Rugby World Cup 2023 Picks, Predictions & Betting Odds

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The tenth edition of rugby union’s premier international competition is upon us, and with it, the excitement of who will come out on top. Will South Africa be toppled or will the Springboks battle to retain their crown and claim an outright record of four titles? Who will leave France with the trophy and who will come home with the wooden spoon?

The Rugby World Cup, held every four years, is rugby union’s flagship intercontinental trophy, pitting teams from across the globe against one another. Beginning with the pool stages that see five teams from both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres pitted against each other in a round-robin format, the competition really hots up when the knockout stages start in earnest with the quarter-finals, followed by the semi-finals, third-place playoff, and final.

You might be wondering how there’s another World Cup in rugby after England hosted one last year. That was rugby league’s big international showdown, one of the two major codes of the game played worldwide. Union is a much more popular code globally and features teams of 15 versus league’s 13. Despite their differences, though, the game ultimately shares one goal - carrying that ball over the tryline.

Whether you're a rugby fan or a keen sports bettor, read on to learn more about betting on rugby and our predictions for the Rugby World Cup 2023 .

2023 Rugby World Cup Schedule

The competition gets underway with the first pool-stage matches on September 8, kicking off a two-month rugby union extravaganza. The pool stage will conclude on October 8, at which point the knockout stages will commence. The final will be held in Saint Denis on October 28.

Rugby World Cup Betting Predictions

With South Africa coming into this edition of the tournament as holders, all eyes will be on them as the joint-best team in the competition’s history. They share that title with New Zealand, another team that will be on many sports bettors ’ lists to lift the Webb Ellis Cup at the end of October. However, there are probably five or six teams that will dominate the betting lines and the outcomes of early pool games will likely shape the outcome.

Pool A

Any group with two of the Six Nations sides in the host nation France and Italy alongside New Zealand is going to be a competitive one. Add in two sides who have never gotten further than this stage of the tournament in Uruguay and Namibia, and you have the recipe for an enthralling battle. The All Blacks of New Zealand will be favored to progress but it would be unwise to overlook the two European sides, especially France on home soil. It might all come down to head-to-head records.

Favorites to qualify: (1) France and (2) New Zealand

Pool B

Another pool that could be dubbed a supergroup, this one includes another two sides from the Six Nations, one of the sporting calendar’s hottest tickets, including the incumbent winner Ireland. Scotland is the other, and reigning World champs South Africa completes that dominant trio. Tonga and Romania will understandably be seen as the whipping boys of the pool but have the ability to spring a surprise or two along the way. The real competition is between the two European sides and the Springboks. Smart money will be on South Africa and Ireland, the two big title holders, to progress and make inroads into the latter stages of the World Cup.

Favorites to qualify: (1) South Africa and (2) Ireland

Pool C

This group may not have the same allure that the previous two have had in terms of the number of illustrious names on show but it stands out with two clear favorites and good value in a number of markets. Eddie Jones’ Australia and Warren Gatland’s Wales will be seen as the biggest teams and one of them will be expected to stroll through but Fiji, Georgia, and Portugal provide unique opposition. In fact, Fiji stands out as a dark horse, with many tipping them to usurp Australia and continue to climb the world rankings. Prior to the start of the competition, they sat 7th, above the Wallabies. The two giants of the pool will expect to pick up some bonus points against the lesser sides, and tries could be on the menu in some of the more one-sided matches and could be worth keeping an eye on in the live next try scorer markets.

Favorites to qualify: (1) Wales and (2) Fiji/Australia

Pool D

The final pool of the competition, this is perhaps the weakest overall batch. England will stand out as favorites given that it has held the trophy in the past. It took Jonny Wilkinson to inspire them to the title in 2003 but this team doesn’t really have a player of his quality and this is not a vintage side by any stretch. Coach Jamie Jones managed to guide Japan to the quarter-final stage of the 2019 edition and will be hoping to carry them out of this pool, and perhaps win it if they can take advantage of England employing a rookie coach in Steve Borthwick. Argentina are looking to spoil any of those hopes, though, and they come on the back of an impressive performance in the world rankings at 6th before the start of the competition. Samoa and Chile will also believe that they can steal one of those two qualifying spots, so one of the underdogs might present a strong wildcard pick to progress with good value odds.

Favorites to qualify: (1) England and (2) Argentina

Predicting the Knockout Stages

The pools will likely throw up some surprises somewhere. That’s the joy of knock-out international sporting competition compared to the points-based format that leagues like the Six Nations use. The favorite teams will be keen to finish top of their respective pools as this will pit them against the runners-up of one of the other pools. So, which would be the picks of the knockout stages and what would the competition look like if the pools performed as predicted?


Wales (C1) v Argentina (D2)

This would be a hotly contested match-up. The two teams have largely bounced between 6th and 10th in the world rankings, regularly swapping places. Both sides have similar experience of the competition, having each taken part in nine editions and achieving a third-place best finish. The experience of George North and his prolific try scoring would likely see Wales edge the tie and book a place in the semis.

