How to Support Ireland in Rugby with Smart Betting


In sports betting, most knowledgeable punters will agree that winning is not just about blindly picking a winner or loser. Instead, it has much to do with understanding the game, teams, and their strategies. Seldom is there a sports player or team that dominates their respective sport to the extent that placing a bet on them almost feels like a guaranteed winner, but the Ireland rugby team is becoming one such side, and smart betting on The Men in Green could lead to significant returns for their backers.

Ever since Andy Farrell stepped into the hot seat as the head coach of the team back in 2019, Ireland have transformed themselves from a struggling team into one of the most formidable and consistent sides in international rugby. Their strategic approach and precision in execution are what stand out and have culminated in the team losing only one of their last 20 games in any competition, which was a heartbreaking loss to the world champions South Africa in the Rugby World Cup last year. 

The Irish rugby machine’s success is built firmly on their quick attacking game and remarkable rucking success, which sat at 97% for the majority of 2023, while the side averaged around 6.2 turnovers per match. In addition, Farrell’s side have built a reputation of being more than comfortable with retaining possession for long spells and creating scoring opportunities, which is clearly evident again this year, having already notched up an impressive 74 points, including 11 tries scored in just the first two rounds of the ongoing 2024 Six Nations Championship. These types of stats and figures are freely accessible through Cheeky Punter, who also provide a full comparison of bookmakers for winning at rugby betting.

The 2023 Grand Slam winners were bitterly unlucky not to have gone further at the World Cup last year, but rather than dwelling on past disappointment, they seem to have taken it as a learning curve and are already well on their way to re-establishing themselves as the front-runners in world rugby. However, from a sports betting perspective, Ireland often does not provide huge value since they head into the majority of their matches as heavy favorites. So, what are some of the smartest bets that Ireland supporters can consider to increase their chances of lucrative returns?

Here are a few top picks: 

  1. Try-scorer betting – Owing to Ireland’s pass-and-move philosophy, they have become one of the most prolific scoring teams in the world. Among the leaders of the charge are Dan Sheehan, who currently leads the team in try-scoring involvement and Tadhg Beirne, who remains a consistent threat in the forward pack and never too far off crossing the try line. Betting on these types of players to score in a match not only makes sense but also typically comes with big odds attached. 
  2. Handicap betting – Ireland’s dominance usually results in them blowing teams away with ease. As an example, following their 36-0 drubbing of Italy this year, The Men in Green have now covered the handicap in each of their last seven matches against the Azzurri despite the line being set at a whopping 33.5 points. Handicap betting is aimed at leveling the playing field between two sides, and with it comes increased odds. Ireland have been consistently smashing the lines set over the last few years, returning favorable and profitable wins for their backers. 
  3. Set-piece betting – As mentioned, Ireland are one of, if not the most, efficient teams from set pieces, boasting over 90% averages at both scrums and lineouts. Set-piece betting is not provided by every bookmaker, but those that do offer this market usually do so at above-average odds, making it a potential banker, especially for accumulators and parlays. 
  4. Line-break betting – Since Andy Farrell’s introduction, Ireland now makes more line breaks per match than any other Tier One nation in Test rugby. Once again, this is a product of their preference to play with the ball in hand, and slick passing is a key driver of their success in breaking past opposing defenses. Consider betting on them to make the most line-breaks in upcoming matches, especially against sides that are not the most solid on defense. 
  5. Total points betting – As we have already seen this year, Ireland is a point-scoring monster. They clinched a historic win in the first week of the 2024 Six Nations, beating France 38-17, which was the biggest win on French soil in their history. That was followed by an even bigger victory against Italy a week later, where they won by 36 points, shutting out their opponents across the entire 80 minutes. Betting on Ireland’s total points tally is a slightly higher-risk, higher-reward strategy, but when combined with some of the other betting options above, it could be a very nice boost to bettors’ overall paydays. 

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