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The Premier Soccer League (PSL) is the mother body of all the various leagues and competitions in South Africa including the three major cup tournaments, the National First Division and the Diski reserve league.
The ABSA PSL is the professional league comprising of the highest tier in South African football, with 16 teams competing each season.
The top two teams are eligible to compete in the African Champions League, while the top eight sides compete in the following season’s lucrative MTN 8 (the highest paying cup competition in the country).
The side that finishes bottom of the log is automatically relegated to the National First Division (NFD) while the club that ends in 15th position (second last) competes in a play-off against the sides that finish second and third in the NFD. The first division side who wins the crown is automatically moved up to the Premiership the next season.
The ABSA PSL is arguably the richest league in Africa, with revenue earned through sponsors and television rights rocketing upwards. This means that the sides can keep the top players by paying substantial salaries (equal to many small European premiership clubs).
ABSA is the primary sponsor of the league while Multi-Choice in the form of subsidiary SuperSport pays 1.6 billion rand every five years.
The top teams in South Africa include the likes of Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Bidvest Wits and SuperSport United. Sundowns are the defending champions, having clinched their third PSL title in five years at the conclusion of the 2017/18 season.
The side boasts the top talent in the country due to massive salaries bankrolled by the owner of the side, Patrice Motsepe; a dollar billionaire businessman.
Sundowns (also known as the Brazilians) have won eight league titles – the most by any team and two years back won the prestigious African Champions League. They are a serious continental threat as well as being the dominant force in SA football. Over the past five years they are the bookmaker’s favourite to win the league.
The side that finished second in the latest installment, Orlando Pirates, are also African champions and boast the joint second most league titles (4), alongside bitter rivals Kaizer Chiefs. Chiefs are the best supported team in the country but have been struggling to assert their dominance on the game, having picked up one title (three seasons back), having picked up the solitary crown for the first time in a decade.
The Chiefs versus Pirates (second most supporters) derby is the biggest fixture on the calendar and almost surpasses the Al-Ahly and Zamalek derby in Egypt.
The derby most often ends in a draw, and that result is highly favoured by punters.
Bidvest wits won the title two seasons back but only managed to finish in 13 position the last campaign after flirting with relegation for two thirds of the season.
This drop from grace perfectly encapsulates the South African PSL, with many ‘odd’ results being seen week in and week out.
The SA clubs drop more points than any European League over a season and it is not often a side runs away with the title.
Sundowns can easily lose to Platinum Stars (15th position) on any given weekend, and results are topsy-turvy, making jackpot predictions a bit of a free-for-all.
Platinum Stars have always been top five contenders but had a miserable season and now face life in the tough NFD.
Highlands Park will be the new face in the PSL next season and will be the bookie’s favourite to finish last. See all PSL Betting odds. The side that moves up to this division is often relegated right off the bat due to financial constraints, like no main sponsor, poor management structure and a limited squad. The past season was hit with scandal as Ajax Cape Town were deemed to have fielded an ineligible player and were subsequently docked points, earning them an automatic drop down to NFD. The play-offs have recently concluded and Platinum Stars will also be plying their trade in the second-tier next season.