Weekend Tipster: Super Rugby
It is time for us to put our heads on the block and give you our calls for this weekend's Super Rugby Final.
With just the two matches to focus on with the final in Hamilton and the Lions hosting the Kings in Johannesburg, let's get started as check out the weekend's best on rugby betting odds.
Chiefs v Brumbies
Underdogs at home despite an extra week's rest before their semi-final against the Crusaders, the Chiefs came good.
One point was all it took, but with a 20-19 success the 2012 champions now have the opportunity to defend their title at home in Hamilton and secure back-to-back trophies against the Brumbies this weekend.
Jake White's team arrive in New Zealand on the back of a weary journey from Pretoria via Brisbane. Jetlag has already played a significant role in last year's Super Rugby Final, when the Sharks travelled from Cape Town to Hamilton and found themselves comprehensively outgunned in a 37-6 hammering.
For that reason, understandably, the Brumbies can be found for odds such as at 11/1 to win by 13 points or more and at 8/1 to be leading by 8-14 points at half-time.
The unlikely prospect of a Chiefs half-time lead followed by a Brumbies full-time win at 10/1 is a longshot, but stranger things have happened.
If the Chiefs cut loose like in last year's final however, then odds of winning by 16-20 points at 7/1, 21-25 at 8/1 and 26-30 at 10/1 are all worth consideration.
On the flip side a Brumbies victory by 11-15 points at 17/1 or by 16-20 points at 30/1 both offer substantial returns.
The first tryscorer odds market is probably the most competitive. Jesse Mogg was first to touchdown in Pretoria last weekend and is available at odds of 14/1, whilst the hero from last weekend's semi-final, Tevita Kuridrani, is on at 19/1. Fijian flyer Henry Speight is another worth considering at 11/1.
The Chiefs are not short of tryscorers either having finished with more scores than any other side in 2013. For that reason, the pair of Lelia Masaga and Asaeli Tikoirotuma fetch reasonable first tryscorer odds of 17/2 and 9/1.
Anytime tryscorer odds point towards Brumbies flanker Peter Kimlin, given his warrior-like performances throughout this season. A close-range score seems like a strong bet at 8/1.
Finally on the subject of doubles and hat-tricks, a brace for Christian Lealiifano at 30/1 feels worth considering, the same going for the outstanding Liam Messam at 25/1.
A hat-trick for Speight? A bold bet at 55/1 with Paddy Power. Given the form he showed last weekend against the Bulls, the future Wallaby certainly has the ability to produce something special.
Lions v Kings
Few are giving the Kings any hope after losing last weekend's first leg in the Super Rugby relegation/promotion decider.
Without the quality of Andries Strauss, Luke Watson and now young fly-half Demetri Catrakilis, the Kings are limping into Ellis Park to face a rejuvenated Lions outfit in front of a sellout crowd.
All indications point towards the Lions returning to Super Rugby in 2014, steered by Elton Jantjies at fly-half.
Few favour the Kings and that is reflected in the betting, although a late try before half-time to put the Kings in the lead by 8-14 points could fetch a profit at 10/1.
If the Kings produce a real shock victory after the Lions have lead at half-time however, the odds also sit at 10/1.
Look out for a Kings try as the first score of the game at 6/1, but perhaps the biggest gamble will be whether the Lions can win to nil. That fetches a price of 70/1.