Who: All Blacks vs. Argentina Pumas
When: Monday, September 21, 1:45am
Where: Wembley Stadium, London
2011 Rugby World Cup champion New Zealand is back to defend its title in England.
And what better opportunity for the All Blacks to open their account than against Argentina?
The All Blacks are the favourites ($2.35 at Sportsbet) to win the World Cup next month and they are dominant favourites in the market against the Pumas on Monday.
These two teams have played against each other a lot recently as Argentina joined New Zealand, Australia and South Africa in the Rugby Championship, and even though they haven’t enjoyed much success, they pose a first-up threat for the All Blacks.
New Zealand come into this game having throttled Australia in the Bledisloe Cup at Eden Park and even though they lost the Rugby Championship to Australia the week prior, they were able to gain plenty of momentum heading into this tournament.
Argentina will be wanting to secure a playoff spot as the top two qualify. In a pool that features plenty of minnows, we expect Argentina to play well against New Zealand and comfortably beat the other teams in the pool.
All Blacks vs. Pumas betting markets
It comes as a surprise to no one that the All Blacks are the overwhelming favourites against Argentina. This will be New Zealand’s toughest pool game, however, and they won’t be taking it lightly.
Expect a lineup featuring their top players and if the likes of Richie McCaw and Dan Carter play, the current points spread line might shift out a few points.
New Zealand – $1.03 (-21.5)
Argentina – $10 (+21.5 at Bet365.com)
We don’t see any value betting on the head-to-head markets for either team. New Zealand will win this game, but the $1.03 is worse than bank interest and we would want $25 for Argentina to make the stab worthwhile.
The betting will come in the points spread market where Argentina are getting a try-three head start with bookmakers. The weather throughout the week is scheduled to be fine, but Monday morning is forecast for rain and this could factor into the betting.
The All Blacks have beaten the Pumas by 21 points in their last two games, which puts this total right on the mark. Punters need to figure out whether the All Blacks will be more of a scoring threat in the World Cup, or if they will play a much tighter game first up.
Argentina’s last test was a stunning upset over South Africa so their confidence will be sky-high. Based on this, we’re favouring the always-tough Pumas to keep this game tight throughout.
The margin betting markets is where punters of the All Blacks can make some money for their multi-bets. New Zealand are heavy favourites to win by 13 points or more and it provides a nice 7.5-point gap between the margin betting and the points start option.
New Zealand 13 and over – $1.30
New Zealand 12 and under – $3.50
We think Argentina will keep the game under the 21.5 point start, but not within 13 points. New Zealand should win by at least two tries and adding the $1.30 into multi-bets can take a medium sized profit into a big one.
Alternatively, our bookmakers offer alternate points starts and here’s a couple of value options available.
New Zealand -16.5 ($1.50)
Argentina +16.5 ($2.45)
New Zealand -26.5 ($2.45)
Argentina +26.5 ($1.50)
There is nothing wrong with taking the $1.50 with Argentina to get a few extra points. This game could be a point or two either side of the 21.5, so getting +26.5 is an added bonus.
Throw Argentina +26.5 ($1.50) into multi-bets and get your week off to a winning start.
Current All Blacks squad
The team lineup for both teams hasn’t yet been decided, but we’ve listed the players that are up for selection in the first game of the World Cup. Look for these names in the first tryscorer markets, in particular the All Blacks outside backs in Ben Smith, Sonny Bill Williams and Ma’a Nonu which will all be well favoured to score first on Monday morning.
Sonny Bill Williams
If Ben Smith, Ma’a Nonu and Sonny Bill Williams play against Argentina, we like them in the try scoring market. All three players should be within $2.40-$2.80 to score a try throughout the game and the All Blacks should get plenty of scoring opportunities.
The smokey is Fijian-born winger Waisake Naholo who is famously returning from a broken leg. His natural remedies sees him return to the field much sooner than expected and he brings immense power and speed to the All Blacks line up.
Argentina World Cup squad
Argentina’s big names are all there for the 2015 World Cup. Prop Marcos Ayerza has plenty of experience with 60 caps and he will power the forward pack which features Toulon flanker Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe.
Horacio Agulla provides some experience in the back line, but many of their players don’t have much experience, especially in World Cups.
Juan Pablo Orlandi
Lucas Noguera Paz
Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
Guido Petti Pagadizabal
Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe
Juan Manuel Leguizamon
Javier Ortega Desio
Jeromino de la Fuente
Juan Martin Hernandez
Juan Pablo Socino
Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino