Hey guys., just popping in to post my Mitre 10 cup picks for the season.
Im a little out of touch with lower grade rugby these days but I've had a look through the squads and I feel there are two teams worth putting money on.
The biggest value for me is Auckland. They have a strong squad, with quality players in key positions and are the defending champions. I dont see any of their top guys getting a surprising call up to the ABs, so their squad looks good to go. I've loaded up at $5 and will add to that as the season progresses.
Canterbury will always be a contender but at $2.80 Im not that keen. Their squad will be quite young as is desimated with ABs gone. I'd probably rank them as 3rd favourites, but their history and the amount of backing they get at the tab probably has led to them grabbing the favourite tag with the bookies.
The other huge contender is Tasman. Their squad is massive! They are probably the favourite IM O, but Im holding off on backing them too hard until the final ABs squad gets named. They have a couple players on the fringes in Frizzel, Squire, Perry, and even Will Jordan. I suspect they will lose at least one of Squiire/Frizzel but If they just lose the one player, I will back them very hard at $3.25.
In the Championship I've backed last years runners up Otago. They have a nice easy run of home games defending the shield to begin the year. I see them making the semis comfortably and probably a home one at that. Then its probably a coin flip for the final $4.33 seems good money. I've also taken a small nibble on BOP at $7.5 who look the best of the rest (outside of Taranaki who are way too short at $2.4).
Finally, I've put a small bet on Waikato to hold the shield at the end of the year. Looking at the draw there are probably 34 teams in it: Canterbury, Auckland, Taranaki and Waikato. For Waikato to hold it Otago would have to fend off Taranaki But then they get the next crack. Decent odds at $6 for only a few games to fall into place.