Currie Cup Predictions and Betting 2018

The Currie Cup is back and we’re bringing you some great Currie Cup Predictions courtesy of Oracle Rugby! Our Currie Cup Predictions will be posted every Friday morning.

Currie Cup Final – WP v Sharks Betting Tips and Preview

WP v Sharks

WP v Sharks in the Currie Cup Final 2018. A repeat of last year’s game, albeit at a different venue, last year I backed WP as they were too big a price about a team that could win. This year WP look the team to beat, worthy of their favourite status.

Although WP are unbeaten this year, they have not won every game. Losing that honour last week by hanging on to get a draw. Hanging on I say as Lebok had a kick that could have sent WP packing and thus sending Bulls to Kings Park for an unlikely final.

This year’s final should be a cracker, a few weeks ago Sharks went to Newlands and started like a house on fire, going up 7 – 0 early. After falling back and allowing WP to play their normal rugby Sharks came back and had narrowed the gap to just 3pts at HT.

Sharks the Better Team Last Week

WP ultimately finished Sharks off comfortably, but it did not feel that way watching the game. Out of the two semi-finals, Sharks can feel they may be favourite. Such was the display from WP. Most will suggest that it was good Bulls and not bad WP, I have not quite made up my mind.

Watching the game last week I was on the plus, not once during that game incl. HT did I ever feel like I would lose that bet. It was safe after just 10mins. WP dug deep and used every available play to stay in the game. It was WP that were chasing the game, a position WP have not been in all season.

Sharks played a decent Lions team and although the Lions came within two with a handful of playing time left, Sharks did not panic and finished the Lions off. Quite frankly this week my call is an easy one.

Verdict

I cannot be backing WP at 7/20 or minus 6.5 or thereabouts with what I saw last week. They have got so used to winning they did not not know what to do when behind. He Sharks will have viewed the videos and will know what to do. WP cannot fix their problems that quickly.

I expect this game to be close, and I will not be surprised if the Sharks win, in fact their price is too big about a team that has the ability to win. For that reason I will be going with them.

Kick off is scheduled for 16h00 GMT +2 on Saturday at Newlands. The referee for this game will be Jaco Peyper (SA), Click here for the Weather in Cape Town and if you want to follow the game on Twitter click here for the Hashtag #WPvSHA

My Call is a three way play and it is for a full maximum of five units.

Currie Cup Round 9 Betting Tips and Preview

Sharks v Lions Currie Cup Semi Final

Sharks v Lions 1st Semi Final Currie Cup 2018. Lions make their second trip to Kings Park this weekend after getting thumped by sixteen few weeks ago. Sharks disposed of the Griquas away last week having been given a minus twelve handicap.

Lions played in Nelspruit last week, beating the earlier minus but allowing the Pumas to beat a modest +12.5 by half a unit. In fact that particular game was an arbitrager’s dream, a minus and a plus in the same bet.

Lions Impressed v Pumas

It is difficult to understand exactly what went on last week, the Lions never looked like losing, and the Pumas could never really get close either. It was a game where semi-final qualification was on the line. Had the Lions lost by eight they were effectively gone, but if they lose by seven or less they are through.

As mentioned above, Pumas never looked like winning never mind qualifying. Lions did enough to get through and well done to them. This week is a different prospect. Lions have Whitely, Dyantyi and Skosan are back, Jantjies is also back, and he did play last week too.

Verdict

The Lions team looks like a reasonable team, those who know me know that I have more than not backed the Lions. This week again I will go for the men from Jozi. Their handicap is a decent plus eight and a half, interestingly this handicap was trading at around +12.5 a couple of days ago.

When news broke that some Boks would be playing, things turned. Malcolm Marx the exception. Not sure why he is not playing, but he is not. The only thing stopping me going big here is that he is not.

Honestly +8.5 at current levels is a little too high for a Semi Final about a team that can win. Sure the Sharks are favourites, but the Lions can win. I am of the opinion that the Lions will not be beaten by more than ten.

Kick off is scheduled for 14h30 GMT +2 on Saturday at Kings Park. The referee for this game will be Marius van der Westhuizen (SA), Click here for the Weather in Durban and if you want to follow the game on Twitter click here for the Hashtag #SHAvLIO

Call: Lions +8.5 at 9/10 for 2 units

Western Province v Blue Bulls – Currie Cup Semi Final

WP v Bulls Currie Cup Semi Final. Bulls head south for their second go at WP. All signs point to an emphatic victory for the Cape lads. Such has been their season so far, no team has come close. Sharks if any team has been competitive, could say they had a chance. Sharks opened the scoring and at HT were within three.

WP closed the game out like they have done multiple times this campaign. Mr Dobson has got the best out of his boys and they are deserved favourites on Saturday. Those who have followed my previews for some time now know I have gone against WP loads of times.

A Big Victory on the Cards?

I did go for them in the clash v Griquas but for some reason WP could not close that game out and eventually beat a low minus quoted, but missed on my punt which was around the 33pt line.

