There are a wide variety of betting options available for Rugby Union. This makes it fun for casual punters, and gives professionals more opportunity to find value. Some online betting sites focus a lot of attention on Rugby Union betting. Others have less interest in it. Also, with so many international tournaments, betting sites will focus more or less attention on certain events depending on their customer profile.
For example, a betting site that has a large percentage of players from Australia is more likely to offer a wide variety of betting options for Tri Nations than a site with mostly European punters.
For this reason, we recommend registering at several online betting sites. This will give you the ability to compare odds and find the best betting options for the games or tournaments you’re interested in.
Types of Rugby Union Bets
Match betting on the money line and handicap (point spread) are the most popular Rugby Union bets to place. However, bets can also be made on try scorers, total points scored, tournament winners, and prop bets.
Match Betting on the Money Line
Betting on match winners is the most popular way to bet on Rugby Union. Punters can bet on the money line straight-up, with odds reflecting the favoured and underdog teams. In the case of a tie, all bets are lost. However, some betting sites offer Asian handicapping for Rugby Union where the draw is taken out of the equation. In this case, odds for either team are lower, but in return the punter gets a push if the game ends in a tie.
Bets can also be placed on a tie itself. The closer a match is considered to be, the lower the odds will be for a tie. If one team is a heavy favorite, of course the odds go up. Odds for tie matches will generally range from 18/1 up to 40/1.
While these bets can paay off well, ties are fairly rare, making them difficult to win. Since you’re getting heavily increased odds on rare events, keep your bets small when betting on ties. We recommend keeping these bets to a maximum of .5% of your bankroll.
Handicap Match Betting
Handicap betting is like spread betting in basketball or American football. Favoured teams have to give up points, while underdogs are given points. For example, if the favored team has a line of -6, they need to win the match by 7 or more points. An underdog with a line of +6 could lose the game by 5 or less. If your team is +6 and they lose by exactly 6 points, the bet is a push and wagers are returned. For this reason, it’s not uncommon to see handicaps using ½ point.
Since teams can’t score ½ point, there are no pushes. Most online betting sites offer 10/11 odds on either team.
Winning Margin Bets
Another fun way to bet on Rugby Union is on the winning margin. These are bets based on the difference in score between the winning & losing teams. For example, if the score is 34-31, the margin is 3. In these bets, punters can select from a group of margins, generally 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, 21-25, 26-30, 31-35, 36-40, 41-45, or 46+ points. Being common Rugby Union bets, they can be found at most sports betting sites, so be sure to shop around for the best odds.
For casual punters looking to add some excitement to a game, this is a good way to do it. Coming down towards the end of the game when your team needs points or needs to hold off their opponent, matches can get exciting.
Try Scorer Betting
Bets can be placed on the first, last, and highest try scorer of a game (team or player). These are common bets to make and can be found at most online betting sites. Try scorer bets are generally offered for all major tournaments around the world, including the Rugby World Cup, Six Nation Championship, Tri Nation, Guinness Premiership and more.
When betting on the first try scorer player, we recommend keeping your wagers down to .5% of your bankroll. For team try scorers, keep them down to a maximum of 2%.
The problem with try scorer bets on players is the vig, which is more in line with prop bets than handicap match bets. With handicap match bets, punters can generally get 10/11, paying 10% vig. With prop bets and try scorer bets, the vig is typically in the 20-30% range. Part of the reason for this is because the books know that very few punters are going to do all the math, so nobody really knows the vig they’re paying. If you don’t know you’re paying higher vig, you’re not turned off by it. The other reason try scorer vig on players is higher is because prop bets tend to attract more casual punters rather than professionals. Casual punters are more interested in the action than saving themselves 10-20% in vig, meaning the books know they can get away with it.
If you’re just looking to have some fun, try scorer bets on players accomplish that. If you take your sports betting seriously however, you’re better off keeping your try scorer bets limited to teams when you can find 10/11 odds.
Rugby Union Total Betting
In total betting, betting sites set a number that they think both teams will score, combined. Your job is to decide if that number is too high or too low. If you think the teams will combine for a lower score, you would pick the ‘under’ on the total. If you think they’ll score more points, then you’d pick the ‘over’. Most betting sites set odds at 10/11 for both sides. Don’t pay more than that unless the line is shaded in your favor.
At some online betting sites, total bets can also be placed on total season points for each team. In this case, the bet is based on the points a team scores for the entire season. Betting the over or under works the same as it does for individual game totals.
Rugby Union Futures Betting
Rugby Union futures betting is available for the winner of the Rugby World Cup, Six Nation Championship, Tri Nation, Guinness Premiership, Heineken Cup, L V Cup, European Challenge Cup, and other tournaments.
Rugby Union futures bets are wagers based on the final outcome of an event. Since tournaments take less time than seasons, punters can see a return on their winning bets much quicker than betting on seasons. When betting on seasons, we recommend keeping your futures bets down to .5% of your bankroll, keeping your bankroll liquid for other bets. For tournaments, it’s recommended that wagers be capped at 1 – 1.5% of your bankroll.
Betting on the Rugby World Cup
As an event that happens every four years, the Rugby World Cup is the largest event in the sport. This tournament pits the top 20 teams in the world, and every serious Rugby punter bets on this event. Futures bets can be made almost immediately after the previous Rugby World Cup has ended. This means you can place a bet almost 4 years in advance of the tournament. This is a terrible wager for serious punters, regardless of the odds.
First off, who knows if we’ll even be alive four years from now? Second, your money is more valuable now, using it to make a lot more profit between now and the next Rugby World Cup. Obviously, the best idea is to wait until the tournament is soon to begin, not tying up any of your bankroll for long periods of time.
Of course, bets can be placed on individual Rugby World Cup matches, along with tons of prop bets. Most online betting sites take a larger vig on prop bets than they do match winners. For this reason, it’s especially important to shop the odds.
While it’s difficult for fans to keep to this rule, serious punters should refrain from betting on their favourite team to win. As someone who’s in this for the money, you have to ask yourself why you’re picking them to win. Since we tend to allow our wants to become reality, it’s easy to think they should win matches that we wouldn’t expect them to win if they weren’t our favourite team. So, as a rule, try not to bet on your team at all – unless you’re able to separate your heart from your wallet and you’re picking them to lose.
Most online betting sites offer hundreds of bets during the Rugby World Cup. With so many betting options available, be sure to sign up and fund accounts at several books so you can shop for the best prices.
Six Nations Championship Rugby Betting
The Six Nations Championship is a tournament held once per year, between France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales & Italy. It is a month-long tournament held from February – March. While it’s not as big as the Rugby World Cup, European betting sites offer a wide variety of betting options for this tournament. Betting options for match winners, futures bets, and plenty of prop bets can be found.
Tri Nations Rugby Betting
The Tri Nations is an event held each year between South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. In 2013 it will become the Four Nations, with the addition of Argentina into the tournament.
With three of the best teams in Rugby Union, the Tri Nations is known as one of the toughest tournaments in the world. For punters, match betting, futures bets, and prop bets can be placed at most online betting sites. As always, try to refrain from betting on games involving your favourite team.