Lions expected to roar

  • Last Updated: June 20 2013, 15:45 BST

A British and Irish Lions tour is one of the great sporting events and the bookmakers aren't holding back ahead of the first test on Saturday.

The tourists are favourites for both the series and the first test and William Hill are among the bookmakers reporting solid support for the Lions and not just from their supporters.

The Australian arm of their business is reportedly seeing two bets for the Lions for every bet on Australia!

"The Australian public have very low expectations, it is almost unprecedented but they have deserted the Wallabies and are piling on the Lions. This total lack of patriotism has stunned us and it is something many of us never thought we would see," said spokesman Andrew Brown.

The Lions are red hot 4/6 favourites to win the first test (they have never lost in Brisbane), with the handicap giving them a slender 3 point lead at Evens (William Hill and Sportingbet) - a wager backed up by David Gee in his preview.

After just one loss in six warm up games, Paddy Power have the tourists as the 8/13 favourites with the Wallabies at 6/4 and odds of 25/1 on a draw.

A spokesman for the firm said; "It all comes down to this... well it doesn't actually but the first test is certainly a massive one for the Lions. They are favourites for the match and the series but its safe to say the Aussies will be more than a little bit keen to avoid defeat in their own back yard. Let battle commence!"

That's certainly the battle cry from BetVictor who will refund losing bets on selected markets if Australia win a Test and they have priced up the hosts at 13/8 to do that at the first time of asking.

Charlie McCann reasoned: "We think the Lions have the edge especially with the Wallabies giving debuts to three players in the 1st Test at the weekend and we want to stay on the right side of a Lions series whitewash.

"The talking is almost over and, despite the midweek loss to the Brumbies, we think the Lions are in great shape ahead of Saturday's international in Brisbane."

Much has been made of the attacking threat of the Lions with Welsh flyer Alex Cuthbert the favourite at a top price of 10/1 with Paddy Power to get the first try followed by countryman George North.

Evergreen Lions stalward Brian O'Driscoll is at odds of 14/1 (General) to score first but if he scores at any time in the game Paddy Power will refund all losing try scorer bets on the match!

Despite failing to score a try in their final warm up game, William Hill are 1/3 that the Lions score a try in the first test. There are a number of commentators who are suggesting that the Lions will win the first but lose the series and William Hill offer 10/1 that this occurs.

"Despite the loss midweek, there have been no negatives for the Lions, who are all the rage across all territories!" said Rupert Adams.