The most popular bets on rugby are handicap bets. This is often where some of the best value is to be found for the punter.
Here’s everything you need to know about handicap betting in rugby; whether it's the Rugby World Cup or the URC, this breakdown will cover all of the basics before you get started.
Before you start handicap betting on rugby, you’ll need to know the differences between the two dominant formats of the game – rugby union and rugby league.
Rugby is a contact sport that is contested between two teams who tackle and score points in a variety of ways. It can be quite a complex game with various rules and terminology. To get you up to speed, here’s an overview of some of the rugby vocabulary you’ll come across with placing your bet.
● Tries: The most valuable scoring method where the team attempts to get the ball over the opponents’ try line.
● Conversion: Once a try is scored, the team can attempt to kick the ball between two posts for a further two points.
● Drop goal: This is where players kick for posts at any time during the game to earn an extra three points.
● Forward pass: Rugby requires players to pass the ball backwards, and a forward pass is an infringement.
● Advantage: Referees can play advantage after a foul until ‘advantage over’ is called.
● Grubber: When a player kicks the ball and it bounces and rolls along the ground.
● Knock on: This is losing, dropping, or knocking the ball forward from a player's hand so the ball is awarded to the other team in a scrum.
● Lineout: Both sets of forwards line up opposite each other with one side calling a play. The throw must be directly down the middle of the two lines.
● Offsides: During rucks, scrums, lineouts, and mauls an imaginary line is present over which any player crossing before the set-piece is completed commits a penalty.
Now that you’re up to speed on (most) of the rugby terminology and rules, it’s time to get into the rugby betting side of things. Firstly, there’s match betting which is where you bet on which team will win the game. This is the most obvious form of rugby betting, but there’s a lot more to handicap betting.
This is a way to make online sports betting that much more exciting! Also referred to as spread betting, points betting or line betting, the underdog gets a bit more of an edge by assigning points while the opponent gets a minus handicap. The bigger the points difference, the bigger the handicap.
In rugby union or rugby league betting, you will come across these numbers when checking the handicap odds:
+1, +2, +3, +4, +5, -1, -2, -3, -4, -5 and so it goes. The underdog of the competitors will be given the positive number, while the match favourite will receive the negative number. For example, if a team has a -3.5 handicap, they have to win the match by at least 4 points. If they win by three points, it’s a metaphorical loss in terms of rugby betting.
1. Match result
This is a form of handicap betting where you choose the outcome of the rugby match – win or lose – and factor in the betting odds afforded the teams.
2. Over/under bets
This is where you bet on the total points number of the game – which is why it’s also referred to as totals betting – and whether it will be over or under the total given by the bookies.
3. Tournament bets
You can also bet on the outright winner of a rugby tournament with handicap betting making it all the more interesting. Some of the biggest tournaments to consider are:
4. Individual player bets
You can consider many options when putting down a bet on individual rugby players. This includes who will score the opening try of the match, who will kick the most points, which players will be sin-binned, and so much more.
5. Live stream betting
You can even try your hand at the exciting live stream betting option where you bet on points, outcomes or players all while the game is currently on.
There is no sure-fire way to win with online betting, but there are some strategies that can certainly give you a bit of an edge. It will also make placing those bets so much more exciting.