2022 Rugby Championship Picks; All Blacks still the team to beat

Dean Etheridge
By , Updated on: Apr 9, 2024 08:00 PM
2022 Rugby Championship Picks; All Blacks still the team to beat

Has normal service finally resumed in the 2022 Rugby Championship? New Zealand thrashed Argentina last weekend, and South Africa made light work of the Australians in their backyard. The Kiwis are now top of the table, so what chance do they have of staying there? We take a look in our latest Rugby Union picks.

New Zealand is now finally at the top of the table, and South Africa is their main rival for the title. This is what we’ve been expecting to happen. But after numerous false dawns in the opening three weeks of the tournament, rugby followers were beginning to wonder if we were witnessing the early stages of one of the sports' greatest shocks!

Los Pumas shocked the Rugby world with back-to-back Rugby Championship victories

Argentina won two of their first three games and sat top of the table at the end of Week 2, and Week 3. They were halfway through the competition and still top. This would have been beyond the wildest dreams of coach Michael Cheika.

At the start of the competition, Los Pumas would probably have settled for a win, and not finishing at the bottom of the table. So how on earth could they be top after half the competition?

After suffering an opening weekend loss to Australia, it looked like it would be normal service for Cheika and his side. But, the Pumas had different ideas. In Week 2 they hammered the Australians 48-17, and then in Week 3, they did the unthinkable and won 25-18 away to New Zealand.

Sadly, for Cheika and co, they came back down to earth with an emphatic bump in Week 4. The All Blacks were smarting, and didn’t they let it be known! At the FMG Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand crushed Los Pumas by 53 points to three.

It was as emphatic a thrashing as you see at this level of rugby, and it will be interesting to see how, or if, the Pumas recover in their final two games against South Africa.

All Blacks remain betting favorites, but South Africa is still in the hunt

New Zealand was still the favorites ahead of the fourth round of fixtures. Back then, they were -150, they have now seen their odds shorten to -200 to win the competition with the best rugby betting online sites. South Africa is the big mover in the market. Before they defeated Australia in Week 4, they were +400, they are now just +250.

2022 Rugby Championship Winner Betting After Week 4BetOnline
New Zealand-200
South Africa+750

Odds supplied by BetOnline, find out more in our BetOnline sportsbook review.

Wallabies' win odds on downward spiral

Elsewhere, the Australians have seen their rugby betting odds traveling in the opposite direction. Before their 24-8 thrashing by South Africa, the Aussies were +300, second favorites. They are now out to +750.

The same fate has befallen the Pumas as well. At the bottom of the table, they are now +3300 to win the championship. Before their weekend mauling, they were top of the table, and just +1200 to win their first-ever Rugby Championship title.

Can the Aussies upset their closest rivals?

In the remaining two rounds of fixtures, Australia and New Zealand clash twice, and Argentina will also play South Africa twice.

The difference between these two back-to-back fixtures is they will be played home and away. In the previous back-to-back fixtures, they were held in one country.

New Zealand starts away to Australia in Week 5 and will host the Aussies in Week 6. As for Argentina, they host South Africa in Week 5 and then travel to Durban, South Africa for Week 6. So who does that benefit?

With Australia and Argentina having home advantage in Week 5, could we see the table turned on its head once more? Two home wins would really set things up for a spectacular Week 6, but that would surely be even too far-fetched for even this crazy edition of the competition.

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  • But it surely has a slim chance. Australia can raise their game when it comes to the All Blacks, and Los Pumas have never had a better chance to beat all three nations in the competition in the same year than they are getting in their home match against the Springboks.

    It’s not something I would put many bucks on happening though. The facts are that the southern hemisphere teams aren’t as dominant as they once were, and that makes it hard to predict what will happen. Yes, they can all beat each other, but it’s a big ask for Australia and Argentina to upset the odds on the same weekend.

    New Zealand look set for another Rugby Championship title

    Australia has only beaten New Zealand once in their last six matches, and that was a close 24-22 win at Brisbane in 2022. In that time, the Aussies have been on the end of a couple of real hammerings, 57-22 at Eden Park last year, and 43-5, back in Sydney in 2020. The latter was a real sickener for the Wallabies.

    The All Blacks also know going into the final two matches that South Africa will most likely beat Argentina twice. They certainly can’t be relying on favors from Los Pumas, that’s for sure.

    This means the current Rugby Championship favorites will know they have to beat the Aussies twice. So, with a two-point lead at the top of the table already in the bag, and a superior points difference, I still think the All Blacks are the side who are going to win the 2022 Rugby Championship, and I am sticking with them as my pick.

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    Meet the author

    Dean Etheridge

    Dean Etheridge brings decades of sports knowledge and betting insights to his writing. Hailing from Coventry, England, he offers an engaging British perspective on everything from soccer to cricket. Dean has established himself as a reputable voice on English Premier L...

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