Lions to edge Jukskei derby - bookies
Cape Town - The Lions and Sharks will emerge with their reputations intact in Round 3 of Super Rugby, if bookmakers are to be believed...
Leading SA bookies BET.co.za are backing the Lions to win their Jukskei derby against the Bulls on Saturday, and make it three victories on the trot to open their 2018 campaign.
Meanwhile, the Sharks will down the Waratahs in Durban and the Stormers' tour of Australasia will continue in its losing vein against the defending champion Crusaders in Christchurch.
Robbie Fleck's Stormers went down in the dying seconds last weekend against the Waratahs in Sydney (34-27), and face a daunting task against a formidable Crusaders side, albeit one dealing with a number of key injuries to star players - Kieran Read, Joe Moody, Owen Franks, Matt Todd and Israel Dagg among others.
BET.co.za have the Crusaders as 17.5-point handicap favourites, and can be backed at 1/10 to win outright. The Stormers are on offer at 25/4 while the draw can be taken at 33/1 for the match kicking off at 08:35 (SA time).
The Sharks, who lost their first match against the Lions in Week 1, but then had a bye last weekend, have been installed as 8.5-point handicap favourites and 3/10 outright to beat the Waratahs (15:05 kick-off).
The Waratahs can be backed at 13/5 and the draw is available at 25/1.
Saturday's Loftus Versfeld main attraction (17:15) will see a resurgent Bulls side welcome their nearest neighbours, the Lions, to the Bullring.
The Bulls were impressive in beating the Hurricanes last weekend, but will have their hands full against a Lions side who are many pundits' pick to be SA's top side once again this season.
The Lions have been installed as 8.5-point handicap favourites and 3/10 for the outright win. The Bulls are on offer at 5/2, while the draw can be backed at 25/1.