All Blacks to upset France in 2023 Rugby World Cup Opener

  • France is a slight 1-point favorite over New Zealand in the tournament’s opening game
  • Argentina is a 1.5-point underdog to England in Pool D action
  • The 20-nation tournament will take place in France from September 8 to October 28

France and New Zealand will renew their Rugby Union World Cup rivalry on the tournament’s opening night. The two nations have staged legendary battles throughout the event’s history and given the quality of both squads this year, rugby fans should again be in for a treat.

Before we examine the odds for Friday’s game, here’s where you can check out the top Rugby Betting Sites in 2023.

France vs New Zealand

France-1.0 (-110)-112+1900
New Zealand+1.0 (-110)+103+1900

Will there be a first-time winner?

France is a 1-point favorite over New Zealand on some books and a slight underdog on others, so be sure to shop around for lines. Les Bleus won three of four warm-up matches heading into the tournament, splitting with Scotland before destroying both Fiji and Australia. Meanwhile, the All Blacks are coming off a humbling 35-7 defeat to South Africa.

When France last hosted the event in 2009, they dropped their opening match against Argentina. However, Fabien Galthié’s cohesive unit seems to have the mix of skill and strength required to hoist the country’s first-ever World Cup on home soil. In seven previous meetings on this grand stage, the Kiwis have won five times while Les Bleus have triumphed twice.

Best Bet

New Zealand is coming off a Rugby Championship victory this year. Yet, most experts believe they don’t have the same talent that won them titles in 2011 and 2015. Still, they may be able to take advantage of a nervous French team in Stade de France. Regardless, whoever loses this one will almost assuredly still qualify for the knockout stages as Pool A presents an easy path.

We think the All-Blacks start strong with a win over the home side. However, France can be comforted by the fact that South Africa was beaten by New Zealand in the 2019 pool stage before winning the trophy.

New Zealandto defeat France
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Franceto defeat New Zealand
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Notable Round 1 Matches

England-1.5 (+100)-106+1800
Argentina+1.5 (-120)-106+1800
South Africa-11.0 (-115)-500+3300
Scotland+11.0 (-105)+385+3300
Wales-5.5 (-110)-235+2200
Fiji+5.5 (-110)+205+2200

England vs Argentina

England is down to a 1.5-point favorite over Argentina after the line opened at minus-3. Steve Borthwick’s squad has had a miserable lead up to the event with a 3-6 record in Tests, including a 30-22 loss to Fiji last week. That defeat dropped them to eighth in the world rankings – their joint-lowest position in the standings’ 20-year history.

Los Pumas defeated Australia in an exhibition match in July before losing two tight Tests versus South Africa. After being dismantled 39-10 by England in the 2019 World Cup, we like Argentina to exact revenge.

South Africa vs Scotland

South Africa is a 11-point chalk over a Scotland side that split its two Test matches with France. The reigning World Cup champions also looked good in their warm-up matches, putting together a 4-0 record with a 35-7 beatdown of New Zealand. We like the Springboks to win, but like the Scots to cover.

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Steve Starr

Steve is the quintessential American sports enthusiast. He has mastered the art of Sundays, devoting them to football, and barbecue parties. He proudly wears the hats of a good father, husband and a great dog owner. Aside from his decades of contributing to different top-tier sports publications, Steve has also found his niche on Twitter, where he publishes funny and relatable sports-related insights. When he's not busy tweeting, Steve loves to watch each game unfold live. He possesses an innate talent for finding humor in the sports world, appreciating both the thrilling moments and the comedic mishaps that make each event unique.