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A Beginner’s Guide to Rugby Union Betting

If you are a rugby fan or simply a sports fan looking to place some bets, then Rugby Union gives you some excellent opportunities. There are many different types of bet that can be placed and each game brings with it many chances to win. If you are new to Rugby Union betting then you are in the right place. In this guide, we will give you all of the information that you need to get started, including the different bet types and what to look out for when placing them.  

Rugby Union Basics 

Before betting on Rugby Union, it is important that you understand the sport and the differences from Rugby League. The two operate under different rules and in some ways they can actually be considered separate sports. 

In Rugby Union, matches there are two teams of 15 players. The game lasts eighty minutes split into two halves. The aim of the game is to score a try, which awards five points. A try is when the ball is grounded in the marked section in the opponent’s side of the pitch. Essentially, the team with the most points wins.  

However, there are many more rules to be aware of. Following a try, the offensive team has the chance to score two additional points by kicking the ball through the H-shaped posts. This is called a conversion. The kick is taken from the in-line where the try was scored, but the kicker can place the ball as far back as they wish.  

Teams advance down the pitch by moving forward while passing the ball backwards. The ball can be kicked in any direction. The team on defence will try to hinder the other team’s progress by tackling them. If the attacker is brought to the ground it forms a ruck while if they stay on their feet, it is a maul.  

These are the basics that you need to know to start betting on Rugby Union. It is not complicated, but essential if you want to give yourself the best chance of winning.  

Betting on Rugby Union 

There are many different types of bet available for Rugby Union and they can be split into two broad categories, match betting and tournament betting. As the names suggest, this means that you can bet on individual matches or on tournaments as a whole. There are many different betting markets in each category and here we shall explain the most popular ones.  

Match Result 

This is the most basic type of bet, you are simply betting on a team to win, lose or the game to end in a draw. Usually these markets have fairly short odds, especially when it comes to international games. However, you can still make money with match result bets and they are an excellent place to start.  

Handicap Bets 

Handicap bets are a way to make backing the favourite potentially more profitable. A bet on a match result has just three possible outcomes, win, lose or draw. However, a handicap bet introduces a margin that the team you are betting on needs to overcome. For example, you may see a team with a -10 handicap. This means that if you back them, then they need to win by at least 11 points for you to win the bet. As this type of bet is more specific, it has more generous odds than simple match result bets.  

Winning Margin 

As the name suggests, this is a bet on how much a team will win by. You are betting that a team will win by a specific number of points. These betting markets often have higher odds than a handicap bet, as they are even more specific.  

For example, you may see a team with odds of 4/9 to win with a -5 handicap, but odds of 9/2 to win by 6 to 10 points. In both instances, the team is favourite to win, but with the more specific bet the odds are far longer as it is a higher risk bet.  

First Scoring Play 

The scoring can be opened in four different ways in Rugby Union, a try, penalty try, drop goal, or penalty. This is a bet on which of these methods the will open the scoring. A penalty will have the longest odds, as it is the most unlikely. However, the other methods will very much depend on the style of the teams playing. It is worth waiting to see which team is kicking off before placing the bet, as the likelihood of each method will change depending on which team has possession first.  

First Try Scorer 

This is a bet on the first player to score a try, regardless of when it happens in the game. There are a number of related bets, such as the first try scorer from each team, the first try scorer in each half, and the position of the first try scorer.  

Tournament or Series Bets 

These are bets that are longer-term and don’t relate to any one specific match. They are very varied and present some exciting opportunities. In Rugby Union, a tournament is a competition such as the World Cup or Six Nation while a series is a number of Test matches between two teams, such as New Zealand versus the British and Irish Lions, which is a Test series played over three Test matches. 

Tournament or Series Winner 

This is the most basic of these types of bet and it is simply a bet on a team to win the entire tournament or series.  

Margin of Victory in a Series 

This is a slightly more advanced bet that requires you to predict the specific result of a series. For example, in a three-match Test series, you will be predicting how many games each team will win. For instance, you could bet on a team to win the series 3-0 or 2-1.  

Top Points Scorer in the Tournament or Series 

This is where you bet on a specific player to score the most points across a series or tournament. It doesn’t matter how they are scored or if that player’s team goes on to win, just that the player is the top scorer.  

Top Try Scorer in a Tournament or Series 

This is a more specific version of the previous bet where you are betting on a player to score the most tries in a tournament or series. Again, it doesn’t matter how the player’s team does overall.  

What to Consider When Betting on Rugby Union 

Understanding the different types of bets is an important but it is not enough to build a successful strategy. It is vital that you carry out your research and know what to look for when planning your bets. The more information you consider, the better the chances are of winning your bets.  

The first thing you have to do is research the teams that you are betting on. Different teams have different styles, which produce vastly different results. For instance, some teams score numerous tries while others may score more penalties. You need to consider the styles in relation to scores; if a team that score many tries is playing then it is likely to be a high scoring game.  

Ahead of a match, be sure to keep an eye on the weather forecast as bad weather can have a big influence on the match. If there is heavy rain then the ball can become very slippery and hard to handle, which will mean a lower scoring match regardless of who is playing.  

It is also important to stay on top of team news in the days leading up to placing your bets. If someone is injured then it can have a huge impact on a team, particularly if it is a playmaker who is missing. If a team has been forced to make numerous changes to its line up, then it can have a serious impact on their performance.  

You can also look at the team’s schedule. If they have been playing every week and travelling a lot, then they are likely to be tired. However, this becomes less relevant in international matches, as it can be many months between series.  

You can then begin to get into research that is more detailed. For instance, you should know that wingers will often score the first try of the match; according to one study it happens as much as 70% of the time. If it isn’t a winger, it is often another member of the backs, which means that those players will have shorter odds. Knowing details like this are very important if you want to use the betting markets that relate to small details of a match.  

If you have the time, you can find a huge amount of Rugby Union statistics and conduct very thorough research. However, just using the basic principles discussed above, you should still be able to place bets that are well informed, and this in turn will hopefully lead to you enjoying many more winnings.  

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