South Africa (B1) v New Zealand (A2)

Coming into any tournament with your hands already on the previous year’s cup is going to give a team a big advantage in confidence. New Zealand would pose formidable opposition for South Africa and it would likely be a battle for the ages with Ardie Savea in particular coming off an impressive couple of seasons in domestic competition for The Hurricanes. The Springboks would likely have too much for the All Blacks, though. It’s a squad with a good mix of youth and experience, and key players like lock Eben Etzebeth have experience of getting their team over the line.

England (D1) v Fiji/Australia (C2)

If Australia were to progress, this would be a clash of two former winners. Neither England nor the Wallabies come into the tournament in top form, so that fixture would likely come down to who had the grit to win. England would be expected to just edge it over an inexperienced Australia and Owen Farrell would use his captaincy to drag them into the semis. Fiji would be equally stiff opposition but Borthwick’s charges will still be confident of triumphing.

France (A1) v Ireland (B2)

You would barely be able to call a game between these two titans of rugby. The Emerald Isle may never have been able to claim the Webb Ellis Cup but this is a different animal to any Ireland side that has come before it. Johnny Sextion might be in the twilight of his career but he looks as good as ever. He and Keith Earls would make it into a lot of fans’ dream XV. This nouse and strength would just edge out France in what will be a highly-competitive fixture.


Wales v South Africa

Make no mistake, Warren Gatland’s men are a strong rugby side with quality all over the line. However, South Africa is a generational unit made up of tried-and-tested winners of World Cups. Unless a major surprise is sprung, expect to see the Springboks booking a second consecutive final appearance and cement their place in worldwide sports headlines .

England v Ireland

This is another game that wouldn’t be much of a competition. England is a team in transition following the sacking of Eddie Jones. After a run of poor showings in the Six Nations, reaching the semifinals will be seen as progress. Ireland, however, is the current holder of that competition’s Grand Slam and Triple Crown. After the Irish won a warm-up between the two teams in Dublin prior to the tournament’s start, they will be confident. Expect to see a dominant Ireland display and an exciting third-place playoff between England and Wales. In order to get good value from this fixture, an expert pick would be to bet on the handicap for Ireland. Give England a head start by handicapping the boys in green by 10 points or more. This will lengthen the odds on the favourites.


South Africa v Ireland

Expect to see two-in-a-row for South Africa. It won’t be a runaway victory but it’s a big ask for Ireland to win in its first final appearance. That’s not to say it’s impossible but experience counts for a lot in major finals.

Betting Tips, Odds & How to Bet

Like with any competition, there are a number of ways to eke value out of the odds on a number of different markets as part of a successful betting strategy. A good strategy will combine spread betting , parlay selections, and moneyline wagers. Learn how to bet on sports with our online betting guide and read on to discover the most common bets you’ll find and tips to get the best value out of your picks.


Choose your top pick for the winner of either the individual pools or the competition as a whole. These odds will rise and fall based on the unfolding context of performances on the pitch and news off it. Locking in your odds for an unfancied team in the outrights market that you think will go long into the competition before a player has even stepped on to the pitch is a good way of getting long odds. However, them being less fancied would suggest they stand little chance of progressing, so research is key.

The Moneyline

The bread and butter of betting sites is moneyline bets . These are simply who you expect to win a single upcoming fixture. For example, do you think the French team would have what it takes to pull a result out of the bag against Ireland? You could back that confidence up with money on the winner being France for that round. A popular type of Moneyline bets are 3-way Moneylines, which involves betting on the winner, loser, or draw/tie.

Player Props Markets

Outside of the moneyline or outright team odds, value can be sought in individual player props markets . In Rugby World Cup betting, this will usually come in the form of top try scorers. This could be overall top try scorer or for individual teams. George North, Wales leading ever scorer of tries, is a relatively long 9.00 to be his side’s best performer on this front. Backing someone so prolific at taking it over the tryline at odds that long would be a good bet, especially if you have the sports insights that help you see historical trends and patterns.

Parlay Betting & Same Game Multis

A parlay wager is simply a single bet that covers multiple picks. In the Rugby World Cup, this sort of bet will usually take the form of combining the winning team with a player prop like first try-scorer. A parlay is a good strategy for getting value out of a game with heavy favorites, as adding extra variables will lengthen the odds.

You can also use our 'Bet Builder' function to place same game multi bets and place multiple selections in a particular game or event on the single betting slip. This is an easy way to boost your odds on a specific fixture! Learn more with our same game multi betting guide .

Live Stream the Rugby World Cup Online

With both hemispheres taking part in the competition, Rugby World Cup 2023 live streams are big business. is the best place online to live stream the biggest sporting events for free on our platform!

All you need to do is sign in to your Stake account, visit our live streaming section, and watch the action unfold on any device. Once the game has begun, you can place live rugby bets with the best live odds and betting markets available. Learn about how to supplement your pre-match wagers with in-play bets !

Betting on Rugby With the Best Betting Odds at Stake Sportsbook

There’s certainly going to be plenty of excitement as the 2023 Rugby World Cup unfolds in France, and the odds will reflect the sheer quality on offer in each pool and knockout fixture. With markets on pool winners and try scorers, betting on this year’s Rugby World Cup will only add to the intriguing narratives at play across the months of action.