Wallabies European Tour 2012 Betting Guide

Yet another end-of-season tour for the Wallabies and yet another chance for Robbie Deans to prove his worth and his team to prove they're either as good or as bad as all their previous seasons' results suggest - depending upon your perspective.

End-of-season tours also provide opportunities for injured players to return to the fold and uninjured players to get injured and ruin their subsequent Super Rugby season. And for everyone else there's just the chance to run themselves into the ground and prove the point that you can have too much of a good thing.

Alas these tours aren't nearly the fun they used to be. What went on tour used to stay on tour. These days nothing goes on tour and if anything does, like if James O'Connor wakes up with bed hair, you can see the photos on Twitter, read about it in the paper, and the player will front a judiciary panel and cop a suspension.

For us mug punters though, any opportunity to prove our Rugby knowledge is better than the experts' by sticking our hard-earned where our keyboard is is a good thing. So to help you out, here's some research packaged in such a way that even a forward could understand...

France vs Australia - November 11
Being Armistice day you can bet (if your bookie provided a market - and there are so many of them that you could probably find one or a bloke in India to frame the odds) that both teams will be marched out to a cemetery full of white crosses and they'll be regaled with tales of wartime heroics. The earnestness of these endeavours cannot be denied, but whether they have any value in motivating players is questionable.

Who out of France or Australia is more likely to be motivated by such tales or alternately succumbed into a feeling of sorrow and insignificance at the futility of it all may determine the winner. Then again, France had a roller coaster of a World Cup, somehow making the final, and were thumped by the Wallabies last time they played in France.

Fearful prediction:  Australia by 9
Wallabies value: Only if odds are better than $2.40 for the win
Likely poorly translated headline: Pocock Jeune Homme Hier Jamais Que Hooper Dazzles Fran├žais = Yesterday Pocock Young Man Never Hooper Dazzles French (or Pocock Youngest Ever Yesterday Man as Hooper Dazzles French)

England vs Australia - November 18
It's been two years since the Wallabies played England and June 2010 was the last time the Wallabies actually beat them. So with no recent history to go by and massive changes to both teams over the last couple of years even revenge can't be considered to be a Wallabies motivating factor (except maybe for Nathan Sharpe who has probably played England about 15 times over the last 20 years).

Recent form for both teams is also patchy. England had a shocking World Cup and limped out at the Quarter Final stage. Prior to that they only just missed out on taking out the 6 Nations, losing only to Wales. The Wallabies 2012 has been a mix of highs and lows yet despite being the All Blacks whipping boys (until the dead rubber) they still managed to come second in the inaugural Rugby Championship.

Fearful prediction: England by 6
Wallabies value: Only if odds are better than $2.60 for the win
Likely poorly translated headline: Up Yours Convicts - Big Tits Page 3 = England Skill Prevails Over Wallaby Pluck

Italy vs Australia - November 25
There's an odd consistency to Australia - Italy rugby matches over the last five years, and it's not just that Australia won them all (Italy have never beaten the Wallabies) but the scores: 30-20, 31-8, 34-12, 32-14, 32-6 and that's across three different countries. This is great news for punters as betting on sport is a science based on statistics and knowledge and no punter would ever go on hunches or guesswork!

The Italians are supposedly on the improve and also supposedly tougher to beat at home, but the Wallabies buck that trend. Except for a couple of blowouts, all matches between the teams have been competitive but with Australia winning comfortably by the final whistle.

Fearful prediction: Australia 32 - Italy 15 (5 penalties)
Wallabies value: Only if better than $2.30 for winning by 12+
Likely poorly translated headline: Un Passo Avanti, Uno Indietro Meta Sulla Spinta = One Step Forward, One Step Back Pushover (One Step Forward, One Pushover Try Backwards)

Wales vs Australia - December 2
There was a time, until 1987, when Australia and Wales shared the honours on the Rugby paddock. Then came professionalism. Australia adjusted, Wales didn't, and they've only beaten Australia twice since then in 22 attempts, including losing the last 7 and 4 times in the last 12 months. Yet Wales are the reigning 6 Nations Champions (going undefeated) and made the Word Cup 3rd place playoff (which of course they lost to Australia).

Wales' new mascot
So Wales are somewhere between a renaissance and being The Wallabies Bunnies (maybe that would make them Numbats!). That makes picking a winner a little tricky, but the odds are better - that's the nature of sports betting after all.

Fearful prediction: Australia by 11
Wallabies value: Only if better than $1.60 for the win
Likely poorly translated headline: Rhy Little Rhy Hwyr - Hoodoo Wallaby Newid Ei Safbwynt Prin = Too Little Too Late - Hoodoo Wallaby hardly changed its position (Too Little Too Late - Wallaby Hoodoo Barely Budged)