WP have gelled so well together it is hard to see anything other than a WP victory come Saturday. By the tie kick off happens WP will know who their opponents are should they make the Final. I know that my Durban mates are hoping, I say hoping because that is just a pipe dream. They are really dream though. Bulls have almost no chance.

Verdict

Last week WP forwards dominated like none other, sure you can blame the weather, but realistically us Bulls plus punters were lucky to get a  refund last week. Bulls will have their work cut out for them this weekend. They have watched the videos, they will try to do what no other team has been capable of doing. Beating WP

I am going to go for the Bulls again, yes you probably think I am crazy, but honestly at +17.5 it’s just seems too much for a semi-final. Quotes were in the low twenties just a couple of days ago and whilst they have come down a bit, there was clearly money for the men from Pretoria. I do believe the Bulls have a chance in decent weather to stay within seventeen. The call is not very confident, but I cannot see them getting thumped. Nor can I see the Bulls winning. I put the result closer to the ten or twelve line.

Kick off is scheduled for 17h05 GMT +2 on Saturday at Newlands. The referee for this game will be Egon Seconds (SA), Click here for the Weather in Cape Town and if you want to follow the game on Twitter click here for the Hashtag #WPvBUL

Call: Bulls +17.5 at 11/10 for 2 units

Currie Cup Round 8 Betting Tips and Preview

Pumas v Lions Currie Cup Preview

Pumas v Lions, before I start, I have to say that most reading this will expect me to go Lions, sure I am a Lions supporter and have been for years. However the Lions have been so bad this season, they have been poor and I have shed loads on them of late.

I went big Pumas v WP that was horrific, in fact I was so confident. I have clearly got WP wrong and it went from bad to worse. I finally went for them v Griquas and they went to sleep in the second half.

Boks are back

Pumas have always got my attention, last year I went against the Pumas and I saw my arse. I won’t make the same mistake again. Pumas are within a semi-final for the first time that I can remember.

Pumas are given a decent start. I was happy with the plus five v WP so I must be happy with the plus 12pt v Lions. Lions have Jantjies and Dyanti back, throw in Mapoe. Unfortunately I do not see the Boks doing anything for this Lions team, in fact I reckon they will handicap the Lions.

Pumas have nothing to lose and should show up, yes they won v Griquas in game one, but they have only beat the two weaker teams. Beating the Lions will give them a boost going into their first semi-final.

Verdict

Should the Pumas qualify they are likely to face up to the WP. Before Pumas can get the semi they need to beat the Lions by eight. The Pumas are four points adrift the Lions on the Log and have to contain the men from Joburg from getting four tries. The point’s differential is 18, so if the Pumas win by nine they will have overcome that.

Make no mistake the Pumas have a chance her, albeit a small one, but I reckon they will give it a go. The coach of the Lions does not seem to have the change room or command of it so to speak. For that reason I will side with the home team.

Make no mistake the Pumas have a chance her, albeit a small one, but I reckon they will give it a go. The coach of the Lions does not seem to have the change room or command of it so to speak. For that reason I will side with the home team.

Kick off is scheduled for 19h00 GMT +2 on Friday at Mbombela. The referee for this game will be Rasta Rasivhenge (SA), Click here for the Weather in Nelspruit and if you want to follow the game on Twitter click here for the Hashtag #PUMvLIO

Call: Pumas +12.5 at 9/10 for 3 units and an additional one unit Pumas on the board at 9/2

Griquas v Sharks Currie Cup Preview

Griquas have won just one fixture, yip you read right. 2018 will go down as the Griquas worst year ever. In recent, ok well in fact in my lifetime I cannot remember a season where the Griquas finished a season with just one win. Griquas have been that bad.

Sure the 2018 version is a shortened season, but seriously, one win? Heads need to roll. They started off so badly against the Bulls and almost got up. They were never in the two away games at Pumas or Lions.

No Confidence

Sharks on the other hand have done little to give us any confidence. The home game against the Bulls was one of those moments of the season, I took them on a decent minus and that paid off. Sharks lost the minus v Pumas at home, lost the plus v WP and the plus v Cheetahs B.

So that is two out of five handicaps for the Sharks, and one minus for the Griquas. This game is a dead rubber for the home team. Sharks however play at 15h00 and it is not a dead rubber. A win for the visitors will get them top spot for an hour or so.

Verdict

WP will watch the game closely from the sheds, knowing that if the Sharks win with a bonus point they will need to make sure they don’t lose by eight or more. Sure it’s unlikely that the Bulls will beat WP by more than eight, but it is the Currie Cup after all and quite frankly anything can and usually does happen.

My call here is medium to small play on the minus. I cannot see the Griquas winning this game, they really have no chance. Sharks should win this game well and should never be in trouble. Since the Sharks did scrape home against a weak B Cheetahs team, I am hesitant to go five units here, but if you are brave, go for it, it’s primed for a big result and a big minus to arrive.

