For the seven months building towards the British & Irish Lions series, the men in red remained favourites to take home the series. As we reach the deciding match, the home team have shifted the odds drastically in their favour.
Odd are ever changing, and if you locked in the Springboks for a series win earlier in the year at around 2/1, your payoff if they do emerge victorious on Saturday, will be a lot higher than if you were to take them now at 1.59.
This series is a dream for any rugby supporter, as we have the third and final encounter deciding the winner of the tournament, and therefore no dead-rubber affair. The Lions beat the Springboks by five points (22-17) in the opening match of the series, in a game that could have gone either way given the quality of the two sides on the day. This past Saturday the Springboks were emphatic in reversing the roles to choke the Lions out in the final 20 minutes and win by 18 points (27-9), keeping them scoreless for the whole second half.
I was sure of a Bok win last week, and an emphatic and physical one too, but any punter who bet on a -17.5 handicap for the Boks would have made a fortune. I doubt there were many who expected either team to be capable of winning by that sort of margin.
The Springboks’ strong second test has seen their odds (as correct on Monday 02/08, on Betway) shift to 1.65 for Saturday, while the Lions come in as the underdogs at 2.45 to win the match.
Whoever wins the match wins the series, and there will be money to made in a game where neither team will be willing to give and inch, yet both will know the necessity of getting points on the board.
Look out for our preview later in the week and keep tabs as the action unfolds in the build up to a Test that shares similar grandiosity to a World Cup final.