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Home » rugby » rugby union
James Fuller
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Rugby union is one of the most exciting spectator sports on the planet. It’s also among the best sports to wager money on, with a wide array of rugby betting options available to punters.

From match-winner and handicap bets to futures and in-play markets, you’ll find the most valuable betting options at the best rugby union betting sites. These sportsbooks provide safe, secure, and fun environments to place bets on the biggest matches and events around the world.

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2023 Rugby World Cup Odds

The 2023 Rugby World Cup promises to be the greatest edition in the history of the competition. The powerful Springboks are looking to defend their title, but must first get past incredible Irish and slick Scottish teams in the upcoming rugby event. France, the host nation, meets joint-favourites New Zealand in the tournament opener. England and Wales appear to have their work cut out to reach the latter stages, with some even predicting early exits for both teams.

The latest 2023 Rugby World Cup odds come courtesy of leading rugby betting site, Spreadex. They are accurate at the time of writing but subject to change as the tournament goes on.

2023 Rugby World Cup Countries Outright Rugby World Cup Betting Odds
New Zealand 3/1
France 10/3
South Africa 9/2
Ireland 5/1
Australia 14/1
England 16/1
Argentina 28/1
Scotland 50/1
Wales 57/1
Fiji 150/1
Japan 500/1
Samoa 500/1
Italy 750/1
Tonga 1000
Georgia 1000/1
Portugal 5000/1
Chile 5000/1
Uruguay 5000/1
Romania 5000/1
Namibia 5000/1

How We Rank the Best Rugby Union Betting Sites

Online bookmakers offering rugby union betting markets are ten a penny. But some are simply better than others. And safer. For that reason, we only recommend safe rugby betting sites that are worth your while.

All bookies we rank feature top odds, comprehensive markets, convenient payment methods, and other critical features. These are the factors we use to bring you the best of them.

  • Safety and Reputation – While betting on rugby online is safe, some sketchy operators do exist. As such, we only recommend betting at safe and reputable sites with licenses from the UK Gambling Commission and other recognised bodies. We highly rate safe sportsbooks that safeguard players’ data using data using Transport Socket Layer (TSL) encryption and firewall software.
  • Quality Rugby Betting Odds – The best betting sites for rugby union usually tend to have the best odds. Choosing better odds means increasing your chance of making a better profit, which is of paramount importance. Signing up at top rugby sportsbooks gets you access to top prices across a wide array of betting markets.
  • Comprehensive Markets – Our top-rated sites cater to both beginners and those with a more seasoned passion for rugby betting. As such, you can expect to find both popular rugby betting markets for match winner bets, handicaps, first try scorer, and half-time/full-time odds. These can be found alongside futures, specials, and obscure markets.
  • Rugby Betting Bonuses – Most leading rugby betting operators offer betting promotions that can be used on rugby matches and tournaments. These include free bets, cashback, and even special rugby betting odds boosts for the biggest matches. Compare our top rugby union betting sites to get the best bang for your buck.
  • Mobile and In-Play Betting – Our favourite British bookmakers have apps and mobile-friendly browsers you can use to place real money bets on rugby. Some of them have high-quality in-play betting opportunities and go as far as live-streaming matches on their platforms.
  • Special Features – We believe features like cash out and bet builders make online sports betting all the more appealing. At the very least, they add to the user experience at rugby union betting sites. There may be several of these special features to look at, depending on the rugby sportsbook you choose.
  • Customer Support – Rugby gambling sites with strong live chat and other customer support functions get good marks from us. Most bookies offer support via telephone, email and live chat. However, the efficiency differs between operators. Our top-ranked bookmakers perform well when it comes to response times and helpfulness.
  • Fast Banking Methods – We rate sites on odds for rugby union competitions, but we also value online sites with instant deposits and fast withdrawals. They allow rugby betting fans to fund their wallets quicker and get their winnings when their bets on rugby union matches are winners. Depending on the site, you’ll find options to deposit and withdraw using cards, e-wallets, bank transfers, and more.

Best Rugby Union Betting Markets

The top rugby union betting sites provide bettors with multiple wagering opportunities. You can find match-winner bets, such as France to beat South Africa in the World Cup. Or handicap bets, like wagering on Leinster to beat Toulouse by 8 points or more. These odds and markets can be found on top betting sites covering popular leagues and tournaments. Like the Gallagher Premiership, the Investec Champions Cup, the United Rugby Championship, and the Six Nations.

Looking for the top rugby markets to bet on? Here are some suggestions to get you started.

Rugby Match Result Bets

The most common option when betting on rugby union is to choose the team that wins. There are three possible outcomes, which are home win, draw, or away win. There will normally be a clear favourite and underdog. Draws are less common than wins, meaning they usually have larger odds. Our recommended bookmaker for the match result market is SpreadEx. This bookie consistently posts top odds across a considerable number of rugby matches.

