There has been some significant movement in the outright World Cup betting markets following the conclusion of the Rugby Championship.
New Zealand remain favourites at 16/10, but when you consider that they were trading close to 1/1 a few months ago, it is clear that bookmakers and punters alike think there may be genuine cracks in the World’s Champions armour. England are seen, by the bookmakers, as leading the Northern Hemisphere charge and they are currently 9/2 in slightly from 5/1 a few weeks ago.
The big movers though are the Springboks who were quoted at double figure prices at the start of the year and are now joint second favourites at 9/2. The Boks delivered one of their most impressive performances in recent memory when they destroyed Argentina in Salta on the weekend and there is genuine depth in the team and an optimism amongst the fans not felt since in many a year.
Wales and Ireland are next in the betting at 8/1 and Ireland, like New Zealand, have drifted having been 5/1, second favourites, heading into the Six Nations at the start of the year. They don’t quite look like the side of 2018 but have a very shrewd coach and cannot be written off.
Australia have been drifting in the betting, but their performance in Perth at the weekend against New Zealand has seen their odds clipped from 16/1 to 12/1 and if they can reproduce that sort of intensity and discipline they will certainly be no pushovers come Japan.
France who were in action this week against Scotland are 33/1 to go one better than their runner-up finish in 2011 and Argentina’s shares have fallen in recent weeks having been 33/1, they are now out to 50/1 and they will certainly have to fix their ailing scrum if they are to contend for the title or possibly even for the quarter-finals.
For punters looking to get involved early there are a number of other markets on offer such as pool winners where South Africa are 5/2 for Pool A and New Zealand are 1/4.
I can’t wait for this Rugby World Cup to commence and invite you to join me in the free to play Goodforthegame Superbru Pool and for those looking for real action I also have a R500 buy-in pool “Putyourmoneywhereyourmouthis”
This article was written for the CitiGaming supplement of the Citizen Newspaper and was published on the 15 August 2019.