Rugby World Cup 2023 | Sporting Index

Rugby World Cup Spread Betting Preview - 8 Matches To Get Excited About

The Rugby World Cup will begin with a blockbuster clash between France and New Zealand in Paris on Friday. They are the top two teams in our outright index on this tournament, so it will be fascinating to see who comes out on top at the Stade de France. Ireland and South Africa - who are currently first and second respectively in the world rankings - have also landed in the same group. They will clash on 23rd September in the French capital, so that is another eagerly anticipated match to mark in your diary.

The likes of England, Scotland, Wales and Australia have struggled of late, but they all look like potential dark horses. It promises to be an entertaining group stage, and we have cherry-picked eight matches to get the blood flowing before it gets underway. We will then run through the outright betting markets on the Rugby World Cup and explain what they mean.

France vs. New Zealand

New Zealand are the outright favourites to win this tournament in our rugby spread betting markets. They have won The Rugby Championship - the Southern Hemisphere equivalent to the Six Nations - for the past three years after dominating Australia, South Africa and Argentina. The All Blacks boast the likes of Ardie Savea, Richie Mo'unga and Beauden Barrett, so they are brimming with world-class talent.

However, France will also be brimming with confidence. They are the host nation, so they will benefit from raucous home support. Les Bleus have won their last 14 matches on French soil, a run that goes back to March 2021, so they are the second favourites to win the tournament. These teams could end up meeting in the final, so it will be intriguing to see who comes out on top in the opener. We cannot split them, as you can find 45-51 on either team in our 100 Index on this match, highlighting just how evenly matched they appear.

England vs. Argentina

An injury-ravaged England face a baptism of fire against Argentina at the weekend. Head coach Steve Borthwick will be missing Anthony Watson and Jack van Poortvliet, while Courtney Lawes, Tom Curry, Manu Tuilagi, Henry Arundell, Kyle Sinckler, Elliot Daly and George Martin are all carrying knocks. To make matters worse, captain Owen Farrell and No. 8 Billy Vunipola are both suspended for this match, which could represent England's toughest test of the group stage.

Argentina are currently sixth in the world rankings, two places ahead of England, who have lost five of their last six matches. The Pumas also beat England 30-29 at Twickenham in November last year, which could give them a psychological boost. However, England won their previous 10 matches against Argentina, which bodes well. We make the Red Roses the narrow favourites, with a 100 Index of 47-53, while Argentina are priced at 44-50. Whoever comes out on top in this match will be expected to win the pool, so there will be a great deal at stake.

South Africa vs. Scotland

The Springboks are the reigning world champions after beating England in the 2019 final. Their form has been inconsistent since that famous triumph, but they have returned to form in recent weeks. They secured back-to-back wins against Argentina, before thrashing Wales in Cardiff and then subjecting the All Blacks to a record 35-7 defeat at Twickenham last week. They still boast a wealth of talent, including the world's best hooker and second row in Malcom Marx and Eben Etzebeth, so the South African pack could be unstoppable at this tournament.

It is unfortunate for Scotland that they have landed in the same pool as both South Africa and Ireland. However, they should be competitive after finishing third in the Six Nations earlier this year. The Scots have won four of their last five matches, including a 25-21 victory over France at Murrayfield. However, they are heavy underdogs for this match, as we have given South Africa a 10-13 point Match Supremacy quote. If you think the Springboks will win by more than 13 points, you can buy at 13. If you think Scotland will win or lose by no more than 10 points, you can sell at 10.

Wales vs. Fiji

It has been a torrid year so far for Wales. They finished fifth in the Six Nations, as only a hard-fought victory over Italy spared them the ignominy of the wooden spoon, and they are coming off a heavy 52-16 defeat to South Africa. Head coach Warren Gatland admitted this summer that he would not have taken the job if he had known the full scale of issues plaguing Welsh rugby.

However, they had the luck of the draw, landing in the same pool as an out-of-sorts Australia, Fiji, Georgia and Portugal. They are favoured to reach the knockout stage of the competition in our spread betting markets, but their opener against Fiji could prove pivotal. Many Welsh fans are still haunted by the defeats they suffered to Western Samoa and then all of Samoa in World Cups gone by, so they will be desperate to avoid another loss to the Pacific islanders. We make them the 3-6 point favourites for this one in the Match Supremacy Index, while they have a 100 Index of 60-66, compared to Fiji's 31-37.

England vs. Japan

The Brave Blossoms lit up the World Cup when Eddie Jones steered them to a famous, last-gasp victory over South Africa in 2015. The match was dubbed "the miracle of Brighton" and it won them a place in many rugby fans' hearts. They fared even better last time around, as they finished top of a group featuring Ireland and Scotland. However, the Springboks gained sweet revenge by beating Japan 26-3 in the quarter-finals en route to lifting the trophy.

Japan's warm-up matches have been far from encouraging, as they lost to Italy, Fiji and Samoa, and then they only managed a narrow win against Tonga. However, they seem to come to life at the World Cup, perhaps thriving under the pressure of playing in a major tournament. It will be interesting to see if the Brave Blossoms can give England a run for their money in the second round of group games.