Kick off is scheduled for 17h15 GMT +2 on Saturday in Kimberley. The referee for this game will be Marius van der Westhuizen (SA), Click here for the Weather in Kimberley and if you want to follow the game on Twitter click here for the Hashtag #GRIvSHA

Call: Sharks -12.5 at 9/10 for 2 units

Bulls v Western Province Currie Cup Preview

I have unfortunately got WP wrong five out of five. In the five games I went against WP 4 times and for them once which they also lost. I am obviously talking about the handicap here, WP have won five out of five games. WP Look the business, they have brassed Lions and Sharks, the other competitive teams away with relative ease.

WP Boks are back

Western Province will welcome a couple of Boks back, will this make a difference or not, time will tell. Bulls on the other hand have won three in a row, but make no mistake the home team is not the favourite.

Bulls lost to the Lions and Sharks, both were nowhere near the WP. Initially the minus looked good here, but I have thought about this game a bit and have come to the conclusion that given the start the Bulls have, it makes sense to back the home team.

Verdict

Bulls won the away game v Cheetahs, they were outsiders. Next game the Bulls went to Durban and I called them correctly and they got smashed. Bulls then hosted Lions and got done at home in a game they should have won. Against the Lions the Bulls led most of the match and gave it up in similar scenes to Bok’s v all blacks last week.

The Bulls have not looked convincing at all, in fact the clever punters will most likely be on Bulls by any minus. I feel there is a little value backing them at current levels.

My call here is a medium strike and a split bet, some on the plus and some on the board.

Kick off is scheduled for 17h15 GMT +2 on Saturday at Loftus. The referee for this game will be Egon Seconds (SA), Click here for the Weather in Pretoria and if you want to follow the game on Twitter click here for the Hashtag #BULvWP

Call: Bulls +10.5 at 9/10 for 2 units and an additional unit on Bulls to win on the board at 3/1

Currie Cup Round 7 Betting Tips

WP v Sharks

Currie Cup Final Revenge?

WP v Sharks, Newlands Saturday afternoon, a curtain raiser for the Bok v Wallaby game. WP have had a great start, beating Lions, Pumas, Cheetahs & Griquas. Province have won 3 of the four game time handicaps, losing only to the Griquas. Sharks on the other hand have won two of their four game time handicaps. Both teams have won all four games that they have played.

This will be the fifth game for both unbeaten teams. A replay of the 2017 Currie Cup Final. WP won the last time they played, albeit a year ago.

When I first started to think about this game, I battled, it was a tough one. WP had looked the business going into last week, however a poor second half v Griquas worried me. Sharks beat the Lions with more conviction than WP had done a week earlier.

Not Too Much Separates these Two Teams

Sharks stuttered against an extremely weak Cheetahs team. WP smashed them in the pool. Sharks stuttered v Pumas in the rain. WP had no such problems, disposing of the Pumas with relative ease. After the Pumas v WP game I felt it was bad Pumas and not necessarily great WP. Last week I changed course, after opposing WP for three weeks and seeing my arse. I switched at the wrong time, WP content with their 33 – 7 lead could only draw the second half.

In the non-comparative form, WP beat the Griquas while Sharks smashed the Bulls. WP are yet to play Bulls and Sharks are yet to play Griquas. At this stage both WP and Sharks should win those two games. That effectively means that this fixture should determine the top of the log come the end of the season.

Verdict

This game is massive and should be considered as such, both teams need to win, both teams want to win. Advantage lies with WP considering they are at home. That being said, I cannot pick a winner and will rather rely on my knowledge of rugby prices to steer me in the right punting direction.

Last year I backed WP to lift the Cup, I went on price alone, I felt that 17/10 about WP was enough to sway me. This week it will be on a similar premise that I get involved. Sharks are priced up at 14/10 about the board and although I am not necessarily convinced they will win, I do feel that anything over evens is the right way to go here.

Confidence is rather low, but my feeling is that considering the price it appears the right way to go. Neither team has given me enough confidence to call a winner, therefore this play is all about price.

                

Kick off is scheduled for 14h00 GMT +2 on Saturday at Newlands. The referee for this game will be TBA (SA), Click here for the Weather in Cape Town and if you want to follow the game on Twitter click here for the Hashtag #WPvSHA

Call: Sharks on the board at 14/10 for 2 units

Round 6

WP v Griquas

Night time at Newlands

WP v Griquas at 19h30 on Saturday, at first I looked at the time of this fixture and was a bit confused. Then I realised that the Kings were playing at 15h00 and Sharks at 17h15. Griquas are not a night team, sure they have lights in Kimberly, but they traditionally play during the daylight hours.

WP has been called wrong by Oracle for just about every game in the Currie Cup this year. Last year I did OK on WP, especially calling them correctly in the away final at Kings Park. This handicap opened up at around the twenty four mark and was snapped up immiediately.

