It's round two of the Six Nations this weekend and the potential banana skin is in Dublin where Ireland take on the defending champions Wales, writes MARK KEOHANE.
Coming off the back of a 28-6 opening victory against Scotland, the Irish have been boosted by the returns of Paul O'Connell and Gordon D'Arcy and betflash.co.za have marked them up as marginal favourites.
The home-ground advantage is what has probably swayed the bookies' thinking, but I'm going to swim against the current. I'm inclined to go with Wales and on the odds they look great value at 9-10 to win, while being given a 1.5-point start. That means even if Ireland win, but only by one point, you'll get cash for backing Wales. Every R100 would result in you pocketing R190. That's the way I'm going. There's also 1.4 on offer for Wales for the bet that gives Ireland a 1.4-point start. My selection is Wales by five, so I'm sweet on this as well and every R100 staked would net you a R240 return.
It's also the Calcutta Cup this weekend, with Scotland hosting England. The weather can be a great leveller and the worse the conditions the more the Scots will like it. Nevertheless, England showed a lot of grunt and potential – especially up front – against France last week and will have come away knowing that they lost a match they should have won.
I reckon that defeat will do them more good than harm in the long run and fancy them to beat Scotland by more than 10 points, which is the bookies' spread between the two teams based on the even-money scenario. So, if you want to double your money then back England to win by more than 10 this weekend.
I don't see much value when it comes to the France-Italy match. The odds are so short in favour of France – in the three-way odds on betflash.co.za the hosts are 0.04 to win. In layman's terms that means you'll receive a R4 profit in every R100 you spend and even if you were so certain that the French will do it that you put on R500 you'd only still end up with R520.
So, there's no value, apart from using them to complete your trifecta, which I've done.
By backing France to win (without the handicap), Wales (without the handicap) and England (without the handicap), you'll get a profit of R16.60 for every R10 that you put on. Therefore, by putting on R100 for those three results, you'll get a return of R216.60.
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