How Does Handicap Betting Work in Rugby?

Handicap betting involves giving one team a disadvantage that they need to overcome at the start of a game. When it comes to (rugby betting) and (Rugby League betting), the online bookmakers usually handicap the team that they feel is likely to win, so that they have a disadvantage against their opponent – you can look at it as a way of leveling the playing field. Before you start making use of (rugby betting odds), it is vital that you have a thorough understanding of handicap betting, and this is what we aim to give you in this article.

A Look at How Handicap Betting Works in Rugby


It often involves giving the team that is the underdog an edge by giving them plus points and the favorites minus points. The more significant the points gap is, the bigger the handicap. Handicap betting, also known as line, spread, or points betting, is an option that bookmakers make available to spice up a match where the final outcome is all but known, such as those found at

Let us now give you an example to make things even clearer for you. Let us say that New Zealand are taking on Italy in a Rugby Autumn international match, and they have given the Kiwis a handicap of -15 points. In this scenario, New Zealand will have to win the match by at least 16 points in order for you to win your bet. If they win by 15 points, then the match will go down as a metaphorical draw, and you will not win your bet.

Handicap Betting Odds

Usually, when it comes to Rugby Union or (Rugby League betting sites), you will find the following numbers when looking for handicap odds; +1, +2, +3, +4, +5, -1, -2, -3, -4, -5 and so on. The underdog will be given the positive number, while the favorite for the match will get the negative number.

If the handicap betting odds have a .5 suffix, then it is indicating that an Asian Handicap is in play, and what this means is that there is no possibility of a draw. If a team has a -3.5 handicap attached to them, then they have to win the match by at least 4 points. If they win by three points, then it will go down as a metaphorical loss because they were still technically half a point behind their opponents.

How to Place a Handicap Bet


If you have never placed a handicap bet before, then you are obviously going to be curious as to how you go about doing so. Well, you will be happy to hear that placing a handicap wager is really simple, and should not take you too long at all. We are going to outline the process for you below:

1. Go to your sports betting site and sign into your account. Head over to the rugby betting section.
2. Find a game that you like the look of and select it – you will be taken to a page where you can see the various markets that are on offer.
3. Scroll down the page until you find the handicap betting options. Choose the handicap that you like and it will automatically be added to the betting slip.
4. Decide on how much money you want to place on this outcome, and then add this number to the stake box.
5. When you are content with the choices that you have made, click on “Submit Bet” and you will have just placed your very first handicap bet.

Handicap Strategies That You Can Use in Rugby

Knowing how handicap betting works and the various bets that you can make use of when betting on rugby is great, but knowing some decent strategies is something that can see you earn more of a profit. Below we have given you some tips that will help you to make some smarter handicap bets when you are betting on (Rugby Union betting apps) or on your favorite bookmaker site.

Study the Teams

Different teams will have different playing styles and tactics. For example, some teams will always try to win by scoring more tries, while others will try to win by scoring more penalties. The wisest decision that you can make here is to bet on the team that is known for scoring tries as they have higher odds and there will probably be plenty of points scored in the match.

Let the Bookies Help You


One great tip that we can give you when it comes down to handicap betting, whether you are (betting Rugby League) or Rugby Union, is to make use of the stats that your bookmaker has on offer. You should focus mainly on the scoring averages for a game between the home team and their opponents.

Come Up with Your Own Prediction

Before the match starts, take a quick look at the handicap betting options, and then think what you believe the outcome of the match will likely be. If you feel that your beliefs are in line with the bookie’s handicap options, then go ahead and place your wager.

Handicap Betting: Advantages and Disadvantages


Below we shall have a look at some of the main advantages and disadvantages that are in play when it comes to handicap betting.


The bookmakers are the ones who have to evaluate both teams and decide the handicap that the team that is the underdog should have. This will often be determined by taking a look at recent matches between the teams, the form that each team is in, whether they are missing key players, and if they have home advantage. When they have taken these factors into account, they will then decide what the handicap odds will be. More often than not, bookmakers will offer correct handicap betting odds, but they will not get it right all of the time. There will be occasions where one team will receive a slight advantage, and this is where you can pounce to increase your profit.

Another great advantage of handicap betting is that it adds lots of entertainment and value to those boring betting days where the fixtures all pit strong favorites up against heavy underdogs. Not many rugby fans like watching one team score ten tries past another side, and most will probably watch something else. However, those who have $20 on the favorites to win with a -30 handicap will get a lot of entertainment.


There are not many disadvantages that arise when handicap betting, but there are two different factors that might stop punters from placing such a bet.

For instance, when you are putting money on your favorite rugby team, it is pretty easy to be ruled by your emotions. If you bet with your emotions, then you will end up losing a lot of money. Therefore, when you are placing some handicap bets, we recommend that you do not bet on a rugby team that you support to make sure that your love does not end up clouding your logic.

Also, another disadvantage is that you will not come across handicap betting with all sports – it is mostly available for team sports. So, if you want to bet on sports such as boxing or cycling, you will not find handicap betting markets.