Wales betting scandal rocks Rugby World Cup Wales assistant coach Rob Howley sent home to answer betting allegations
The 2019 Rugby World Cup does not start until Friday, but Wales’ campaign is already on the rocks after assistant coach Rob Howley was sent home to address allegations of illicit betting activity.
Can Wales reap some revenge for last week’s loss at Twickenham?
We preview the Rugby World Cup match-up between Australia and Wales, with the top bookmaker prices, best betting options and free tips.
Who: Wales vs. Fiji
When: Friday, October 2, 1:45am (AEST)
Where: Millennium Stadium, Wales
WALES have well and truly turned the 2015 World Cup on its head after they scored a late upset win over co-host nation England last week.
The Welsh were missing some key players – and lost a couple more throughout the game – but they were too strong for England, which held a 12-point lead during the game.
They now take on Fiji, which is win-less in the tournament so far, but has looked to bethe strongest island team at the tournament to date.
Fiji has played both England and Australia, losing both by an average of 24.5 points. Playing in the “Pool of death” has its fair share of problems and it doesn’t look to get any easier for them here.
Wales are the short-priced favourites at CrownBet.com.au, but Fiji are getting respected in the points start market and that’s what our focus will be on.
Wales vs. Fiji points start market
Wales -15.5 – $1.90
Fiji +15.5 – $1.90
On face value and on wins to date, you would expect Wales to completely dominate this game in every facet, but Wales have their injury concerns and Fiji like to play with aggression.
Wales were already without star player Leigh Halfpenny for their clash against England, but now losing both Scott Williams [leg] and Hallam Amos [shoulder], there will have to be some serious reshuffling in the camp.
Winger George North says he is prepared to switch to centre to cover.
“If need be, I’ll play centre,” North said. “If need be, I’ll play on the wing… that’s the World Cup – you’ve got to adapt.”
Many punters are expecting Wales to rest some of their players for the Fiji game, which will make the +15.5 line come down to around +12.5, but Welsh defense coach Shaun Edwards has said they are unlikely to rest “too many players.”
That usually means they’re going to be resting their main stars, which could make backing Fiji a very profitable move for this game. Taking a side that lost 11-35 to England and 13-28 to Australia might appear tough to do, but this Fiji side should be respected.
They have played both games with good heart and a fair amount of skill. Nemani Nadolo is a key player in the Fijian backline and he would make the starting 15 in most of the World Cup teams.
Unfortunately for Fiji, there are no easy teams in this pool and the likelihood of them winning a game this year is currently paying $6.50 at Sportsbet.com.au.
They would have, however, targeted this game as their best chance of winning prior to the tournament kicking off. It might not seem that way now, after Wales’ surprise win against England, but Wales aren’t exactly a world force in rugby so the chance of an upset is still valid.
We suggest staking Fiji (+15.5) – $1.90 and if Wales do rest some of their players, you are getting the early value with that line.
Wales vs. Fiji pick your own line
Our bookmakers often offer alternate lines, so punters can pick and choose their points start. This appeals to most bettors as they will happily take shorter odds for a vital point off.
The most commonly-bet alternate lines are -2.5, -6.5, -9.5, +3.5 and +7.5. These lines won’t come into play for the Wales vs. Fiji game, but there are still some popular options to bet on.
+2.5 – $4.33
+5.5 – $3.30
+8.5 – $2.63
+11.5 – $2.10
+17.5 – $1.57
+20.5 – $1.40 at CrownBet.com.au
+23.5 – $1.30
+26.5 – $1.20
+29.5 – $1.14
The more points you want, the more you pay in price, but these lines are great for multi-bet punters.
With the current line at 15.5, punters can take the +20.5 for example and add it to their multi-bet ticket. They get lower odds of $1.40, but this can significantly increase your payout and there is much less risk involved with the bet.
Putting your faith in the Fijian rugby team probably isn’t the way to get rich, but they have been a great bet against the spread this World Cup.
They covered both lines against England and Australia, so taking them with a little more insurance with an alternate start should see your bet cash.
Alternatively, if you think Wales will easily cover the -15.5 and you want more value, here are the pick your own line options.
-17.5 – $2.20
-20.5 – $2.63
-23.5 – $3.10
-26.5 – $3.75
-29.5 – $4.50
Wales vs. Fiji exotic markets
Simply because we think Fiji are going to make a game of this, all our suggested options are going to be for Fiji.
The exotic betting markets for “1st and last to score” all have Fiji as outsiders in every market and punters could cash in with a bit of luck.
Betting always requires a bit of luck, so taking Fiji at good odds in all scoring markets could pay off if Wales don’t start or finish the game very strongly.
Team to score first:
Wales – $1.45
Fiji – $2.64
Team to score first try:
Wales – $1.26
Fiji – $3.58
No try – $66
Team to score try last:
Wales – $1.33
Fiji – $2.88
Team to score last:
Wales – $1.33
Fiji – $2.88
We like Fiji in three of the four options provided here. Take the Fijians in every option except “team to score first try” and you should have a good chance of returning a profit.
It only takes a penalty kick to score first and the Fijians have kicked well throughout the tournament. Wales will most likely score the first try, but Fiji might pick up a consolation try to end the game.