CHEETAHS v GRIQUAS
The Cheetahs suffered a heavy defeat last week at Newlands losing by 17 points to the Stormers. They had previously been edged by 6 points away at the Sharks and had their away match against the Lions called off due to COVID-19 in the home team camp. Their home form is impressive with a 53-31 win over the Pumas and a 19-17 win against the Bulls.
The Griquas turned in, probably their performance of the season last week when they almost beat the Sharks at home, losing by just a point in a high scoring encounter. That was in stark contrast to the 33 point hammering they took at the same ground the week before against the Stormers and on the road they lost by 30 to the Lions and by 7 points to the Bulls.
BETTING – Click here to bet
Handicap: Cheetahs (-19.5) at 9/10, Griquas (+19.5) at 9/10
Suggested Bet: Handicap, Cheetahs (-19.5) at 9/10
The Cheetahs should be too strong for this Griquas side and while a 19 point handicap looks high it would have arrived in 3 of the last 4 head-to-heads between the sides in Bloemfontein.
BULLS v PUMAS
This game was originally scheduled for Friday night, but has been pushed out a day to allow Pumas players to complete their quarantine.
The Bulls have all got this Tournament wrapped up as they lead by 2 points with a superior points difference and the Sharks v Stormers game has been cancelled.
They will also be fresh having had a bye last week having beaten the Lions by 5 points in Jo’burg the week before. Their home form has been impressive with a 33 point win over the Stormers and a 27 point win over the Sharks although they were pushed in their first home game, only beating Griquas by 7.
The Pumas are also coming off a free week having had to cancel their game against the Lions last week due to COVID in their camp. Their only victory was Griquas away and their only other away match was a 22 point loss to the Cheetahs in Week 1, a game where they scored a consolation try to keep the score slightly respectable.
BETTING- Click here to bet
Handicap: Bulls (-29.5) at 9/10, Pumas (+29.5) at 9/10
Suggested Bet: Handicap, Pumas (+29.5) at 9/10
It is hard to be confidence in this Pumas side, but this is a massive handicap and I can see a situation where the Bulls step off the gas allowing the Pumas to score some late consolation tries. This bet would have arrived in the last 3 Currie Cup matches between the sides.
The Reds and the Rebels meet in Brisbane on Saturday for a spot in the final against the Brumbies and we take a look at the game from a betting angle.
The Reds were impressive last week in beating the table topping Brumbies 26-7 at home. The game was a dead rubber with both sides assured of their log positions, but it was nonetheless an impressive effort by the Reds particularly on defence.
The Rebels were pushed hard by the Force eventually winning 34-30 and bagging the victory which ensured their spot in the playoff.
This will be the 3rd meeting of the sides this season with the Reds having won 19-3 the last time they met in Brisbane and once again it was the defence that led them to victory as the Rebels were consistently on the attack in the second-half.
Earlier in the season the sides had played to an 18-18 draw which included Super Time.
BETTING – Click here to bet
Handicap: Reds (-8.5) at 9/10, Rebels (+8.5) at 9.10
Suggested Bet: Reds, Handicap (-8.5) at 9/10
For this bet to arrive we need the Reds to win by 9 points or more and given they are playing at home against a side which has been forced to be on the road all season I think it is a pretty good bet. The Reds are capable of absorbing long periods of pressure and if, as I expect, they get into the lead the Rebels will be forced to take risks and the Reds can capitalize.
CHIEFS v HIGHLANDERS – click here to bet
The Chiefs return from a bye having lost all 4 of their matches to date. Their 2 home matches have been a 7 point defeat to the Hurricanes and a 12 point loss to the Blues.
The Highlanders went down 17-11 to the Hurricanes away last week, but their other away match this season was a 3 point loss to the Blues in Auckland.
The Chiefs and Highlanders squared up in Dunedin in Round 1 of this Tournament with the Highlanders edging it and they won that match 28-27. The Highlanders have a good recent record against the Chiefs in Hamilton beating them in March of this year in the regular competition and then they drew in 2019. These sides have scored exactly the same amount of tries in the last 4 matches that the Chiefs have hosted.
Handicap: Chiefs (-5.5) at 9/10, Highlanders (+5.5) at 9/10
Suggested Bet: Handicap, Chiefs (-5.5) at 9/10
There is not much to choose between these sides, but I think the Chiefs will benefit from the week off and that the Highlanders may start paying the price for a high tackle count over the past few weeks.
CRUSADERS v BLUES – click here to bet
What a mouth-watering clash this is as the 2 unbeaten sides go head-to-head. The Crusaders have already won twice on the road including last weeks 40-20 win in Dunedin and their only home match to date they overcame the Chiefs 18-13. They are top of the table with more bonus points than the Blues. While they still have to go to Auckland many here will feel that victory will more than seal the title.
The Blues are also 3 from 3 and they are coming off a bye. Their only away match to date was in Hamilton against the Chiefs where they won for the first time since 2011. You have to go even further back to find the last time the Blues beat the Crusaders away, all the way back to 2004 and since then the Crusaders have reeled off 12 successive home victories.
Handicap: Crusaders (-7.5) at 9/10, Blues (+7.5) at 9/10
Suggested Bet: Winning Margin, Crusaders by under 12.5 points at 16/10
This should be a typically competitive New Zealand Derby and while I can’t see the Crusaders losing I do think the Blues can push them all the way.