The Cup 19 podcast: Who do NZ punters see as All Blacks' biggest threat?

With the Rugby World Cup now in full swing, Kiwi punters are also off to a flyer with their flutters.

While there's been a flood of cash coming in on the nation's beloved All Blacks, the numbers would also suggest there's one team emerging that Kiwis are most wary of as a threat to the men in black's historic threepeat.

"They like Ireland," TAB's Mark Stafford told The Cup 19 podcast. "More than England."

In fact, the English - also seen as a serious contender for the Cup - have seen relatively less respect from the NZ market, per the numbers.

If you're looking for underdogs - and let's face it, most of us are -  Stafford believes the hosts - after a nervous start against Russia - are an ideal candidate.

"I think Japan is the most likely at this stage to cause an upset given they're at home, and I feel like they've had their bad game now."

Try scorer has also been a hugely popular betting option, where the majority of the All Blacks outlay has been on wings Sevu Reece and George Bridge, as well as in-form forward Ardie Savea.

But according to Stafford, a savvy play of late has been on the hookers, who are reaping the rewards of forwards dominance when it comes to mismatches against the minnows.

"When you get a powerful team against a tier two team, they take the 5m lineout, [the hooker] joins the back of the rolling maul - then it's a try. A lot of teams are doing it.

"There are plenty of hookers scoring and they offer really good value."

And as the money so far dictates, there's one particular scenario that the TAB does not want to see eventuate.

"The worst case scenario would be the All Blacks and South Africa meeting in the final and the All Blacks winning, Sevu Reece being the top try scorer of the tournament, and Beauden Barrett being the player of the tournament. 

"That's just alarm bells all over the place."

Listen to the full episode above

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