Rugby Odds – WC Down to Final Four

Rugby Odds – WC Down to Final Four

Zack GarrisonNo comments

There are only four teams left at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, three perennial powers (New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa) and one team looking for its first-ever World Cup title (Argentina). The Springboks will face the All-Blacks in the first semifinal (Sat., Oct. 24, at 11:00 AM Eastern) while the upstart Argentines will take on the Aussies in the second (Sun., Oct. 25, at 11:00 AM Eastern).

The All Blacks are the heavy favorites to win the tournament, while Argentina are the biggest longshot at this point. Let’s take a look at all the odds and preview the remaining games.

 

Odds to win the 2015 rugby World Cup:

New Zealand: 5/8

Australia: 10/3

South Africa: 8/1

Argentina: 14/1

 

Semifinal Previews:

South Africa +375 vs. New Zealand -350, Draw +3300

The All Blacks, the defending champs, have an embarrassment of talent and are the top-ranked team in the world. They’ve dominated nearly every match they’ve played in this World Cup, including a 62-13 drubbing of France in the quarterfinals. Their closest match was a comfortable 26-16 win over Argentina. The All Blacks have scored 236 points, which leads the tournament, including 34 tries, eight more than any other team.

South African coach Heyneke Meyer has his team playing at a high level, as well, but knows the Springboks come in as underdogs.

“This [New Zealand] is probably the best team that’s ever played the game. If you look at their run after the World Cup, they’ve just got better after the previous World Cup, and that doesn’t happen in world rugby. It will need our best performance probably ever to beat them, because they are the best team that there’s ever been. In saying that, you have to believe you can beat them,” said Meyer to the Telegraph.

South Africa nipped a game Wales team in their own quarterfinal, 23-19, and have moved up to no. 3 in the world. Since getting shocked by Japan in their World Cup opener (34-32), South Africa have reeled off four straight wins (over Namibia, Scotland, and the US, in addition to their QF triumph).

South Africa have done a nice job turning things around since their stunning loss to Japan, but there’s simply no value in betting against the All Blacks these days.

Pick: New Zealand -350.

 

Argentina +250 vs Australia -220, Draw +2800

After taking down Ireland (43-20) in the quarterfinals, Argentina are looking to reach their first-ever WC final. The offense has been rolling, mustering 222 points so far in the competition (including 26 tries), second only to New Zealand, but they still come into their semi against Australia as clear underdogs.

Not only do the odds side with the Aussies, so does history. These teams have squared off twice before in the World Cup, with Australia winning both (32-19 back in 1991, and 24-8 in 2003).

That said, Argentina have only dropped one game so far at the tournament – to the top-ranked All Blacks. They have been dominant in their other four matches, the closest of which was the 23-point win over Ireland in the Quarters.

Australia have been to the WC final three times before (winning twice in 1991 and 1999). Their last appearance in the title game (2003) was a heartbreaker for the entire nation as the Wallabies fell 20-17 in extra time to England on home soil.

Australia are undefeated in the tournament so far, sweeping Fiji, Uruguay, England, and Wales in a very tough Group A before squeaking past Scotland in the quarters (35-34). While their performance in group play was very impressive, the Wallabies looked vulnerable against the Scots. Given the way Argentina have dominated everyone but New Zealand, I like them to pull the upset.

Pick: Argentina +250.

 

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