Free tips, best bets, and analysis for Saturday’s Rugby League World Cup matches, including the sport of rugby league.
Where to Watch
- New Zealand and Jamaica? : Saturday at 7.30 o’clock on BBC Three and the iPlayer
- It’s England versus France! : Saturday at 5:00 p.m. on BBC Two and the iPlayer
- 2.30 p.m. GMT, Fiji vs. Italy, BBC iPlayer Saturday
- France +36 : 2pts 21-20 BoyleSports
- Jamaica +74 : 1pt 10-11 general
- First try of the game scored by J. Manu, worth 1 point each way 11-2 OKBET
A look ahead at the betting for Saturday
At this year’s World Cup, the best strategy has been to bet on the team that has been given a head start on the handicap, and a couple of other courageous underdogs deserve support in Saturday’s group matches.
In the first round, seven of the eight jollies did not cover the mark, and France may be the latest team to make the most of a generous start.
At the University of Bolton Stadium, Les Bleus will face England; the victor of this match will be in a strong position to win Group A and advance to the knockout stage. Both teams were victorious in their opening matches, with England storming to a resounding victory over Samoa by a score of 60-6 to take the lead in their group.
The Samoans were considered to be the favorites to win that match and to finish in first place in the group, but Shaun Wane’s team is now in prime position to advance as the leaders of the pack.
The match that appeared to be England’s toughest is now behind them, but they will face a fired-up French team that is primarily comprised of Betfred Super League stars from Catalans Dragons. It is possible that France will give England a run for their money.
When these two teams competed a year ago, it was England who came out on top with a score of 30-10, and the Three Lions have come out on top in each of the pair’s last 20 meetings.
Since February 1981, France has not been victorious over their long-standing rivals from the other side of the Channel, and England has been victorious in every single one of their head-to-head matchups during a World Cup.
So odds of 1-50 about a home win look justified, but a whopping 38-point start for Les Bleus is well worth taking as England have only beaten France by more than that margin in just three of their last ten meetings. England have odds of 1-50 about a home win.
Tommy Makinson, Morgan Knowles, Matty Lees, and Michael McIlorum are some of those who are not included in this match because Wane has decided to shuffle his side for this competition and bring in all seven players who were not involved in the previous week’s game. This could potentially lead to a disjointed performance from England because of this decision.
In order to maintain their level of competition in Bolton, France kept the majority of the team that easily defeated Greece the previous week. Jamaica, who face New Zealand with a hefty 74-point advantage, are a team that is worth backing given their advantageous starting position.
In their first match, Jamaica was soundly defeated by Ireland 48-2, while New Zealand had no trouble defeating Lebanon 34-12.
It is reasonable to anticipate that New Zealand will prevail, but the largest victory margin they have posted in their previous nine matches is 68 points, and Jamaica is favored to keep their score within that range.
It is possible that it will take New Zealand some time to get up to speed after they make their lineup adjustments, and it is also possible that they will ease up in the latter stages of the game.
Joseph Manu was one of the players who got off to a strong start for the New Zealand All Blacks last week. He contributed to two tries and scored one himself.
At all times during the match against the Cedars, he posed a threat, so it might be worth taking a chance on him to score first at the MKM Stadium in Hull.
Against Italy, Fiji is favored by odds of 1-7 to secure their first win of the competition; however, the match is difficult to predict and appears to be one that should be left alone for the purposes of betting.
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