South Africa vs Scotland betting tips:
- South Africa to win by 1-12 points - 8/5 with Unibet
- Scotland to score first try - 8/11 with bet365
- Under 47.5 total points - 11/10 with BetVictor
Four years after they missed out on the quarter-finals of a Rugby World Cup for just the second time in their history, Scotland have found themselves facing the challenge of needing to defeat at least one of South Africa and Ireland to get out of a difficult Pool B in France.
The Stade Vélodrome in Marseille will be the venue for their opening encounter with reigning world champions South Africa and betting sites have graded them 10-point outsiders against a side they have defeated just once in 20 years.
A chance to right the wrongs of 2019
With a more fortunate draw, such as a direct swap with Wales into Pool C, Scotland could have found themselves in front of a fairly easy path into the final eight.
But they were cruelly reminded four years ago to take no RWC match for granted when, against the odds, they conceded a 21-7 half-time lead to host nation Japan on the final day to kiss their chances of advancing goodbye.
Following their best ever finish in the Six Nations era earlier this year – an outright third place – Gregor Townsend’s men played out an entertaining two-legged home and away friendly with France, both of which saw the home side of the day edge the result.
In respect of those two results, and the Scottish scoring a healthy 25-plus points in five consecutive games, bookmakers have set the main line at 10.5 points despite them covering such a start in only one (2018) of seven losses since a rare win in 2010.
After six years at the helm, Townsend arguably has the side playing some of their strongest and most confident rugby in living memory, boasts many backs and centres that would be in contention for the next Lions side, and even a narrow loss to the title holders would give them an enormous amount of confidence against Ireland.
Boks slow out the blocks
South Africa’s only loss of 2023 was set in motion early when they conceded the first 20 points of the match within the first 20 minutes away to New Zealand in a potentially season-defining loss.
They publicly vowed it would be an aberration, but soon followed it up with a half-time deficit albeit in a victory away to Argentina.
Conceding the opening try certainly doesn’t put the Springboks to bed - just ask the Wallabies and Pumas who both awoke the South African beast with the first try – but it is something that is occurring a little more often than in recent years.
Scotland, on the other hand, have conceded just two tries within the first 20 minutes all year (both against France) which has allowed them to cross the line first in seven of their nine matches.
A history of arm-wrestles continue
Typically a low scoring encounter, nine of the last 11 Scotland-South Africa fixtures dating back to 2006 have fallen short of the 47.5 point mark set by rugby betting sites for this matchup.
A side that featured several potential World Cup starters put just 33 points past a plucky Georgia in their final warm-up game and whilst they possess a backline capable of penetrating any defence at their best, South Africa are going to be an entirely different prospect.
In return, the Scots themselves kept four of their five Six Nations opponents humble, conceding just 18.67 points per game in 2023 – not far off South Africa’s average of 17.33 points against this year.
As a result, seven of the 13 tests involving either nation couldn’t clear the already modest 47.5 point mark, which on the balance of the numbers suggests this one shouldn’t either.
After five years as a betting trader and several more as a sports writer, Aaron is dedicated to using his wealth of experience and devotion to statistical analysis to deliver punters all the information they need to try and make a winning call.