I wasn’t planning to get involved in the rugby on Sunday afternoon. The weekend had been good to me and I was showing a profit and the Scotland v France match had been called off due COVID-19 in the French camp.
There was some local rugby in the form of the Preparation Series and a few of the shrewder punters I know had already climbed on Bulls (-22.5) against the EP Elephants when the betting came out. The handicap had shifted towards the 30 point mark, but the lads were adamant that these Bulls were going to flay the Elephants who had not played a competitive game in ages. I had a small interest in the (-29.5), sat back to watch the game and this as it turns out is where the action really began. A few bookmakers offered in-running betting and it became apparent after the first 5 minutes they were not reading the game very well at all.
The Elephants scored an early penalty, but the way the Bulls then powered over for a rolling maul try from a lineout should have sent alarm bells ringing in the traders’ rooms. They dangled Bulls (-26.5) and I simply had to get involved. Fellow punters were climbing in and while the handicap kept on shifting up as the Bulls scored, the traders were not allowing for the fact that the original handicap was way off the mark. In other words they were working off the wrong base but either hadn’t realized or just refused to acknowledge it.
I also took the Bulls to win the second half by 14 points or more and I know punters that took Bulls (-61.5) at the half-time break when they led by 35 points. I can only imagine the chaos in the trading rooms as I doubt there was a single punter on the Elephants.
The Bulls ran riot winning 87-10 and all bets landed. I made some decent cash with my in-play punts, although I was disappointed that a double I took up front with Northampton Saints to score 29 points or more never landed as that would have made my weekend. They scored 19 in the first half and then somehow failed to add to their tally of tries.
Needless to say I will be watching the Preparation Series in-running betting very closely this weekend.
This article was written for the CitiGaming supplement of the Citizen Newspaper and was published on the 4 March 2021.