Boks Set to Be Back at Newlands

WP get a couple of Boks back for this clash, I am of the opinion that they don’t really need them, WP have smashed the opposition that has come their way, first the Cheetahs in the pool, then the Pumas away and last week the Lions. I have lost a packet opposing WP and this week I have hopefully and finally learned my lesson.

Griquas have done OK too, losing the plus to the Pumas first up. Losing the next plus to the Lions, although they scored forty odd points. Then losing the game but beating the plus v Bulls. Lastly beating the minus and the game v Cheetahs last week. Effectively the Griquas have beaten two of the four handicaps laid out for them.

Three for Three

WP have beaten all three handicaps and certainly look the business, although they have not played the Sharks or Bulls. This tournament is however far from over and we can expect the Boks to play towards the end of the campaign. Whether the Boks playing in the tournament will make too much of a difference is anyone’s guess.

Verdict

There will be those out there that remember the Lions v Sharks game in 2011, the Sharks arrived with a Bok laden squad and got thumped. Yours truly was interviewed on Good Hop FM on Mark Keohane’s Saturday morning show and they laughed at me when I told them you could take Lions minus ten with confidence.

The inherent problem with the Boks joining late is twofold. Firstly they may just be tired after a long Super Rugby campaign linked onto a gruelling Rugby Championship run, then they are asked to play with the mugs in the Currie Cup, secondly they don’t know the team that well, and or they are not familiar with the game plan. Whatever it is, it is definitely not a case of a Bok heavy team will win. I have watched this movie before and I know how it ends.

Whats the Price?

WP has been priced up at a reasonable -30.5 and I am of the opinion that tis WP team is riding a decent wave that has some way to go. At night in Cape Town I have no other option than to back WP at a bigger minus.

Kick off is scheduled for 19h30 GMT +2 on Saturday at Newlands. The referee for this game will be AJ Jacobs (SA), Click here for the Weather in Cape Town and if you want to follow the game on Twitter click here for the Hashtag #WPvGRI

Call: WP -35.5 at 15/10 for 2 units

Cheetahs v Pumas

Afternoon Rugby on Friday

Cheetahs v Pumas on Friday at 17h00, five o’clock seriously? WTFFUB!!?? Come on SA Rugby, we are barely home at five on a Friday. What happened to 19h00? Oh wait that is right the Cheetahs have a double header on Friday with their Pro 14 counterparts!

Ok so let’s look at the Cheetahs. Cheetahs are trying, I say trying because they have failed dismally so far, losing every single game in both the Currie Cup and the pro 14 in this year’s campaign. What needs to happen? Well for starters they need to start using some of the money they are earning from competing in the Pro 14.

New Talent Urgently Needed in Bloemfontein

What else can they do you ask? Unions not represented in this year’s Currie Cup could provide new talent for the Cheetahs. This may seem like a hard job, but I reckon there must be players that are not getting game time at other unions, more importantly there must be a player or two over in Europe that is not getting any game time.

Should the Cheetahs continue to play like this, they will lose the little bit of crowd they have left and lose every game. I was one of the people that thought that last year’s campaign would have helped them this year, I could not have been more wrong. Cheetahs have been nothing short of shocking.

Cheetahs have not only lost every game, they have lost every handicap too!

Enough about the Cheetahs, let’s look at their opponents for this week. The Pumas have beaten two of their four handicaps. Getting smashed by WP and in their first game they beat the minus v Griquas. Pumas have Mr Stonehouse back, Jimmy as he is affectionately known has not shot the lights out. Pumas held on to win the plus v Bulls last week, they also beat the plus v Sharks on a Friday night in the rain.

Verdict

Early betting on this game saw a nine to ten game, this clearly had value for the Pumas. The market has since settled with handicaps around the four to seven line. On my whats app group I suggested to the guys that anything under six was value for the Pumas.

I have managed to find an even better minus whilst it does not get me digging too deep in the punting wallet, it does get my attention. Can the Cheetahs win, honestly I just cannot see the Cheetahs winning this game, it is at a time when sunglasses will still be worn. As it happens I have nothing for this B team Cheetahs and neither should you.

Kick off is scheduled for 17h00 GMT +2 on Friday in Bloemfontein. The referee for this game will be Cwengile Jadezweni (SA), Click here for the Weather in Bloemfontein and if you want to follow the game on Twitter click here for the Hashtag #CHEvPUM

Call: Pumas -4.5 at 9/10 for 1 unit

Sharks v Lions

Sharks v Lions, revenge of King’s Park Super Rugby 2018. The last time Lions came to Durban was during Super Rugby, Lions had not lost in a long time. In fact Lions had not lost a home South African game in over 3 years. Currie Cup not so much, well it has been a while. Sharks used to win this fixture with ease, then came Johan Ackerman and things changed.

Sharks started off this season with a decent win over the Bulls, beating the minus with easily. Then they went to Cheetah land and off a minus thirty got unstuck in dramatic fashion and scraped home by four. The handicap was split between minus sixteen and plus forty five. The plus arrived and the Cheetahs nearly won the game.

