SPORTS BET­TING

Weekend Witness - - Royal Show 160th Anniversary - WITH ERIC DEN­MAN

THE Sharks kick off against the Bulls in the late game at 7.10 pm tonight and it looks the most im­por­tant game of the week­end with the two teams play­ing the most im­por­tant game of their sea­son. Both teams have failed to put 80minute per­for­mances to­gether through­out the sea­son. The Bulls led the Rebels by 37 points at half-time last week and in the sec­ond half the Rebels man­aged to keep the score down to a seven-point draw, which put a ques­tion mark against the South African team. The Sharks have done much the same this sea­son and if you in­clude the Storm­ers last week — who led by a mile against the Chiefs and then lost by seven points with the Storm­ers only scor­ing three points in the sec­ond half — it seems South African sides fail to con­cen­trate for 80 min­utes and none seem to have a Plan B when Plan A goes wrong. The book­mak­ers have made this a one-point hand­i­cap game in favour of the Sharks and with nei­ther team be­ing con­sis­tent I will not be fi­nan­cially in­volved but will watch with in­ter­est an ab­sorb­ing game, which could cost the losers a place in the play­offs. In this morn­ing’s early game at 9.35 am, the Cru­saders will be look­ing to get their sea­son back on track with a home vic­tory over the Chiefs. Al­though suf­fer­ing heav­ily with in­juries, I think the Cru­saders rep­re­sent a max­i­mum bet with only a nine­point hand­i­cap on their home field. At 11.40 am, the Waratahs host the Lions and af­ter last week’s im­pres­sive vic­tory I am sur­prised to see the Lions with a 15-point start in the hand­i­cap sys­tem. I think the Lions could put 20 points on the board, which means the Waratahs would have to score 36 points to win in the hand­i­cap sys­tem, and the Lions look a fair bet with that huge start. At 2.05 pm the West­ern Force host the Brumbies and I would rather give my money to char­ity than have a bet in this fix­ture. At 5.05 pm, the Chee­tahs, who we tipped in this col­umn last week be­cause they had an 11-point start with the book­mak­ers, host the Rebels. The Rebels have no chance of beat­ing the muchim­proved Chee­tahs but with a big 17-point hand­i­cap I only rec­om­mend a small bet on the home side.

In the English Premier League it’s all eyes on the rel­e­ga­tion and four games will de­cide who stays up and who goes down with West Ham. Only one point sep­a­rates five teams and the goal dif­fer­ence from 19th po­si­tion to 16th po­si­tion ranges be­tween -19 and -22. Black Pool look most likely to go down even if they man­age a draw. The book­mak­ers have gone short at 2-1 the draw when Wolves host Black­burn, and both sides could sur­vive with that re­sult. Birm­ing­ham look to have the tough­est game when they travel to Spurs and I can’t see Birm­ing­ham get­ting a point from this game, which means they will be sweat­ing on Wi­gan not win­ning at Stoke. Should Wi­gan get a draw it would then come down to goal dif­fer­ence, with Birm­ing­ham de­pend­ing on how much their los­ing mar­gin is against Spurs. With all games start­ing at the same time on Sun­day, it should be ex­cit­ing to see how this battle pans out and the only bet I would rec­om­mend is vic­to­ries for Spurs and Wi­gan, in what looks a tough pro­gramme.

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