How To Bet on Rugby - Types of Bets

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LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) - Rugby Union attracts a massive following in countries like the England, Wales, Scotland, France, Ireland, Australia, South Africa and of course New Zealand, where the sport is like a religion.

In the Unites States, rugby is a niche sport, but betting interest tends to spike around major tournaments like the Rugby World Cup, The Six Nations Tournament (contested annually between England, France, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy),and the Rugby Championship (contested annually between New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina).

When betting on rugby, one can expect most of the types of bets typical to sports like American Football and soccer.

Here is an overview of the types of Rugby Bets, with some examples used to illustrate.


Handicap betting, or betting the spread, works exactly the way it does in say, the NFL. It may take a little bit of time to get used to for those who have not bet before.

Basically the bookmakers set a line or margin that they think a team will win by, this is the handicap. More accurately they set this line at the point where they think they will get equal interest in both teams.

Here is an example, from a recent Super Rugby match:

Crusaders -28.5 at 9/10

Cheetahs +28.5 at 9/10 (or 0.9/1)

If you thought that the Crusaders are going to crush the Cheetahs and win by more than 29, you would back them at -28.5, in which case you need them to win by more than 29 points. What you are really saying is that you are handing the Cheetahs 28.5 point start.

They Crusaders win this match by a score of 50-13. If your bet was $200, you won $180 and have your stake returned as well.

Match Betting

This is the bet that newcomers into the game find easiest to understand. It is a case of selecting which team will win the game and then betting accordingly.

For example you might see odds listed like this

England 11/20 (or 0.55/1 as fractional odds, as American)

Draw 25/1

France 14/10 (or 1.4/1)

If you fancy England and wager $200 on them your bet will be 110/200. If they win, you will receive $320, which is your initial stake of $200 plus your $100 in profit.

The above tow best types are by far the most popular, in addition to outright tournament bets. For example, most bookmakers now have odds posted for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. It is sill early, so there is quite a bit of margin built into the odds at this stage, but ardent rugby fans would look for the upsets now.

One area where the wise guys in rugby think they might make a buck is in the Pool betting. The rugby World Cup is divided into 4 Pools. Whilst each pool has a clear favorite with all the bookies, we know from past experience that there is almost always an upset. For example, in the coming World Cup, England, Australia and Wales have been drawn in the same group (referred to as this year’s “Group of Death”). Now all the bookies have England as the favorite to top this group because of home advantage, but Australia have every right to beat them, and on current form, many would think these odds are crazy. Australia at 7/4 in this case looks like fantastic value.

Some of the other bets that are popular include familiar ones like Total Points, Half Time Bets, Top Point Scorer, first points scored, most tries and so on. Close to kickoff you will find many of the “if-bets” you would be familiar with in American sports or soccer.

Most of the online sportsbooks and online casinos today, if not all, offer rugby betting.  You can find a top 10 selections of sports books and online casinos offering rugby betting at or

Rugby betting is hugely popular in specific countries, but because of the nature of the game and the availability of detailed stats it is a market enjoyed by betting fans the world over.

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