Then Sharks played Pumas in the rain on a Friday night. Sharks were minus eighteen or so, in fact I had gone a bit more aggressive and gone for the minus twenty five. Pumas won the plus by an inch, ending on sixteen. Sharks could not get going.

Sharks have been up or down in this year’s Currie Cup, last year’s finalists have not impressed bar their decent win over the Bulls. Bulls have shown us that they are super crap this year and it’s difficult to judge how good the Sharks are?

This week we should know the answer, effectively Sharks first real test against the top two teams, they still have an away game at Newlands to come. Sharks are favourite here, albeit by a slender margin. Minus six and a half is the handicap dished out

Verdict

Whilst it’s easy to come up with why the Lions are value at 2/1 about the board win, I find it increasingly difficult to find evidence to back the Sharks at current levels. Hanrick suggested he was not interested in either team, he did however point out that Oracle would obviously back the Lions. Hanrick is right!

At a plus or an outsider I would battle to not back the Lions, they have been the form side in the last couple of years and quite frankly should be favourite or at worst nine to ten. Any plus is backable, I cannot see the Lions playing badly like last week. Last week was all bad Lions and normal decent WP, nothing special from WO just good rugby, Lions however were rubbish.

Call: Lions on the board at 2/1 for 2 units

Round 5

Bulls v Pumas

Bulls v Pumas on Friday at 19h00. I love Friday night Currie Cup, I really do love it. Bulls won last week, but although they were in front of the minus for most of the first half, they ultimately lost the handicap. Bulls took their foot of the gas so to speak, allowed the Griquas back in. In fact I am of the opinion the Bulls were lucky to win in the end.

I suggested before last week’s game that Pote Human would be the difference, well I was sort of right, then horribly wrong. Bulls are playing a relatively easy game on Saturday. The Bulls come up against the Pumas, who have not fired a shot in anger yet. I had such high hopes for both of these teams at pre-tournament prices. It appears I have done my money in cold.

Bulls have not Impressed yet

Pumas beat the minus v Griquas, I got that one right. The Pumas then got done by thirty v WP. Durban was next where the Sharks beat the Pumas by a paltry sixteen. Effectively the Pumas have beaten two of the three handicaps set by the Bookies. I have only been on the winning side once.

This game is a tough one, the handicap here is fourteen and a half, whilst it seems about right, and it is a difficult one to call. Bulls on the other hand have beaten only one handicap, the game v Cheetahs. I was on the right side calling the Bulls tow out of the three plays.

Verdict

Pote Human has not shot the lights out, maybe he does not have command of the dressing room? Whatever it is, it may take a little longer to achieve. Bulls do not give me the confidence to fire at them, for that matter neither do Pumas.

Both results from a board perspective are runners, Bulls have been so poor they have the ability of losing this match. They also of course can win it by twenty or more.

My call this week is somewhat conservative, but I do believe I have the little bit of value on my side.

Kick off is scheduled for 19h00 GMT +2 on Friday at Loftus. The referee for this game will be Rasta Rasivhenge (SA), Click here for the Weather in Pretoria and if you want to follow the game on Twitter click here for the Hashtag #BULvPUM

Call: Pumas +14.5 at 9/10 for 0.5 units

Griquas v Cheetahs

Griquas v Cheetahs in Kimberley on Saturday. Both teams are yet to win a game, in fact they are both one for three on handicap. Cheetahs are too one for three, in fact this is an even more difficult game to call than the Bulls v Pumas game.

Hanrick was first out the blocks jumping on the minus ten about the hosts when early betting came out. I was not as convinced. Minus ten felt right, but something worried me. The Cheetahs Pro 14 team are also in town. This effectively means that the player pool has jumped from thirty odd to around sixty.

Can the Cheetahs Come Together?

Whether or not the extra players available to both teams will be utilised, one thing is for sure, both teams should play better. Better you ask? Yes better, when two losing teams or groups of teams get together they bond.

Cheetahs have the short end of the stick playing in two competitions. One day, hopefully soon, this union will find their feet and start winning in both. Griquas as mentioned before have not won a game yet. Griquas look ready for their first win come Saturday. What worries me though is that the Bulls may be worse than previously suspected.

Verdict

If the Bulls are indeed worse, then both plays on this game and the Bulls v Pumas will arrive. Both are priced up at fourteen and a half handicap, both plus plays look right. Just like the Bulls game, confidence is low, but since the Cheetahs have had the better of their derby neighbours of late I will go for what looks like a small bit of value about the visitors.

Cheetahs plus fourteen and a half has my interest, but it must be repeated that this is hardly a confident play.

Kick off is scheduled for 19h00 GMT +2 on Saturday in Kimberley. The referee for this game will be Marius van der Westhuizen (SA), Click here for the Weather in Kimberley and if you want to follow the game on Twitter click here for the Hashtag #GRIvCHE

Call: Cheetahs +14.5 at 9/10 for 1 unit

Lions v WP

Lions v WP at a three O’clock kick-off at Ellis Park on Saturday. This will be the first time WP get tested this campaign. WP have absolutely thrashed their two opponents so far. In fact WP have been called the team to beat, I am really not sure why? If WP have beaten two small teams that at this stage do not look like they can qualify, then how in the world are they the team to beat?

