Rugby is one of the most traditional British sports and you can trace the origins of rugby union back to the mid-19th century.
Since then, the sport has evolved somewhat – and the formation of rugby league some 50 years later is perhaps the biggest change of all.
To this day, we are still blessed with both codes – much to the delight of rugby fans around the world.
While union focuses more on power and organisation, league is played at a much quicker pace and is arguably more skilful when it comes to attacking the try line.
Rugby betting for both codes is fairly similar though there are some major differences that must be noted.
These mainly relate to the different rules in union and league; the number of points for scoring, interchanges and format of competition are just three of the most obvious variations.
Top Tips For Betting On Rugby:
The pinnacle of rugby union is the Rugby World Cup. This is the competition that everybody wants to win yet England are the only northern hemisphere side to lift the famous trophy.
The early rugby betting tips and odds will likely have New Zealand as firm favourites to claim victory at the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Meanwhile, there is a Rugby League World Cup but that tournament isn’t as popular as the union version.
Instead, Super League is the biggest club competition in the United Kingdom while the NRL is the standout event in Australia. Rugby league is massive Down Under and the success of the NRL has been key to their dominance on the international stage.
Without further ado, let’s get down to the important bit: our top rugby betting tips. We’ve got some general rugby betting advice along with more specific rugby union betting tips and rugby league betting tips.
Hopefully our words of wisdom can help punters to enjoy success when betting on rugby in the future!
Best Rugby Betting Tips
Whether you’re a rugby union fan or passionate about rugby league, one thing is for sure: both codes are extremely physical and put immense strain on players.
Fatigue and injuries play a major role in both sports, with impact injuries particularly common in union.
In recent years, rugby governing bodies have enforced stricter rules relating to player safety.
Officials now have more power and red cards are being shown a lot more frequently than in years gone by – punters should bear that in mind ahead of a particularly fierce rivalry.
A total of 25 red cards have been shown at the Rugby World Cup since 1987, with five of those handed out at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Every rugby union betting tips follower should be wary of this statistic and consider placing a card bet on upcoming fixtures.
Meanwhile, rugby league is still physical but the sport has evolved to focus more on skill and keeping the ball alive through the six phases of play.
We would always recommend backing the ‘over’ number of tries line ahead of a major rugby league clash.
Defence is obviously still important in rugby league but there is certainly a ‘we will outscore you’ mentality in the sport, particularly in the southern hemisphere.
Punters should be sure to research thoroughly before betting on rugby league as there are clear differences in style depending on the hemisphere.
Finding the best rugby betting tips is difficult when speaking about rugby as a whole. There are a number of ways punters can tweak their rugby betting strategy depending on if the sport in question is union or league.
You can find our top rugby betting tips for both codes below…
Rugby League Betting Tips
Rugby league is popular in the north of England, with the likes of St Helens, Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves enjoying success in recent years.
The NRL and Super League are the two biggest rugby league betting competitions and the Super League Grand Final is one of the highlights of the sporting calendar.
One thing to consider when betting on rugby league is the total points market.
Despite a try being worth four points in league compared to five in union, more often than not the points line will be higher – the average league game will have more scores than union.
Margin betting is an interesting angle for rugby league fans.
You can back a team to win by 1-6 points if you expect a tight game to be settled by less than a converted try or back the blowout, with some bookmakers offering a team to win by 19 or more points.
Rugby Union Betting Tips
One of our top tips when betting on rugby union is to consider backing total points scored by a specific player.
Penalties and drop goals are worth three points compared to two and one respectively in rugby league so backing the team’s goal kicker can prove prudent.
Nowadays, conditions play a major part in the style of union fixtures.
Prime conditions can often see high scoring matches while rain and wind can level the playing field and almost encourages a war of attrition. Betting markets will shift drastically depending on weather conditions…
This is certainly something to bear in mind when looking at rugby union betting tips. Some teams prefer playing under a closed roof to avoid such problems, while also intensifying the atmosphere for visiting teams.
Wales, for example, regularly ask to close the Principality Stadium roof but require permission from the away side in Six Nations fixtures.
Rugby World Cup Betting Tips
Held every four years, the Rugby World Cup sees the best teams in the business go up against each other in a bid to lift the Webb Ellis Cup.
New Zealand and South Africa are the most successful teams in Rugby World Cup history with three titles apiece.
While the usual contenders tend to battle it out for World Cup glory, it is worth noting that a lot can change in the four-year cycle between tournaments.
In some ways, it is probably worth steering clear of World Cup odds until around two years before the competition.
As the tournament edges closer, punters can usually find pool betting odds, to qualify odds and sometimes even a market that allows bettors to predict how many points a team will secure during the group stages.
Super Rugby Betting Tips
Super Rugby is the highlight of the rugby union domestic game.
Featuring the best teams in the southern hemisphere, Super Rugby betting tips are popular with union fans around the world. You can often find Super Rugby live on Sky Sports on a Saturday morning!
With so much attacking talent on show, Super Rugby matches are usually entertaining and there is plenty of drama and excitement from start to finish.
Be sure to factor in the step up in quality when looking at Super Rugby betting tips on southern hemisphere matches.
Free Rugby League Betting Tips
There are a few important factors to consider when betting on rugby league.
Firstly, with regards specifically to Super League – travel. With the Catalans Dragons and Toronto Wolfpack now competing in the competition, some teams may experience fatigue if hit by a congested fixture list.
The rugby league landscape is everchanging, with salary caps playing a key role in forming teams across the globe.
Some teams manage to consistently perform at the top of the sport while others will enjoy the odd year of success – this helps the unpredictability of rugby league.
Furthermore, always consider exploring a range of free rugby league betting tips before you commit to a paid tipster service.
There are a number of reputable rugby league betting tips experts who offer free advice on the biggest tournaments and competitions.
Free Rugby Union Betting Tips
Aside from keeping a close eye on weather conditions and backing the kicker, one of the most important rugby union betting tips is to follow injury news closely.
Losing a key man can prove costly, particularly in tight contests between the top union nations.
Some countries are blessed with a huge talent pool but many do not have that luxury.
Take Scotland for example, they are capable of giving anyone a game on their day but they lose reliability in defence and creativity in attack if a player like Stuart Hogg is ruled out.
Furthermore, you will often see teams like New Zealand experiment with players against some of the ‘lesser’ nations.
While the All Blacks are still mighty, they do lose some of that pizazz and handicap odds on the underdog are worth monitoring in rugby betting tips.
*Credit for the main photo belongs to Aaron Favila / AP Photo*