As predictions go, the Tri-Nations bet which favoured the New Zealanders to romp to yet another victory was (and still is) considered an unimaginative wager. So overwhelming has been the All Blacks’ dominance of the tournament which started in 1996 that their results are often considered foregone conclusions. Accordingly, the odds against them emerging victorious from their annual fixtures have regularly shortened to the point where Tri Nations bets have had to encompass a wider variety of markets – all good news for the regular punter.
Furthermore, the internet has ensured that Tri-Nations betting has become decidedly more interesting as online bookmakers have introduced handicap markets to take account of the All Blacks’ hegemony.
Previously, Tri-Nations betting was considered just an opportunity to back one team (usually New Zealand) to win by a colossal number of points. Of course, betting on Tri-Nations fixtures can still be as straightforward as selecting the number of points by which one side will win, or they can be much more involved – especially when predictions regarding the impact of one side’s handicap are taken into account. Additionally, as the tournament is scheduled to expand from 2012 as Argentina have been invited to join, so online Tri-Nations betting will become more popular.
The internet is a boon for those who enjoy Tri-Nations betting. For example, this season, UK-based punters have been able to examine match odds online during the run-up to a match before settling down to watch it live on TV on a Saturday morning. The routine has become a regular one for many rugby fans who can also take advantage of live Tri-Nations betting markets while eating their cornflakes.
“Tri-Nations betting can either be a little bit of Saturday morning fun,” explains a spokesman for one well-known online bookmaker, “although the internet provides rugby fans and astute predictors of outcomes with a genuine opportunity to take a bookmaker on. This is especially true in handicap markets where disparities in ability are not always adequately reflected in the size of the advantage given to one team. Handicaps have made rugby betting considerably more appealing because results are less predictable.”
Indeed, online Tri Nations betting has proved extremely popular in instances where punters can unearth real value. It’s possible that when Argentina join the fray, the volume of rugby betting will grow too – handicap markets are expected to have even greater appeal.
Tri-Nations betting odds naturally reflect New Zealand’s dominance of the tournament , but handicap markets ensure rugby betting can be a more profitable exercise for punters prepared to do their homework – or take advantage of the variety of free bets available with online bookmakers. In fact, many newcomers consider a free bet the safest, no-risk way to dip their toe into the competition and enjoy a Tri-Nations bet.
Of course, Tri-Nations betting odds are less predictable when Australia and South Africa face each other. These duels are one of the tournament’s highlights and tips regarding their outcome can be found on- and offline.
The volume of Tri Nations bets has increased severalfold in recent years. According to one online bookmaker, betting on Tri-Nations has become a regular part of the rugby fan’s weekend schedule. “Instead of watching highlights on TV later in the day, the average rugby fan is prepared to drag himself out of bed on a Saturday to watch these action-packed games. It follows that rugby betting enjoys a surge between 7.30-10am most Saturdays. I think many guys go back to bed once the game is finished though – they’re probably exhausted!”