THE MONEY MAN is betting on the Stormers to beat the Cheetahs by seven points or more on Saturday.
Last week I lost R400, which means I'm down to R24,600 but that is hardly cause for concern. As I've always said, it takes a few weeks for teams to show form. What was interesting after the first week, was seeing the scoring average up by 20% compared to last year's opening round and we'll soon find out if this trend continues.
This week is the toughest round of fixtures I've witnessed in Super Rugby and I certainly will be more of a spectator than a gambler.
Crusaders vs Blues
The Blues have made six changes for this encounter and this tips the scales slightly in favour of the Crusaders. It'll be so close, you could toss a coin on this one, but if you have to bet I think the hosts will win by three points, though I won't be putting down any money.
Brumbies vs Waratahs
The weather is predicted to be fine for the duration of the match in Canberra and after watching the Brumbies dismantle the Hurricanes, I'd be a fool not to back them to win by seven or more. For that reason, I'll be putting down R500 to win R400, plus my stake back, that the same Brumbies side that hammered the Hurricanes will show up and beat the Waratahs.
Chiefs vs Lions
The Chiefs should win this game. The Lions had an easy start last week and the 14-point handicap is too big for the Chiefs to cover. The Lions rarely get blown out and I'll be offering R500 at even money for them not to lose by 14 or more. That means they can lose by up to 13 and you can still collect your bet.
Highlanders vs Hurricanes
This is a tasty game, well worth watching but equally well worth avoiding betting on. This game could go either way and after both lost in the first round, it could get nasty. Based on what I saw last week, I'd back the Highlanders to win by five or more points, but I will not be betting on this one.
Bulls vs Rebels
Out of all the games this week, this offer is good value for an upset. The Rebels are a well-coached side and are definitely a team who have made big strides over the past two seasons. Sorry, Bulls fans, but there's no way they should be such overwhelming favourites in this match. I'll be looking to get a value bet at 22/10 for the Rebels to upset the Bulls and will be putting down R200 to win R440, plus my stake.
Reds vs Force
Without a doubt two of the worst teams on display. I won't be betting on this one and will be getting my nails done during the match. It should be a close but dour game. If you have to bet, take the Force not to lose by seven or more.
Cheetahs vs Stormers
This should be a cracking game with many tries scored, so look out for total-point betting opportunities. Last year the Cheetahs stunned the Stormers and sank one of my big bankers. I'll still be placing a R1,000 bet to win R900 on the Stormers to beat the Cheetahs by seven or more in Bloemfontein.
Sharks vs Jaguares
Last year I took more abuse from Sharks fans than any other franchise, probably because they were so poor. Nick Mallett said on SuperSport that the Sharks were looking better this year and I'm not sure what he based that statement on. For me two wins against second-string French clubs and a runaway victory over a Kings team touted as brave but who lost by 35 points on their home ground, is hardly the making of a good side. I believe the Sharks will lose to the Jaguares, who will relish the physical side of the contest and dominate up front. It'll be a low-scoring game but the Jaguares will win and bring the Sharks crashing back to reality. I'm putting R500 down at 14/10 for the Jaguares to win in Durban for a R700 plus my stake payout.
R50 pays out R11,431 (and 97 cents) but all eight bet placings have to win for you to collect the payout.
– 2/1 on the Blues to win by fewer than 13 points
– 9/10 on the Brumbies to beat the Waratahs by seven or more points
– 1/1 on the Lions to not lose by 14 or more points against the Chiefs
– 11/20 on the Highlanders to defeat the Hurricanes
– 9/10 on the Force to not lose by seven or more points against the Reds
– 5/10 on the Rebels to not lose by 12 or more against the Bulls at Loftus
– 9/10 on the Stormers to win by seven or more against the Cheetahs
– 14/10 on the Jaguares to defeat the Sharks
Photo: Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images