Handicap Betting in Rugby Explained using England v Wales as an Example

February 7, 2018
Handicap betting in rugby explained

Handicap betting in rugby is nothing new and it will be available for every match in the 2021 Six Nations. However, not everyone knows how handicap betting in rugby works and what different options are available.

Fortunately, rugby handicap betting is very straight forward and using the Six Nations as an example, you will be up and running in no time at all.

Handicap Betting in Rugby Examples

The basic essence of handicap betting in rugby is to make the match a fair contest. So, in the second round of fixtures in the Six Nations, England are hosting Wales at Twickenham. England have won the previous two Six Nations titles and are heavy favourites to win the match with the bookmakers, priced at 1/6 with William Hill.

There is little value in placing a bet on this market because even a £100 bet would only return £17 and you will need to bet a lot of money to make anything significant, which is a big risk in itself.

As this has the makings of a one-sided match in the eyes of the bookmaker, handicap betting provides an opportunity to make the betting more interesting.

England -11 v Wales +11

  • Betfred offer Evens for England -11, which means to for the bet to be successful, England must win the match by 12 or more points.
  • You can also get Evens on Wales +11 points.
  • So if the match finished in favour of England but by less than an 11 point margin, a Wales +11 points would be a winning handicap bet.

Alternative Handicap 2-Way

UK Bookmakers will also offer Alternative Handicap 2-Way rugby betting and this opens numerous possibilities for matches.

Essentially, this betting market works the same way as standard handicap betting in rugby but offers many more possibilities.

Taking the England vs Wales match in the 2018 Six Nations again, you have a wealth options.

If you would like to bet on England and feel they could run up a big score against the Welsh, you could use the -18.5 point handicap, at odds of 7/4.

Notice the use of a half point in this bet.

We all know you cannot score half a point in rugby but the half point is there to remove the draw as an option.

So, it is merely a way to simplify the bet and you will need England to win by 19 points or more for the bet to be successful.

Alternative Handicap 3-Way

In addition to the Alternative Handicap 2-Way betting, you can enjoy Alternative Handicap 3-Way betting on rugby.

This works in the same way as normal handicap betting in rugby but introduces the possibility of the match ending in a draw, meaning there are three options.

For example, in the England vs Wales 2018 Six Nations match:

  • England are 4/9 to win with a -6 point handicap.
  • Wales are 7/4 to win with a +6 point advantage.
  • The draw is 22/1 +6 points.

England are the strong favourites to win the match and that is why Wales are still 7/4 with a 6 point head start. Furthermore, for the draw to be the winning bet, Wales have a 6 point advantage, so if England win the match 26-20, the match would be called a draw for the purposes of the bet.

A draw in Alternative Handicap 3-Way betting on rugby is rare and hence the odds are always much larger than the other options.

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Author Andy

I have been placing bets online for over 25 years and specialise in horse racing bets and the different types available. If there's anything you need to know about betting I can advise using my expertise gained over this time.

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