Rugby World Cup: Punters' chance to profit by wacky spreads

THERE ARE sports nuts, and there are sports nuts, and there is Angus Loughran - still better known to the world as Statto, of Fantasy Football fame. I called Angus on Friday and left a message on his mobile phone, saying I wanted to discuss Rugby World Cup betting. He rang back 20 minutes later. He was in Boston for the opening salvos of the Ryder Cup but would be in Britain the next day and would call me again then.

Angus got back to Gatwick at 7.55am on Saturday, dashed home to change for Ascot, found out at Clapham Junction that the racing was cancelled, so returned to Gatwick, caught the shuttle to Manchester, and got to Old Trafford in time to watch the 3-3 thriller between Man Utd and Southampton.

Last Tuesday he was at the Milan v Galatasaray Champions' League match. This Tuesday he will be at Real Madrid v Porto. "And then I'm off to Paris for the Arc," he adds. What a schedule. What a guy.

Anyway, Angus talked me through some of the more interesting spread bets released yesterday by Sporting Index. There's an intriguing one called Giant Strides, relating to the total number of metres the ball is carried by New Zealand's fearsome Jonah Lomu. Sporting Index offer 350 to 400 metres. And for those of you who are still a little iffy on the principles of spread-betting, punters can either sell (i.e. predict that Lomu will carry under 350 metres) or buy (i.e. predict that he will carry more than 400 metres).

A pounds 1 sell means that if he only manages 300 metres, the punter collects pounds 50. But if he runs 500 metres, the punter owes pounds 100. For a pounds 1 buy in the same circumstances, the punter would owe pounds 50, or collect pounds 100.

Another wacky bet is called Misses Mehrtens (ho, ho), totalling the metres covered by the New Zealand outside-half Andrew Mehrtens' miskicks at goal. Again, Sporting Index offer 350-400.

Larry's Carries relates to the metres covered - ball in hand - by England's Lawrence Dallaglio. Not a bad buy at 140-170. Then there is Ginge Binge, the metres covered by Wales outside-half Neil Jenkins' successful kicks at goal, which you can sell below 600 and buy above 650.

Sporting Index are also offering spreads on the time of each country's first tournament try. Angus fancies 26-30 minutes for Uruguay, on the basis that they might fail to score a try in their first match, albeit against fellow no-hopers Spain, and then they face Scotland. It's a safe bet that the Scots will hammer Uruguay on 8 October, but will the winning margin exceed 115 points?

Index say the tournament's highest winning margin will fall between 110 and 115 points. "Too high," says Angus. "There'll be no damage selling that."

There is real potential for winning or losing serious money in the overall points total, selling at 2,270 and buying at 2,310. As for each team's overall points, Index offer 195 to 205 for England but interestingly go higher for Scotland (200 to 210).

England's first try (16-19 minutes) has to be worth selling, given that they open against Italy. For Scotland's first try, Index offer a more circumspect 46 to 50 minutes. Again, worth selling, I'd have thought, even though their first game, on Sunday, is against mighty South Africa.

Angus likes the Total Wides bet, i.e. the number of missed drop-kicks, penalties and conversions in the 40 matches. He bought at 180-200, and it has now crept up to 185-205. "There are at least five missed kicks a game, on average," he says. "I can't see that being a loser to the punter."

To get a steer on the fixed-odds betting, I called the estimable Mike Dillon, of Ladbrokes. Despite the weekend distractions of the Ryder Cup and a full Premiership programme, rugby betting is hotting up, he tells me.

Ladbrokes expect to take around pounds 1.5m in bets, which suggests the industry turnover will be roughly pounds 5m, the same as the cricket World Cup. The football World Cup, of course, "is in a different parish," at pounds 100m plus.

According to Mike, Wales are "the major market mover" by some way. They started at 100-1 after the last World Cup, were still priced at 66-1 before the Five Nations, and are now down to 14-1.

One punter, though, will be rooting squarely for the Irish. He slapped a pounds 20 treble on Australia winning the cricket World Cup (11-4), Manchester United winning the treble (12-1), and Ireland winning the rugby World Cup (100-1). So in the somewhat unlikely event of Ireland's Keith Wood scrambling over the line to score the winning try on 6 November, this punter stands to win pounds 98,475. And he will deserve every penny.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Arts and Entertainment
James Hewitt has firmly denied being Harry’s father
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) in Happy Valley ((C) Red Productions/Ben Blackall)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: LGV Driver - Category C or C+E

£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This national Company that manu...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - OTE £30,000

£13000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Assistant

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Maintenance Assistant is requ...

Recruitment Genius: Business Manager

£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?