Winning Margin

Punters can also bet on the margin of victory in rugby union matches. The most common markets include teams to win between 1-12 points or 13+. Those figures available range between rugby betting operators. We think this is a good option when there is a clear favourite and you are looking to back a convincing victory. For those looking to place a winning margin wager, we recommend MansionBet.

Total Points in a Match

Another popular betting market, totals bets include over/unders, a set number of points, or odd/even results. Rugby fans can also bet on the total number of points scored between two teams during a rugby union match. For odd/even points, the odds are likely to be the same for both sides. Be sure to check out top rugby union betting sites like BetUK when looking to place such a bet.

Race To 10 Points

Teams regarded as being fast starters, like New Zealand or Ireland, are great candidates to back in this market. This wager doesn’t take the final result of a rugby event into account – instead, bets are settled when a team reaches that threshold first. If no team reaches 10 points, your bet will be unsuccessful. This market is not offered by all bookies, so feel free to compare sites to find out who has it. At the time of writing, QuinnBet offers it on some games.

Rugby Tryscorer Bets

Rugby fans looking to place bets with bookmakers should consider this bet type. Whether it’s the first tryscorer, last tryscorer, or anytime scorer, these are some of the most exciting rugby wagers you can place. Odds vary according to players involved in matches and are available to place on most rugby union competitions. Wingers and fullbacks tend to be the most commonly back options. Betiton is the bookie we recommend for this market.

Outright Wagers

Looking to choose the winner of a rugby tournament, such as the Rugby Championship or Top 14? If that’s the case, you should consider this one. You can choose outright winner of rugby leagues and tournaments. You can even place multiple/accumualtor bets on winners of the Gallagher Premiership, Six Nations, or World Cup and potentially receive acca insurance depending on the events. Check out the odds at SpreadEx for this bet type. Tournament bets

What is Handicap Betting in Rugby Union?

Handicap betting in rugby is when one team is given a theoretical points advantage or disadvantage at the start of a match. Also known as the “head start” or spread betting, bookies look to balance odds between mismatched teams and offer easier betting opportunities. Plenty of bookmakers offer handicap betting markets, so it’s worth learning the ropes.

Understanding handicap betting shouldn’t take much time at all. The following example shows hypothetical handicap odds for a match between South Africa and Wales.

  • South Africa – 14
  • Draw/Tie – +14
  • Wales – +14

To win a -14 point rugby handicap bet on South Africa, the Springboks must beat Wales by 15 points or more. 14 points is not enough, as it would technically end 0-0 – this means a draw on the handicap. Should you back Wales at +14 and they lose by less than 13 points or less, you win. But anything less pays out as a handicap win for South Africa.

2023 Rugby World Cup Betting Odds

All eyes are on France as world rugby’s showpiece tournament arrives. Forget about rivalries in the Six Nations or Southern Hemisphere’s Rugby Championship – this is as big as it gets. The 10th edition of the tournament will be contested from the 8th of September to 28th of October, and our recommended rugby union betting sites have the odds required!

Rugby fans are looking to teams like South Africa, New Zealand, and Ireland to win the World Cup. England and Wales are flying under the radar, with Fiji looking to make good on their impressive warm-up displays. Regardless of who you are backing, you can find quality odds and prices for every single match on the roster. As well as specials for each pool winner, top try scorer, and much more.

Pools and Odds for the 2023 Rugby World Cup

There are four pools from A to D containing five teams each. Pool A contains both New Zealand and France, who will be looking to secure a Rugby World Cup win on home soil. Pool B, regarded as the “Pool of Death” by some, features South Africa, Ireland, and Scotland. Wales and England head Pools C and D, respectively.

If you’re looking to bet on the 2023 Rugby World Cup, you have many options. Rugby betting fans can back outright markets from the get-go and potentially secure some pre-tournament betting value. Alternatively, you can wager on other popular markets like teams winning their pools, or simply making it out.

Here are the 2023 Rugby World Cup Pools with odds outlining each team’s chances.

Pool A

Nations To Win Pool A To Qualify from Pool
France (Hosts) 10/11 1/500
New Zealand 10/11 1/500
Italy 100/1 33/1
Uruguay 2500/1 1000/1
Namibia 2500/1 1000/1

Pool A is incredibly hard to call, and the odds reflect that. It’s almost certainly to be a toss-up between France and New Zealand, unless Italy can stun either side.

Uruguay and Namibia are simply there to make up the numbers, unfortunately.

Pool B

Nations To Win Pool B To Qualify from Pool
South Africa 6/5 1/10
Ireland 11/8 1/7
Scotland 10/1 33/10
Tonga 400/1 66/1
Romania 2500/1 2000/1

A range of rugby union critics have thrashed World Rugby for its handling of the seeding system, on account of Pool B. We have three of the world’s top-ranked teams in South Africa (2nd), Ireland (1st), and Scotland (5th) all included in the group.

Choosing who qualifies from this pool, let alone wins it, is going to be tough. But the 2023 World Cup betting odds suggest it will be Scotland and Ireland who make it out.

