DURBAN – February is finally over, and the bad luck has surely gone with it?
With upsets, firing of managers and Sangoma’s shady calls, good riddance February, hamba kahle en totsiens.
A Premiership-winning manager (from less than three years ago), Claudio Ranieri, has been shown the door at Fulham, after 106 days on the job.
This seemed inevitable, with their leaking goals for a while. Ciao Claudio!
This weekend marks the countdown of the final 10 games of the season. The winner, European spots and relegation slots are yet to be decided.
The EPL’s big game is the derby between Tottenham and Arsenal. Both teams are in familiar territory of battling out for the last two Champions League spots, nothing new.
This game will go a long way in deciding a Champions League spot, with Manchester United a sneeze behind. United are expected to be in the top four by Monday, facing Southampton at home.
The derby should see both teams scoring at 6/10. Spurs are favourites at 11/10, with the Gunners at a saucy 5/2.
A decent bet is Arsenal with a win or draw at 7/10, but perhaps look at taking a chance on Arsenal, where a cheeky R400 will have you collect R1 400.
The other games should see the home teams win, barring Bournemouth and Burnley.
On Sunday, there are three interesting games on the go.
Look at Watford to get one over Leicester, Chelsea to win away at Fulham and Liverpool to collect in the Merseyside derby. That treble will pay you R1 800 from R300.
Liverpool have hardly won this derby away from home, but will know what they need to do in order to top the log. I expect Liverpool to win by two goals!
New month, same focus 💯— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 1, 2019
🔜 Matchday 2️⃣9️⃣ pic.twitter.com/cutsni5BQ3
In some local footy, there is an interesting clash between Golden Arrows (six points above relegation) against Pirates, who are chasing the trophy.
Hosts Arrows will be desperate to win here, but Pirates should still win at the lovely price of 13/10.
The game with the greatest prospects is between title contenders Wits and Cape Town City. Benni’s boys will be keen to bounce back after their loss to leaders Sundowns. My suspicion is the Students will make it back-to-back losses for City.
In other matches, Sundowns and Chiefs should do the business at home.
The Sunday games may be a snooze, but watch Baroka and Chippa at home, even though they are both lower on the table than their opponents.
There is also the USA leg of the World Sevens Series, which kicked off this morning. The championship log leaders are New Zealand and the USA, tied at the top of the log.
The USA, priced at 5/2, have been the bridesmaid in every tournament this season; they are surely due to break their duck, and win in Las Vegas. The favourites Fiji sit in third place on the overall log, but are strong favourites to win the series.
For the overall betting, it’s a good time to look at some value bets, with New Zealand and USA, priced at 28/10 and 7/2 respectively. South Africa are priced at 12/1 for the series, which is on point as they don’t look likely.
In Super Rugby, we’ve had a couple of upsets already. This has made bookies very happy, and surely got those Superbru and office pools off to a shaky start.
The two big games see the Sharks hosting the Stormers and the ‘trans-Jukskei derby’ between the Lions and Bulls.
Actual fight scenes between Captain America (Vodacom Bulls) and Spiderman (Emirates Lions)— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) February 28, 2019
Watch how our fans react at the end!
Nothing like a bit of banter before the game @LionsRugbyCo ;)
Video Footage Rights: Marvel Studios#BullsFamily #LIOvBUL #SuperPowered pic.twitter.com/tVAzzW1ydn
Both these games have the exact same odds, with the home teams being 5/10 favourites with a handicap of -7 points.
The home teams should win, but the Bulls may upset the cart.
The Crusaders and Chiefs should both win on the handicap of -14 and -26 points.
The latter seems like a stretch, but given their painful loss from last weekend, they could notch up over 40 points.
The Jaguares should also win, making it two wins out of three at home to start 2019.@shabsgunner
Independent on Saturday