Do You want to become a better Rugby Punter? Check out my Rugby Betting Guide

Updated: 2044 Rugby Union

I've been a rugby punter for around 10 years now and within that time I've learned the hard way what works and what doesn't. Depending on the game and which angle you intend to take, hopefully, this short and basic guide will aid

Do You want to become a better Rugby Punter? Check out my Rugby Betting Guide
Luke Bradshaw Lee Commercial Content Manager

Experienced journalist and editor covering multiple aspects within the online sports and casino industry, NFL and Rugby Specialist

Betting On Rugby

I've been a Rugby Union punter for around 10 years now and within that time I've learned the hard way what works and what doesn't. 

Rugby Union

Depending on the game and which betting angle you intend to take, this short and basic guide will aid you in making the right betting decisions. 

You can also check the OLBG betting school article on Rugby Betting.

There are a number of different factors to consider before committing to your bet in any rugby match. 

Below are the main factors I take into consideration before making my decision on which market to take in certain games.

Main Rugby Union Betting Factors

  • Teams
  • Form
  • Previous Meetings
  • Strengths
  • Weather Conditions
The Weather Forecast

Will the weather affect the game? It can be a factor and should always be considered before placing your Rugby Bets.

The Teams

The first thing I look at is the starting 15.

  • Are all the star players likely to be fit?
  • Is the team the same as their last big game?
  • Did the coach have a full squad to choose from? 
  • Are any players being rested?
  • Is the bench as strong as it could be?
  • Is the coach seen as being in control of the dressing room?
  • Is the captain seen as a good captain that leads from the front? 
  • Have there been any negative stories in the last week about players or selections?
  • Are any new signings playing their opening game?
  • Is the main kicker playing, if not who is his replacement?
  • Is the scrum stable?
  • Is the Fly Half tried and trusted?
The 15 + Subs

Always make sure that the spine of the team is in place and that the bench is strong

Rugby Form

How have the teams played up to this point?

How is the home and away form - compare and contrast this form.

Is this a must-win game OR a mid-table clash with no consequences?

Previous Meetings

What are the teams head to head record?

What were the home and away results in previous seasons?

Strengths

Which areas of the teams are their strengths and weaknesses?

Are the scrums well matched?

Are the backs speedier and more skillful on one team?

Does one team excel at lineouts?

What is the percentage kicking records of the penalty takers?

Rugby Betting Markets

Below you can view the Rugby Betting markets from a Gallagher Premiership game between Gloucester and Harlequins.

Rugby Union

These markets come from bookmaker Paddy Power, but other bookies do similar. 

As punters, we have never had more choice, and with care can find the perfect market for our Rugby Bets. 

The OLBG tipping competition has a selection of these markets if you want to virtually tip as well as placing a bet. 

Betting MarketsBetting Markets
1st Half PointsMatch & Total Points Double
2nd Half Points Match Betting 
Alternative Winning MarginTeam A Points
Double ResultTeam A Tries
First Try Scorer (win or each way)Team B Points
HT Handicap BettingTeam B Tries
Handicap & Total Points DoubleTo Score, A Try In 80 Minutes
Handicap BettingTotal Tries
Head To HeadUnder/Over In 80 Minutes
LineWinning Margin


Main Rugby Union Betting Markets

Total Points Under/Over

When viewing this market always look at previous meetings between the two teams and see how the two teams are scoring in the run-up to the match.

Check how many points have each team been scoring and conceding on average in their previous 4-5 games, you may end up with an average say 25 -18, then consider those figures for total points. 

You can see below how the Six Nations sides performed in the 2019 series of games. 

CountryGames PlayedPoints ScoredPoints ConcededPoints Scored AveragePoints Conceded Average
Wales5114652513
England51841013720
Ireland51011002020
Scotland51051252125
France5931181924
Italy5791671633


Each round of Six Nations games consist of 3 games, you can see the total and average points scored per round.

Spread betting firms Sporting Index and Spreadex often create a TOTALS market where you can predict how many points will be scored in each round. 

RoundPoints ScoredPoints Scored Average
Round 1 - 3 Games14849
Round 2 - 3 Games12843
Round 3 - 3 Games11338
Round 4 - 3 Games14047
Round 5 - 3 Games14749


Take into account weather conditions, a terrible muddy pitch leads to errors and tiredness, it can be tricky to fight back if you concede lots of early points. 

Perfect conditions can lead to flowing Rugby, with the ball passed more as opposed to being kicked, and teams scoring freely. 

Highest Scoring Half

Check the statistics for the highest scoring half.

Check how both teams have performed in both halves. 

Again weather conditions can play a part in whether teams "hang on" or "go for it". 

In the Six Nations of 2019 the following ratio of points were scored in each half. 

1st Half1st Half Percentage2nd Half2nd Half Percentage
32948.66%34751.33%

If you are familiar with the teams that tend to take the foot off the gas in the latter stages of the second half then it could be worth getting some money down. 

Any online bookmaker should offer Rugby Odds around1.70 to 1.90 in the highest-scoring half markets. 

Handicap Betting 

This was introduced to give bettors a chance to make a bet when the standard odds offered no value. 

In the first row, you see that you can now get 1.91 for both teams with a + and - handicap. 

In the 2nd row are the standard match prices. 

HomeDrawAway
Gloucester -6 @ 1.91Draw -6 @ 23.0Harlequins -6 @ 1.91
Gloucester @ 1.5Draw @ 23.0Harlequins @ 2.75


Winning Margin 5 Way

Winning Margin can be another profitable angle to take, especially when you have a short-priced odds on favourite.

In this example, Ireland is 1.67 to win the game with Wales 2.3.

You may feel that 1.67 on the Irish gives little value, so could choose a winning margin bet say on Ireland by 1-12 points at the bigger odds of 2.75. 

Here is a Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales with differing point margins of victory and differing odds.  

TeamWinning MarginOdds
Ireland 1-122.75
Ireland1-102.87
Wales 1-103.4
Wales1-123.1
Ireland1-73.5
Wales1-74.0
Ireland13 +4.2
Wales13 +7.0


Sometimes the handicap can be fractionally high and a little too risky. 

Rugby Union

For example, if the line is at 18-20 points and you're not 100% confident your team will cover that you can always fall back on them to cover 13 points at a lower price if you wish.

Another way to look at it is if both teams are evenly matched but you think Team A has a bit more appeal because they have their star Fly Half in the team + they have home advantage then Team A to win by between 1-12 could be a bet.  

This is usually priced around 3.0 and is a personal favourite of mine especially in tightly contested games. 

Rugby Union Accumulators

Multiples can be an option, you feel particularly confident on a number of outcomes.

For example, you can do different bets on different games to create an acca. 

  • Result
  • Total
  • Margin

If you are very confident in three or four outcomes this can be profitable but don't get too carried away.

In many Rugby Union betting markets Cash Out is available 

Feel free to give your feedback below.

For more insight go to the ever-helpful Rugby Betting Advice Article

Do you want to know which bookmaker offers the best Rugby Odds?

If you do please visit the Rugby Betting Guide. 

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