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How to Pin down the Best Rugby Betting Sites

The sport of rugby can be split into two distinct codes with league and union both vying for our attention. Arguably, the rugby union version is the most popular around the world, but in certain parts of the globe such as the north of England, there are plenty of people who would dispute that theory and suggest that league has more followers.

Rugby union only became a full-time professional sport in the 1980s, so it is lagging behind in that respect, but in terms of betting, both codes are extremely popular, and you can access the best rugby sites around in the hope of making a profit.

Here is a guide to those markets along with some advice on finding the right betting sites for rugby and some additional tips which will hopefully see you land some winners.

Find the best sportsbooks that offer

Big Events

Both codes of the game have their own world cup competitions, and this is the point when betting odds get particularly active. The rugby union version of the world cup first came along in 1987 while the league equivalent, which was first held in 1954, beats it by some distance.

While the rugby union world cup is far more popular in terms of overall spectators, the league version can be just as active in the markets with all of the best rugby betting sites getting involved. Both competitions come along every four years, so while there is a big gap in the calendar, they are well worth waiting for.

Aside from those big global tournaments, every country has its domestic events, and there are competitions between nations too. In the northern hemisphere, there is the Six Nations featuring England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Italy and France. Elsewhere, the Rugby Championship takes in Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Argentina.

Club competitions also exist right across the world, so it’s easy to get involved with Heineken Cup, Pro 14 and super rugby betting at the same time.

As for the rules of the game, there are subtle differences between rugby union and rugby league, but the markets are much the same for both codes. We’re really only concerned with making a profit here so let’s get straight on and consider the markets while offering some advice on finding the best rugby betting sites out there.

Best Sites Where You Can Bet on Rugby

Bookmaker Markets Highlights Bonus More
Bet365
  • Game Betting 2-Way
  • Game Betting 3-Way
  • High payout on Rugby
  • Fair amount of Rugby events
Up to £100
In Bet Credits
Bet NowBet365 Review
New Customers only. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
22bet
  • Even/Odd
  • Bet on Next Try
  • Live Rugby Betting
  • Bet on the Six Nations Championship
100% Welcome Bonus Up to £50 Bet Now
888sport
  • AFL Grand Final Winner
  • 1X2 Full Time
  • Bet on the Rugby World Cup
  • Magners League & Heineken Cup
Bet £10 Get £40 in Free Bets Bet Now888sport Review
Unibet
  • Regular Time
  • 3-Way Handicap
  • Bet on Super Rugby
  • Wager on events within the games
£40 Money Back + £10 Casino Bonus Bet NowUnibet Review
New customers only. 18+, BeGambleAware.org. Minimum deposit £10. Place any sportsbook bet (except Racing) of £20+ at minimum odds of 1.40 (2/5) to receive your free bets and casino bonus. 35x wagering on casino bonus. Free bet will expire 7 days after opt in. £20 Casino bonus will expire after 30 days of opt-in.
bethard
  • 1X2 Full Time
  • Tournament Winner
  • Plenty of Rugby promotions
  • In-play betting available
100% Sport Bonus Up to £50 Bet Now

Who Will Take the Points?

The easiest place to start, as always, is with the match result: For those who want rugby betting explained in the simplest fashion, it pays to start with this bet as it really is the easiest to explain.

With match result betting, there are three possible outcomes with the possibility of a win for either side or a draw. Drawn games do happen in rugby, but they are quite rare so expect these to come in at around the 20/1 to 25/1 mark.

The key to making profits in the match betting markets is to cover lots of research into form and how the teams in question fare when they run into each other. Shocks are quite rare because, over the course of a gruelling 80 minutes, the stronger teams tend to come through with the win, but proper analysis of those statistics can help you to decide for yourself.

Making It More Interesting

The best betting operators offer engaging world rugby bets.

Match betting is the way to go if you are a newbie and some seasoned gamblers also like to stay with the simplest form of gambling, but there is a way of making things more interesting. A number of rugby union betting sites, and those who are set up for the league will offer a handicap.

For those that are familiar with a handicap, betting rugby is a perfect sport because of the high number of points that can be involved. There are lots of options available, but the basic premise of the handicap works as follows:

In rugby union or league, there may be one team who is much stronger than their opponents, and as such, their win price is so small that it’s not really worth taking a bet. With handicap betting, rugby odds can, however, be made to look far more interesting.

Let’s say that the mighty All Blacks – the all-conquering rugby union side from New Zealand, are playing Japan – a competent team but one that just isn’t in the Kiwis’ league. In the standard, ante-post betting odds for the straight win, New Zealand are on offer at 2/5 from various bookmakers.

By taking the handicap, punters could give a notional points start to Japan. Let’s say we give them a 20-point lead, and in that case, New Zealand would have to win by at least 21 clear points. With that size of handicap, the win odds could potentially increase to 3/1, thereby making the bet that much more interesting.

Not all sportsbooks offer handicaps, but the best rugby betting sites should be offering them as an option to all of their customers.

Points Are Pivotal

Bet on the number of points scored in a rugby game.

Both codes of the sport of rugby feature points scoring as a popular source of side bets. There are many options to choose from, and this is one of the reasons why spread betting attracts a lot of interest.

The obvious place to start here is with total points for the match: The betting sites for rugby that get involved with this type of market will set a number of lines and your job, as the punter is to decide whether to bet over or under that line.

As an alternative, there will be options to bet on the total points for either the first or second half, or, if you want to, you can take a bet on both. Тhe game is played over 80 minutes with  two forty-minute halves. At this point, it’s also worth mentioning that it is possible to bet on which will be the highest scoring half of the two.