Lions on the other hand have racked up the points, scoring with relative ease. Sure the Griquas got 41pts in Joburg, but conceded a hefty sixty odd. Lions are at home and this on its own is a big factor. The last time WP got within a try at Ellis Park was back in 2014, and we know that it went south after that.

Ellis Park not so good for WP

Lions have obliterated WP since then at Ellis Park. 9pts last year, 26pts in 2016, 8pts in 2015 and another 30pts in 2015. Interestingly WP have had the better in the knockout games, only losing one of four in the final of 2015. WP are loaded with Boks, they have a strong looking team, but and I say but the Lions are equally as strong and should have the better of WP come game time.

Verdict

Early prices saw the game level up at 9/10 the pair, Hanrick suggested he was all over WP if they were a plus. They are now plus, at one or two if you look around. I again am interested in a few more points and in my opinion the Lions should win this by a try or more.

At time of print alternative handicaps are not yet available. At current levels I expect to get around the 14/10 mark for my call.

Kick off is scheduled for 15h00 GMT +2 on Saturday at Ellis Park. The referee for this game will be Jaco Peyper (SA), Click here for the Weather in Johannesburg and if you want to follow the game on Twitter click here for the Hashtag #LIOvWP

Call: Lions -5.5 at 14/10 for 3 units

Currie Cup Round 4 picks

Sharks v Pumas

How bad were both Sharks & Pumas last week?

Sharks v Pumas, a few weeks ago I might have said the Pumas had a chance here. I was wrong. The Pumas were so bad last week that I just don’t now anymore. Last week I had one of my biggest punts on them. WP who I generally don’t like especially in Pumaland won easily.

WP were not that great, sure they won comfortably, but I honestly don’t think they were that great. Pumas on the other hand were rubbish. I had such expectations coming into this season. Jimmy Stonehouse coming back etc.

So what happened last week? Well for starters the Pumas started off so badly they got behind the proverbial black ball and could not get out. Any team going twenty nine nil behind will battle.

Can the Pumas stay within thirty at King’s Park on Friday?

Were the Sharks any better? The simple answer is NO! Sharks arrived in Bloemfontein expecting to win by fifty and barely got over the line. They thought they would get the five points easily, although they got them it was ridiculously hard.

Full credit to them for hanging on in the end, but seriously that performance was rubbish. Sharks should have won the game by forty minimum. The bookies had them to win by around thirty. Sixteen minutes in the score was nil all a piece.

So what can we expect on Friday night at Kings Park? I for one will be happy to part with some cash on the Sharks. I feel that they need the win here, they need to win well. Pumas in my opinion will be lucky to stay within thirty.

Verdict

Pumas should honestly not worry about this game and treat it like a trial game, try some moves, try some positional changes etc. Sharks have won their first game at home with relative ease, this game should be no different.

I don’t care what you think, the Pumas in Durban are way different to the pumas at Mbombela. I fancy the Sharks to cover a bit bigger than what is considered par and at a decent price.

Call: Sharks -25.5 at 14/10 for 2 units

Lions v Cheetahs

Cheetahs B Surprised us last week

Lions v Cheetahs the fixture that has everyone wondering, can the Lions do what the Sharks could not? Last week we saw a good Sharks team take on a perceived rubbish Cheetahs team. Sixteen minutes in, no one was the wiser as to which way it would go. Obviously we are talking handicap. But seriously Cheetahs by all accounts should not have got close.

Cheetahs nearly snatched victory from the hands of defeat. Two weeks ago the Lions beat a modest twenty point handicap which opened up at the thirteen line a couple of days before. This week the bookies have pencilled in Lions minus twenty eight.

Cheetahs won’t win a game this Currie Cup

Lions scored sixty odd points v Griquas but allowed the before mentioned Griquas to score forty. This week I am of the opinion that the Lions will do the business. Lions were favourites to win the Currie Cup last week. Such was the bookies perception of the WP win in Nelspruit that WP are now favourites. At 13/10 they can win without my money.

Cheetahs played normal B team Cheetahs rugby, this week the Lions will eye out getting the full five points on offer. I honestly expect them to score north of fifty here, you cannot realistically rule out seventy either.

Verdict

Cheetahs won’t win a game in the Currie Cup this year, they are effectively making up the numbers. My play for this week is again bigger than the standard nine to ten line. At 14/10 about a thirty four or more win, it has some value.

Don’t get sucked into the Cheetahs close call last week, it was 100% bad Sharks and almost zero good cheetahs. I know I took some comments about not giving the Cheetahs some respect, unfortunately Oracle Rugby has none for them.