Pool C

Nations To Win Pool C To Qualify from Pool
Australia 8/15 1/12
Wales 5/2 4/11
Fiji 6/1 13/8
Georgia 100/1 16/1
Portugal 1000/1 250/1

Much fuss has been made about the tough living conditions in Pool B. But perhaps Pool C is the real “Pool of Death” in this rugby event, given all teams other than Portugal can realistically win it.

Eddie Jones’ Australia has has been dog awful heading into this tournament. The same can be said of Wales, who are a shell of their former selves. Fiji and Georgia, on the other hand, have seriously improved and are attracting the attention of rugby betting fans.

Pool D

Nations To Win Pool D To Qualify from Pool
England 4/5 1/16
Argentina Evs 1/16
Japan 25/1 8/1
Samoa 50/1 12/1
Chile 1000/1 250/1

Rugby bettors should be asking themselves if England can win Pool D? Or if Argentina is the dark horse for France 2023. Could Japan sink both, creating an avenue for Samoa into the knockout stages? There is little difference between rugby teams in this pool, with the exception of Chile.

It’s really tough to call.

Who Wins the 2023 Rugby World Cup?

Current champions, South Africa, and former titlists (New Zealand) will take some stopping. As will world number one, Ireland. Many believe it’s the home side, France, that will finally get their hands on the Webb Ellis Trophy. But at the time of writing, it’s the All Blacks that lead the 2023 World Cup winner odds board.

Will we see Wales go home early, with Fiji and Georgia shaking up the world? Have your say on any outcome or individual match result. Or, if you’d rather pick the winner of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, feel free to do that. But there are always more than a few betting options available!

5 Top Rugby Union Betting Tips

There are several tips for betting on rugby that can improve your chances of winning. Most of them begin with avoiding common errors and pitfalls, such as failing to research team sheets or neglecting to read betting rules on wagers. Here are five of our best rugby betting strategy tips to use at top online rugby union betting sites.

1. Explore Your Betting Options

Finding the best odds for rugby union matches is achievable by comparing prices across different bookmakers. Another part of a cohesive betting strategy for rugby is doing the same with markets. One bookie may have convenient betting markets for one match, with another having advantageous odds for another. This is why it’s often a good idea to open accounts at more than one betting site!

2. Consider Home Advantage

Location can play a major role in the result of a match. As such, it can win you money on your wagers. Rugby betting operators know the value of home advantage and account for it in their odds for both future matches and live markets. Favourite teams like France, South Africa, and New Zealand are simply better on home soil – the latter hasn’t lost a match at Auckland’s Eden Park since 1994! The stats also support a link between betting favourites and a home tie, with from 200 to 2007 going to the favourite.

3. Research Form, Line-ups, and Injury News

In both union and league, teams tend to field their best 15 for the biggest matches. Providing they are on form. But unlike most popular sports, rugby union sides like Leinster and Munster can often give 2nd and 3rd string sides a runout. So, team news matters. Great odds can often prove to be anything but when you see stars like Caelan Doris and Josh van der Flier watching from the sidelines. Furthermore, sides like South Africa and France are not nearly as strong without their talismen. As such, we recommend researching team sheets before placing bets.

4. Use Live and Rugby In-Play Betting Markets

Placing bets with bookmakers in advance means accounting for things that may or may not happen. But at the time of writing, we are seeing more bookies providing in-play betting markets for major rugby tournaments and leagues. As well as small ones. We recommend betting in-play as it allows you to account for disasters on both sides of the coin. You can potentially lay bets to save your wagers going down the drain in events such as red cards, yellow cards, or multiple injuries to a team.

5. Set Your Bankroll and Stick to It

Practising sound bankroll management at rugby betting sites is crucial to your success in the long term. Whether it’s bonus money or real money bets, budgeting by setting staking plans is the right move. This ensures that you don’t spend more than you can afford and injects a little discipline into how you handle your business. It’s easy to overspend in betting sessions when you see daily price boosts or offers, especially if you have a passion for rugby betting. Just don’t exceed the limits of your bankroll. It’s that simple.

The Bottom Line

With so many top rugby betting sites competing for your custom, it’s wise to take the best deal. The odds and range of rugby bets can vary from site to site, so make sure you’re getting the best prices by comparing them across the board. Study the range of markets and the quality they bring to your betting slip. It’s also worth looking at other things rugby bookmakers can offer you, such as good deposit methods with fast card payments, bonus tokens and free bets, and live streaming facilities. All of which will surely enhance your rugby betting experience!

FAQs About Betting on Rugby Union 

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James Fuller

James Fuller is a sports journalist based in Bath, England. Specializing in sports and iGaming, he has worked for a variety of leading online publications in the past, having first created content for safebettingsites in 2020. James also has a degree in Sport & Leisure Management from Sheffield Hallam University. He also has a certificate in Football Communication & Digital Media from the Sports Business Institute in Barcelona, which James has used to help brands enhace their following and reputation on online platforms. With almost a decade of experience in sports writing to his name, James has received outstanding feedback from existing and former clients.

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