Columnists 28.2.2014 10:00 am

Two wins, but bookies don’t back the Lions

The first weekend in March offers up a veritable buffet of options for those who fancy a punt on sport.

With the Super Rugby season into the third week of competition it’s become a lot easier to spot sides that have turned pre-season promise into early momentum and the pecking order, particularly in the South African conference, has been established.

It will be interesting to see whether the Lions will be able to continue their surprising early form when they travel to Loftus Versfeld to take on the Bulls tomorrow afternoon but a look at the odds of a third straight win reveals that the bookmakers don’t think so.

The Bulls have been given the favourites tag with a price of 9/20 to kill off any ambitions their neighbours from across the Jukskei may have of adding a third scalp to their names, while the Johannesburg outfit are 19/10.

The Cheetahs will run out in their first tour match of the year when they face the Melbourne Rebels with the central franchise at 7/10 to win away from home while their hosts are 5/4 to do the business when the two meet today.

The Stormers will be hoping that Newlands provides them with the comfort of being at home this weekend when they entertain the Hurricanes. Having been blown away by the Lions at Ellis Park a week ago, the hosts for today’s game are 4/10 to bounce back while their New Zealand visitors are 22/10 to win.

As far as some of the other fixtures go today, the Crusaders are 5/10 to beat the 31/20 Blues at Eden Park today while the Chiefs are 1/3 to beat the 26/10 Highlanders and the Brumbies are 4/10 against the 22/10 Western Force in tomorrow’s clashes.

The Test series between South Africa and Australia has been riveting and it’s all to play for as the sides head into the third and final match at Newlands tomorrow. With the series well-poised at one match apiece it’s all to play for.

After their performance in Port Elizabeth it’s the Proteas who are favoured to get the job done with odds of 11/10 about their chances while the tourists are 19/20 and a drawn match given at 27/10.

With regards to matters of a footballing kind the weekend holds an opportunity for the top sides in the English Premier League to enhance their title credentials with leaders Chelsea travelling to bottom-placed Fulham tomorrow.

As expected, the Blues are heavily favoured to bag three points at 9/20 while their struggling hosts are 6/1 to spring a major upset. Liverpool, in fourth, have a chance at 21/20 for their trip to take on 5/2 Southampton while Arsenal are 13/20 for their trip to 4/1 Stoke City.

In Sunday’s games, Tottenham Hotspur are 7/20 against 9/1 Cardiff City, while Aston Villa are 11/10 for their fixture against 26/10 Norwich City. Crystal Palace are 36/10 for their trip to 8/10 favourites Swansea City.

 

 

 

 

 

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