So, how is the state of the nation’s punting kitty? Let’s see if we can address it over the next 48 hours, with a bunch of saucy prices that might get your vote.
It might be a Super Saturday locally, but it’s definitely a Super Sunday in England. So, let’s take stock of it all and see where we can make a quick buck.
The main dish locally is the Soweto Derby, which is one of the most fiercely competed rivalries on the African continent.
Of late, though, this match has had Orlando Pirates dominating and only losing one match to the ‘Glamour Boys’ in the last five years. Prior to the Bucs’ recent run of wins, we were subjected to rather mundane draws.
Despite this recent run, Kaizer Chiefs are the favourites at 14/10, with in-form Orlando Pirates at 21/10, which is a generous price. Let us hope the bookies’ favourites can revive this rivalry?
But, The Bones are bucking the bookie trend, and don’t see this result being too different from recent results.
Pirates by two!
Unfortunately, Kaizer’s boys need less glamour and more stamina.
Match Day: Kaizer Chiefs vs. Orlando Pirates, Saturday 09 February 2019, FNB Stadium, 15h30— Kaizer Chiefs (@KaizerChiefs) February 9, 2019
PLEASE COME EARLY TO THE STADIUM TO AVOID ANY KICK-OFF DELAYS.
There will be road closures as well
NO TICKET SALES AT THE STADIUM!#WozaNazo #TheBattleIsOn #HailTheChief #SowetoDerby pic.twitter.com/Wd2EqrePRE
The other big match is the Durban encounter between AmaZulu and Cape Town City. These two teams deserve all the plaudits, with one fighting its way admirably after being docked points, and another on a great unbeaten run.
AmaZulu are 19/10, with the visitors the slight favourites at 16/10, with a draw at 18/10. This shows how unsure the bookies are on this one, as these odds are all pretty much even.
Sangoma says Usuthu-Unite!
Across the ditch, Liverpool host Bournemouth and will make sure they don’t slip up twice this week.
They have, however, looked vulnerable of late, and I see Man City losing fewer games in the run-in than the mighty Klopp Scousers.
In London, Fulham host Manchester United, a team on fire no doubt. Fulham home or away are a bit of a mare, and they won’t improve today.
United seem to be on a great wicket, and will march on and step closer to securing a European spot.
The other game out of the capital is Crystal Palace playing West Ham. This is the poor cousin when it comes to London derbies, but should be a cracker match, nonetheless.
Look at both teams to score at 7/10, and I have an inkling that the Hammers come good here, priced at a juicy 5/2.
Then Huddersfield take on Arsenal, where both teams are in dire need of some points – for quite different issues of relegation and Champions League places respectively.
Arsenal should crack on here and collect the points. On Sunday, Tottenham host Leicester. I don’t foresee the hosts winning this easily; actually, I suspect them dropping more points.
Perhaps they may not drop the whole wad of three points (possible?), but two at least?
The other game is Chelsea visiting title contenders Manchester City. City have stalked Liverpool well over the last two months, and I reckon are showing more belly in the beast – even if they are competing on every front!
There is also round two of the Six Nations, where I struck out last week, with one out of three in my predictions.
We are looking for a better showing this week. Scotland are at home to a bruised Irish team. Ireland needs to bounce back, as they went in as favourites for the tournament last week, before being downed in Dublin by England.
Italy host a much weakened Welsh side, after doing well to avoid being klapped by the handicap of 25 points last week.
Either way, the pasta boys are the whipping boys of the competition.
Lastly, England are home and in good spirits after beating the Irish away. They host France, who will be seething at their loss to Wales at home. Les Bleus struggled to kick at goal, which ultimately caused their demise.
So, all that said, Ireland, England and Wales should all get the job done. The handicaps are minus 7, 12 and 18 respectively. These are on the button, so I say back that trio on the handicap given.
Happy punting, party people.
Independent on Saturday