.
Rebels vs Brumbies
The bookies have made the Brumbies four-and-half-point favourites. Three of their defeats have come against highly-rated New Zealand teams and, of course, against a decent Stormers outfit. I won't be putting money down on this match, but I believe the Rebels will give a good account of themselves in Melbourne. For that reason I'd advice those of you who are betting, to take the Rebels to either win or not lose by four or more points.
Hurricanes vs Reds
The bookies have inserted the Hurricanes as favourites to win by at least 14.5 points, but with the suspension of five key players, I might stay well away from this game. It's impossible to gauge what effect new players and untested combinations will have on the team. Realistically, 15-point favourites sound about right, but I won't be betting my money on it.
Waratahs vs Bulls
This should be a close one and there's no lack of motivation as both teams must win to improve their chances of making it to the knockout stage. The bookies favour the Waratahs to beat the Bulls by six-and-a-half points, but the Pretoria-based team could easily win this game in Sydney. The 17-point defeat the Bulls suffered last week against the Brumbies was a bit flattering to the hosts, because the game was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests. I'm putting down R1,000 on the Bulls to win or not lose by seven or more points.
Sunwolves vs Stormers
The Stormers are heavily favoured to win this game by 26 or more points and win it they will. I'm just not convinced it'll be by such a big margin. The Sunwolves, while a bad team, are a fit team and do not give up regardless of the scoreline. In the energy-sapping Singapore weather, where rain is predicted throughout the week and temperatures are expected to reach a high of 33°C on Saturday, this could be a messy encounter. For that reason, this is my banker for the week. With a R5,000 bet placing, I'm backing the Sunwolves to not lose by 26 or more against the Stormers. It pays out R4,500.
Cheetahs vs Kings
Despite the Cheetahs being favoured by 25.5 points, I'm not touching this match. The Kings have killed me all year long. I will, however, place in-running bets on my Facebook page and if there's any offer of more than 60 points in this match, I'll be jumping all over it as I expect 70 or more points to be scored.
Lions vs Blues
The Lions will be smarting after their heavy loss to the Hurricanes, and the Blues offer them the perfect opportunity to come away with what should be an easy win. The Lions are a far better side and although favoured by six-and-a-half points over the Blues, they should rebound and beat the Aucklanders by seven or more. I'm putting down R1,500 on them to do just that. It will be a high-scoring game, but the Blues will run out of gas in the second half. I'll be watching this match closely and will offer in-running advice and bets as well.
Jaguares vs Sharks
The Sharks are expected to win by two-and-a-half points, but based on recent performances and results, they should probably be favoured by a lot more. So much was expected of the Jaguares this year, but other than their annihilation of the Kings and a narrow win against the Cheetahs, they have failed to live up to expectations. Gary Gold has his charges playing excellent defensive rugby and I expect a physical, low-scoring match in Buenos Aires. With a R1,000 bet placing, I'm taking the Sharks to beat the Jaguares by three or more points.
R200 will win you R5,011 but all five bet placings have to win in order for you to collect the payout.
– 1/1 on the Highlanders to record an outright win over the Crusaders
– 9/10 on the Bulls to win or not lose by seven or more against the Waratahs
– 9/10 on the Sunwolves to not lose by 26 or more against the Stormers
– 9/10 on the Lions to defeat the Blues by seven or more at Ellis Park
– 9/10 on the Sharks to beat the Jaguares by at least three points