The game of rugby union both as regular 15-a-side events and rugby sevens format is on the rise. This is our guide to betting on the sport.
Rugby union betting in USA reaches its height when the national team contests the World Cup. Here’s what you’ll find in our detailed guide:
A regular game of rugby union involves 15 players on each team with a bench of eight replacements
The starting 15 are made up of eight forwards – props, a hooker, locks, flankers and a number eight, who are key in scrums. There are also seven backs – a fly half, scrum half, inside and outside centre, left and right wings and a fullback
Blood subs and replacements are permitted at any time and, once replaced, a player can still come back onto the field if needed
A sin bin, where players who receive a yellow card go, can temporarily reduce a team to 14 or fewer players for a period of 10 minutes
Red cards permanently reduce a rugby union team to 14 or fewer players for the rest of the game
Top level rugby union matches have TMOs (television match officials) reviewing all the action in case the referee on the field misses something
Points are awarded for tries (five), conversions (two), penalty kicks (three) and drop goals (three) in between the posts
A penalty try can be awarded if the referee deems foul play to have prevented the scoring of a try
Unlike soccer, the time a rugby ball is in play counts rather than the clock running regardless. There is thus no stoppage time
Two halves of at least 40 minutes are played in a rugby union match. The team with the most points when the ball is put into touch at the end of the second period wins
If you’ve never bet on rugby union before, then you can’t be expected to know how gambling works. To help newbies, we’re going to work through an example of some rugby union odds:
New Zealand, who are widely regarded as one of the best rugby union playing nations on earth, face USA. The All Blacks are very short price favourites in the betting.
In order to win just $1 betting on New Zealand at these odds, you would need to stake $10 on them. The total return of such a wager is $11.
USA, meanwhile, are obviously underdogs. If you were brave enough to bet $10 on them, and they defied all expectations and won, you stand to gain $200.
You always get your stake back when betting, so the total return on USA would be $210. Ties can happen in rugby union but, because multiple points are awarded for scores, they are very rare.
Should the game between New Zealand and USA finish level, then a $10 stake would return $340. That is $330 of profit.
Decimal odds are a common way of expressing rugby union betting in USA, but you may also encounter the American moneyline system or fractional prices. Our odds calculator below has more on how these types compare.
What kinds of markets are rugby union odds available for? Here, we take a look at some of the most popular:
Just like any other sport, placing a bet in its most basic form on rugby union is finding the winner of a match.
In such a scenario as above where there are hot betting favourites, spread betting
can offer you better value. Sportsbook traders price up brackets within which a fancied team can
still win with an imagined deficit.
This is also called handicap betting. Besides the favourites having to overturn the deficit and cover the spread, the underdogs can also be given a pretend lead.
A favourite being handicapped is expressed as a negative number.
This can also be alternatively gambled on as brackets for the margin of victory.
Odds are also available on individual players to cross the try line and score. This can be first, last, anytime or even for a hat-trick (three tries).
What will the first scoring play in a rugby union match be? You’re betting around
a penalty kick, try or drop goal here. A conversion can’t be the first scoring play as a try must
be awarded first.
Some betting sites offer this in combination with the team who scores it.
As with soccer, betting is available on what the result is halfway through a rugby union match and then at the final whistle. There are nine possible permutations to consider.
With many high-profile tournaments like the Six Nations and Rugby World Cup, futures betting on the outright winners exists.
Another futures market that is popular is picking out who will finish a tournament as the leading scorer of tries.
When rugby union tournaments are split into groups, there is often betting on who will win each pool.
With smartphone and tablet use now commonplace, mobile rugby union betting has developed as part of the digital revolution. Why should you get involved in gambling through this channel?
Rugby union has a rich history in English-speaking countries. Here are some of the key dates from the sport’s past:
Rugby union is said to have its origins in William Webb Ellis picking up a soccer ball and running with it during a match at Rugby School
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is founded and the first rugby union international takes place with Scotland beating England 1-0
The Home Nations, later Five Nations and Six Nations, is first held between England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The first Rugby Sevens tournament is also played
A schism within English rugby leads to the breakaway sport of rugby league
New Zealand perform a haka before each match of their Northern Hemisphere Tour. In response, Wales players sing their national anthem. Both are now traditions before rugby union matches
USA plays its first rugby union international, losing 9-8 away to Japan in Osaka
The first international Rugby Sevens tournament takes place at Murrayfield in Scotland
The first Rugby World Cup is held in Australia and New Zealand
Rugby union is no longer considered an amateur sport and fully professional divisions are formed
Argentina are added to the Tri-Nations tournament of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, which is now known as the Southern Hemisphere Rugby Championship
So, there you have it. Our detailed guide with rugby union betting advice on a great sport.
If you have questions, then our FAQs section should answer them as common queries are answered.
Rugby union betting is similar to many other team sports. Select the outcome you want to bet on and add it to your betslip. Enter your stake – the amount of money you wish to gamble – and place the bet. What could be simpler?
Only the best rugby union betting sites feature on this page, so you’ve come to the right place to find them.
Sure, mobile rugby union betting is available.
Some of the most rugby union odds and bet types are:
Yes, rugby union betting in USA is completely legal.
Live betting is where you place bets during a sporting event. In the case of rugby union, odds are updated throughout games in reaction to what happens.
Spread betting is where a threshold or bracket is set by sportsbook traders within, which they believe a fancied team will win. Also known as handicap betting, it can take many forms in rugby union.
Favourites can be handicapped by having an imagined deficit to overturn, or underdogs get a pretend advantage to hold onto. Margins of victory can be set in five and 10-point brackets or have no upper limit.