Rugby World Cup 2019: Betting and Odds Preview

Please keep in mind that all odds mentioned are accurate at the time published on 17/09/2019 1:00 pm and are likely to change.

rugby world cupThe ninth edition of the Rugby Union World Cup gets underway on Friday September 20th and its destination Japan for the biggest prize in this particular sport. The host nation kick things off as they take on Russia and while both of those nations will be hoping to cause some upsets, neither are fancied to go deep into the tournament.

Reigning Champions New Zealand are the favourites to retain the trophy that they won four years ago but there are plenty of challenges awaiting the All Blacks. Who will emerge triumphant in the final on November 2nd? Read on to discover our thoughts.

Date: September 20, 2019

History and Format

The very first edition of the Rugby World Cup was held in 1987 and the winners were New Zealand. The All Blacks have also won the two most recent renewals and are therefore the most successful country in the tournament’s history with three titles.

Two teams – Australia and South Africa – have won the competition twice while England recorded a solitary victory in 2003. England’s triumph was the last time we saw a first-time winner of this event and the sportsbooks suggest that the trend will continue in 2019.

Speaking of trends, we can see from those stats that three of the four winners of the World Cup have come from the Southern Hemisphere. Once again, the bookmakers suggest this record will remain intact but there is a threat from some in-form Northern Hemisphere teams.

In terms of format, 20 teams have descended on Japan and they have been placed into four groups of 5. The top two sides in each section will progress to the Quarter Finals and from there, it’s a straight knockout.

It’s a simple format so now it’s time to see if we can pick our 2019 Rugby World Cup winner.

Out in Front

Rugby World Cup 2019: Betting and Odds PreviewThe mighty All Blacks lead the market and you can back New Zealand for the outright win at best industry odds of 6/4 with Unibet and 888Sport. New Zealand are’s pre-tournament favourite at 5/4. They were the first winners of the trophy back in 1987 and while it took them another 24 years to increase that tally, they are now the defending champions and the strongest team in World Rugby once again.

In the four years since they won that most recent crown in 2015, the Kiwis have enjoyed some long winning runs and dominant periods but results in the last 12 months have been mixed. If we look back to the most recent three results coming into the World Cup, New Zealand scraped past Argentina 20-16 before drawing at 16-16 with South Africa. On August 10, a 47-26 defeat to Australia suggests that they may be vulnerable but clearly no-one will be underestimating the All Blacks in Japan.

New Zealand kick off their campaign against South Africa on September 21st and against tough opposition, we’ll get a clear idea as to where their game currently stands.

Chasing Pack

South Africa are locked with England in places as joint second favourites but for some bookies, the 1995 and 2007 Champions are on their own behind New Zealand. The majority of operators have them at 4/1 and you can claim that price with William Hill, SportNation and 10Bet amongst others.

2003 World Champions England can also be picked up at 4/1 with many outlets but elsewhere, Eddie Jones’ side are available at a top price of 9/2 with RedZone. Clearly there is not much to choose between those two teams and the market remains tight as we move through the field.

Ireland are quoted at a best of 10/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral while you can also pick up Wales at that same 10/1 figure with Betway and SportNation. Neither of those teams have won the World Cup but in the last four years, Ireland have recorded their first ever victory over New Zealand while Wales rose to become the number one side in the World.

Beyond those five countries, casual punters may be surprised to see Australia down at odds of 18/1 with RedZone and 14/1 with SportNation. They are two-time World Champions but the Aussies have struggled in recent times although that August win over the All Blacks may suggest that better times are ahead.

Outside Bets

englandWe’re likely to have already mentioned the winner of the 2019 Rugby World Cup but punters may still want to look through the rest of the outright tournament market. Behind Australia, France are next on the list at best odds of 33/1 with BetFred, SportNation while Argentina are listed at a top price of 50/1 with Betway, Sportnation and RedZone.

Scotland come along next at a best of 80/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral and then we find host nation Japan at a top price of 250/1 with Coral and BetFred, and at 200/1 with SportNation.

We’re already into long priced outsiders but we can drift even further until we get to Namibia who carry the highest odds of any of the 20 teams at 7500/1 with Betway. A Namibia win would surely be the greatest shock in the history of sport but it’s also somewhat unlikely so we’ll move on now to consider our verdict.


Aside from the straight win, you can get some Each Way value for the 2019 World Cup. Most bookies are paying down to three places but Coral look to be paying out on E/W punts for reaching the semi finals so they are worth watching.

In an active set of side markets, the Top Tournament Try Scorer may be the busiest and we’re keen on England’s Jonny May here at a generous best of 14/1 with Unibet, but Sevu Reece and Rieko Ioane
are also very strong at 7/1 and at 9/1 with SportNation.

The playing conditions in Japan will be seen as neutral territory to an extent and they may not favour any particular side. It will certainly be warm and while the heat won’t rise to searing levels, excess humidity could potentially play a part.

There appears to be a lot of interest in England but, while they’ve not been at their best in 2019, it is tough to look past the All Blacks. We can be certain that the defending champions will be looking to peak ahead of the tournament and comparison of squads shows that the Kiwis are the team to beat once again.

In fact, we’re happy enough just to see an odds against price for New Zealand and we would advise getting on it while you still can. The All Blacks for the outright win plus these side bets will hopefully lead to a profitable run in Japan which will come to its conclusion at the start of November.

Best Bets

  • New Zealand to win at 6/4 with 888Sport
  • Australia Each Way at 16/1 with Coral
  • Jonny May to be Top Tournament Try Scorer at 14/1 with Unibet
  • New record points total set (Australia 142-0 Namibia) at 5/1 with SportNation