How to make money betting on rugby


It’s not the most popular of sports for money-making… but there is no doubt that amongst the sports betting ranks there are some shrewd operators making good money from rugby betting tips.

And why’s that?

Because it’s the classic example of a sport where a general lack of knowledge, or interest, amongst the majority… creates opportunity for the minority i.e. the limited number of punters who do their homework.

So if you’re prepared to put in the effort, to get to know the sport, then your chances of success will increase massively.

And with the continued rise in profile of the game, especially at an international level, as viewing figures and spectator levels grow year on year, there’s every reason to get moving…

Before everyone else cottons on!

Hence this selection of free rugby betting tips which should help you to get to grips with the sport.

After all, a familiarity with rugby and rugby betting odds offers you the chance to make a tidy tax-free profit.

Time then to get your gumshield in… and start turning a profit on a hugely under-rated betting medium.

1. An initial assessment of team form.

It’s the logical starting point for betting tips related to any team sport.

You simply need to study the recent Win-Draw-Loss figures for each team, to determine their general level of form.

Of course, the W-D-L stats don’t tell you everything but many sports betting tipsters will tell you that winning, and losing for that matter, can become a habit. Therefore, patterns of performance should be noted.

League position, in terms of domestic matches, can also be brought into the bet selection process but that can be misleading… for example, a higher placed team might be on a losing run whilst a side lower in the league could be enjoying a good run of form.

But as a basic starting point, the W-D-L figures in the last 6-8 matches are the best place to get for rugby betting underway.

(Obviously, this isn’t quite the same as matches are much more spread apart – see point 3).

2. Adjustments to do with recent W-D-L figures.

Of course, winning one match isn’t necessarily the same as winning another.

It all depends upon the opposition, conditions, margin of victory, location… any number of considerations.

So it’s important to see results as more than just a letter. Every match has its own unique story… a disputed try, a missed penalty in the last-minute, an early injury to a key player and so on.

Proper form study therefore dictates that the diligent rugby tipster, as well as the casual backer, should dig a little deeper than the mere result. Both teams might have a ‘W’ against their name for their last match… but 24-22 reads slightly less impressively than a 44-6 scoreline.

Or does it? It all revolves around a number of factors (opponents, weather conditions, homefield advantage, starting line-ups) that you need to think about.

3. What’s the previous head-to-head form?

This probably has more relevance with international matches (where there is less recent form to work off) but it can still be useful when studying domestic, club rugby or Heineken Cup matches.

Clearly there is a time-limit on head-to-head form. The fact that Team A beat Team B 21-15 back in 1986 isn’t particularly relevant to a match being played over 25 years later.

However, if the two sides have met a couple of times in the last 12 months… that can be extremely informative as to how their next meeting will play out.

The key is to look for aspects of the coming match which are either identical, or totally different, from the previous meetings. That can help you decide how the match will develop… and how you should select your rugby bets.

4. Playing conditions. Check the weather forecast.

They say that conditions can be a great leveller when it comes to sport… and in the case of rugby (possibly more than some other outdoor pursuits) that is certainly the case.

It’s possibly a bit too simplistic to say that warm, dry conditions lead to free-flowing, expansive rugby matches with the backs seeing plenty of the ball… whilst wet, muddy conditions are more likely to produce dour, forward-dominated encounters.

However, certain teams are more suited to certain weather conditions, for sure, just as different climatic factors can effect how a match is played out.
Therefore, it pays to be mindful of the likely conditions. Not just with an eye to the outright result… but also in handicap betting (where, for example, covering big handicaps in poor conditions can be difficult).

5. Who’s in the starting XV… or XIII for that matter?

Doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for rugby union betting tips or some rugby league advice.

You need to know who’s playing and who isn’t… as it makes a big difference if a team’s star scrum-half or talismanic skipper can’t play through injury, suspension or (when club matches are considered) is away on international duty.

Players can have such a big effect on the outcome of matches that to bet blindly, without any reference to the teams that line up before kick-off, is a very risky business.

Checking these details might mean delaying your bets until nearer match-time… well, so be it, if that is going to aid your profitability long-term.

