The British & Irish Lions got the better of the host nation last week, but can South Africa bounce back and force a Game 3 decider?
Bookmakers can’t split the teams in betting markets, so we’re expecting another nail-biting contest on Sunday morning.
We look at the best value betting options for South Africa vs Lions Game 2.
South Africa vs British & Irish Lions Game 1 Rugby Predictions
South Africa vs Lions Game 2 Betting Tips
The game was there to be won for South Africa after holding a 12-3 halftime lead last Sunday, but a lack of discipline hurt them in the second half.
South Africa conceded a try in the first three minutes of the second half before Dan Biggar kicked three consecutive penalties. It was enough to see the British & Irish Lions turn the tables and score a rare Game 1 win in the best-of-three series.
The only offence showed by the Springboks was a 49th minute try to Faf de Klerk, but it was an otherwise disappointing effort from the favourites. South Africa were heavily backed to win Game 1 after opening at $2.10. Bookmakers trimmed the odds to $1.81 come start time, which is a solid betting move.
We expect most of the money to come for the Lions in the second test. They are currently on the same line at $1.90, but there has been a solid betting move for the Lions +0.5 points.
Not much has to change for South Africa to even the series at 1-1. It just needs to clean up the ruck and stop giving away penalties, which the Lions are more than willing to convert. If the Springboks allow the Lions to kick their way downfield, it’s going to be a long game.
For the Lions to take a 2-0 lead, they will likely adopt a similar game plan. They were the aggressors in the opening game and we don’t expect much to change. They will kick out of their own 22 and rely on their excellent ruck and maul play to force turnovers.
However, just like in Game 1, we’re going with the South Africans to win. They were a bit shellshocked in the second half and things got out of control. South African must win the breakdown and control the tempo of the game. If they do that, the $1.90 in head-to-head betting markets looks healthy.
Much like last Sunday, South Africa is paying better in points spread betting markets. They are $1.97 to cover the –0.5 spread, and the only risk is that the game ends in a draw. It’s worth the risk of the extra seven cents and we think the Springboks tie the series and force a thrilling Game 3 next week.
Bet: South Africa –0.5 @ $1.97 – Bet @ Sportsbet
South Africa vs Lions Game 2 Exotic Bets
There were 39 points scored in the first test and we think the total will go over that number on Sunday.
It should be a more expansive game and the South Africans could be forced to throw caution to the wind. They won’t want to lose the series without providing a serious attack, and they’re good enough to produce plenty of points.
Bookmakers have the current line at 41.5 points and we see the total going over. Only two tries were scored last week, so expect at least three or four tries in Game 2.
We also like South Africa 1-12. We don’t think they will win by more than 12 points, but we’re confident they’ll be able to get the job done. Instead of taking the $1.90 head-to-head odds, punters get better value with South Africa 1-12 at $2.63.
We’re doubling down on the Springboks and we think they’ll lead at the half and at fulltime. The htft double pays $2.70 with Sportsbet and there is plenty of value with that betting option.
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.