Where you should put your money in Super Rugby this weekend, according to MARK KEOHANE.
Last week all the home teams won – and that sequence included a number of upsets. Not too many people without the benefit of hindsight would have reckoned the Bulls to take the Sharks – always easy after the fact – and my boys did so by breaking Jake White's men's hearts up front. With Victor Matfield again colossal, the Bulls are proving to be formidable, especially at home.
I also thought the Reds would hold on to beat the Lions but reckoned without the referee's intervention, while those who expected the Force to nail the defending champions the Chiefs in Perth can be counted on one hand.
For me, this week gives us a chance to recoup from last week, where successes on the Highlanders and Blues were offset by losses on the Chiefs, Reds and Sharks.
The bet of the week for me this week is the 4.5 to 1 on offer for the following combination of winning teams under the popular Flash Pots section on betflash.co.za.
If the Blues, Bulls, Crusaders, Reds and Sharks all win, for every R100 you put on that combination you'll get a R550 return. I reckon it's worth lumping on at that price.
Let's go through my full selections. Odds are supplied by betflash.co.za.
Crusaders vs Hurricanes
The Crusaders aren't the force of old but at home they'll be too strong for the Canes. We all know the Saders get better the longer the competition goes and I'll take the 1.25 to 1 on them winning by more than seven. R100 would net you a R225 return.
Rebels vs Brumbies
Potentially a banana skin for the Brumbies but they should prevail in Melbourne. The odds that jump out are the 1.25 to 1 on the Brumbies winning by more than three. R100 would net a R225 return.
Blues vs Highlanders
Blues to win at home. The Highlanders are better than the disjointed lot of last season but Auckland is never an easy place to visit and I've got the hosts to prevail. Take the 1.35 to 1 on offer for them to win by more than eight. (R100).
Reds vs Stormers
Despite losing both their matches in South Africa, to the Sharks and the Lions, plus the fact the've had to travel from Johannesburg to Brisbane this week, the Reds will be too good against a struggling Stormers side. I've got the Reds to win by seven and the bookies offer 1.35 to 1 on them winning by four or more. Take that bet (R100).
Bulls vs Chiefs
At Loftus I've got the Bulls to win by 10. The Chiefs have had to travel and they've gone straight to altitude after last week's setback in Perth. This will be two defeats on the road for them, showing there are no easy away games. R100 on the Bulls to win but more than four will give you a R235 return.
Sharks vs Waratahs
Jake White's team will bounce back from the Loftus setback and they'll be a completely different proposition at home against the Sydneysiders who have also had to travel this week. I've got the Sharks to win by 10 and based on that, take the 1.1 to 1 on offer for them putting more than six points between themselves and the Waratahs on the scoreboard. R100 would net a return of R210.
LAST WEEK'S BETS
Highlanders vs Hurricanes: I spent R100 and had a R210 return.
Blues vs Cheetahs: I had the Blues to win by 10 and was spot on. R100 earned me R200.
Force vs Chiefs: I didn't see this one coming and lost R100.
Lions vs Reds: Also got this one wrong, no thanks to the ref …
Bulls vs Sharks: And again! Lost R100 backing the Sharks.
Overall: Spent R500 and lost R90 on the round.
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images