6. Where’s the match being played?

It doesn’t matter which sport you’re studying… it stands to reason that playing at home, in your own backyard, is an advantage.

The familiarity of the surroundings, the lack of travel, the benefit of having so much local support… and many other factors, give the home side a significant ‘headstart’ over their opponents.

Of course, not all teams playing at home win… no surprise there. However, many do play above their average level of performance.

Hence, factor this into match predictions (along with the assessment of previous W-D-L form) as even poor teams win at home and good sides lose away.

Likewise with handicap betting, a big part of rugby betting, where home advantage can boost a team’s chances (or harm those of the away side).

7. Check the time of season/date in the schedule.

Probably more important when considering international matches, and especially those which involve teams from different hemispheres.

For example, the Autumn Internationals in rugby union or the World Club Challenge in rugby league… along with various Lions Tours to do with both codes.

In such cases, players may well be coming to end of a long, hard domestic season or might just be starting out on a new campaign. Either way, they might not perform up to their best.

Likewise teams playing on foreign tours need time to acclimatise to the conditions, or play themselves into form (or in order to determine their best team). Just as they might be overly fatigued at the end of a gruelling away trip.

Domestic considerations are more to do with early season form often being unreliable, sides towards the end of the year with little/nothing to play for… fatigue after a number of games in a short space of time, general ‘rustiness’ if teams haven’t played for several weeks.

It all effects how a team prepare for a matches, and then how they play once the whistle blows.

8. Handicap betting.

The nature of rugby lends itself very well to handicap betting (go to handicap betting).

Any serious rugby union tipster or rugby league backer should be familiar, and well-practiced, in the art of handicap betting.

The link above will provide more information but with regards to rugby handicap betting a couple of initial observations…

Taking a position on big handicap lines (say, 20 points or more) can be risky. Once a team has the match ‘won’ they might well ease off in the closing stages, and so the eventual margin of victory isn’t as much as it should be.

Conversely, very tight handicap lines (a point or two either way) can sometimes be best swerved… alternatively playing in the outright result market or points margin of victory.

And look at the handicap lines themselves. Are they full points (e.g. +4pts) or full points (e.g.3.5pts)… so there can be /can’t be a draw on the handicap. Also, are they carefully framed around frequent margins of victory e.g. 3, 5 or 7 points (again where the draw is a live runner).

9. Who is the referee?

Believe it or not, this can have an effect.

Not so far as which team will win the match (not saying that!) but a lot of rugby decisions are open to interpretation, even with the assistance of TV replays and extra officials on the sidelines.

And different referees will have different ways of running the game… so will allow more flowing rugby to be played, others will penalise every little misdemeanour.

We’re talking fractions here. Nothing major. But a point here or there, if not changing the final outcome, might mean the difference between you collecting on your handicap bet… or not!

10. Be careful about the odds you take.

An important consideration, no matter what the sport.

However, the gulf in class, or ability, between sides in rugby is often much wider than, for example, in your typical football match.

No surprise then to see some sides chalked up at 1/5 or 1/10… and in some international matches you’ll be looking at markets where the underdogs could be priced at upwards of 50/1.

In such situations you have to make value judgements. You’re certainly not going to get very rich (or do it very quickly) backing at ludicrously short odds.

Therefore, weigh up the prices, consider the risk/reward and maybe take a look at other markets (winning margin, handicap) as better ways to trade on the game.
So there you have it…

A number of free rugby betting tips to introduce you to the subject of making money on the sport, whether it’s rugby league or rugby union… or if you’re already winning, then maybe to help you win more.

Because the profile of the sport appears to be on the rise.

Whether you’re looking for Heineken Cup advice or Six Nations betting tips… or if it’s the Tri-Nations in the Southern Hemisphere that you prefer, or the rugby World Cup… there’s plenty of ways to make this sport pay.

You just need to get started.

If you’d like more details about rugby league betting, or have some great rugby union tips of your own, I’d like to hear from you.

Get in touch with me anytime by phone or email.

My numbers are 01625 315654 (office) or 07752 768094 (personal mobile) or you can drop me an email to