Who: Australia vs. Wales
When: Sunday, October 11, 2:45am AEST
Where: Twickenham, England
BOTH Australia and Wales have secured their place in the Rugby World Cup finals, but which team qualifies first is still up for grabs this Sunday morning.
Wales made life easier for themselves by defeating England in a stunning come-from-behind upset over the host nation, which secured them a finals spot, and now they face the Wallabies which are coming off one of the most impressive World Cup wins this tournament.
Australia faced a do-or-die situation against England, but what was expected to be a tight struggle was anything but, as Australia thrashed England 33-13.
Both teams now battle it out to see which team ranks top in Pool A and the result will have a big impact on the quarterfinals.
Australia are the firm favourites with bookmakers, which is a little surprising given Wales’ form this tournament, but Australia have the big time experience and the winning edge over the Welsh.
Australia vs. Wales odds and history
Australia – $1.34 (-7.5)
Wales – $3.25 (+7.5 at CrownBet.com.au)
Australia are worthy favourites after destroying England on their home turf last Sunday. The Wallabies started that game as $2 outsiders, but they have been hammered in the market against Wales.
For punters looking for value, it probably lies with Wales – $3.25 at CrownBet.com.au, however, you will be taking a team that has lost 10 games in a row against the Wallabies. Keep in mind that the last nine have been decided by nine points or less, so the +7.5 option looks the best bet.
“The boys have spoken about how much heartache we’ve had against Australia so we have to go in with huge motivation,” said Welsh utility James Hook.
“Everyone is beatable, it’s just about getting it right on the day.”
The last time these two sides met was in Cardiff last year where the Wallabies won a thriller 33-28. Wales lead with only minutes remaining, but Australian star fly-half Bernard Foley landed both a drop goal and a penalty to secure the narrow victory.
Foley again proved his worth against England, scoring 28 of their 33 points.
“A lot has been made over England being bad, but a lot of credit has to go to Australia,” added Hook.
“We’re delighted – it was a great favour to us. It was probably the first and last time I’ve supported Australia.
“They were brilliant on the day, they have so much experience and quality in their team so it wasn’t really a surprise.”
Wales bring plenty of confidence into this game, having also beaten England and Hook is hopeful his side can continue their winning ways.
“Momentum is huge, and the Wales win over England was massive,” Hook said.
“You can see the confidence in the boys since I’ve arrived. This is another big test this week and then in the quarter-finals, and hopefully we can do something special.”
Australia last three World Cup games:
England 13 – Australia 33 (covered the points spread)
Australia 65 – Uruguay 3 (failed to cover points spread)
Australia 28 – Fiji 13 (failed to cover points spread)
Australia are 1-2 in covering the points spreads at this World Cup. They faced big spreads against both Fiji and Uruguay, and whilst they won by a good margin, the bookmakers thought they would win by more.
They were outsiders against England where they won straight up, and the 7.5 line this week means Australia will have to win by more than one converted try.
Wales last three World Cup games:
Wales 23 – Fiji 13 (failed to cover points spread)
England 25 – Wales 28 (covered the points spread)
Wales 54 – Uruguay 9 (failed to cover points spread)
Much like the Australians, Wales scored a points spread victory over England, but have failed to cover the spread in both games against Fiji and Uruguay.
They faced a similar line against England which will give confidence to the +7.5 punters. Wales rested many players against Fiji so that result doesn’t accurately reflect their chances of winning here.
Past five games between Australia and Wales:
Wales 28 – Australia 33
Australia 21 – Wales 19
Wales 26 – Australia 30
Wales 12 – Australia 14
Australia 20 – Wales 19
All five games have been decided by less than six points and this should lead punters towards Wales +7.5 ($1.90) at CrownBet.com.au.
Both sides present tough forward packs which should keep this game close and it could be decided by which team kicks their penalty goals.
Australia vs. Wales margin betting tips
Without sounding like a broken record this World Cup, there is good money to be made by backing both teams in the winning margin market.
History tells us that this game will be close and so does the bookmakers’ line. Bookmakers rarely make mistakes when setting lines and although they can’t predict the future, setting the Australia vs. Wales line at 7.5 suggests to us that they think it will be another close battle.
A good way to make money from this is to back both teams by 1-12.
Australia 1-12 – $2.50
Australia 13+ – $2.75
Wales 1-12 – $4
Wales 13+ $10
You can all but eliminate Wales 13+ as we can’t see the Welsh winning but such a big margin. The Australians are the more capable team of running up a big score, but we’re confident both teams will be in with a winning chance come the 80th minute mark.
Take both teams 1-12 and secure a profit. If Australia win by that margin, punters will make 50 percent per dollar invested and the best result will be Wales winning by less than 13 – effectively giving punters a $2 chance.
There is an alternate option for punters which like to use the margin betting tactic. Sportsbet.com.au are offering a 7-point winning margin market and we can utilise this market to make a profit once again – providing it’s a close game.
Australia 1-7 – $4.20
Australia 8-14 – $4.33
Wales 1-7 – $5.50
Wales 8-14 – $9.50 at Sportsbet.com.au
The best thing about backing all four options is that the 1-12 line has now become 1-14. Either team can now win by 14 points if all four options are covered.
Obviously if Australia win by either 1-7 or 8-14, then the return is minimal (albeit a profit), but if Wales can cover either option then the risk is worth the payout.
Wallabies to play without suspended vice-captain
The Australian Wallabies will be without vice-captain Michael Hooper after the star forward copped a suspension against England last Sunday.
Hooper was disappointed that he was cited, but will help his team prepare to take on Wales.
“I was a bit shocked to find out I was being cited from the weekend,” Hooper said.
“However I think I had a fair trial and can move on and help the team be in the best position for this weekend and train with them.”
Hooper will miss one game after entering a guilty plea to a foul play charge, but his effort will now be on preparing his teammates ahead of an important Pool A game against co-host nation Wales.
“I’ll be focusing more on day to day and focusing on what will be the team running out this weekend, which is a big match against Wales at Twickenham,” Hooper added.
“Personally you want to play in every Test match that you can. So, straight away it’s a huge disappointment that I can’t be involved and put myself forward for selection.
“And secondly to be a part of a team in a World Cup and not be there is again another blow.”
His likely replacement is either Sean McMahon or Ben McCalman and Hooper thinks both are fitting replacements.
“Both are outstanding players and are in really good form,” he said.
“Whoever it is is going to do a fantastic job.”
Despite Hooper sitting on the sidelines, Australia are firm favourites with bookmakers in the head-to-head market.
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