We are going to take a little look at what the Rugby4Cast algorithm and world cup predictor is suggesting for each of the first-round games and unearth some tips you might like to have a go on.
The algorithm is giving Japan a convincing 94% chance of winning and the predictor is going with a 21-point margin of victory, which does suggest this game won’t be as convincing as the bookies make out. The handicap line for this game is Japan by 36 and the odds on Russia +30 (handicap) is 9/4, which shows that the bookies are over-estimating the home side slightly.
Looking elsewhere, the pick of the bunch is the 10:45 AM game between the two favourites, the All Blacks and the Springboks. Now the algorithm is suggesting New Zealand will win by 10 points, which is more than the bookies think, as they have gone with just the six-point swing. Many think this will be extremely tight and South Africa to win the game at about 2/1 has come down in price over the last few days, indicating this could well be a Springbok win. Those odds certainly do look appealing, especially given the price for New Zealand is drifting.
In the other games, there could well be some upsets. Fiji vs Australia is being dubbed as one with potential to surprise, even if the algorithm isn’t. The Rugby4cast World Cup predictor is throwing up a 14-point win for the Wallabies and giving them a 87.4% chance of winning the game. Now this game does have the makings of an upset – Fiji are notoriously physical and have caused a few upsets in previous tournaments (sorry Welsh fans!) and they do have genuine quality, especially in the backs. At almost 7/1, I think the price is about right but it would definitely be something to consider. Backing a narrow victory for Australia would be more advisable, with the 11/4 on the Aussies winning by 11-20 points looking decent.
The other games involving Ireland and Scotland and France vs Argentina are difficult to call. The Algorithm has Ireland by 9 and France by 1 and the bookies replicate that view. France are slight favourites with bookmakers and Ireland have been given a 9-point handicap also, which is exactly the same as the Rugby4Cast predictor. France vs Argentina is too risky a game to bet on, as those two sides can be the best on their day but also the worst! Ireland to win their game by 1-10 points at 9/4 is what looks good there.
Italy vs Namibia is also going on this weekend and both the predictor and the bookies are in big favour of the Italians. The Azzurri have been handed an 88.5% of winning by the algorithm and just a 15-point margin of victory but I do think it will be more than that. The bookies have the handicap on Italy at -30 which is double what the Rugby4Cast world cup predictor is showing up. Therefore, I would be inclined to side with the bookies here and back a bigger Italian win, by 21-30 points, which is 10/3. If the bookies have got this right, then those odds represent good value.
The two remaining fixtures of the round see Wales take on Georgia, in what should be a straightforward win and England taking on Tonga, looking to lay down an early marker. The Algorithm has churned up a 23-point margin of victory for Wales against Georgia, which given all the circumstances, is probably fair. Wales have struggled offensively and don’t score as many as the top sides, so the algorithm looks about right. England, should, stick 50 points on Tonga but the algorithm says just a 29-point margin of victory, so I think there is some value on a bigger win. England have been priced at 6/5 with a 41-point handicap and that is a price I would be looking to take in a game where there isn’t much value, given how one sided it is.