I am writing this article before the match between South Africa “A” and the British & Irish Lions which has been described as a 4th Test by the media.
How I will feature on that game from a betting point of view is an unknown at this stage, but so far the Lions Tour has been a financial success. In the opener against the Sigma Lions I backed the visitors to score 7 tries or more, a bet that arrived fairly comfortably. I kept the same tactic when they met the Sharks in Johannesburg last Wednesday, betting on the British & Irish Lions to score at least 6 tries, something they did comfortably in the 54-7 victory.
Bookmakers adjusted the lines and rather than back the Lions to score 9 tries or more in the second fixture against the Sharks (this bet would have arrived), I jumped ship and backed the Sharks to score 2 tries or more at odds of 12/10. Sometimes you have to sweat before a winning bet lands, but this was certainly not the case as the Sharks scored their second try inside the first quarter of an hour of the match and the profits were duly banked. It is strange but when you hit your bet early the balance of the game is quite boring.
It was a reasonable weekend for me in the end despite battling a bit in the Tour de France where winners have been like hens teeth.
On Sunday I took 12/10 that Italy would lift the Cup in Euro 2020. Settling down to watch the final my son admitted that he was supporting Italy just to shut up all of the WhatsApp stories referencing “It’s Coming Home”. England got off to a fast start with an early goal, but I always had the feeling that the Italians would fight back and when they started dominating proceedings in the second half the equalizer seemed inevitable.
Perhaps just as inevitable was that the game would head to penalties. Italy were the first to miss and I thought my money was done, but England’s last 3 penalty takers all hit either poor or mediocre shots, 1 of which missed and 2 of which were saved. The bet landed and the world is probably a more bearable place with the trophy going to Rome rather than home.
This article was written for the CitiGaming supplement of the Citizen Newspaper and was published on the 15 July 2021.