Understanding How Rugby Odds Work

Bonnie Evans | December 5, 2019 | Updated on: February 19th, 2024

USA Rugby oddsUnderstanding how rugby odds work is less challenging than being stuck in the middle of a scrum and trying to get your hand on the ball. Betting rugby is far more complicated than just picking New Zealand to win the world cup because it’s their national sport. Betting on fixtures require bettors to secure the best odds and make educated bets. There are several rugby events in the US, including the men’s and women’s eagles and sevens events.  Understanding how the betting markets work could be profitable for all bettors.The biggest rugby event in the world has to be the IRB Rugby World, where 20 teams go head to head in pursuit of the World Champion title. Bettors worldwide take part in the action as there are several wagers to be made. Read our rugby guide to learn more on how to read rugby championship odds, find all the different betting types explained and learn the difference between the rugby league and rugby union.  Whether you are placing rugby world cup odds 2019 or rugby union odds, our guide will make rugby betting hassle-free.

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Rugby League vs Rugby Union

Both the Rugby league and Rugby union are popular all over the world. The two games are similar in terms of the aim of the game, how the scoring works, the ball and the tackling. Players can place bets on these two games at top online sports betting sites. Rugby union has a bigger pitch than a rugby league pitch. Rugby league teams generally have 13 players on a team, and rugby unions have 15 players on a team. The possession in the two games is different. In a rugby league game, teams are only allowed to be tackled six times before handing the possession over. In Rugby union players can hold onto the ball for as long as they can while the other team tackles them. The rugby union is famous in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.

Basic Rugby Betting Odds


Rugby moneylines are bets made on who will the match. Bettors have to pick a winner between two teams in a fixture. In a world cup game between the USA national rugby team (the Eagles) and England (The Lions). If you bet on the Eagles to win and they do you will win your money line bet.


Rugby future bets are wagers that can only be decided at the end of the season. The bets stay open from the before the season right to the last game. Future bets are made on who will win the rugby world or who will win the USA Rugby Club 7s National Championship.

Player Prop Bets

It can get extremely stressful trying to predict what the final outcome of a match will be. For bettors who know the players all too well and are still keen on betting, player prop bets are perfect for you. Unlike the money line, Proposition bets are not made on who will win but on anything relating to the game. Prop bets are of fun and extremely flexible. Examples of proposition bets include

  • Who will score the first trail?
  • Which team will score first?
  • Will the game go into overtime?
  • Will the coin toss be tails?


The total points rugby bet is made predictions of what the final combined points of the game will be. The totals include points scored from tries, penalties, field goals and conversions. Bookmakers will set a prediction number of total points, and bettors have to bet on whether the total points at the final whistle are over or under the bookmaker’s total.

Let us use a world cup game between the South African Springboks and the New Zealand All Blacks as an example. The bookmaker will set the total to 35.5. If you bet on over the final combined score has to be 36 and more. If you bet under the final combined score has to be 35 and below for you win the bet. If the Springboks score 20 and the All Black score 30 the combined total would be 50, the over bet will win, and the under bet would lose.

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Other Popular Super Rugby bets

US bettors can also place bets on rugby margins and handicap bets. The Odds on the rugby margins are typically higher mores so if the match is expected to be a close call. Margin betting offers five options per game. The typical margin bets include a win by 13 or more points for each team or a draw.

Handicap bets refer to bookmakers giving one team an advantage to balance out the game. For example, in a world cup game between the Japan Cherry Blossoms and the Wales Dragons. The Cherry Blossoms will be given a negative handicap and have to win by more than the bookmakers set the number for a bet in their favour to win.  The Dragons will have the positive handicap and will have to win, draw or lose by less than the bookmakers set number for a bet in their favour to win.

Rugby Union Odds

Head to Head

The head-to-head bet is similar to the rugby moneyline bet. bettors have to place wagers on who will win the match

Double Result

The double result bet is based on when the outcome of a game is split into two and bettors have to predict both outcomes. There nine possible outcomes and for the bettors to win both the halves of the prediction have to be correct. The nine possibilities include: win/win, loss/loss, draw/draw, win/draw, win/lose, draw/win, draw/loss, loss/win and loss/draw.

Winning margin

The winning margin bet requires bettors to place bets on how many points will separate the two teams at the final whistle.

Line Betting

Rugby union line betting is a handicap bet which levels out the playing field for both teams. The bookmaker will handicap the stronger team with a certain number of points and bettors will have to bet on whether they think the team will win by more than that or the weaker team will finish the game within the set margin.

Rugby Union Bet types

The other popular bets in rugby union include:

  • Half time and full-time odds
  • The first team to score a try
  • Betting on the world cup winner

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