Hardly a slither of the football market, Rugby betting stands out as a market that hasn’t reached full maturity. For the most part, a lack of understanding or interest by the population in betting on rugby has meant that the real opportunities for value exist in a still largely ignorant wash of positions taken by a majority of essentially (mis)informed punters. Because of this, the Rugby Union market hasn’t yet sweltered with overly informed punters, so there are plenty of spots that an informed punter can zero in on if they’re keen on taking their bets to a new frontier. If you aren’t an informed punter, you have come to the right place, and this betting guide can serve as a first step.
There are a variety of markets for Rugby union (and league for that matter) that are increasingly expanding with more online bookmakers getting behind the sport. For the most part though, they consist of the basic match, handicap, first try scorer, man of the match; as well as outright league team winners, semi-finalists and so on. Though the typical ‘match’ bets are the biggest market, there are a lot of very one way matches in rugby which leaves certain favourites priced in a way that makes them hardly worth the money. Because of this fact, the market for handicaps in rugby has taken a large leap as professional punters have tried to leverage out on the high scoring nature of the game. Perhaps because of the high scoring capacity that tries and field goals give to teams contending with one another, one sided wins can turn into big margin victories very easily. Because of this, handicaps not only become cheaper but far more viable as well, and they’re a tool that the prudent punter must equip themselves with if they want to narrow their selections down.
Outside of the strategic considerations regarding market selection, there are a variety of factors that a punter must consider when narrowing down their selections from the teams and line ups each week. Like most team sports, Rugby requires a diligent assessment of a given team’s recent performance in order to gain a feel and an informed insight as to how they might run in a given event. Though wins vs losses in recent weeks isn’t exactly a prophecy of future performance, it can give you insights to trends that are running out; and spirals of success, or failure are very real in not just Rugby but all sports, and are not something you can afford to be ignorant of when placing your position. It’s important to qualify recent wins or losses as well. If a team has had close losses in recent history under conditions that don’t favour them, they got be stacked against in a way that doesn’t reflect true value. Likewise a ‘bright looking up and comer’ on a ‘winning streak’ could have run into some fairly lucky circumstances and be ill matched against a higher tier side than would otherwise be warranted, and in fact be over stretched with over-confidence.
Like any outdoor sport, Rugby is influenced by the weather and field conditions. Obviously strong winds can dramatically effect goal attempts which can force teams to come in closer for tries or field goals, stifling some team’s advantages/styles. As a general rule, dryer weather can facilitate faster, easier flowing games that can produce higher scores, and wetter weather produces more locked down, lower scoring games; particularly if there is strong wind too. Wet weather like this tends to slow down teams that rely on aggressive, wide manoeuvring attacks that draw heavily on the flanks, and can give and advantage that teams that try to lock down play and grind forward down the middle.
In addition to weather, the location of the event can have a large impact on performance as well. A match away from home is always a harder match than a match at home, and this factor, when combined with other considerations, can have an effect that is worth taking note of.
It’s true in most team spots, and it’s true in Rugby. Rugby in all its varieties depends on certain star performers, and if say, a captain or a key front row star is missing from the team, the effect can be felt on game day. Of all sports, Rugby is one of the most physically strenuous and a tall line of injuries is the end result. It can be prudent to hold off your positions until as close to match day as possible in order to be certain that a team can deliver all their key players to the grounds. Not hedging for these kinds of risk could prove fatal.