Betting preview: Reds v Sharks

    2013-05-10 08:58

    Brent Graham

    Cape Town - The Reds host the Sharks in Brisbane on Friday (11:40) and bookmakers have priced the home team up as 6-point favourites.

    Super Rugby Weekend Teams - Round 13

    The Reds were disappointing last week when drawing to the Force in Perth. It was their second draw in three matches having finished level with the Brumbies in Brisbane and in-between they scraped a one-point win over the Blues at home.

    The Reds have won four and lost two at home and all of the matches have been decided by eight points or less. A surprising stat is that matches in Brisbane have averaged 34 points with only the opener delivering more than 40 points (42).

    The Sharks were left kicking themselves after failing to beat the Highlanders last week and they are fast approaching the point where only victories will do. They have lost four matches in a row and three on the trot on the road. They have succeeded in scoring seven tries in their last two matches but on each occasion conceded the same amount of five pointers to their opponents.

    Team news:

    The Reds' 22-man squad shows just one change with Dom Shipperley injured and replaced by the returning Rod Davies.

    The Sharks have made four changes with JP Pietersen moving to 13 for the injured Frans Steyn giving Piet Lindeque his second start on the wing. JC van Rensburg starts at loosehead prop with Wiehahn Herbst moving to tighthead and Jannie Du Plessis rested. Jean Deysel starts on the flank with Keegan Daniel back at No 8 for the injured Lubabalo Mtembu. Willem Alberts returns from injury on the bench.

    Head to Head – Reds at home

    2012: 17-30 (Sharks by 13, 47 points) Eliminator

    2009: 25-13 (Reds by 12, 38 points)

    2007: 16-59 (Sharks by 43, 75 points)


    Chiefs 1/7
    Draw 40/1
    Force 7/1

    Chiefs -14.5 at 19/20
    Force +15.5 at 10/11

    Betting angle:

    I am leaning towards the Reds winning this one fairly comfortably although the stats this season suggest this will be a close game. Once the most feared attacking units in the competition, the Reds have largely failed to fire and the low scoring nature of their home matches is a surprise to me.

    That being said they did cross the line three times against the Brumbies and the bet I like here is the 1/1 they score more tries than the Sharks. The Sharks have shown they can score tries after a barren run but they look seriously stretched and I expect them to be a bit down after last week’s defeat.

    I also like the handicap and will split my stakes between the two bets.

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