The World Cup has really thrown the cat among the pigeons as teams are resting their international players. That’s making it tough to predict the outcome of some games and there have already been many upsets.
Things are getting desperate for some teams and it’s only Round 4. The highlight games this week include Hurricanes vs. Highlanders, Rebels vs. Brumbies and Lions vs. Jaguares.
5:35pm Hurricanes vs. Highlanders @ Westpac Stadium
The Hurricanes hit top gear last week when thrashing the Brumbies 43-13 in Wellington and we’re expecting a much closer game this time around.
It was an offensive clinic from the talented team and they should what can happen if they put it all together. They come up against the Highlanders, which lost 24-19 to the Rebels.
That was a significant setback for the southern men and the ‘Canes could take advantage this week.
Betting tip: Hurricanes –6.5 @ $1.90 – Bet Now
Hurricanes by 8
7:45pm Rebels vs. Brumbies @ Melbourne Rectangular Stadium
Round 3 held different fortunes for the Australian rivals. Rebels were gutsy 24-19 winners over the Highlanders whereas the Brumbies good start to the season was thwarted by a 43-13 loss to the Hurricanes.
That was the kind of performance many had predicted from the Brumbies this season, but they started the season so well that expectations moved.
This is a good situation for the Rebels to score their third consecutive win to open the season. Bookmakers have this game as an even contest but stick with the home side here.
Betting tip: Rebels to win @ $1.51 – Bet Now
Rebels by 10
3:15pm Crusaders vs. Chiefs @ Rugby League Park
The Crusaders showed why they’re going to be tough to beat this year and even though they were missing some key players against the Reds last week, they still scored a relatively comfortable victory.
On the other hand, it’s fair to say the Chiefs have been dismal this season. Sitting at 0-3 and losing some serious ground in the NZ Conference, the Chiefs were handed a 15-30 loss to the hapless Sunwolves last week. Sure, they were missing key players but even the replacements shouldn’t be losing to the Japanese franchise.
Some serious work will be needed if the Chiefs were to cause an upset against the Crusaders and we can’t see it happening.
Betting tip: Crusaders –15.5 @ $1.90 – Bet Now
Crusaders by 20
5:45pm Blues vs. Sunwolves @ Eden Park
The Sunwolves come in with momentum after beating the Chiefs in Hamilton and they now face the Blues which went winless on their road trip and will have jet lag.
Blues’ fans would have been disappointed with their four-point loss to the Jaguares last week as the game was there for the taking. They are also 0-3 in the NZ Conference and will need to start winning, otherwise it’s curtains for the season.
The Blues should win this game but covering the 13.5 points spread could be tricky.
Betting tip: Sunwolves +13.5 @ $1.90 – Bet Now
Blues by 12
7:45pm Waratahs vs. Reds @ SCG
It has been a strange season for the Waratahs so far with one loss and one win. The loss came by one point to the Hurricanes and the win came by one point over the Sunwolves.
We’re not sure what to make of that form and we’re smelling an upset this week. The Reds might not be much to look at but they have competed well against two of the better Kiwi sides.
A five-point loss to the Highlanders was followed by a 10-point loss to the Crusaders. They made too many errors but if they fix those up, they have enough firepower to overcome the Waratahs on home soil.
Betting tip: Reds +8.5 @ $1.90 – Bet Now
Waratahs by 3
12:05am Lions vs. Jaguares @ Ellis Park Stadium
The Lions were dreadful when losing to the Bulls 12-30 last week but they could rebound against the Jaguares, which have never been a good travelling team.
Jaguares come into this game having scored consecutive wins at home over the Bulls and Blues, but making the trip to South Africa has never suited them.
If the Lions want to make it back to the finals again, they will need to start putting teams like the Jaguares to the sword.
Betting tip: Lions – 7.5 @ $1.91 – Bet Now
Lions by 15
2:15am Bulls vs. Sharks @ Loftus Versfeld Stadium
The Bulls finally put together an 80-minute performance against the Lions and the Sharks are in trouble if that form continues. The 30-12 victory will give the Bulls confidence going forward and given the Sharks are coming off a loss, this could be the time to strike for the home team.
Sharks scored only 11 points against the Stormers and that kind of offensive performance won’t cut it this week. They’re going to need to find a solution to their lack of offensive to compete against the Bulls this week.
Bulls to win in a close one.
Betting tip: Bulls to win @ $1.59 – Bet Now
Bulls by 5