Call: Lions -33.5 at 15/10 for 2 units

Griquas v Bulls

Is Kimberley ready for them Bulls?

Griquas v Bulls up on Saturday afternoon, well I am certainly looking forward to this fixture. Griquas have done well in the past, especially at home. Bulls have done OK v Griquas in Kimberley in the past too.

Last week Bulls lost a game they had their hands on for all but twelve minutes. They had numerous chances especially in the last fifteen. Bulls allowed the Lions to stay in the game. I was on the Lions to win by six or more, so I was really not in this one.

This will be the Griquas third game of the six match shortened Currie Cup campaign. Griquas yet to play at home have started off horribly. They lost by twenty against the Pumas a couple of weeks ago. They lost again last two weeks ago at Ellis Park, in fact staying in the twenty one and half handicap, but getting well beaten in the earlier calls of around plus thirteen.

Will Pote Human be the difference?

I used to punt the Griquas with confidence at home, those days are over. Griquas are a shadow of their illustrious past and will be dispatched come Saturday. The difference this year you ask? Pote Human, I reply with more confidence. Now I know that a lot of you don’t have much faith in Mr Human, but I certainly do.

A yard stick we do not have, or should I say, there is not much to go on. Pote Human I remember getting the Griquas close to a Semi, not quite there, but close enough. He knows the conditions, and that is good enough for me.

Verdict

The handicap set by the bookies this week is not very high, sure a few years ago it would be considered too high, but not this week. The Bulls are hurting, they should be, they have the players, and they will come back. This fixture should give them the confidence to close out the tournament.

If I got anything from last week, is that it will be extremely difficult for any team to arrive at Loftus expecting to win, or even hoping for that matter. I am all over the Bulls this weekend at a very decent price about an achievable handicap.

Call: Bulls -15.5 at 14/10 for 3 units (My Best Currie Cup bet this weekend)

Cheetahs v Sharks

Wow Cheetahs v Sharks where do we start? Monday lines at two firms started a world apart. An unbelievable 30pts between the minus and the plus, a big enough line to encourage any punter to turn Arber, albeit just for an hour or two.

I suggested on my what’s app group that a plus was in order on the plus forty five about the Cheetahs. I similarly intimated that at minus sixteen the Sharks were value. Both ridiculous, but that is what we have come to expect in the Currie Cup. Cheetahs being done by twenty at home v Bulls and a thirty two thumping in the Newlands swimming pool v WP on Saturday.

Read Nothing into Last Week

I have to believe you can read just about nothing from these two results. There is no way I will buy into any smattering of verse indicating that the Cheetahs cared about either of these two matches. Cheetahs for what it’s worth were trying out stuff, their modus operandi was unknown, but I am 100% convinced they did not care.

With the Pro 14 around the corner, it’s important to realise what the Cheetahs consider to be the bigger prize. Sharks on the other hand were deadly in the first half, doing enough to get up, the second half, I am sure they would rather forget.

Sharks head up to Bloemfontein this weekend to face a B team. What we can expect comes down to maths. As mentioned above, forty five was too high. Similarly sixteen was clearly too low. So what is right? At current levels the handicap is at the thirty mark, smack bank in the middle so to speak.

Over Twenty, Under Thirty Three?

Initially I made a call saying that at under thirty three I would back the minus, since the handicap is on point I will stick to my original call. It will be at the nine to ten line, because I do not want to comfortably take minus any higher. I do feel the Sharks will win his one by more than thirty, but forty five is a tad too high.

The minus at this level is also safer, in other words there is more upside to downside going minus here. I will keep my play rather conservative on this one.

Call: Sharks -30.5 at 9/10 for 1 unit

Bulls v Lions

Picking the Bulls games this season has become a bit of a habit. It’s become clockwork so to speak. It certainly sounds arrogant, but I will stand by the stats. Winning on Bulls with regularity it what I am effectively saying.

This week’s fixture Bulls v Lions also looks easy, once a week a day before I record my videos I let my Premium Whats app group know which way I am going. This week is suggested that I was a Lions punter at anything under minus five and at around minus eight I may be a Bulls plus punter. The former has reared its ugly head and minus is the way to go.

Bookies Make an Error?

The Bookies have made an error her in my opinion. The right handicap for this game at nine to ten would have been something around the Lions minus seven or eight line.

I honestly have no idea what the bookies see in this Bulls team that they can price up around evens. Bulls beat a tester Cheetahs team, they got done at a GT minus v Sharks and an HT minus about the same team.

The whole world backed the Cheetahs two weeks ago, the same world backed the Sharks minus. I was on the Bulls in Bloemfontein and against them in Durban. So far so good. At current levels I have no option but to go what clearly is value in the Lions. Since I have as mentioned previously not interested in the nine to ten line will go for a little higher handicap.

Griquas gave us a clue?

Considering I expected the line to be around seven, one cannot ignore the price about Lions minus six and a half at an unbelievable 15/10.

