The second full weekend of End of Year internationals is here, and there are some belters on the cards. South Africa travels to Marseille to take on France, while Wales and Argentina play a week after the Pumas took down England at Twickenham.
Here is a look at some of the games with odds from BetXchange.
Wales VS Argentina – Millenium Stadium, Cardiff
Two teams with very different performances last weekend meet here in a game that is expected to be close. Wales looked awful in losing 55-23 to New Zealand, while Argentina picked up their first win at Twickenham since 2006 as they piled more pressure on Eddie Jones and England.
The Welsh need a spark, and the solution from coach Wayne Pivac is to move winger Louis Rees-Zammit to fullback for this game. It is a bold move, seeing as Rees-Zammit has only played the position twice in 57 matches for Gloucester, but with Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams injured, it is a gamble worth taking.
Argentina beat Wales 22-11 the last time they played, and they are the side in better form. The line here is set at 0.5 – or essentially nothing – so I would take the Pumas to win outright on the money line in a betting line upset.
France VS South Africa – Stade Velodrome, Marseille
There are five changes in the Springboks side for this clash as head coach Jacques Nienaber looks to inject more life into his side following the defeat against Ireland. The biggest changes are at 15 and 9, moves that see Willie le Roux back in the side at fullback and Faf de Klerk starting at scrum-half.
The recall for Le Roux pushes Cheslin Kolbe back to his natural wing position, with Makazole Mapimpi dropping to the bench. Las week’s scrum-half Jaden Hendrikse drops out of the Test 23 completely, with the scrappy De Klerk seen as the better option against France’s eliter halfback pairing.
The French are unchanged as they try to hit a dozen matches unbeaten here after squeaking a win against Australia last weekend. Damian Penaud scored the late try that beat the Wallabies in a game they could easily have lost. I think the Boks are a better side than Australia, so I like them +4.5 to, at the very least, cover the spread in the South of France.
Scotland VS New Zealand – Murrayfield, Edinburgh
There were big questions about the form of New Zealand that were answered in a big way as they subjected Wales to their worst defeat ever in Cardiff. They now take on a Scotland team that has never beaten them – 29 defeats and two draws – in 120 years of Test match play.
The Scots are also out of form, as they have lost six of their ten Tests in 2022. The win over Fiji by a score of 28-12 was also less than impressive against a side that while is clearly physical and skilled, has no real funding and thus finds these tours a real challenge.
The line here is 15.5. I expect the All Blacks to smash through that, no matter the number of changes that they make for this Test.