A British Lions Test Series is always anticipated with huge excitement. After all, they only come around once every four years. This time round, the Lions are overwhelming favourites, but history is against them, as their last series win was in South Africa in 1997. Since then, three tours, and three disappointments.

Recommendation

Australia to win the Lions Tour Series : 7/4 Bet 365

Starting next Weekend the Lions play their three Test series against the Wallabies and they are priced at 8/13 best to win the series. Australia are assumed to be the worst of the Southern Hemisphere rugby powerhouses and the easiest opportunity for the Lions to have a winning Tour.

However both the form in the 2012 Rugby Championship (expanded with Argentina to replace the Tri Nations) and the 2013 Super 15 tend to oppose that view. In the Rugby Championship Australia finished runners up behind the All Blacks and ahead of South Africa. In the Super 15 the three teams from which the Australian test team is drawn have performed well. The ACT Brumbies are top going into the International break, the Queensland Reds are in the top 4 and the NSW Waratahs are in the top half.

Over and above this Southern Hemisphere rugby has a depth and intensity that Northern Hemisphere rugby lacks beyond the very top Six Nations games.

So far this Tour the Lions are unbeaten, but that proves very little as the Australian coach Robbie Deans took almost all of his 25 man squad out of selection for the Provincial matches and the Lions have faced for the most part second-string teams. It is therefore difficult to accurately assess the Lions progress and the Australian team will hit the first Test untested. One advantage Australia will have though is that they will have seen far more of the Lions, their players and their different combinations, than the Lions will have seen of them, wrapped up in cotton wool and plotting strategies from afar.

This is set to be a very close series, and far closer than the betting odds suggest. The strength of the Australians lies in a corruscating back line, all flair and pace headlined by former rugby league star Israel Folau .

If they can achieve parity in the forwards and secure at least their share of possession led by the terrier flanker Michael Hooper, they have every chance of upsetting the Lions and making a mockery of the underdogs tag, in itself a rarity for a Southern Hemisphere team at home to the Lions

Recommendation

Australia to win the Lions Tour Series : 7/4 Bet 365

Further:

It’s highly unlikely either team will win this series 3-0. A draw in any Test is unlikely. Logically therefore we are looking at a 2-1 scoreline either way. I regard Australia at 7/4 as far better value than the Lions at odds-on and it follows that for those looking to press on Australia 2-1 Series correct score at 3-1 with Bet365 is also attractive. It is simply a headscratcher to me that such a series scoreline is priced higher than a 3-0 result to the Lions. I regard it as simply incorrect.

I intend next week to write giving ideas for the Test Series player and score markets, once the line ups are finalised