What Are The Odds On Scotland To Win The Rugby World Cup?
Despite having what is widely regarded as their strongest squad of players in a number of years, Scotland remain well down the list of potential winners at this year’s World Cup in the eyes of betting sites.
Thanks to victories against England, Wales and Italy, Scotland earned a third-place finish in the 2023 Six Nations Championship.
There were also defeats at the hands of Ireland and France, but given these sides are the top-two teams in the world rankings, Gregor Townsend’s charges entered those tests as underdogs.
There was plenty for the Scots to take out of those games however, and claiming the Calcutta Cup for the third year in succession at the expense of England ensured there was another big highlight for them from the spring international window.
Semi-Final The Furthest Scotland Have Gone In World Cup
Yet the Five Nations Championship in 1999 is the most recent piece of major silverware to have come Scotland’s way and they have never secured more than three wins in a single campaign since the Six Nations was officially launched in 2000.
A year on from their last Grand Slam success in 1990, the Scots also enjoyed their most productive journey through the difficult terrain of the Rugby World Cup.
Co-hosts along with England, France, Ireland and Wales, Scotland recorded four successive victories to earn themselves a spot in the last-four of the 1991 edition of the global tournament.
An agonising 9-6 reversal followed against England at Murrayfield Stadium and New Zealand then got the better of them in a subsequent third-place play-off encounter in Cardiff.
Across the next four World Cups, the Scots fell at the quarter-final hurdle on each occasion.
There was also a narrow last-eight exit to Australia in 2015, but either side of it the Celtic outfit were disappointingly eliminated at the pool stages.
In the Japan-based finals of 2019, Scotland found themselves in a tough pool alongside the host nation, Ireland, Samoa and Russia.
The Japanese enhanced their growing reputation with four wins from four and the Irish joined them in the knockout rounds having comfortably overcome Scotland in the opening round of Pool A.
Scots Well Down The Pecking Order For France-Based Finals
Not only will the Scots once again find themselves up against Ireland – who were recently crowned Six Nations Grand Slam champions – at the pool stages in France, they will also come face-to-face with World Cup holders South Africa.
Tonga and Romania complete the list of teams in Pool B, though they are both rated as rank outsiders for a last-eight spot by the best betting sites for rugby union.
Because Ireland and South Africa have enjoyed success in recent times and generally make their way through the preliminary phase of the World Cup – even allowing for the odd hiccup – it comes as no surprise that Scotland are down the pecking order in the betting.
Given the expectation is that the Scots will fall short in their quest to get out of the pool, they are currently rated as ninth favourites to win the tournament outright.
Odds Stacked Against Scotland
The odds on Townsend’s men pulling off an unlikely World Cup triumph are generally 25/1 with UK bookmakers offering this value.
William Hill have the even longer odds of 33/1 on a Scottish success story though.
While they are capable of putting it up to the best teams in the world on their day, Scotland will need to pull off at least one big scalp in the pool stages to keep themselves in the mix for top honours.
Could Be Last Hurrah For Coach Townsend
An opening round showdown with South Africa at Stade Vélodrome in Marseille on September 10 is a very daunting fixture on paper, though Townsend will quickly realise where his squad are at from a physical and mental standpoint in the aftermath of that game.
A former international star – who amassed 82 senior caps from 1993 to 2003 – Townsend has been in charge of the Scots since 2017 and his contract is due to expire following the conclusion of this year’s World Cup.
Although it is uncertain if he will look to extend his stay in the Scottish hot seat, if the tournament is to be his farewell in the job, he will be hoping to bow out with a bang in France by defying their odds in the 2023 Rugby World Cup betting.