The United Rugby Championship gets going this weekend and we take a look at the match featuring two South African teams from a betting angle.
Leinster are once again firm favourites to win the United Rugby Championship and they are currently priced at 4/7, but given the long season ahead and the way they got rolled in the semi-finals by the Bulls last season you would be brave to take that price. The value must surely be further down the betting boards and Munster are trading at 15/2 second favourites with the Sharks 17/2, Stormers 9/1, Ulster 10/1 and you can get 11/1 the Bulls and 35/1 and better the balance. The Lions are quoted as rank outsiders at 110/1 at the time of writing.
Click here for United Rugby Championship Outrights
The Lions had a disappointing season last time out finishing 12th on the log and failing to make the playoffs. There have been a number of changes in the squad and I will be watching the return of Andries Coetzee at fullback with interest. It is dangerous to read too much into the warm up fixtures when it comes to betting, but the Lions did have a run out against the Sharks winning 45-43 in an entertaining encounter.
The Bulls pulled off a stunning upset in Ireland in the semi-finals last year, beating Leinster and booking their spot away to the Stormers in the final. Many were expecting them to do the business in Cape Town, but they found the home team too strong and lost 18-13.
The Bulls haven’t played any warm up games and while there have been some squad changes they continue to have incredible depth in Pretoria.
The Bulls did the double over the Lions in the URC last season winning 21-13 at Loftus and 34-10 at the Emirates Airline Park.
BETTING – Click here to bet
Handicap: Lions +8.5
Suggested Bet: Lions first-half win at 39/20
With the benefit of the warm up game under their belts I am expecting the Lions to come out quickly and I am backing them to lead at the break.
I will also be taking a look at the Total Points Lines when available and make sure to check the betting a couple of hours before the game as there will be a lot more markets added.
If you are a punter who enjoys bigger prices perhaps consider the Lions to lead at the break with the Blue Bulls to win the match at a current price of 5/1.
Note: All prices correct at the time of writing but are subject to change