The final round of regular season Currie Cup action gets going this weekend and we take a look at the 3 matches from a betting perspective.
Blue Bulls v Pumas – click here to bet
The Bulls head into this match on 5th place on the log and if I am reading the table correctly a bonus point victory would ensure their spot in the semi-finals. They were too strong for a weakened Cheetahs side in Bloemfontein last week winning 64-36 and in their last home game they lost by 1 point to Western Province in another high scorer 46-45.
The Pumas blew a massive lead at home to Griquas last week and that result is most likely going to cost them a place in the final 4. It is still mathematically possible for them to make it with a victory here and their last 2 away matches have been 1 point defeats to a weakened Cheetahs side and to the Golden Lions.
The Pumas stunned the Bulls 51-15 at home earlier in the season in a game in which the Bulls started firm favourites.
Blue Bulls 1/7
Blue Bulls -15.5 at 9/10
Pumas +15.5 at 9/10
Suggested bet: Handicap, Bulls -15.5 at 9/10.
They Bulls have everything to play for and are starting to play some decent rugby whereas the Pumas will be kicking themselves for their defeat last week and I can see them fading as the game reaches the latter stages. This handicap has shifted in the Bulls favour and I am happy to jump on the -15.5.
Sharks v Western Province – click here to bet
The Sharks are assured of top spot on the log and the only question going into this game is whether they will step off the gas somewhat knowing that they have nothing to play for. They have won all of their home matches this season conceding a maximum of 15 points in a match and beating the handicap on each occasion.
Western Province are all but assured of a spot in the playoffs but they will be kicking themselves for missing out on guaranteeing a home semi-final when they let the Lions come back to beat them at Ellis Park last week. They have battled on the road all season losing 4 of their 5 matches, most recently going down by a point to the Bulls at Loftus.
The Sharks edged Western Province 21-20 at Newlands earlier in the season and Western Province won this fixture 37-27 the last time it was played in Durban in 2015.
Western Province 3/1
Sharks -10.5 at 9/10
Western Province +10.5 at 9/10
Suggested bet: Handicap, Sharks -10.5 at 9/10.
I don’t see the Sharks stepping off the gas and they are more likely going to look to lay a solid foundation for the playoffs. Western Province are poor on the road and I am going for a Sharks victory by 11 or more.
Golden Lions v Cheetahs – click here to bet
The Lions host the Cheetahs in Johannesburg in the final match and this could well be an eliminator for the semi-finals depending on the result of the Bulls v Pumas clash the night before.
A young Lions side showed plenty of character to come back and beat Western Province at home last week and they sit a point behind the 3rd placed Cheetahs on the log with a very similar points difference. They have won 4 of their 5 home games this season and there is talk that they may get a few of their Bok players back for this clash which assuming the Sharks beat Western Province could see them finish 2nd on the log.
The Cheetahs were flying high earlier in the season but have had to play with very much a 2nd or even 3rd string side in recent weeks while their A squad has been campaigning in the Pro 14.
A full strength Cheetah side beat the Lions 30-24 in Bloemfontein earlier in the season and these sides last met in Johannesburg in the semi-final of 2015 when the Lions won 43-33.
Golden Lions 9/20
Golden Lions -7.5 at 9/10
Cheetahs +7.5 at 9/10
Suggested bet: Handicap, Cheetahs +7.5 at 9/10.
I am expecting the Cheetahs to be at full strength and even against a Lion side that may have a few Boks in it I believe they can beat this handicap and possibly even win the match.
Note: Prices correct at the time of posting but are subject to change