This year’s Championships League (previously known as the Tri-Nations prior to the inclusion of Argentina), really shook up the odds as we edge ever closer to the Rugby World Cup to be played next month in Japan.
The All Blacks were previously the firm favorites to win the World Cup, but the fact that New Zealand didn’t appear to be all that prepared for what was about to go down in the Championships League is the cause of a major headache for bookies and bettors all over the world.
But with that having been said, New Zealand remains the firm favorite in terms of the overall winner, and still manages to lead the popularity pack ahead of second-in-line England. For the time being anyway.
The Gap Is Closing
But it must also be said that the gap between New Zealand and South Africa is no longer the bottomless canyon that it once was. Where exactly the latest odds leave England isn’t sure, but bookies now seem to agree that its very much going to be a toss-up between the All Blacks and the Springboks.
But of course, the actual question to be asking at this stage is, “what are the odds?”. But then again, there’s no need to hit panic stations. New Zealand did after all pull a right miracle from the hat when the team in 2015 claimed the Bledisloe Cup as its own only week after having had its national backside kicked by none other than the Aussies, once again proving just how fast they can recover and resume their top spot.
Behold The Mighty Springboks
South African fans and bettors hoping for a win by the Springboks may have reason to be swinging towards the side of the over-optimistic. South Africa did after all emerge overall victorious from this year’s Championship League, even if it was largely by hook or by crook and thanks to various significant technicalities.
But will the South African comeback prove enough in order to make bettors to write love-letters home? Some bookies are at complete odds with the notion, whilst others yet are convinced that 2019 is the year of the Springbok.
The fact that the last two encounters between New Zealand and South Africa both mostly played out in favour of the latter isn’t any consolation to All Blacks supporters. The numbers are out, the odds revealed and it’s now up to each individual bettor to reach a conclusion as to which team is most likely to be crowned Kings of Rugby in Japan.
Its 50/50 Really!
The truth is, laying down the odds is tricky business, as is making sense of the thousands of lines’ worth of statistics. What remains true is that whoever wins this year’s World Cup trophy will probably have deserved to be there. There’s no such thing as a never-ending lucky break, after all.
As for the bookies, divided lines prevail. Some are of the opinion that its only but a matter of time before the cream separates from the murky lake of milk and all is revealed, with others standing firmly by their guns and by their choices and predictions. The closing gap has never drawn quite as much attention as what is currently the case, and quite understandably so too.
This is one instance when wagering a guess and hoping for the best may or may not work, but appears to be the only actual option available. Because as with everything else in life, it all comes down to situation of 50/50 and what plays out on the field