Rugby Betting Guide

Whether it be Union or League, rugby is still perhaps in its infancy when it comes to sports betting, with sports such as football and tennis generally stealing the limelight. However, the popularity of rugby is certainly growing at a rapid rate, with more and more bookmakers offering a host of betting markets in this area. Throughout this guide, we will take a detailed look at some of the standout markets that customers in Nigeria can take advantage of, whether it be through a domestic or international bookmaker.

Tournament Betting

Tournament betting is perhaps the simplest form of betting when it comes to rugby, with competitions such as the Six Nations and World Cup in Union and Super League and NRL in League gaining the majority of attention. The number of markets available here will depend on the individual bookmaker, however customers are generally able to bet on the winner of the tournament, who will reach the final and which teams will make it out of the group stages. Meanwhile, with tournaments such as the Six Nations, customers are sometimes able to bet on the winner of the Grand Slam, where a certain nation wins all five of their matches, as well as the triple crown, which involved countries England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Elsewhere, the following competitions are among the favourites for rugby betting customers:

• European Champions Cup – This competition is played out by Europe’s best Rugby Union club teams, including the top six from the English Aviva Premiership and French Pro14, along with teams from Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Italy. With this tournament, customers are able to bet on the outright winner of the tournament, as well as individual matches. Elsewhere, a small number of bookmakers will offer the chance for punters to bet on the winner of individual pools, which make up the initial draw. Teams such as Saracens, Toulon and Toulouse are among the former winners of the competition.
• Aviva Premiership – The Aviva Premiership is the leading club competition in England, with 12 teams making up the competition. Matches take place on a home and away basis over the season, with the top four teams participating in an end of season play-off in order to decipher who will be crowned champions. Since the play-offs were introduced back in 2003, just four teams who have finished top of the standings come the end of the season and gone on to win the title. Teams including Saracens and Wasps are among the favourites on a consistent basis.
• Guinness Pro 12 – The Pro 12 is made up of teams from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Italy and now South Africa, with Conference A and B making up the format of the competition. The likes of Leinster and Munster are among the most successful teams in the tournaments history, with a whole host of bookmakers now covering the competition in great detail.
• Super League – The Super League is the biggest club competition in English Rugby League, with 12 teams again making up the standings. Teams such as Leeds and St Helens are the most successful teams in the competitions history, with many bookies providing customers to opportunity to bet on the outright winner.
• NRL – The National Rugby League is Australia’s equivalent of the Super League, with 16 teams helping to make up the standings. The Grand Final helps to determine who will ultimately be crowned champions, with teams such as Melbourne Storm and South Sydney Rabbitohs having won over previous years.

Other Rugby Betting Markets

Aside from tournament betting, there are also a host of additional betting markets when it comes to rugby, with the most popular being the following:

Match Betting

Match betting allows punters to place bets on the outcome of an individual rugby match, which are found every weekend with the majority of bookmakers. Despite not being as detailed as similar football markets, match betting options include winning margin, match outcome, winning margin and try scorer, all of which are well worth considering for rugby fans.

Handicap Betting

Handicap betting has long been a popular form of wagering when it comes to sporting events, with more and more rugby supporters backing their favourite teams in such markets. This allows punters to bet on the outcome of a match, as well as allowing for some form of margin of error. Bookmakers will offer a points handicap for a certain team, which can either be positive or negative, with the handicap then being added or subtracted from a team’s final score. For example, customers placing a bet on England to defeat Wales in the Six Nations with a handicap of +10, with the match ending 23-13 scoreline in favour of England, would win their bet due to the 10 point difference between the two sides.

Winning Margin

As there is such a wide variety of potential outcomes to a rugby union match, predicting an exact score becomes very difficult. As a result, most bookies don’t offer odds for exact score bets in standard markets. Instead bookies will offer the opportunity to place a bet on the winning margin of a team. Winning margins are offered in ranges (e.g. 1-5 points, 6-10 points etc.), you will find some attractive odds in this market particularly in matches that feature a team that are heavy favourites. You may find that some bookies offer other winning margin markets such as ‘alternative winning margin’ and ‘7-point winning margin’, these are simply different winning margin ranges.

Double Result

The double result market allows punters to place a bet on the outcome of each half in a combined bet. For example, a double bet that reads Hurricanes-Hurricanes would be a bet on the Hurricanes to be leading at the end of each half. Betting on a comeback, for example Brumbies – Hurricanes (Brumbies to win the first half, but Hurricanes to be winning at full time) often offers attractive odds.

Try Scorer Markets

Most bookies offer three different try scorer markets, first try scorer, last try scorer and anytime try scorer. The odds offered for the first try scorer of the game and last try scorer of the game tend to be the same, but be careful when betting on these markets. The possibility of a player scoring the first try of the game is better (as long as you know that they are in the starting line-up) as they will be on the field of play at the start of the game. The player may be substituted at any point during the game meaning that they have less chance of scoring the last try of the match.
The anytime try scorer market allows you to place a bet on a player to score a try at any point during the match. The odds in this market are a lot shorter than those offered in the first and last try scorer markets. In each of these markets you are able to place a bet on any player from either team’s squad, as well as on a penalty try or for there to be no try scored. It is worth considering betting on penalty tries when one team has a particularly strong scrum, and it is worth considering betting on no try being scored in bad weather as teams are liable to make more mistakes when attacking.
Elsewhere, the first scoring method market typically offers three different outcomes. You can either place a bet on the first scoring method being a penalty kick, a try or a drop-goal. You can also choose which team will make the first scoring play. In rugby union the most likely first scoring play is a penalty, followed by a try, with the least likely first scoring method being a drop-goal.

Man of the Match

In major matches you may find that bookies offer odds on the man of the match. The man of the match is typically awarded by pundits of the television broadcaster that is broadcasting the match. When placing bets on the man of the match, there are certain positions that are more likely to be given the award than others. Typically, the outside half is considered the playmaker and the player that controls the game. In a team with a dominant forward pack, expect the outside half to pick up the man of the match award.