Super Rugby kicks off with two games this week and both should be South African blockbusters.
Super Rugby in Australia and New Zealand kicks off next Friday with a double-header.
There are seven games for punters to bet on in Round 2, which includes the highly-anticipated Crusaders vs. Chiefs game in Christchurch.
The first Australian game is between the Rebels and Reds on Friday night, with the winner getting a head start on the Australian conference. (BET NOW)
5:35pm Highlanders vs. Blues @ Forsyth Barr
The Blues were once a powerhouse of Super Rugby, but they’re slipping down the rankings and face a tough test first up in Dunedin.
The Highlanders have won their last four of five games against their northern counterparts, including a season sweep last year.
They weren’t able to get past the Crusaders in their final game of the season, losing 17-0, but the season was complete with 10 wins and only four losses.
Blues’ fans didn’t have much to get excited about and they have some key injuries for this game.
The home team should have them covered here.
Betting tip: Highlanders -6.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Highlanders by 10
7:45pm Rebels vs. Reds @ AAMI Park
Wins were rare for both the Rebels and Reds last season, but at least one team should get the win next Friday.
The Rebels had one win against the Brumbies and a draw against the Sharks, but that was all she wrote for the dismal season.
The Reds managed four wins throughout the season, but they weren’t able to produce back-to-back victories and they were stifled throughout the season.
There’s not much between these two sides and that’s reflected in the betting, but punters are getting better value with the underdogs because of that fact.
Reds for the upset.
Betting tip: Reds to win @ $2.40 (BET NOW)
Reds by 1
3:15pm Sunwolves vs. Brumbies @ Prince Chichibu Stadium
The Sunwolves were the feel-good story of 2017 and although they didn’t win many games, they won the hearts of all rugby fans.
A Japanese side playing without any superstars, the Sunwolves gave some teams a run for their money and they showed plenty of heart throughout the season.
Will that matter for much against the Brumbies on Saturday? It could, but the Brumbies bring in a solid team and bookmakers are expecting a one-sided affair.
The current line is at 17.5, which is the biggest of the week, but the Sunwolves could stick with the Canberra-based side.
Betting tip: Sunwolves +17.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Brumbies by 13
5:35pm Crusaders vs. Chiefs @ AMI Stadium
This is set to be the premier game of the round as the two New Zealand teams do battle.
The Crusaders are the professionals of Super Rugby and the defending champions will be looking to get off the mark in style against the Chiefs.
Chiefs’ fans won’t be discouraged by the bookmakers’ odds as they possess the ability to beat any team on any given day.
Strike players complete the Chiefs backline and the Crusaders have struggled in the past against teams that have great counterattack ability.
Most of the money has come for the Chiefs with the +7.5 points start and it’s tough to disagree with the weight of money.
Betting tip: Chiefs +7.5 @ $1.84 (BET NOW)
Crusaders by 5
7:45pm Waratahs vs. Stormers @ Allianz Stadium
This will be the second game for the Stormers and having that experience will help them, but the travel won’t be welcomed.
Travelling from South Africa to Australia within a week isn’t an easy task to get over for the visiting side and although this Waratahs team isn’t overly flash, they should be tough to beat.
Last season was a good learning experience for the Waratahs, which weren’t able to capitalise on the weaker Australian conference.
Their star players were shut down throughout the season and they never got any momentum.
That could all change in Week 2 and we’re predicting a tired Stormers team to be comfortably beaten.
Betting tip: Waratahs –8.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Waratahs by 13
12:05am Lions vs. Jaguares @ Emirates Airlines Park
The Lions get the advantage of having their first two games at home and we’re predicting two home wins.
Last season’s finalists have a strong team this season and although the Jaguares have plenty of excitement in their squad, back-to-back games in South Africa isn’t an easy way to kick off your 2018 Super Rugby campaign.
Bookmakers have this line set high and the Lions will need to score many tries to cover for punters, but on a dry surface it should be tries galore for the home side.
Betting tip: Lions –15.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Lions by 24
2:15am Bulls vs. Hurricanes @ Loftus Versfeld
Not much is expected of the Bulls this season and their drop from the top of the Super Rugby ranks continues.
Facing the Hurricanes first up isn’t going to help their cause and the Hurricanes are a side that plays well in South Africa and doesn’t take long to find form.
With a team stacked full of All Blacks, the Hurricanes are one of the favoured teams to win the competition this year and they should get off to a winning start, but will they cover the spread?
It’s currently at 13.5 which is a big number, but they have the firepower.
Betting tip: Hurricanes –13.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Hurricanes by 18