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South Africa vs Wales RWC Semifinal Odds & Pick: Springboks Are 8.5-Point Favorites

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in Rugby

Oct 24, 2019 · 2:10 PM PDT

Wales rugby team on the pitch
Wales are +245 underdogs to beat South Africa in the Rugby World Cup semifinals. Photo by: ezioman (Flickr) [CC License]
  • Wales are +245 underdogs to beat South Africa in the Rugby World Cup semifinals
  • The South Africans are 8.5-point favorites this Sunday (Oct. 
  • The Springboks beat the Welsh in the 2015 RWC quarterfinals

Wales is looking to traverse new ground in its Rugby World Cup history, but they face a familiar stumbling block in South Africa. Wales and South Africa meet in the second RWC semifinal on Sunday, Oct. 27 (5:00 AM ET).

Four years ago at the 2015 RWC in England, the Springboks downed Wales 23-19 in the quarterfinals.

Oddsmakers have established the South Africans as 8.5-point favorites to topple Wales.

Wales vs South Africa RWC Semifinal Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total Odds
Wales +8.5 (-115) +245 40.5 (-120)
South Africa -8.5 (-110) -325 40.5 (-120
Draw N/A +2500 N/A

Odds taken Oct. 24.

South Africa are the second betting choice to win the tournament in the RWC Championship odds at +450. Wales are fourth in this betting market at +950.

History With South Africa

Wales and South Africa have only met twice on the pitch in the World Cup; both times, the outcome has gone the way of the Springboks.

Along with the 2015 quarterfinal triumph, South Africa edged Wales 17-16 in Group Stage play at the 2011 RWC.

South Africa have twice won the RWC, at home in 1995 and in 2007 in France. Wales have never advanced beyond the semifinal stage. The Welsh lost 9-8 to France in 2011 and fell 49-6 to New Zealand in the 1987 semis.

The Springboks are the only side left in the RWC that’s lost a match. They opened the tournament by dropping a 23-13 decision to the All Blacks.

Wales Injury Worries

Welsh coach Warren Gatland confirmed that fullback Liam Williams is out for Sunday’s match due to an ankle injury. Williams (62 caps) has scored two tries in the RWC and was a European Champions Cup and English Premiership winner earlier this year with Saracens.

If Wales advance, Williams is also expected to be a no-go for the final. Veteran Leigh Halfpenny will draw in for Williams.

The status of center Jonathan Davies, who’s missed the past two games with a knee injury, is uncertain. Fellow center Hadleigh Parkes has played the entire RWC despite a broken bone in his hand and a shoulder ailment.

Back-row forward Josh Navidi is out after straining a hamstring in the 20-19 quarterfinal win over France.

Kolbe Out For Springboks

South Africa has also lost a key player to injury. Winger Cheslin Kolbe is out due to an ankle injury. He was hurt as the Springboks beat Japan 26-3 in the quarterfinals.

Kolbe has scored seven tries in 13 tests since his 2018 debut. S’Busiso Nkosi replaces him, the only change to the 15 that beat the Japanese.

Aghast About Garces

An overzealous South African supporter launched an unsuccessful online petition to overturn the appointment of French referee Jerome Garces to handle the match.

The Springboks have won just one of the last 10 matches with Garces as arbiter, and only four of 14 all-time.

No matter. South Africa will overcome both Garces and injury-riddled Wales.

Pick: South Africa (-325)

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