Cape Town - Local bookmakers have installed the Cheetahs as fourth favourites to win the PRO14.
The Bloemfontein franchise and the Port Elizabeth-based Southern Kings were earlier axed from Super Rugby, but received lifelines in the European competition set to start next month.
Bookmakers Sportingbet believe the Cheetahs will fare well in their debut season and have made them fourth favourites at 7/1 odds to win the title.
The Kings are being tipped as outsiders at 40/1.
Two Irish clubs, Leinster (7/4) and Munster (3/1) are the favourites, while defending champions, Welsh club Scarlets, are next in line at 5/1.
The PRO14 will adopt a two-conference model, with 21 regular season games, before the quarters and semis to set up a grand finale.
These rounds will be made up from a combination of:
- 12 home & away games in your team’s conference
- 7 home or away games against each team from the other conference
- An additional 2 rounds to ensure all derby fixtures are played home & away (this means Scottish, Italian, South African clubs play three derbies)
Munster (IRFU), Ospreys (WRU), Glasgow Warriors (SRU), Cardiff Blues (WRU), Connacht (IRFU), Zebre Rugby Club (FIR), Cheetahs (SA Rugby)
Scarlets (WRU), Leinster (IRFU), Ulster (IRFU), Edinburgh (SRU), Benetton Rugby (FIR), Dragons (WRU), Southern Kings (SA Rugby)