Rugby Union Betting and Odds

Everything You Need to Know

At Mark Jarvis, we offer access to a huge range of rugby union betting markets both at home and overseas, including the Premiership, the Six Nations and the ninth iteration of the coveted World Cup.

We also offer odds and markets on the European Rugby Champions Cup, where the best clubs in the continent compete for a truly prestigious prize.

Our Rugby Union Betting FAQ

With the Rugby World Cup now well underway, all eyes have turned to Japan as the best teams and players from across the globe compete for the ultimate prize.

This will complete a stellar year for the sport, which also gave us a thrilling Six Nations tournament and an exciting finish to the Rugby Union Premiership in the UK (with Saracens ultimately winning their fifth title).

How is Rugby Union Played?

In simple terms, rugby union is a game that sees two sides of 15 players compete against one another. This number includes eight forwards and seven backs, with the latter players bearing the responsibility to finish attacks and score points.

Points can be scored in various ways during a typical game, with five on offer when teams ground the ball in their opponent’s in-goal area. They’ll then earn a ‘conversion’ kick at goal (which is worth a further two points), while successful penalty kicks are worth three points.

Players can also attempt to score ‘drop goals’ in open play, which are also worth three points to attacking sides.

How is Rugby Union Different to Rugby League?

While rugby union shares many similarities with rugby league (with the latter having split from the Rugby Football Union in 1895), there are a number of important differences to keep in mind.

Firstly, rugby union teams have two more players (15 as opposed to 13), creating packed defensive lines that make free-flowing attacking a little more difficult.

Rugby union is also a slightly more strategic game, which relies heavily on kicking for position and gaining territory in the attacking third. Whilst this can make the sport an acquired taste, it also creates occasionally stop-start gameplay that allows for considered in-play betting.

Is Match Betting a Viable Option in Rugby Union?

While match betting is available in every sport, it doesn’t always offer the same level of value to punters.

Outright match betting is particularly advantageous in rugby union, for example, as the chances of a draw are slim thanks to the nature of the sport and the points scoring system.

So, whilst you can back the draw at odds of around 18/1 and upwards in some instances, the fact that there are only two likely match outcomes improves your chances of winning incrementally.

How Does Handicap Betting Work in Rugby Union?

As the World Cup in Japan proves, most rugby union tournaments feature a high volume of mismatches in which there are clear and decisive favourites.

While backing such favourites may be desirable, the fact remains that these sides usually have incredibly short odds that offer little value to punters. However, handicap betting can be used to create additional value and lengthen the odds on offer, by creating a scenario where your selection has to win by a fixed number of points.

Let’s say that you wanted to bet on England to beat Tonga in the Rugby World Cup, only to be deterred by prohibitive odds of 1/66.

In this instance, you could apply a -13.5 points handicap to the Three Lions to lengthen the price and improve your potential return, with the bet paying off so long as England win by 14 points or more.

Can I Bet on the Winning Margin in Game?

On a similar note, you can wager on the winning margin in a particular game, with this type of bet representing another excellent opportunity to improve the odds on offer when backing a heavy favourite.

It works in a similar way to handicap betting - although in this instance you’d simply back your chosen side to win by a fixed points difference. If we use the previous example as a guideline, you’d back England to beat Tonga by a winning margin of 13.5 points, and once again the bet will come in if the Three Lions prevail by 13 points or more.

There are also over/under markets available in rugby union, including one which lets you bet on the total number of points that will be scored in a game.

In this case, your bookie will set a fixed threshold for the total number of points to be scored in a game, and you’ll have to speculate on whether the final number will be higher (over) or lower (under) than this mark.

These are both fun and immersive markets, which often pay out at odds of 4/1 or better.

Is In-play Betting Viable in Rugby Union?

The short answer is yes, particularly given the strategic and occasionally fragmented nature of the gameplay in rugby union.

This affords you the time to make informed in-play wagers, particularly those pertaining to the first, next or last try-scorer.

After all, rugby union attacks are built in phases, which can often last for several minutes at a time. As a result, you can wager on the next try-scorer as a particular side builds their attack, even tailoring your selection to suit the playing style of the team in question.

Do you have any Rugby Union Betting Tips for Me?

Rugby Union is a sport with a relatively complex set of rules and it should therefore be no surprise that betting on its numerous markets can also be deceptively challenging.

There’s certainly a great deal to consider when formulating your strategy, aside from the usual data sets such as team form and the relevant head-to-head record.

For example, you need to consider the primacy of the international game when betting on domestic markets, as some countries offer central contracts to their players to the detriment of national leagues and cups.

So, if you’re going to bet on a Premiership game, you’ll need to see how conflicting international matches will impact on team selections.

On a final note, we’d also recommend in-play betting as an excellent way to leverage rugby union’s wide range of markets.

The key thing is to ensure that you have an understanding of the game and watch the matches that you bet on, as this will give you a genuine competitive advantage.