Rugby Union betting has been on the upward curve in recent years and due to the increased turnover the bookmakers are now offering a much wider spread of rugby union betting markets. If you are looking to bet on rugby union, who will win the match (match result) is the simplest form of bet available but as with football there is often a case where one team is much stronger than the other and this is represented in the odds.
To combat the very short prices available on the match result, bookmakers introduced handicap betting, which is now the most popular rugby union betting market. The handicap prices are generally around 10/11 or 5/6 on each side so it can sometimes pay to place an accumulator bet by picking more than one team to win. This can also be a good way to play the match result if handicap betting is not for you.
There is something for everybody when it comes to rugby union betting. With betting markets like 1st, last and anytime try scorer, winning margin and total points in the game, it opens its doors to the less experienced punter who may only want to place a few small bets to enhance their viewing experience. Some people also have favourite players so the try scorer betting allows people to benefit by backing a player of their choice to score.
Before we breakdown of the most popular rugby union betting markets, we first need to understand the different formats of the game.
Different formats of the game
Test rugby has been around since 1871 and is the highest level of the game. It involves teams from different nations competing against each other and some combined teams (British and Irish Lions and the Barbarians) taking on a national side. Betting on Test rugby is no different from betting on any other of format of the game with all the usual rugby union betting markets available. Rugby Union betting turnover on Test rugby is significantly higher than betting on domestic league matches. This is due to people knowing a lot more about the teams, increased TV coverage and also some very high profile tournaments like the 6 Nations and the World Cup.
As rugby union betting has grown in popularity the amount of different leagues that are offered by the bookmakers has also increased. It wasn’t that long ago that the bookmakers only offered outright betting on the English Premier League but now you can bet on all the domestic leagues in the UK as well as leagues from Republic of Ireland, France, Australia, New Zealand and Italy. Generally speaking the lower the league, the less markets offered by the bookmaker but this can sometimes play into your hands as your knowledge of lower league rugby could easily be far superior to the individual pricing of the market.
Selection of rugby union betting markets
Match Result Betting
This involves betting on which team will win the match or the match to finish as a draw. Due to there only being three betting options available (win/draw/win) the odds on the favourite are usually very short. With the more favourable team’s odds being on the short side, it also gives you some great value if you fancy the other team to win.
One of the most popular bets to play when looking at the match result betting is an accumulator but be aware that the more teams you pick, the less chance of your bet coming in.
Handicap betting is the most popular betting market in terms of turnover that is offered by the bookmakers and can also be one of the most exciting types of rugby union betting markets offered. The bookmakers will give one team a minus points start depending on how much better they think they are than the opposition and the prices on both teams are generally the same (10/11 or 5/6).
As with the match result betting the most popular bet to play is an accumulator but if you think that the bookmaker has got his handicap line wrong, it could be more beneficial to place a big single bet.
As you can see to the left, the bookmakers are giving Newcastle a 20 point start therefore Bath would have to win by 21 points or more to win the match.
If this match was priced up without the handicap Bath would be 1/6 favourites to win the match. With Bath’s odds at 1/6 being so short it demonstrates the benefit of offering handicap betting.
Try Scorer Betting
This is betting on an individual player to score a try. You can select if you wish to place a bet on your chosen player to score the first or last try in the match and also to score at any time during the 80 minutes of play. The prices are usually very attractive especially if you are betting on a player to score the first or the last try of the match whereas betting on a player to score at any time the odds are shorter but still a good betting proposition.
This is not a betting market that attracts huge sums of money unless the bookmaker isn’t up to date with the latest team news. A lot of the bookmakers prices on this market are automated so sometimes it can pay to have a close look at the odds especially if you know that a certain player is playing that the bookmakers think may be starting on the bench.
This is another rugby union betting market that attracts a lot of bets but not huge turnover. The odds range according to the different points margins offered. This market is usually set from the handicap betting so it could be a good market to get involved in if you think the bookmaker has got their handicap line wrong.
Rugby Union Betting Stats
One of the great things about rugby union betting is the wealth of statistical information that is now available to help you pick that winner. Make sure you do your homework before placing any bets and with the aid of the huge range of stats, you’ll soon find yourself one step ahead of the bookmaker.