Kiwi Particle Physicist

September 07, 2007

Rugby World Cup Odds

The first game of the 2007 Rugby World Cup - France versus Argentina - kicks off in a few hours, and I thought it would be interesting to have a look at the odds on some of the teams before the tournament starts. All odds are taken from the best odds listed on odds aggregator BestBetting.

As of this morning (Japan time) the odds and winning percentages for the traditional top five and Japan are as follows:

New Zealand (1.63, 61.3%)
France (7.60, 13.2%)
South Africa (8.80, 11.4%)
Australia (13.00, 7.7%)
England (36.00, 2.8%)
Japan (5001, 0.02%)

The site also allows you to make graphs showing the change over the last few hours, days, or weeks. See some of the graphs below.

1) Graph showing the change since 2007/07/04 of the decimal odds for various teams to win the Rugby World Cup. Colours represent New Zealand (Black); France (Blue); South Africa (Green); Australia (Canary Yellow); and England (Red) respectively. Japan is not shown.

2) Graph showing the movement of the implied winning percentages of six teams since 2007/07/04. Colours represent New Zealand (Black); France (Blue); South Africa (Green); Australia (Canary Yellow); England (Red); and Japan (Magenta.)

3) Identical to graph 2) above, except with the frontrunners NZ removed and vertical axis scaled so it's easier to see the movement amongst the minnows. Note France, whose winning chances have risen from about 7% two months ago to over 13% this morning.

So there you have it. According to everybody who is willing to put their money where their mouth is, New Zealand have a 61.3% chance of hoisting the trophy, the remainder of the top five are given 35.1% combined, and the other 15 teams a miserly total of about 5% combined (note that the total sums to greater than 100%.) The ABs have dropped a few percent from the start of the tri-nations, but not too much of a shift. The big surprise is the winning chances for the French which have shot up over the last couple of months. Is this based on their performance in the Six Nations, or perhaps everyone is overestimating home ground advantage?

On a personal note, this is my third World Cup in Japan, and as far as I can remember the ABs were overwhelming favourites going into the last two as well. Neither of those ended very nicely. 60% sounds like pretty certain odds - I just hope they don't choke it for the third time in a row.


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