As a fun alternative to the standard betting options, many top rugby sportsbooks offer odds on winning margins for rugby matches. These are wagers where punters choose a team to win, and the number of points they will win by. Points are broken into brackets of 5 points each, so the punter simply selects the team and bracket, with some room for error.
At most sporstbooks, the points brackets are broken down as follows:
- 1-5 points
- 6-10 points
- 11-15 points
- 16-20 points
- 21-25 points
- 26-30 points
- 31-35 points
- 36-40 points
- 41-45 points
- 46 + points
Winning margins can be frustrating markets, but they can also be a lot of fun. Point brackets with the shortest odds are usually in the 5.50 – 6.00 odds range, and go up from there. Good money can be made from winning margins, but they can also make a punter a bit crazy.
In matches that are expected to be blowouts, it’s not uncommon to see brackets as high as 66-70 points. The most realistic brackets have odds in the 5.50 to 10.00 range, which can translate into some big wins for those who become good at this.
How to Predict the Winning Margin
Since rugby matchup bets are based on a handicap, the goal is to come up with the most accurate score. So, if you’re betting matchups, the winning margin bet shouldn’t require any further research to come up with a prediction. This is part of what makes a winning margin bet so attractive to punters – an extra bet without the extra time involved.
If you aren’t betting matchups but want to wager on winning margins, the same can be said in the opposite direction. If you’ve done the research to come up with a solid prediction for the winning margin, you should be able to use that information to bet on the matchup itself.
How to Make Consistent Wins with Winning Margin Bets
Winning margins have their time and place, and punters shouldn’t be betting on them on every game. If you are, you’re almost certain to lose money over the long-run. In the following section, we’re going to talk about making consistent wins with winning margin bets – ‘consistent’ being the key word. By consistent, we mean ‘most often’ – but not necessarily the only bets that offer value. There is another way to find value in winning margin bets that do not follow these rules, but we’ll talk about that later in this article.
These are three elements that need to be aligned for making consistent profits with winning margins.
1) When you independently predict the same handicap as the sportsbook.
Most professional punters do their homework and make their predictions before checking the handicap. In theory, sharp punters should be able to produce more winning bets this way because the handicap produced by the punter either validates the true handicap, or helps them expose value. For winning margin bets, when a punter and the actual handicap are the same, there is validation which says “we both expect the same thing”.
2) When your winning margin is in the middle of a points bracket.
If you’re predicting a score of 45-41, of course the predicted winning margin is 4. This is on the high end of the 1-5 points bracket, which means there is less margin for error on the high side. Instead, look for winning margins that land in the middle of a bracket. For example, in a 1-5 bracket, you’d want to have a predicted winning margin of 3, giving you two numbers above and two numbers below that would also win.
3) When the total score is expected to be low.
Matches that expect to be high scoring are less predictable than low scoring matches. A smaller window of potential scores makes it easier to predict the winning margin. Below is an example of how the margin of error within your prediction is affected by the total predicted score.
In a game where you have a predicted score of 30-24, a 25% margin of error produces scores in the range of 22.5 – 18 up to 37.5 – 30. So, the high range for the winner is 37.5 and the low range for the loser is 18, making the margin of error for the winning margin 19.5 points.
Now let’s use a predicted score of 17-13. With a predicted score of 17-13, a 25% margin of error would produce scores in the range of 12.75 – 9.75 up to 21.25 – 16.25. The high range for the winner is 21.25 points and the low range for the loser is 9.75 points, making the margin of error for the winning margin 11.5 points. This is a much tighter window to predict, meaning you should be able to win these bets more often.
Another Way to Find Value
Value can also be found in winning margin bets when you think the handicap should be smaller, and the favoured winning margin should be lower. As an example, if a handicap is nine points and you think it should be seven, while the favoured winning margin is 26-30 and you think it should be 16-20 or 21-25. In this kind of scenario, better odds can be found on lower winning margins, producing a higher payout if you’re right.
Betting on Multiple Winning Margins
Since the odds generally allow it, a lot of casual punters bet on multiple winning margins (usually 2 brackets). However, since only one winning margin can win, this is a poor way to bet. When betting on multiple winning margins, any wager over one is guaranteed to lose. Instead of betting on multiple winning margins, find another game to bet on or hold onto your money for another day.