Pretoria News - - SPORT - KEVIN FER­GU­SON

THE pur­pose of this col­umn is to ed­u­cate peo­ple about mak­ing the right bet. Last week I picked the Spring­boks to beat Eng­land. It was the right bet, but the wrong re­sult be­cause of the Boks’ in­abil­ity to turn ab­so­lute firsthalf dom­i­nance into points. There was also the missed penalty from Han­dre Pol­lard and the penalty that never was in re­la­tion to the Owen Far­rell “no arms” tackle.

The right bet this week­end is for a Bok win against France in Paris.

I can’t stress enough that mak­ing the right bet is on the like­li­hood of the out­come. It’s about un­der­stand­ing why you are mak­ing the bet and not just tak­ing a flier. I am not go­ing to change my anal­y­sis, which is to look for the best prob­a­ble out­come.

This week my fo­cus is on three matches: Eng­land v New Zealand, Wales v Aus­tralia and France v South Africa.

The book­mak­ers have a three-anda-half-point hand­i­cap for the Bok Test in Paris. If you think the Boks will win by four or more you give the points at mi­nus three and a half. If you think France will win or not lose by four or more you take the points at plus three and a half.

I be­lieve the Boks will win by four or more for these rea­sons:

*France have won twice and drawn once in the last 15 Tests – and that draw was at home against Ja­pan.

*The Boks, even through the Al­lis­ter Coet­zee era, were com­fort­ably dom­i­nant against France and have won the last six en­coun­ters be­tween the two teams.

*France cur­rently (and for the past few years) haven’t been good enough to com­pete with the top five teams. They have con­sis­tently been ranked eighth or ninth in the world.

*Frankly, the Boks are sim­ply much bet­ter team than France.

There­fore, I am tak­ing the Boks at mi­nus three and half to win by four or more. I am putting down R1 000 to win back R1 900.

The book­ies started the week in­stalling New Zealand as 11-and­half-point favourites. That has moved out to 14 and half. The 22 per­cent move­ment in hand­i­cap wor­ries me be­cause three points is a big dif­fer­en­tial at Twick­en­ham, es­pe­cially with poor weather con­di­tions pre­dicted. My call is the All Blacks to win by 15, but this is one I am not bet­ting on.

Wales have lost the last 13 Tests to Aus­tralia, yet the book­ies have Aus­tralia as 12/10 un­der­dogs. It’s a good punt to back his­tory here and I am putting R1 000 on Aus­tralia to win to get back R2 200.

*Kevin Fer­gu­son is the chief ex­ec­u­tive of High­bury Me­dia and the lead­ing sports bet­ting an­a­lyst in SA. In­ter­act with him on www.mon­ey­


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