New Zealand v Lions Betting Tips
After beating the British and Irish Lions 30-15 in their first test in Auckland, New Zealand were the clear favourites to secure the series with a win in the second test in Wellington last week.
But it was not to be for the All Blacks. The Lions made the most of Sonny Bill Williams’ first-half sending off for a shoulder charge and won a thrilling match 24-21.
That sets up the return to Eden Park wonderfully as it’s winner takes all for this thoroughly entertaining Lions Tour.
Top Betting Tips
The All Blacks haven’t lost a game at Eden Park since 1994 and the bookies do not believe the Lions will end that run on Saturday.
The best price you can get on the home side is the 1/4 that William Hill are quoting while the Lions are 4/1 with Boylesports. That nicely illustrates the size of the task facing the Lions but do they have an outside chance?
The Lions squad enjoyed themselves following their win last weekend. They’ve been bungee jumping, playing around with jet boats and relaxing before getting back to work.
Contrast that with the All Blacks.
They’ve been left to stew on last week’s defeat in training since Monday while the press in New Zealand has been full of complaints about the Lions’ play and the performance of the referee.
They say beware the wounded animal but the difference in approach and mood between the two camps could play a big part in proceedings.
That’s not to say that the Lions are going to win the match and therefore the series. Just that it’s likely to be closer than the bookies suggest.
So, have a bet on the Lions winning the game with a +12 point handicap applied at a very tempting price of evens with Sky Bet.
The Lions held their own in the first half of the first test at Eden Park before the class of the All Blacks took the game away from the visitors.
With the wind behind their sails from the second test, we could see another strong start from the Lions before New Zealand get the job done in front of their home fans.
That provides a few tempting betting opportunities.
First, have a bet on the Lions to score the first points which are 13/8 with Paddy Power. Additionally, if you’re feeling very confident about the Lions starting strongly you can get 20/1 with Boylesports on Liam Williams scoring the game’s first try which looks good value.
Another option is the Lions/New Zealand selection in BetVictor’s half-time/full-time market at 6/1. The visitors will be cheered on by their incredible fans once again but it’s hard to see them holding on to a lead against this awesome All Blacks.
Sonny Bill Williams will miss the series decider through suspension which places a huge amount of pressure on the shoulders of the man called up to replace him, Malakai Fekitoa.
Fekitoa’s call-up was something of a surprise given that he was left out of the original 33-man squad but there is no doubting his quality.
The problem for All Blacks head coach, Steve Hansen, is that he’s being forced to field his third different combination in midfield in three matches against the Lions. That’s not good news given that the Lions feel increasingly confident in that area of the pitch.
The All Blacks will also have to deal with the wonderful Mauro Itoje. The 22-year-old was left out of the starting XV for the first test but was the man of the match in Wellington having been drafted in by Warren Gatland.
- If the Lions are able to win against the odds they’ll be the first team to beat New Zealand at Eden Park for 23 years
- The Lions have only ever won one test series against the All Blacks since their first meeting in 1904
- The last Lions Tour of New Zealand ended with a 3-0 whitewash and their last series win came in 1971
- Last week’s game was the first time in 39 matches that the All Blacks failed to score a try
New Zealand – Dagg, Naholo, Liernet-Brown, Fekitoa, Ioane, Barrett, Smith, Moody, Taylor, Franks, Retallick, Whitelock, Kaino, Cane, Read
Lions – Williams, Nowell, Davies, Farrell, Daly, Sexton, Murray, McGrath, George, Furlong, Itoje, Lawes, Warburton, O’Brien, Faletau,