THE MONEY MAN is betting on the All Blacks to lead the Lions at half-time in Auckland, and then go on to win the match and series.
It was Wesley Snipes who made the phrase 'Always bet on black' famous, in the movie Passenger 57.
I have had many people ask for betting advice for the Lions tour to New Zealand and until now I have offered none. The simple reason is that a large touring squad like the Lions makes it difficult to get a feel how the team will perform on a consistent basis.
My advice this week is to put R1,000 on the All Blacks to be leading at half-time and win the Test series decider. It only pays 11/20, but a 55% return is not a bad investment. There is late money coming in for the Lions to win this game and clinch what would be a fairytale series win, but that is more romance than reality.
The All Blacks are a magnificent team and the numbers don’t favour any other result than a beating for the Lions on Saturday.
I did some statistical research over the past couple of days and came to the conclusion that the All Blacks are far better than even I thought they were, and believe me I already thought they were a great team.
Their loss to the Lions last weekend was their first home defeat in 46 home Tests. Just think about that for a second, that is a 97.87 win percentage. Could you imagine having our Boks unbeaten at home for nearly five years? It's staggering to contemplate, but at least South Africans can take a measure of pride knowing it was our boys who last beat them in New Zealand, before the Lions accomplished it a week ago. Anyone remember the game? It was 12 September 2009 at Waikato Stadium, and the score was 32-29. A great year for our boys, as we beat the All Blacks three times under Peter de Villiers. Many would argue of course, that he inherited a World Cup-winning team and possibly one of the best sides South Africa had ever assembled. But let's leave that debate where it belongs, in the past.
Since the start of the millennium, the All Blacks have played 219 Tests, winning 187, drawing three and losing 29, which translates to an unbelievable 90.20 overall winning percentage. It is so easy to list the teams that have beaten them, that I thought I’d include it in this column, you never know when it may come up in one of those pub trivia evenings: Australia (11), Springboks (10), England (3), France (3) and of course, the British & Irish Lions last week.
If these numbers were not impressive enough, the All Blacks have been even better at home since 2000: with a record of 95 wins and seven losses, which works out to a 95.70 winning percentage.
To say they are near impossible to beat anywhere is an understatement. I believe the Lions have done as much as could be expected, but forget about the romance and the folklore of that pre-game dressing room talk, the All Blacks will look to inflict a beating on this Lions team and I’ll make the only sensible bet one can make.
I am betting on black.
Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images