Rugby Union is now an all year round Sport for the Bettor and primarily the game is divided into the Northern Hemisphere contests, which consists of England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Italy and France club and International teams who compete annually in tournaments such as the Six Nations, and Southern Hemisphere teams who are Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Here’s a guide on how to bet profitably on Rugby Union.

Punters have never had so many options to bet on Rugby. Domestically, in club rugby have The Aviva Premiership (England), The Rabo Direct PRO12 (Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Wales) and Top 14 (France) the very best teams from these leagues also compete in The Heineken Cup, a Champions League football format in Rugby. In the Southern Hemisphere the elite competition is Super 15.

Internationally the Northern Hemispehere focus is very much the Six Nations in February and March each year, and Autumn Tests were Southern Hemisphere teams tour in Europe. In the Southern Hemisphere the Rugby Championship, formerly the Tri Nations, has introduced Argentina to the premier International fixtures

Every four years the Rugby World Cup produces large betting volumes, and also every four years the British Lions tour the Southern Hemisphere in what remains an iconic series for many Rugby fans.

In terms of outright betting there tends to be a lot of short price favourites in Rugby Union and so many people will look to other types of bets other than the outright market. Certainly compared to football, the number of times a big underdog will be a big favourite in Rugby Union will be few. It is a very physical game where mismatches are difficult to overcome and it is in my opinion rare to find regular value in outright betting

Instead, popular sub-markets include

Handicap Betting

This is an increasingly popular market because as I  stated earlier many teams will start at long odds on.

For example if Wales were playing Italy and Wales were best priced at 1/6 many prospective punters would be put off by that price but a handicap market could read something like this:

Wales – 12pts  (10/11) Italy +12 (10/11)

Now a bet at 10/11 would be far more tempting to a prospective backer because obviously of the larger price.

So should the above game end in a scoreline of Wales 30 Italy 15 and you backed Wales then your bet would win as the deficit is 15pts but on the handicap Wales were -12pts.


Another popular bet is the winning margin. Let’s say England were playing France but you expected England to triumph in a very tight match then you could be tempted to back them on the winning margin market of 1- 5 at say odds of (9/2)  This means that England would need to win by a margin of 1-5 points for the bet to win.

Total Points

Over/Unders on total points in a game is another popular market. For example this past weekend the general quote for the first British Lions versus Australia Test Match was 10/11 45 points or over 6/5 Under 45 points. The game ended at 44 points. Often the “pivot” price will be a reasonably accurate guide to the ball-park points total, and as a bettor you can take a view around that.

When it comes to Handicap, Points and Supremacy betting you can take a view, and effectively oppose favourites far more readily than in the outright markets. In doing so, factors such as weather and pitch conditions come into play. For example if you expect or then see a game to be played in bad weather then it is unlikely (complete mismatch aside) to see free flowing rugby, lots of tries and a high scoring match

Markets to Avoid

a) First Try scorer markets.

We can know from long term experience that the “flair” positions such as Winger, centre and in the forwards Number 8 are statistically more likely to score more ties than the “grunt” positions such as Prop and Hooker. Unfortunately the bookies know that too and price accordingly. There are simple toomany variables to accurately forecast first try scorer, as anything other than an absolute punt

b) Man of the Match Markets

Again, too many variables and often decisions made by commentators or sponsors make this a market where it is difficult beforehand to acertain value

I look forward to guiding you through Rugby Union opportunities as we go forward on Betpal. If I throw up a try scorer recommendation, point me in the direction of this article!