Keo’s got the Lions to smash the bumbling Blues in Johannesburg and the Oracle can’t understand the bookies’ obsession with the Waratahs. Here’s your ultimate Super Rugby, 6 Nations and World Series 7s preview.
Highlanders v Stormers
Oracle: Stormers have been given no respect with these prices, the Highlanders fresh off a bye face the Stormers who are yet to taste victory on tour this year, well, they will not win here either. Call: Highlanders -15.5 at 1 unit
Keo: Who knows what you get with the Stormers. First 20 disaster in Christhurch or first 20 of second half when they actually looked like a team that belongs in the competition. Teams can also be hit and miss coming off a bye. I am going to be conservative. Highlanders by 10 or less.
Rebels v Brumbies
Oracle: Unbelievable!! Rebels at -2.5 is crazy? I know it is a derby, I know that the Rebels have had to come back from Tokyo, but seriously they smashed that Sunwolves team, winning by more than twice the expected win, where in contrast the Brumbies struggled, they also struggled to beat the Reds, I was one of a few punters who went Reds, the rest got pummeled by the bookies!!I will be perplexed if the Brumbies stay within ten here, honestly? Call: Rebels -2.5 at 3 units
Keo: Rebels will win at home but the derby element can’t be discounted. It will be tight and within a score.
Hurricanes v Crusaders
Oracle: Hurricanes have come off a tough tour, loads of air miles and a bruising loss to the Bulls and an easy win over the Jaguares in the 2nd half. They are up against a Crusaders team that looks the business, they have won their two games with ease and have yet to get on a plane bar this short hop to Wellington. I expect a fresh Crusaders team to show up and take apart the Hurricanes after they hit the petrol hour and lose steam, although it is not a confident call I believe the right way to go is the Crusaders. Call: Crusaders +1.5 at 0.5 units
Keo: This would be a great match up if both teams had been in wait at home. The travel will undo the home team and the Saders will win by 10-plus.
Reds v Bulls
Oracle: Ha ha, I laughed when I saw this, the bookies are well wrong here, no respect for the Reds, maybe they too did not watch last week? Although I punted Bulls to qualify, I find it hard to believe they will win outside of South Africa bar the Sunwolves, but I do expect them to win every home game now that the Lions game is over. At current levels this Reds price is too good to pass up!! Call Reds on the board at 8/10 for 4 units
Keo: I am with the Oracle on this one. I don’t have much expectation of the Bulls overseas. This won’t be easy on the eye. Reds 10-plus.
Lions v Blues
Oracle: What should be a max play has to be toned down as I may be biased by the Lions, but single digits v Blues now arguably New Zealand worst performing team by a country mile, needs to be punished, I honestly cannot see this team staying within 15 never. Call: Lions -9.5 at 3 units
Keo: Lions to smash the Blues, 15 plus. The home pack just way too potent.
Jaguares v Waratahs
Oracle: My Jaguares knowledge is low, I have not been able to call this team right for quite some time now, I am expecting nothing different here, and I am not sure why Waratahs are favourites here? They battled to beat Stormers, they drew against a poor performing Sharks team in the humid conditions of Durban. I just have no faith in either team, but for the sake of a punt and to have some late night interest while I concentrate on sevens I will have a small play. Call: Jaguares on the board at 14/10 for 0.5 units
Keo: Waratahs are favourites because Argentina teams traditionally struggle with the technically superior rugby qualities of the Aussies. This is another example of brains beating brawn. Waratahs to win by seven plus.
Ireland v Scotland
Oracle: I am sorry but the bookies are also wrong here, it almost seems like they did not watch England capitulate two weeks ago? I am puzzled by this pricing and it took me two days to decide how I was going to split my five units, because make no mistake here, this one is the max for the week and by far the bet of the week. If Scotland lose this game by more than 5 points I have to say I know nothing about rugby?? Call: Scotland on the board at 33/10 for 1 unit & Scotland +9.5 at 4 units
Keo: I am with the bookies and not with the Oracle on this. Scotland away from Murrayfield not quite as imposing. I have Ireland to win by 10-plus.
France v England
Oracle: I am surprised to see a single digit handicap here, I must say I was expecting at least plus 12, but even at +7.5 France appear to be good enough, the French have a new coach, they twice squandered a ten point lead to Scotland and ended up losing by 6. For me that was a good result, I had expected Scotland to win by twenty, a week later France did enough to beat a 16pt handicap v Italy, this week I expect France to give England a run and come close, although I am not necessarily expecting France to win tghe game, I certainly reckon they won’t be done by more than a try. Call: France +7.5 at 1 unit
Keo: The realist says go with the Oracle’s call and the romantic says put a punt on a French win. There’s trouble in Eddie’s England paradise.
Wales v Italy
Oracle: At the start of the tournament I expected Italy to not win a game, nothing has changed, the handicap is sitting a touch under thirty and although it appears to be right, I am also not a fan of Wales this year, expecting them to fight for 5th place with France. I am going for a minus call here, tentative at this stage. Call: Wales -28.5 at 0.5 units
Keo: Bookies way too generous. Wales are average and this is very much a second string combination. Wales will win but differential will be closer to 15 than 30.
Oracle As soon as outright prices and pool prices are available I will publish my preview, probably around Thursday evening
Check out how Keo and the Oracle did in last weekend’s betting
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