It is a difficult one, but the smart money is on SundownsThomas Kwenaite
A few weeks ago, I tried my hand at predicting the outcome of a football match and found myself correctly predicting that Brazil would win the gold medal match in the Tokyo Olympics in an article entitled: “The smart money for a betting man is on Brazil!”
In the same article, I also predicted that fellow South Americans – Mexico – were good bets to win the bronze medal match and I got a kick out of discovering that my predictions in both matches were spot on!
Now I find myself tempted to become a full-time punter and getting involved in sport betting which has taken not just South Africa, but the entire world by storm if one has to look at the popularity of sport betting these days.
It first started with what was then known as the sport of kings – horse racing – which in conservative South Africa was the only betting game allowed in them days and the races did not come bigger than the Sun Met, The Queen’s Plate and the Vodacom Durban July.
Horse racing was for many years a sport associated with betting where large amounts of money were spent on correctly predicting which horse would win a particular race at race courses spread across the country either in a jackpot, a place or even a tri-factor.
But these days, horse racing appears to have lost a little bit of its shine and these days the betting sport that seems to be the craze, where people spent large sums of money testing their knowledge of sport, seems to be in football where people are capable of winning themselves enormous amounts of cash.
What has made soccer betting such a phenomenal market is due to the unpredictable nature of football. And this has challenged so-called experts who believe they are much better than official analysts in terms of predicting the outcome of football matches.
Initially football betting started as a game of fun, where a group of friends tried to see whose knowledge of the game was more advanced and they tried to outscore each other regarding who could correctly predict the outcome of matches or who would come the closest in guessing the correct results.
It then developed into this massive betting frenzy where punters have the choice to concentrate either on the UEFA Champions League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, English Premier League, African Champions League and even the South African domestic league.
And suddenly even rookies have discovered that they could actually correctly predict the outcome of matches and so got hooked and that is how sport betting has grown so much where there are now bets on six matches, 10 matches, 13 matches and even on single matches.
With the South African domestic league getting underway this weekend with mouth-watering clashes in the MTN 8 competition, I think I am now shifting my focus and getting seriously involved in trying my hand at sport betting!
Granted, Kaizer Chiefs have assembled what looks like a formidable squad and could actually end the six year trophy drought, but they have just started a rebuilding process and would be meeting a settled Sundowns, and this puts them at a disadvantage.
Swallows have also brought a lot of new additions but in the process have lost key players, particularly Njabulo Ngcobo and the loss could come back to haunt them, giving Pirates and advantage. Golden Arrows could shade this one even though Lehlohonolo Seema would be taking the reigns for the first time after Mandla Ncikazi quit to join Pirates at the end of the just completed season but SuperSport seem to lack the resources they used to have in the past and could find the going pretty tough.
Finally, Benni McCarthy has not only been voted “Coach of the Year” but has performed near miracles with AmaZulu and with smart signing at the close of the season, should carry too many assegais for The Citizens!
Here are this week’s predictions in the MTN 8:
Mamelodi Sundowns vs Kaizer Chiefs (1)
Moroka Swallows vs Orlando Pirates (2)
Lamontville Golden Arrows vs SuperSport United (1)
AmaZulu vs Cape Town City (1)
*Number one is the club mentioned first!