Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions team have already had to face a barrage of criticism and they’re only one-tenth into 2017’s tour.
A stuttering 13-7 win over the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians last Saturday did little to convince the doubters that this season’s Tour won’t result in anything but an All-Black whitewash.
And no doubt there will be plenty willing to take on the Lions when they face the Blues in Auckland this Wednesday.
The tourists won their second tour game of 2013 by a 52-point margin while a 64-point margin was secured in the corresponding fixture in South Africa four years earlier.
However, this looks an entirely different proposition with the home team boasting several big names, including the fiercesome centre partnership of Sonny Bill Williams and George Moala.
That pair boast 12 international tries between them and their relative experience compared to their team-mates’ will be crucial to the hosts’ chances.
Williams is 5/1 to score at any time while Moala is just 5/4 to cross the line.
For the Lions, winger Elliot Daly is just 2/5 to get on the scoresheet with better value coming in the 8/1 on him grabbing the game’s first try.
Only Rieko Ioane is shorter in that market with Super Rugby’s second-highest tryscorer to date a 7/1 chance.
With regards to the handicap the even-money on offer for the Lions -6 looks fair given their somewhat rushed preparations and the calibre of their latest opposition.
Meanwhile, it’s 11/2 for the Lions to win by a 1-5 point winning margin.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing