New Zealand v South Africa
The All Blacks will be looking to make it four wins out of four on Saturday as they face a stumbling Springbok outfit at Westpac Stadium.
Steve Hansen’s charges are an incredibly short price with some bookmakers – one pricing them at 1/66 – with the average around the 1/16 mark. Rassie Erasmus’ men, meanwhile, are best priced 12/1 with SpreadEx to cause a surprise, with the handicap line at 22 points with many.
The All Blacks are averaging 41 points per game so far this Rugby Championship and it’s hard to see them struggling to hit around that on Saturday, with the Springbok defence set to be tested by New Zealand’s game breakers while their attack has been poor outside of the maul.
New Zealand didn’t start brightly last week against Argentina so there might be value in backing a Springbok to score the first try. South Africa are 9/1 to open the scoring in Wellington with a try or if you fancy them to knock over a penalty first up that’s 13/5 with Betfair.
However, if the All Blacks come out firing with Beauden Barrett and Aaron Smith back in tandem at half-back, then it could be a long night for the Springboks, with New Zealand by 21-30 points 16/5 and 31-40 points 4/1 (both Betfair). Surely it won’t finish any larger than that?
One bet that might be an interesting punt is New Zealand winning to nil, which is 33/1 with Sky Bet. It might sound a long shot but if New Zealand do shoot out the blocks then there might be a scenario for the Boks where penalties are not enough. As we say it’s an outside bet.
Australia v Argentina
The battle for second place in the Rugby Championship will continue on the Gold Coast on Saturday as the Wallabies play host to the Pumas. Currently, it’s the Springboks in second on six points with Argentina and Australia behind on four, but that is set to change this weekend.
Australia bounced back from successive losses to New Zealand with a much-needed win over South Africa last week, which has boosted spirits. Meanwhile Argentina could not follow up their win over the Boks but did impress against the All Blacks, despite finishing 22 points adrift.
Australia are 3/10 with several bookies, including Bet365 and Ladbrokes, while Argentina are best priced 16/5 with Black Type. The handicap is around the 10-point mark and betway have set their odds at Evens for this, which of course is better than the normal 10/11.
The return of David Pocock and Israel Folau is a boost for the Wallabies and they should have too much quality here, with the win by 11-20 points looking a decent bet at 11/4 (Betfair). A victory by 13+ is 11/8 (Sky Bet) but we can’t see value there as it won’t be a runaway win.
While Argentina showed plenty against New Zealand we were impressed by the Will Genia-Kurtley Beale-Matt Toomua axis for Australia and they will only get better together the more they play. That should create plenty of chances for Folau, who is best priced 8/1 with Bet365 to grab a try.
On the other side it’s also hard not to be impressed by the Pumas wings Ramiro Moyano and Bautista Delguy and they are worth a punt to get over the whitewash. Moyano is 16/1 with Betfair while Delguy is 14/1 (Bet365).