New Zealand v British Lions: Series on the Line for Struggling Tourists
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When a touring team can’t win its warm up matches then the main event is always going to be an issue. The midweek Lions fought out an entertaining 31-31 draw with the Hurricanes this week but the result hardly suggests they are going to turn this series around.
Going into the second test with the All Blacks this Saturday, the odds on Warren Gatland’s men have lengthened further but there is value across other markets for this game.
Firstly, these are the prices in the standard result market for this tie. Having begun at 1/4 ahead of last weekend’s first test, New Zealand have shortened to a best price of 1/5 with William Hill and Betway. Victory for the British and Irish Lions can now be claimed at best odds of 51/10 with 888Sport while the draw completes things at a top price of 40/1 with Boylesports.
Last week we took a return with the All Blacks at -11 on the handicap but that option is deemed to be too short for the bookies this time around. Instead, it’s been extended to -13 and the top price for this option is Even Money with Paddy Power and SkyBet.
Coach Gatland has predictably made a number of changes ahead of Saturday’s fixture and has even changed his captain but the problem is that this Kiwi side may just be the best rugby unit any of us have ever seen. Over 80 minutes, they are likely to prove too strong once again and New Zealand on that -13 handicap is the least that we’ll be claiming.
First Try Scorer
New Zealand’s Codie Taylor was the first to cross the line in Saturday’s first test but as a hooker, he is way out at odds of 20/1 with Paddy Power to repeat that feat in Wellington. First try odds have been a little slow to come in but there is some value here and the favourite to notch the first five pointer is Rieko Ioane at 15/2 with Paddy Power once again.
Ioane scored twice in that opening win and seems the most likely candidate to score the first try but you can also get that same 15/2 price with Paddy Power on his team mate Waisake Naholo.
Our tip from last week Israel Dagg is quoted at a top price of 10/1 with Paddy Power while Scott Barrett follows at 12/1 with Paddy Power once again. The Lions did at least provide two try scorers last weekend in Sean O’Brien and Rhys Webb but this is a market that is dominated by All Blacks players and we’re tipping Ioane to be the first to breach the tourists’ try line this time around.
Other Side Bets
Backing Ioane to score a hat trick could even be an option for a final tip and it’s a market that carries some interesting prices. The player is as low as 6/1 with one bookie to cross the line three times but with Betway, you can get best odds in this respect of 25/1.
For our final tip however, we’ll take a look at the total points markets. In the Lions’ last warm up match, 62 points were scored and, as they are desperate to stay in this series, they could become more open late on in the game. With that in mind, we’re backing over the 49.5 line and this carries a top price of 7/4 with Paddy Power.
Former players and pundits are trying to stay positive while suggesting that if the Lions can cut out the concession of needless penalties, they could have a chance on Saturday. That may be the case and it could be that they remain in contention at half time but over the course of 80 minutes, the greater quality of the All Blacks should prevail. A home win looks likely but there is better value if you look outside of the straight result betting for this second test.
- New Zealand to win at -13 on the handicap at Even Money with Paddy Power
- Rieko Ioane to score the first try at 15/2 with Paddy Power
- Over 49.5 Points at 7/4 with Paddy Power