BOSTON – Hello from Harvard’s Business School in Boston, where I’ve just completed the most inspiring of courses in “The Business of Entertainment, Media and Sports.”
I didn’t see last weekend’s Super Rugby matches live, but I know for sure that my week at Harvard was a lot more inspiring than the 80 minutes produced by the Stormers against the Lions in Johannesburg.
I hear the Stormers were simply appalling and were never in the game.
Ah, they remain my nemesis: just when I gave them the benefit of the doubt that they may produce something special away from home they unravelled. It’s been the story of my season with them.
My mind last weekend wasn’t on Super Rugby as the course was pretty intensive.
It focused on business and technology trends that are redefining the industry and is aimed at celebrities, professional athletes and entertainment executives.
The course’s famous alumni include Dwyane Wade, Katie Holmes, LL Cool J, Channing Tatum and Karlie Kloss.
Our group of last week was boosted by Cleveland Cavaliers (basketball) star Kevin Love, NBA basketballers Julius Randle and Luc Mbah a Moute and former soccer internationals Tim Cahill (Australia) and Oliver Kahn (Germany), “Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines, NCIS’s actor Eric Christian Olsen and R&B singer Ciara.
There were also a lot of very impressive business executives and clever people, and it was well worth the flight from Cape Town to Boston (via Dubai).
I am back in South Africa tomorrow, so I’ll be able to catch most of Super Rugby’s action on a weekend where I think the bookies haven’t got a heck of a lot wrong in their spreads.
I don’t see much value from a betting perspective in most of the games.
It’s a conservative week and I’ll be betting on just two of the seven matches. I am laying down R1 000 on the Blues to beat the Reds in Brisbane by four or more points. This will give me R1 900 back.
I think the bookies have got it right to start the Hurricanes as favourites against the Lions, despite the match being played in Johannesburg.
I did consider the fact that a SA is refereeing the match, but I believe there won’t be a local bias from Jaco Peyper. He is one of the best in the world and the Canes will get a fair shake from him.
The statistics show how Egon Seconds has favoured the Lions at home, and in their last three matches in Johannesburg against overseas teams they conceded just six penalties and were awarded 43! This was with SA referees.
The same Lions team conceded eight penalties (with a SA referee) against the Sharks.
I have the Canes to beat the handicap and win by four or more points. My R2 000 bet, if successful, will get me back R3 800.
The Super Rugby betting handicap spreads are:
Highlanders v Bulls - Bulls plus 9.5 points
Reds v Blues - Reds plus 1.5 points
Crusaders v Rebels - Rebels plus 18.5 points
Waratahs v Brumbies - Brumbies plus 1.5 points
Lions v Hurricanes - Lions plus 3.5 points
Stormers v Sunwolves - Sunwolves plus 23.5 points
Jaguares v Sharks - Sharks plus 6.5 points
* Kevin Ferguson is the chief executive of Highbury Media and a leading sports betting authority. Follow him on www.moneymansa.co.za