As the Aviva Premiership returns to the south of England (and a few northern outposts) this weekend, in a hemisphere far away the Rugby Championship, formerly known as the Tri Nations, moves into its third round of fixtures.
The world champions are 1/100 to beat a country that are shedding their whipping-boys tag, while the only thing that looks predictable in the other match is who’ll score.
Read on for our best Rugby Championship gameweek three bets.
Argentina +27 points to beat New Zealand @ 10/11
On home turf over the past 10 years the highest margin the All Blacks have managed to see off Argentina by is 23 points, in October 2011, and two subsequent fixtures have been even closer, with 15 separating these two last time out 12 months ago.
Furthermore, Argentina are no mugs, having only gone down by seven points combined in two meetings against South Africa so far in the 2014 Rugby Championship; Daniel Hourcade’s Jaguar’s were 28-16 up at home to the Springboks recently before a narrow two-point loss.
No doubt New Zealand will win this home fixture, but the stats suggest it will be much closer.
Australia v South Africa: Israel Folau to score a try @ 7/4
The 25-year-old broke through the world champions’ ranks first in the 51-20 thrashing meted out to Australia in Auckland, with acting captain Michael Hooper adding just one more later on.
Oz drew at home to the All Blacks before being walloped on the road, while South Africa have limped over the line twice so far. This really is the tossup 4/6 and 5/4 win odds suggest.
In such circumstances, 18/1 about the draw probably rates the value bet, but Folau going over against a side that conceded three trys to Argentina when last away from home looks much safer.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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