The Bledisloe Cup kicks off on Saturday night at Eden Park and the All Blacks are the heavy favourites to retain the trophy.
The All Blacks come off a tough series against Fiji, but it should have them fit and ready to host the Wallabies, who only barely got past France in a three-game series.
Bookmakers aren’t expecting a close game, but we look at the best betting opportunities for punters.
Bledisloe Cup Game 1 Tips
New Zealand vs. Australia Bledisloe Cup Game 1 Preview
Eden Park is a fortress for the All Blacks and it will take a huge effort for Australia to break the winning streak.
Conditions are expected to be wet and wild on Saturday night, with winds hitting 100k in Auckland. It could make an interesting game, especially for the kickers. Wet and windy conditions would help Australia keep the game close, so the betting line of 23.5 points is fair.
However, if the game was played in good conditions, we would expect the All Blacks to win comfortably. They have the wood over the Wallabies, who are still enduring a rebuild period before the 2023 World Cup.
Australia scored a 2-1 series win over France, but the French were missing key players and Australia weren’t convincing. It could have easily lost all three games and probably should have, so it won’t give them much confidence in the Bledisloe Cup.
The problem is a lack of experience, especially in the backs. Australia has the likes of Andrew Kellaway, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Jordan Uelese and Len Ikitau, who are hardly household names in rugby. Compare that to the All Blacks back line of Sevu Reece, Jordie Barrett, Damian McKenzie and Ritchie Mo’unga, and it’s a significant advantage to the home side.
If the Wallabies want to keep the game close, they’ll need to be excellent at the breakdown. That’s where great Australians teams of old have succeeded against the All Blacks, who don’t commit too many men to the breakdown. If Michael Hooper can get his hands on the ball and create turnovers, Australia will be competitive.
The All Blacks have a 34-year winning streak at Eden Park against the Wallabies. Strange things are happening in the world, but we can’t see that streak being broken on Saturday. The All Blacks have too much class and the back line is packed with superstars, who make the Wallabies look second-rate.
There is also a stack of experience in the forwards with Sam Whitlock, Brodie Retallick and Dane Coles, so it’s a formidable unit.
There is no value in betting on the All Blacks to win at $1.06. It’s the shortest we have seen them in some time, but the points spread market will attract interest. It comes down to conditions and how well the All Blacks can play if it’s a sloppy surface.
We think the All Blacks would win by 40+ points on a dry surface, so the weather shouldn’t have a 17-point difference. We’re happy to take the All Blacks –23.5 because we don’t see where Australia’s points will come from. New Zealand doesn’t commit many penalties and we can’t see many try-scoring threats in the Wallabies outfit.
Bet: All Blacks –23.5 @ $1.90 – Bet @ Sportsbet
All Blacks vs Wallabies Exotic Picks
Dane Coles has a knack of scoring a try out on the flanks and there is a reason why he’s on the third of betting to score. We like Coles to score a try at $1.91, which is a fair price given his strike rate.
Sevu Reece is another player who should be scoring for the All Blacks. He is $1.83 to score at any time and $7.50 to score the first try, which is a good shout.
Sportsbet is offering generous odds for Damian McKenzie to score a try. He’s one of the great assist guys, but he’s not shy in crossing the line himself. Punters get $2.88 for the Chiefs representative to score a five pointer.
We think New Zealand will establish a solid halftime lead. New Zealand 8-14 points pays $3.75 with bookmakers and that is well worth taking. They should get out to a solid lead and blow Australia off the park when they get tired in the second half.
After graduating from the University of Auckland (BA – English), Daryl was thrown into the world of sports and horse racing journalism.
Having worked as a racing journalist for two years, he decided to move into the online world of horse racing and sports writing. After years of honing his craft, Daryl became a professional punter in 2009 – with a focus on horse racing, NRL, AFL, NBA, Rugby, NFL, and US college sports. Daryl’s tips have been featured on various websites around the world before joining the GoBet team. When he’s not working, Daryl tries to avoid making bogeys on the golf course.