We look at the best bets to make on this weekend’s Rugby League World Cup semifinals, with Australia vs. New Zealand and England vs. Samoa determining who will progress to the final. Let’s get right to it so you can make your bets against the Rugby Odds.
Rugby League World Cup Heats Up With Semifinals This Weekend
The reality is, Rugby League only has a very small number of genuinely competitive teams.
This means that when a Rugby League World Cup occurs, the first month or so of pool play and quarterfinals are fairly nominal.
In essence, what every World Cup comes down to is this: Are New Zealand or England going to upset Australia somehow, or will one of the rough around the edges yet skillful island nations instead upset New Zealand or England?
Both of these scenarios are put to the test this weekend, with the Rugby League World Cup semifinals showcasing Australia vs. New Zealand and England vs. Samoa. We look at the betting odds on each and break down the best bets to make.
Australia vs New Zealand (Friday, 11 November at 3:45 PM ET)
Undeniably the best two rugby league playing nations in the world, it is an unfortunate by-product of Covid and the global ranking system that these two sides meet in the semifinals.
Australia is currently ranked No.4 in the world, while New Zealand is No.1. However, this is simply because Australia has not played a game since 2019, before this World Cup.
There’s little doubt in anyone’s mind that the 11-time World Cup winners Australia are the best side in the world, and New Zealand will have their work cut out for them if they are to pull off an upset in this matchup.
However, New Zealand has done it before. The Kiwis are the next best team in rugby league after Australia, and despite the gap between these two neighbors being rather substantial on the field, there’s always an outside chance of the underdog prevailing here.
New Zealand will be channeling all of the energy from their 2008 World Cup final victory over Australia, where they won 30-24 despite being heavy underdogs and trailing at halftime.
In this match, Australia is a strong favorite, paying -232 to win the tournament overall, while New Zealand is at +760.
England vs Samoa (Saturday, 12 November at 10:30 AM ET)
This is a fascinating matchup on multiple levels.
On the one hand, Samoa came into this World Cup with their strongest-ever team, boasting a host of NRL players who had returned to represent their home nation. If they are ever to make a deep run to the final of a Rugby League World Cup, this seems to be the year.
They’ve won their last three games in a row, negating a gritty 20-18 win in the quarterfinals against Tonga after two rampant victories against Greece and France.
On the other hand, England and Samoa met less than a month ago in the first round of pool play, and the margin was 54 points in favor of England. The big question is: Has Samoa improved enough over the last month to turn around such a significant deficit?
The bookies think not, with England paying +390 to win the tournament and Samoa way back on +1325.