When New Zealand take to the Eden Park pitch in Auckland on Saturday morning to take on Tonga, the Rugby World Cup will be well and truly under way.
As it’s being played on New Zealand soil, the All Blacks are dominating most of the betting markets and Graham Henry’s side are the 8/13 favourites to lift the trophy after what will be six weeks of intense rugby.
Rugby betting is yet to rank alongside football and horse racing as a popular betting market but it’s a very popular market for canny punters because the draw is effectively ruled out and the handicap betting means the lesser teams can prove profitable to follow.
With Ladbrokes offering a Rugby World Cup free bet worth £50 for all new customers who sign up here and enter promo code FB50, now is a great time to start exploring the Rugby World Cup odds.
Bet on everything from the tournament winner without New Zealand to the tournament’s top tryscorer, the winner of Pool A to the qualifiers from Pool D and even the total number of red cards in the tournament.
England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales will be representing the Six Nations with Australia, New Zealand and South Africa representing the Tri Nations.
Argentina, Canada, Fiji, Georgia, Japan, Namibia, Romania, Russia, Samoa, Tonga and USA will want to topple the duopoly and the Pool stages will see plenty of intense ties.
Rugby still has some way to go to be competitive on a world level and so the latter stages of the tournament will be more popular among the match bettors out there, but the handicap betting offers plenty for punters to chew over.
Friday represents the first of 45 glorious days of rugby betting and with so many options open, it could prove to be a more profitable period than the whole of the Premier League season.