South African teams make their debut in the Champions Cup this weekend and we take a look at 3 matches featuring the Bulls, Sharks and Stormers and suggest a bet in each.
Let’s start with a look at the Outright Betting where we have Leinster trading as 85/40 favourites ahead of Toulouse at 11/2, La Rochelle are 13/2, you can get 7/1 Saracens, 8/1 Racing and 14/1 and better the balance.
Looking at the South African sides we have the Stormers priced at 28/1, the Bulls and Sharks are both trading at 33/1.
SHARKS v HARLEQUINS – Click here to bet
The Sharks come into this game on the back of a couple of disappointing URC performances where they were beaten 35-0 by Cardiff at home and then required late points to see off Ospreys 25-10 also in Durban.
Neil Powell has taken over the coaching after Sean Everitt stepped down following the Cardiff loss.
Harlequins are going well in the English Premiership currently sitting 3rd after 9 matches although they are well off the early pace set by Saracens. They played in the Premiership last week beating Bath 19-13 in a low scoring encounter.
Handicap: Sharks -5.5
Suggested Bet: First-Half Winning Margin, Harlequins by 1-7 points at 12/5
The Sharks have been slow starters in recent weeks and I am expecting Harlequins to come hard at them early. Still I fancy the Sharks can win this game, I am expecting them to be trailing narrowly at the break.
CLERMONT v STORMERS – Click here to bet
Clermont aren’t going particularly well in the Top 14 and they currently sit in the 10th spot, but their home record has been fairly solid and they are undefeated with 4 wins and a draw. They went out in the last 16 of this tournament last year going down to the Leicester Tigers.
The Stormers have been going pretty well in defence of their URC Title with just 1 defeat in their opening 8 games and they put away Welsh opposition fairly comfortably at home in recent weeks. There is plenty of motivation in the camp for the European Championship, but it remains to be seen how they will handle travels into hostile French territory.
Handicap: Clermont -4.5
Suggested Bet: Clermont by 1-12 points inclusive at around 17/10
This market has not been priced up yet, but I fancy a close game here although can’t look past the home side winning in front of their own fans. For this bet to arrive we need Clermont to win by no more than 12 points.
BLUE BULLS v LYON – Click here to bet
The Bulls have been in rampant form in recent weeks comfortably beating Cardiff and Ospreys in the URC and have 7 wins and 2 losses from their opening 9 matches in that competition.
They will know that it is important to win all home games if they are to have a chance of progressing to the last 16 and they will be looking to set a marker here against the visiting Lyon.
Lyon are travelling reasonably well in the Top 14 and they have 7 wins and 5 defeats in their opening 12 games which has them sitting 6th on the table. They were last season’s Challenge Cup winners, now considered rank outsiders for the win in this Tournament currently trading at 50/1.
Handicap: Blue Bulls -11.5
Suggested Bet: Additional Handicap, Bulls -15.5 at 13/10
Note: All prices correct at the time of writing but are subject to change