Author: Joe Kizlauskas
Last Updated: 17th October 2023
At inkedin.com, we are experts in analysing Rugby World Cup odds and making accurate predictions. As the 2023 tournament heads into the crucial semi-final stage, we will provide a detailed breakdown of the updated odds and likely outcomes.
Current Betting Odds and Implied Probabilities
The defending champions South Africa are now clear favorites after their convincing quarter-final win over France. Bookmakers give them a 48.3% chance of winning the World Cup, with odds of 10/11.
Their semi-final opponents England are distant underdogs at 12/1, or just a 7.1% implied probability. The Springboks have an excellent recent record against England, including wins in the 2007 and 2019 World Cup finals. Most expect their superiority to continue in this semi.
On the other side of the draw, New Zealand remain a threat at 6/5 (41.9% chance). Their semi against Argentina looks like a mismatch, with the All Blacks 1/10 favorites and Los Pumas outsiders at 33/1.
The most likely final is South Africa vs New Zealand at 77.8%. An upset Argentina vs England final has the longest odds at 40/1.
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South Africa’s Dominance Makes Them Deserving Favourites
As reigning world champions, South Africa have underlined their number one ranking with an undefeated record so far. Despite France’s home advantage, the Springboks’ powerful pack dominated, setting up a 19-10 win.
Their forwards are brutally efficient at gaining territory and winning set pieces. Half-backs Faf de Klerk and Handré Pollard manage the game expertly. Damian de Allende and Lukhanyo Am form a world-class centre partnership.
South Africa combine this efficient structure with moments of backline brilliance from the likes of Makazole Mapimpi, Cheslin Kolbe and Willie le Roux. It is a formidable all-round package that no side has managed to conquer so far.
England Face Uphill Struggle Against Old Foes
England find themselves in a familiar position – taking on the Springboks in a World Cup showdown. The problem is they have come up short in their two previous finals clashes.
To stand any chance, they will need to match South Africa physically up front. That means a big carrying performance from Billy Vunipola at number eight and aggressive defence from second rows Maro Itoje and Jonny Hill.
England must also play more unpredictably in attack. Marcus Smith offers creativity at fly-half, while wingers Joe Cokanasiga and Jack Nowell are dangerous runners.
But South Africa have kept England try less in their last two meetings. Unlocking this imposing defence seems an extremely tough task in a high-pressure semi-final.
All Blacks Have the Tools to Outclass Plucky Argentina
While South Africa against England looks a mismatch, New Zealand should have a smoother path to the final by facing Argentina.
The All Blacks were back to their scintillating best in the 39-0 quarter-final thrashing of Australia. Front rowers Nepo Laulala and Codie Taylor dominated the set piece and breakdown, allowing the backs to flourish.
Beauden Barrett pulled the strings majestically at fly-half, variably bringing in playmakers like Richie Mo’unga, Rieko Ioane and Jordie Barrett. The Pumas will struggle to contain such creative threats.
Argentina have exceeded expectations by making the last four after beating Scotland. But they lack the forward power or back line stardust to genuinely trouble New Zealand. The All Blacks’ vast experience in World Cup semi-finals is another huge advantage.
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Our Predictions – South Africa to Edge Past New Zealand in Final
Based on the odds and an analysis of each team’s form and fixtures, we predict the following:
- South Africa to beat England. The Springboks simply have too much power, organisation and belief.
- New Zealand to beat Argentina comfortably. The All Blacks have far more quality across the field.
- South Africa to win a tight final against New Zealand. The holders have faced slightly tougher tests and will edge the showdown.
Those seeking great value can back South Africa at 10/11 to lift the trophy for a second straight World Cup. It promises to be an absorbing finale to the tournament, but one we expect the impressive Springboks to win.