We theoretically analyze waveguide coupled surface plasmon resonance structure to investigate the coupling phenomenon between waveguide resonance and plasmonic resonance. Variations of types of metals as well as changes of thickness of the waveguide layer produce some interesting phenomena in the context of coupled plasmonics. Different modes that are generated are found to have dual contributions of waveguide and plasmonic effects. Field enhancement and reflectance contour plots with simultaneous angular and wavelength interrogation give some insight into the effect of waveguide resonance on the performance of nanoplasmonic structure. Figure of merit calculations and comparison of angular and wavelength differential curves of different nanoplasmonic structures can be used to determine the right candidature as regarding the better sensing performance compared to conventional SPR based sensor. Moreover, the important role played by the thickness of the waveguide layer is also established with supporting simulations. © 2012 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).