Although I said I would possibly be a Bulls punter at plus eight I am off the opinion the loss last week to the Sharks may have been a bit too harsh for them. Lions know that they allowed the Griquas to score too many and will be looking for a bit of respectability about this fixture.

Call: Lions -6.5 at 15/10 for 4 units

Pumas v Western Province

Pumas v WP is up on Friday night, as alluded to last week, I love Friday night Currie Cup, in fact it’s my favourite fixture of any rugby anywhere!!

I suggested before the season got underway that the Pumas were one of the teams I think were value. This perception was based on expectations that they would win their home games. So far so good as they say, the Pumas dispatched the Griquas two weeks ago.

Easy Pick

The Griquas match in my opinion was an easy pick, however since the same team went to Ellis Park last week and scored forty points. Now forty points is hardly anything to sneeze at, but it was against tournament favourites Lions, and it was away.

Simple maths tells me that if the Griquas can get done by twenty at Mbombela and another twenty at Ellis Park on a Friday night, then the Pumas are a little better than the bookies suggest. I know that I have been looking forward to this particular fixture for some time now.

Its Hard to Win in Nelspruit

Pumas have always been a difficult team to play against in Nelspruit. Last year WP won the tournament, but if you remember, they lost by ten at Mbombela. The same can surely be expected here. Pumas have been priced up at a respectable plus five and a half. I have been punting for twenty years and I know that the mugs will back WP here.

Backing WP here is not a good idea, there are two options for this game, No bet or a Pumas bet. I will go for the latter at a reasonable price, about a reasonable expectation of Pumas winning by a few.

Call: Pumas -4.5 at 5/2 for 4 units

Round 2

Sharks -10.5 v Bulls

Last year’s beaten Finalists will have something to prove in this year’s shortened format, there is no time for error and Sharks captain was on the local Durban radio today suggesting just that. More importantly the Sharks just have a little more meat than they did last year, their Super Rugby campaign was a little better. Sharks were the only South African team to beat the Lions in three years.

Whilst I am not going ballistic on this match, I do feel that the minus is the right way to go, I am again going for a bigger than nine to ten play.

Lions -26.5 v Griquas

I don’t know much about the Griquas squad, in fact I barely recognised anyone in Nelspruit last week, and I will also choose not to educate myself about them either, rather concentrating on the task at hand, winning money on this game.

I will be as always speaking with my wallet and this week will be no different. Lately I have been targeting handicap plays way above the nine to ten line. The number that gets my call is in the twenties at a reasonable price. If you are wondering, I cannot see the Griquas coming close here, not at all.

WP win v Cheetahs

Currie Cup Predictions – Round 1

Cheetahs v Bulls – Currie Cup

Cheetahs as with last year are playing in two tournaments, last year they led the field at the half way mark, then losing five of the six fixtures and ultimately finishing a couple of points below the Semi Final position, I took a bet with a mate for lunch and duly won, thank you to the Cheetahs.

Bulls under new coach Pote Human should start well, sure they have lost a few players to the Springboks, but hardly anything to worry about. For me the Cheetahs are a team that will be trying to better last year’s Pro 14 effort and will try a few options, they do not have any conceivable chance of winning the Currie Cup, even for a shortened season.

Ox Nche is the captain and the team has a couple of decent players, but we must not for a second forget that the Cheetahs have not played competitive rugby for some time now, they’re by no means match ready and I feel they will be way out of their depth here.

This game is priced up at around even betting at nine to ten the pair and whilst in the past nine to ten about the home team may have been considered value, this time around and it is definitely not.

For me this is all about value and Pote Human, I will be having a small go on the away team. In addition I did advise a bet on the Bulls at 7/1 to win the tournament, it is value about a team that definitely has a chance, after all there are only five teams that can win this tournament, in my opinion WP shouldn’t, the Griquas and Cheetahs cannot win.

Call: Bulls on the board at 9/10

Pumas v Griquas

The Pumas have their easiest game in round one, a perfect opportunity to start well and get a W in the correct column.

Back from a Hiatus in the Japanese league Jimmy Stonehouse returns to head coach his old team, when Mr Stonehouse was in charge the Pumas were a great team, they had Faf de Klerk and a couple of other decent players, they almost made the playoffs.

This year they are more than runners, three easy games at home, all of them winnable by a more than a hope, first up the Griquas, then the Lions, they beat them last year without Stonehouse, then WP, now that is the game to look out for, WP are lacking in more than one department and have not done well as the Stormers, sure they won the Currie Cup last year, but they will struggle in Mbombela.

The Griquas are a faint margin about the team they used to be under Pote Human, last year they trailed by around twenty five and came back and beat the Pumas, such a result we will not see again.

Pumas should have the Griquas number on Friday, priced up at a low minus three they get my vote, not a lot of confidence, but surely the right way to go, this game should be settled above ten points, but since it is the first week, I will keep stakes low.

Call: Pumas -3.5 at 9/10 for 1 unit

View more Currie Cup and Rugby predictions on OracleRugby

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