CAPE TOWN – This isn’t to be interpreted as a boast but as a celebration: Last weekend the rugby gods smiled on me and for the first time this season I hit the collective jackpot with each of my picks getting reward.
I was feeling flush and the R10 000 I bet won me back R19 000.
Super Rugby this season has been a punter’s minefield because of World Cup preparations and the rotation of so many of those players’ guaranteed World Cup places. Last week was the exception and so many matches screamed “pick me”.
I am pleased the Stormers finally came good on one of my calls. They’ve been my nemesis this season. Last weekend’s win against the Highlanders played out as I thought it would, which was very different to how the bookies saw this match.
I had the Stormers to win by double digits and they did.
If the Stormers have been my bogey team then my go-to pick has been the Jaguares. They’ve pretty much come good every time I’ve backed them.
It is good to see the bookies have finally given the Jaguares some recognition and they are rightly the favourites to beat the Reds in Brisbane. I won’t be betting on this game, but I will have a flutter of R1000 to win back R1900 on the Rebels not to beat the Waratahs by seven points or more.
The bookies’ spreads this weekend look accurate in most matches, but I think they have got it wrong with the Stormers and Sharks. The Stormers have shown good form in the last few matches and the Lions have been very indifferent. Losing Elton Jantjies also makes a big difference to the outcome.
The Stormers physically gave the Lions a touch up earlier in the competition and I am surprised that the bookies have the Lions as favourites, even though the match is in Johannesburg.
I am putting down R2000 to win back R3800 that the Stormers won’t lose by four or more points. I believe they will win the game outright, but my bet is that they will cover the plus 3.5 points spread. I was also surprised that the Hurricanes are favourites against the Sharks in Durban.
The Sharks, despite inconsistency, have been very consistent against the New Zealand teams in the past two seasons. It’s got a lot to do with the power of the Sharks pack and a very good rush defence. They do seem to unsettle the Kiwi teams and when a New Zealand team doesn’t have rhythm and quick phase ball they can be very fractured.
The Sharks will be boosted with the home win against the Lions. It is the first match on tour for the Canes and I am putting down R2000 to win back R3800 on the Sharks covering the spread. As with the Stormers in Johannesburg, I have the Sharks to win.
The Bulls complete their tour against the Blues and with no Duane Vermeulen and Handre Pollard I think the plus 9.5 point spread is a fair call from the bookies. Blues to win fairly comfortably.
Blues v Bulls - Bulls plus 9.5 points; Rebels v Waratahs - Waratahs plus 6.5 points; Sunwolves v Brumbies - Sunwolves plus 14.5 points; Chiefs v Crusaders - Chiefs plus 12.5 points; Reds v Jaguares - Reds plus 3.5 points; Sharks v Hurricanes - Sharks plus 2.5 points; Lions v Stormers - Stormers plus 3.5 points
* Kevin Ferguson is the chief executive of Highbury Media and a leading sports betting specialist in SA.