CAPE TOWN – The sports betting gods have been kind, generous and rewarding to me in the last week. If you follow my Facebook page you would have seen the bounce of the ball has favoured me in soccer and NFL.
My most enjoyable bet was on yellow cards in a Serie A match involving Bologna and Chievo. My research had shown that both teams had the most yellow cards and the referee in charge had given out the most cards in the season. The bookies had very charitable odds that there wouldn’t be more than four yellow cards. I got handsome reward for betting there would be. The final match tally, seven yellow cards and a red!
My two Super Rugby bets last week both worked a treat. I always felt the Sharks were going to be a banker to cover the spread against the Lions in Johannesburg. I had them to win outright in my bet and on Superbru. I didn’t quite have them to win by 37 points, but the outright win meant a great return on money invested.
I also had the Jaguares to cover the handicap against the Bulls in Pretoria. They did better than this and actually won the match with a late score.
I am on a winning streak at the moment. It’s going for me, but despite this streak I am staying away from too many investments in Super Rugby this weekend. There is not a heck of a lot the bookies have got wrong and the earning potential isn’t great. The only match I am putting money on is for the Rebels to beat the Stormers by more than 11 points.
The bookies have given the Stormers a 10.5 handicap, which means they don’t feel the Stormers will lose by more than 11. They’ve got this one wrong.
The Rebels, under Dave Wessels, have been the form Australian team. Veteran Wallaby halfbacks Will Genia and Quade Cooper have been influential in the fortunes of the team and the Stormers are depleted.
There are more senior Stormers in Cape Town this weekend than in Melbourne. I have been hugely disappointed with the Stormers’ three defeats on tour. It won’t get any better in Melbourne.
The New Zealand derbies are always contests I caution against. Form often plays no part when the Kiwi teams take on each other.
My Superbru includes home wins for the Crusaders against the Highlanders and also the Chiefs against the Blues.
I have the Lions to beat the Brumbies outright, despite the Brumbies being favourites. I also have the Sharks and Bulls to win at home against the Jaguares and Reds respectively. I think the match in Durban will be a one score differential, but I am with the bookies that it will be an easy win for the Bulls.
The bookies have given the Bulls a minus 13.5 handicap, which means they don’t think the Bulls will win by more than 14 points. I believe that’s too conservative. I have them to win by 22 on my Superbru. It’s not a game I am betting on. Something tells me to stay away from it.
Betting odds (favourites mentioned and handicap)
Crusaders -14.5 versus Highlanders
Rebels -10.5 versus Stormers
Chiefs -5.5 versus Blues
Brumbies -3.5 versus Lions
Sharks -8.5 versus Jaguares
Bulls -13.5 versus Reds
* Ferguson is chief executive of Highbury Media and a leading sports betting authority in South Africa. Follow him on www.moneymansa.co.za