The MONEY MAN, in his IOL betting column, is backing the Crusaders to claim a comfortable win over the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday.
The Jaguares came good for me last Saturday and ensured I was up R800 for the Vodacom Super Rugby weekend. I always write about fine margins, and in Hamilton the Sharks’ six-point defeat cost me. The handicap was minus 4.5 points and I picked the Sharks not to lose by five or more.
They really were disappointing against a very ordinary Chiefs outfit. Equally disappointing was the performance of the Lions. I backed them to win emphatically at home against the Waratahs, and they were fortunate to edge the Tahs by a point. They also got some very favourable refereeing decisions, and once again Egon Seconds’ officiating was not up to standard.
This weekend I think the Blues at home will beat the Chiefs. I am putting R1 000 on this result to get back R1 900. The Blues’ home form has been good. They have struggled away from home, but have shown a greater edge in Auckland.
I am going to take R1 000 on the Rebels to cover the handicap against the Bulls. The bookies have the Bulls at minus six and a half, but I am picking the Rebels to win by more than seven points. The Bulls away form has been awful at the best of times. The Rebels have stumbled on a few occasions, but they remain the best Australian side. This bet will get me back R1 900.
The Australian derby is between the Waratahs and the Reds in Brisbane. I was impressed with the Tahs in South Africa. They played well enough and could have won against both the Bulls and Lions. They were the stronger teams in the second half in both matches, which says something about their conditioning.
They would have travelled back to Australia, but the derby element is a leveller and I also believe the Tahs simply are a better team than the Reds. I am putting R1 000 down to win back R1 900. The bookies have this one as a coin toss, so don’t expect more than one score to separate the teams.
The Lions are at home to the Highlanders, and what makes this one tricky is the inconsistency of both teams. Both have on occasion produced very good performances, only to stumble the very next week. I’d avoid this game from a punting perspective. My Superbru pick is a Lions win. When in doubt, go home team.
The big one in South Africa is the Crusaders’ visit to Newlands. I picked the Saders to win well at Loftus, but I didn’t think it was going to be such a big blowout. They destroyed the Bulls and played a brilliant opening half. They are easily the best team in the competition and I don’t see them losing a playoff game in Christchurch.
The Stormers, like every South African side in the competition, have been hit and miss. If they can’t get up for this challenge, then when?
The bookies have the Stormers to not lose by more than 13 points. I think this is being charitable to the home side. It won’t be the blow-out of Loftus a week ago, but I am putting down R2 000 on the Crusaders to win by more than 13 points. This will get me back R3 800, which includes my R2 000 outlay.
Hurricanes minus 12 and a half versus Jaguares
Rebels minus six and a half versus Bulls
Blues minus four and a half versus Chiefs
Reds plus 0.5 v Waratahs minus 0.5
Lions minus 0.5 v Highlanders plus 0.5
Stormers plus 12.5 v Crusaders minus 12.5
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