Within each of these options, there are betting odds for each individual team so, it’s possible to bet on the total points for either or both sides who are taking part. Once again, these bets can be made on the overall match or for the individual halves involved.

As a final option, it is also possible to bet on whether the final points tally will be odd or even. We’re getting a little obscure now, and it’s essentially a 50 / 50 call with odds expected at around 10/11 for both outcomes, but it’s there for those who want to get involved.

With so many points options, it’s easy to see why these markets are popular for rugby spread betting but, more commonly, there are used by the ante-post or in-play punters.

Trying Hard to Make a Profit

As we see in football with the individual goal scorer betting, markets that are based around individual players can be popular, and that’s certainly the case with rugby union and rugby league. The best betting sites have markets for first try scorer and anytime try scorer although these tend to be open for big matches such as internationals and super rugby betting.

Prices can start from around the 8/1 mark here so there can be some good profits to be made. Obviously, the speedy wingers and prolific backs will head the markets but look for forwards with an eye for the line in order to get some longer prices.

What’s the Scoring Method?

Learn how the teams can score points in a rugby game.

A clutch of rugby union betting sites will also publish betting markets for the first scoring method in a game. This could be a try, a penalty or a drop goal and with drop goals being fairly rare, this is generally a choice between a try and a penalty.

To make a success from this type of bet, it’s important to study the playing styles of the two teams involved. Are they free-flowing sides with quality wingers or are they dour defensive units where the forwards draw early penalties? The conditions could also dictate whether we have an open, running game or a kicking affair so study all of these points, and you can use the rugby betting odds to do well in this market.

The Options Keep Coming

Any big rugby match could have dozens of markets attached to them. Some will be quite obscure and will see some bookmakers withdraw, but the best rugby betting sites stay with it, and there can be some interesting profits to be made.

One of these markets takes its lead from football, which has set up a number of bets relating to discipline. Therefore, in the big rugby union and rugby league matches, it is possible to bet on whether there will be a sending off in the game. It’s rare to see a player being dismissed from the field permanently so, prices for a ‘yes’ vote start at around 7/1 as a result.

It’s also possible to bet on whether the first try in the game will be converted and this is quite an interesting one. In the modern game, most conversions are landed so the yes option will be odds on but, if the kick is from out wide, then there is every chance of it being missed and odds of around 12/5 will come into play.

Other bookmakers give their customers the option to bet on which team will score first and, as an alternative to that, which team will score last. These are unusual options and, while the stronger of the two sides tend to make the first score, the last score option is far less predictable.

Along with these options, there are side bets for winning margin, race to ten points, team to win to nil and highest scoring half. The list of participating bookmakers gets smaller the more niche you go, but there is lots to enjoy.

Now we know all about the markets involved with rugby league and rugby union, it’s now time to find a good home for your bets.

Getting the Best from Your Bookie

Editor’s Pick

bet3659.6 /10
  • YesRugby League
  • YesRugby Union
  • YESSix Nations 2020
  • YesPremiership Rugby
  • Read Review

We’ve now given you a quick guide to the game of rugby and how the different codes work, and we’ve also gone into greater depth by outlining the wide range of markets. This is rugby betting explained and should get you underway as you start to seek out some profits. Having taken all of that on board, we now need to use that knowledge wisely when it comes to finding the best sites from a choice of hundreds of sportsbooks.

The best sites will give a wide choice of markets, and they will also provide their customers with a set of in-play options too. Even for those punters who stick with ante post-match betting in the rugby odds markets, it’s a mark of a good bookie to see them provide plenty of choice to their account holders. If you’re looking for rugby spread betting, this is a particular niche area of the market, so it pays to look for a specialist in this area.

The choice is great, but we need to balance that with value, and this comes in different forms, Firstly, value comes from everyday odds which need to be competitive with the rest of the market. It’s rare for any of the rugby union betting sites to be out of step, but you can check prices on the main odds comparison sites or, you can do a little delving yourself. The second approach is a sound one because many of the newer sites aren’t appearing on the comparison portals as yet, and they can be just as competitive as the established brands.

Those competitive odds can also get a lift thanks to some daily price boosts. There are some super rugby betting enhanced odds deals out there, and all of the best rugby betting sites should be publishing some options each and every day.

Finally, in terms of value, look out for any offers and promotions that are tied to the sport. A common promotion can be found in the first try scorer betting where the bookmaker involved will double and then treble any profits if the nominated player goes on to score two and then three tries in the match.

Other offers may be generic sports deals that can be tied to rugby union or rugby league, and they are useful, additional ways in which to squeeze just a little extra value from the sport.

Go and Crunch Those Numbers

You should now have all the knowledge that you need in terms of finding the best rugby betting sites and the markets that they offer. Now it’s over to you to do your research and analysis that can help turn that knowledge into consistent profits.

We are fortunate to live in a digital age when so much information is at our fingertips. In terms of rugby union and rugby league, there are a number of sites where you can easily look up results while others go much deeper with their statistics, providing head to head results between teams and a number of useful stats for individual players.

You can harness that information to make rugby betting odds work in your favour. For match betting, the form is obviously key, but those head to head result stats are just as important. The same applies for point scoring while, for those looking at markets for individuals such as first try scorer, seek out those websites that offer in-depth player stats.

All the knowledge you need is out there and whatever match and whatever market you are aiming for, we hope this guide has given you all the possible tools to make your betting journey a profitable one.

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