There’s more to New Jersey sports betting than just the big four.
The Rugby World Cup is only held once every four years. And 2019 is one of those years.
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This year, Japan is hosting the 2019 Rugby World Cup from Sept. 20 to Nov. 2. Right now, NJ sports betting operators are already taking bets on which country will take home the Webb Ellis Cup, awarded to the international squad that wins the tournament.
Plus, a variety of NJ sportsbooks are also taking bets on the 2019 Rugby World Cup first-round matches.
2019 Rugby World Cup odds
As defending World Cup champions, New Zealand is the clear betting favorite. In fact, New Zealand has won three of the eight Rugby World Cup tournaments and are perennial favorites.
There are 20 teams in the 2019 Rugby World Cup. But as you can see, oddsmakers give half the teams, including host nation Japan, very little chance of winning.
Reasonable odds are only posted for traditional rugby powerhouse countries such as New Zealand, England, Wales, Ireland, South Africa, and Australia.
Plus, only upstarts such as France, Scotland, and Argentina join the previous group with odds posted at less than +20000.
The 2019 Rugby World Cup
The 2019 Rugby World Cup will start with the pool stage, where the 20 teams are divided into four pools. Every team in each pool plays one another.
Teams earn four points for a win and two for a draw. Plus, any team that scores four tries in a match or loses by less than eight points earns a bonus point.
The top two teams in each pool advance to the quarterfinals where the knockout stage begins. There is a Bronze Final match between the losers of the two semifinals to determine the third-place finisher.
The 2019 Rugby World Cup final will be held Nov. 2 at International Stadium Yokohama.
Understanding rugby betting
Of course, it might prove difficult to bet on a sport you know very little about. After all, rugby is not a top sport in the US.
However, the following Rugby rules refresher should provide you with a basic understanding of the game.
Legend has it that rugby was invented when one player picked up the ball and ran with it during a soccer game. It plays very much like a combination of soccer and football here in the US.
A rugby pitch looks a lot like a football field. There’s a large playing field with a goal area at either end, much like an end zone. Plus, H-shaped goalposts stand at either end.
Rugby teams are 15 players per side and much like most other sports, the object is to score more points than your opponent.
Rugby matches are 80 minutes long with two 40 minute halves. Like the NFL, the teams attempt to move the ball up the field to score. However, unlike the NFL, the ball cannot be passed forward.
Rugby play and scoring
Instead, players run with the ball, lateral it back to teammates in an attempt to advance further, or kick it forward and run it down.
On the defensive side, players attempt to tackle the ball carrier or rip the ball away.
There are four ways to score:
- Teams earn a try (5 points) when a player places the ball down in the goal area.
- Teams earn a conversion (2 points) when they kick the ball through the upper goalposts following a try.
- Referees award a penalty kick for various infractions. Teams earn three points when they kick the ball through the upper goal posts on penalty kicks.
- Teams earn a drop goal (3 points) when the kick the ball through the upper goal posts during play. The kicking player must bounce the ball before kicking it.
When the ball goes out of bounds there is a throw-in. Both teams line up as many as seven players. Then, one player throws the ball in on a straight line from where it went out of bounds and the teams compete for it. Players can even lift one another up to get to the ball.
Referees award penalty kicks for major infractions like tackling above the shoulder line. However, the referees call for a scrum when a minor infraction occurs. Minor infractions include things like passing the ball forward.
Each team sends up to eight players into a scrum. The pile of players interlock, the ball is fed into the small gap between the two teams, and they compete for possession.