Rugby Union: Handicap Betting Strategy

SHARE

Rugby Union: Handicap Betting Strategy

With 15 players on each side and scores coming in at anywhere between 12-3 and 84-25, punters would be forgiven for thinking that Rugby Union betting is a tough task. Thankfully, there's a market that helps mitigate risks and maximise value.

Rules Explained

For the uninitiated, the basics of rugby involve getting an oval ball into the opponent's in-goal area. Running it there scores a try for five points, after which a kicked conversion through the uprights in the centre of the area can add an extra two. Kicking through the uprights in open play scores a three-point drop goal. Teams can also be awarded penalty kicks which, if converted, also score three.

Top Points and Try Scorers

The biggest scorers of points are the fly halves, who are normally the kickers as well as fast backs who can join attacks and pick up the odd try. A team's wingers tend to be the ones with the most pace (and tries) during a season/tournament. But although monitoring top points and try scorers is important, it's something that is often overstated in the 'outright winner' and 'handicap' markets.

Take the 2012/13 Aviva Premiership, for example. The top points scorer was Harlequins' Nick Evans, and the top try scorers both came from Wasps (Varndell and Wade); Harlequins finished third in the league with a 68% win rate, Wasps finished eighth with a 41% win rate. So although they are valuable bits of data to hold for total points and individual scorer markets, individual performers are no guarantee when you're looking at match winner and handicap markets.

Total Points Scored and Conceded

Instead, it's useful to look at the total points scored and conceded per game for every team in a league. Spotting teams that are closer than their form suggests is a great way to draw wins from an underdog. A good spot in the 2014 Six Nations would have been France vs England on the 1st of February. France went into the game odds-on favourites to triumph, but Paddy Power Sports had England at 10/11 with a +4 handicap (meaning they had to finish within four points of France). The game finished 26-24 to France, so the handicap bet landed.

Total Mismatches

At the other end of the spectrum are total mismatches. In these instances, a handicap bet can be used in two ways. If you're confident the favourite really will hugely outscore their opponent, use a heavy handicap to gain half decent odds. If you think an underdog will give them a run for their money, play them with as small a handicap as you dare to earn high prices.

When playing with this approach, it's good to find a bookie who offers a range of handicap bets. Some simply calculate a 'fair' margin and offer that as a handicap. For example, prior to the Scotland vs England Six Nations matchup of the 8th of February, Paddy Power Sports offered handicap bets with a margin of +/- 10. But the more adventurous gambler could visit Bet365 Sports where handicaps on offer range from 3.5 to 17, giving much greater flexibility in the risk you take.

Of course, all good bookies adjust the handicap in-play, so real rugby fans can take the stats into a game and watch as the emotion, rhythm and unforeseen occurrences come into play.

Try this out for yourself over at Paddy Power Sports and Bet365 Sports today.

Recommended Betting Sites

Betting Strategy Articles


Look to Profit Off a Previous Winner at the Daytona 500
Look to Profit Off a Previous Winner at the Daytona 500

Not only is the Daytona 500 the biggest race in the NASCAR calendar, it is often referred to as 'The Great American Race' or the 'Super Bowl of NASCAR ... Read More

La La Land Should Dominate but Who Should You Back?
La La Land Should Dominate but Who Should You Back?

It's almost that time of year again when the cream of Hollywood rises to the top in their finest outfits for an evening of tears, poker-faced smiles a ... Read More

Bookies Backing Madrid, Less Confident with Bayern v Arsenal
Bookies Backing Madrid, Less Confident with Bayern v Arsenal

It’s still a few months until the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final kicks off at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, but the herd has already been thinn ... Read More

What Wagers Experts Suggest for the FA Cup 5th Round
What Wagers Experts Suggest for the FA Cup 5th Round

This year the 5th round of the FA Cup has a wonderfully eclectic feel to it, with five of the Premier League’s big hitters in Manchesters United and C ... Read More

Expert Tips for Betting the Champions League Round of 16
Expert Tips for Betting the Champions League Round of 16

Like many well-meaning young chaps or ladies, the four teams in Champions League action on February 14 will be hoping that it’s a Valentine’s Day to r ... Read More

The Best and Most Interesting Prop Bets of Super Bowl LI
The Best and Most Interesting Prop Bets of Super Bowl LI

With so much wagered on the Super Bowl every year, it is not surprising there are wacky and out-there bets focusing on many different aspects of the g ... Read More

Betting Navigation

Newsletter

Sign up for the free Gambling.com Newsletter to stay on top of all the best bonuses!
We will never share or misuse your personal information. Privacy Policy

Latest Betting Strategy

Betting Guides

Country Guide