Rugby is in the midst of a popularity spike within the United States, however, its already built a strong following across the globe, namely in Europe and the Oceania region. There's ample evidence to believe the sport will only continue to increase its worldwide foothold, too. Certainly in the world of gambling, rugby betting odds are becoming more and more common in online sportsbooks.
Take the Rugby World Cup for example. The 2023 men's tournament is still years away, but that hasn't stopped bookies from releasing odds for the title winner. As of October 26, 2020, here's how oddsmakers are pegging the international tournament:
|Rugby Union World Cup 2023 Odds|
We've crafted this guide to give you the full lowdown on rugby betting lines — including the best betting sites to get odds and some wagering advice. Once you've completed reading this article, you'll know all the essentials about rugby odds.
If you are looking for a rugby betting guide, we have one. In there, we explain the main competitions that you should look for and a general guide for the sport.
Best Sportsbooks For Rugby Odds
Throughout the calendar year, there's an abundance of rugby betting opportunities to be had. There are well-followed club leagues like the Super League, National Rugby League, or Premiership. There are also international competitions such as the Rugby World Cup or Six Nations Championship. With that said, finding rugby odds online isn't difficult whatsoever.
However, finding a trusty sportsbook that's going to carry all these betting lines is the bigger challenge. So many sportsbook options exist, after all. But we've been around enough to know a good bookie from a bad one. That's why we've hand-picked the top-end sportsbooks to get rugby odds:
Rugby at Bovada
Markets, markets, markets — that's one of the biggest factors when weighing the quality of a sportsbook. Conceivably, you want to find a betting site that has it all, no matter the sport or league. Bovada certainly fits that bill.
The sportsbook menu here is deep, and we mean deep. Of course, that trickles down to rugby. At Bovada, you'll find both rugby union odds and rugby league odds from far and wide. Better yet, the prices are very respectable and in-line with what you'd find inside a powerhouse Las Vegas casino.
To top things off, Bovada has built a stellar reputation over the years. Thousands of bettors flock to the site every day to make bets, which should tell you something about its overall quality.
BetOnline's Rugby Lines
The betting selection at BetOnline is every bit as good as Bovada's. Another thing BetOnline has going for it is the speed in which odds rugby are put on-site. It seems like as soon as matches end, lines for the next game are made available.
But beyond just rugby odds, every bettor needs to be aware of sign-up bonuses. Almost every bookie has one and they all work in the same fashion: sign up for an account, deposit money, and you'll earn back a free play bonus from the betting site.
BetOnline's welcome bonus is among the best in the industry. They'll match a player's first-time deposit by 50 percent, all the way up to $1000 in free play. That chunk of change is a great catapult whilst betting on rugby.
Betting on Rugby at BetDSI
Rugby odds are also a prominent fixture in the BetDSI sportsbook. However, that's not the site's biggest selling point. Instead, its the platform's rewards program.
Every single time a player gambles on BetDSI — whether that be on rugby, an entirely different sport, or even the casino — "BetPoints" are rewarded back. These points will slot you into one of three rewards levels (Gold, Platinum, or Diamond), each of which has its own unique perks.
However, the biggest advantage of earning BetPoints is they can be exchanged for cold hard cash. What you do with this cash, whether withdraw from your account entirely as winnings or re-use in the sportsbook, is completely up to you.
Between the three bookmakers above, you can't go wrong while rugby gambling. Each carries a bevy of rugby betting lines and offers other bettor-friendly features. If you're looking for in-depth reviews and bonus information, check out the table below. There are also a few more sportsbook suggestions that just missed our cut.
Rugby Odds Explained
At first glance, reading and understanding rugby betting odds might look like a foreign language. But in reality, that couldn't be farther from the truth. For first-time bettors, here are rugby odds explained:
This is the most straightforward wager type in the book. The moneyline is simply concerned with which team will outright win a given rugby match.
Typically, bookies earmark one team as the betting favorite and the other as an underdog. You can tell the difference between the two by the sign in the odds. The favorite will have a negative (-) line, while a plus sign is reserved for the underdog.
For instance, say New Zealand and Australia are duking it out in the Rugby World Cup. The All Blacks might be -200 favorites to win, meaning you need to risk $200 to gain a $100 profit. On the contrary, Australia could be +170 underdogs, which means if you bet $100, you'll be returned $170 if they pull off the upset victory.
Rugby Point Spread
Rugby spread betting is similar to moneyline, however, there's a "handicap" placed on both the favorite and underdog. The handicap is expressed with in-game points, which effectively balances out the playing field.
Using the same Australia-New Zealand example from before, the All-Blacks could be five-point favorites. Therefore, in order for a bet on them to hit, they must win the match by six points or more. On the flipside, Australia is five-point underdogs (spreads will always be the same number both ways). A bet their way wins only if Australia either wins outright or loses by four points or less.
If the game ends with New Zealand as five-point victors, then the wager is declared a "push" or tie. Bettors on both sides will have their full stake returned.
Over/Unders in Rugby
If who wins and by how much points is of no concern to you, over/under might be the bet for you. What matters here is how many points are tallied by both teams by the end of the game. A bookie will pre-set that point figure. As a bettor, you simply bet "over" or "under" that point total. That's it!
Live Betting in Rugby
As the name implies, live or in-play betting can be done while a rugby match is ongoing — not just the usual pregame line. Bookmaker will update lines in real time, generally after a game-changing play like a try or drop goal.
All three bet types we just covered — moneyline, spread, or over/under — are available to bet live. The advantage of live betting is it allows you to "get a feel" for a match before committing any money.
Props are bets on specific outcomes within a rugby match. They can range wildly from sportsbook to sportsbook. A common prop you might find is which player scores the first try of the game. A more exotic (and random) prop could be focused on what color shirt a coach will wear on the sideline.
Unlike the bets before, futures are long-term plays. The payoff can take weeks, if not months. Generally, these bets are focused on championship winners or individual award recipients. Examples of futures wagers you'll find online include who'll win the Six Nations Championship or Player of the Year honor.
Rugby Betting Advice
Before we let you go, we felt compelled to share a few pointers about betting rugby odds. We learned these the hard way (losing wagers) so you don't have to suffer the same fate, at least not nearly as much.
Know League vs. Union
At most online sportsbooks, you'll see its rugby menu split into two — rugby league betting odds and rugby union betting odds. There is a difference between both, a substantial one in fact.
Union and league are different "codes" of rugby. Differences between the two styles can be seen in the number of players on the field, tackling rules, and scoring system, amongst others.
As a bettor, it is crucial you can tell apart both rugby codes. Not doing so could doom your bets before they even start. This not only goes for rugby betting but all sports gambling, the more informed you are, the better you're off.
Develop Specialized Knowledge
As we've alluded to before, there's no shortage of rugby bets available. Realistically, it'll be hard for you to keep up with it all — unless you have unlimited time (which is probably not the case).
If you want to achieve long-term success, you must be a selective bettor. Perhaps you decide to master the Premiership league or international European rugby. With a more laser-focus approach, you'll soon develop specialized knowledge about that subset of teams.
Ultimately, it's this type of knowledge that'll lead to you outsmarting bookies. For instance, perhaps you know the Ireland national team in and out. Over time, its playing habits — both as a whole and individual players — will be etched in your brain. You'll know when they're at an advantage and a disadvantage, more so than the common bettor.
With that said, we conclude our rugby betting odds guide. We covered a lot of ground just now, but you're now primed to own this sport at betting. So heed our advice and get after it!