South Africa vs. Ireland

Ireland and South Africa are the top two teams in the world rankings, and they are among the favourites along with New Zealand and France to win this tournament. Unfortunately, they have landed in the same pool. To make matters worse, the winner from Pool A will face the winner of Pool B in the quarter-finals, while the runner-up of Pool B will take on the winner of Pool A. It means that at least two of the top four teams in the world will crash out of the competition before the semi-final stage.

Once again, it will be intriguing to see who comes out on top in this match. Ireland will be in high spirits after winning the Grand Slam at the Six Nations earlier this year. They rattled off reasonably comfortable victories over Italy, England and Samoa in August, which extended their winning streak to 14 matches. They also boast many elite players, including Johnny Sexton, Tadhg Furlong, Tadhg Beirne and Dan Sheehan, so it is easy to see why they are among the favourites for this competition. Furlong has been ruled out of their opener with an injury, but head coach Andy Farrell will hope to have him back in time to face the Springboks.

Wales vs. Australia

This game could determine which team finishes top of Pool C. Both Wales and Australia have underwhelmed this year, but they look stronger than Fiji, Georgia and Portugal on paper. The Wallabies may have the upper hand from a psychological standpoint, as they beat Wales 39-34 in Cardiff in November last year. However, Australia have since lost all five of their matches in 2023, and they lost 41-17 to France last time out. Yet Wales will need to keep an eye on Marika Koroibete, as he has the pace, power and finishing ability to cause them all sorts of problems.

Ireland vs. Scotland

This could prove to be a monumental match between Ireland and Scotland in the final round of the group stage. We could end up with a winner-takes-all situation as they fight for a berth in the knockout stages. If so, it will naturally be a tense encounter for the fans, and an entertaining spectacle for the neutrals. Ireland dismantled Scotland at the Six Nations, but the Scots are a resolute bunch, so this looks like developing into another intense clash.

Rugby World Cup Outright Index

This market awards 100 points to the World Cup winner, 80 points to the runner-up, 60 points for third, 50 points for fourth, 25 points to the beaten quarter-finalists, 10 points to the teams that finish third in their groups and 5 points to the teams that finish fourth in their groups. We have provided a quote on each team, ranging from 56-60 on New Zealand to 0-0.25 on Romania. You can buy at the upper end if you expect the team to have a strong tournament or sell at the lower end if you think they will struggle.

France are the second favourites at 53-57, led by the sublime Antoine Dupont, the phenomenal Grégory Alldritt and free-scoring winger Damian Penaud. The Springboks are next at 49-53 and Ireland are priced at 43-47, but remember that only two of those four teams can make it through to the semi-finals. Australia and England both have a clearer route, so they are priced at 41-45 and 40-44 respectively, while Argentina are also 40-44 and Wales are priced at 29-32.

Pool A Index

In our Pool Index markets, we assign 50 points to the winner, 30 points to the runner-up, 20 points for third, 10 points for fourth and zero for finishing fifth. New Zealand are the narrow 39.5-42.5 favourites in Pool A, followed by France (38-41), Italy (20.5-22), Uruguay (6.25-7.5) and Namibia (1.25-2.5). There are also Pool A markets: 600-615 on Total Points and 81.5-84 on Total Tries. As always, you can buy at the upper end if you expect more than the quote or sell at the lower end if you expect fewer. There is also a fun Total Shirts market - quoted at 950-980 - which adds together the shirt numbers of all the try scorers in that group.

Pool B Index

South Africa are the 38-41 favourites for Pool B, followed by Ireland (36.5-39.5) and Scotland (22-25). Tonga are seen as outsiders, with a quote of 8.5-10, and Romania are priced at just 0-0.5. The Total Points option is priced at 565-580 for Pool B and you can also find 76.5-79 on Total Tries and 870-895 on Total Shirts.

Pool C Index

Australia are the 39-42 favourites for Pool C, ahead of Wales (30-33), Fiji (24-27), Georgia (11-13) and Portugal (0.1-1). This is expected to be a lower-scoring group, with Total Points priced at 534-546, Total Tries at 71-73 and Total Shirts at 71-73.

Pool D Index

Finally, we have England as the narrow 37.5-40.5 favourites in Pool D. They finished runners-up at the last Rugby World Cup, but they have seemingly regressed since then, so they are only narrowly ahead of Argentina (37-40) in this market. Japan and Samoa are both priced at 14.5-17.5, while Chile are 0.1-1. The Total Points market is set at 540-552 for Pool D, while we are offering 71-73 on Total Tries and 785-810 on Total Shirts.

Team Markets

You can also consider a range of specific markets on each team. For example, we anticipate that England will outscore their opponents by between 70-76 points on aggregate during the tournament. You can sell at 70 or buy at 76 depending on how dominant you expect them to be. We also offer Total Points, Total Tries and Total Shirt Numbers on each team. England's Total Points quote is set at 180-186, while New Zealand's is set at 227-233.

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