With the announcement of the squad last week, thoughts can now turn from who and who isn’t in the British and Irish Lions touring party to the matches themselves.
Warren Gatland’s men will be the first Lions representatives to tour Down Under since Graham Henry’s squad lost 2-1 there in 2001, and that series scoreline has been a popular one over recent years.
Both the Lions and their hosts have won at least one Test in five of the last six tours dating back to the trip to Australia in 1989, with only New Zealand’s convincing 3-0 series win over Sir Clive Woodward’s side in 2005 breaking the sequence of 2-1 scorelines.
As 4/5 favourites to win the series, such a comprehensive defeat for the Sam Warburton-captained Lions would be hugely surprising this time around, and so the 15/8 on offer for Gatland’s men to emerge as 2-1 winners certainly looks tempting.
Similarly, with Australia priced at evens for series glory perhaps backers of the home side would be wiser to side with the 2-1 success available at 9/4. After all, the Aussies have failed to record more than two Test victories over the Lions in the same series since 1904.
More recently, and with the hosts having won just two of their last four Tests at home – a run preceded by the narrowest of series victories over Wales – the form would suggest that the home side are there to be shot at should the Lions find their roar.
Patriotic punting could lead many towards looking at a 3-0 Lions series win at 7/2, but the tourists haven’t managed to prevent their hosts from winning at least one Test for the last 39 years, and so a prolonging of that 2-1 trend looks like being the way to go.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing