The National Rugby League (NRL) is one of the most popular sports competitions in Australia – both for fans and for punters. If you’re a fan of the NRL, betting on the sport can be a great way to make every match even more exciting, even if your team has no chance of reaching the Grand Final. Read on to learn the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about NRL betting.
Yes, NRL betting is fully legal and regulated in Australia. Unlike with online casinos and poker rooms, there is no need to place bets at overseas sites, as sports betting sites are locally regulated and operated by popular Australian bookmakers.
Most sharp punters like to have at least two betting accounts at different bookmakers, and there’s never anything wrong with having even more than that. The advantage to having multiple accounts is that you’ll be able to choose between the odds offered at various bookmakers, and can choose to make your bets only where the odds are best. Since most bookmakers set their lines independently of each other, you’ll often benefit by making some of your bets at one betting site while placing other bets at a different bookie.
Head to head betting is the simplest form of NRL betting offered by bookmakers. In order to make this bet, you only need to pick which team you think will win a given match. Of course, there’s usually one team that is considered more likely to win a game than their opponent, so the odds on both team won’t be the same: if you’re willing to pick the underdog, you’ll win a lot more if they pull the upset than would have if you bet on a favourite that’s expected to win.
Line (or handicap) betting is available for all NRL games. This betting allows you to get the same odds whether you wish to bet on the favourite or underdog in a given match by giving a handicap to the team that is perceived to be weaker going into the contest.
The handicap that is given to the weaker team is known as the points start or “point spread.” This number is set by the bookmaker, and can be thought of as the number of points the better team is expected to win by on average. In order for a bet on the favoured team to win, that team must win by more than the points start. On the other hand, a bet on the underdog will win either if that team wins the match, or if they lose by less than the points start. Depending on the difference in strength between the teams, the line could be set at just a few points (or in rare cases, no points at all) or at several tries – the bookmaker will try to set a line that encourages similar action on both sides of the bet.
Yes, punters can try to guess who will win various awards throughout the year. For instance, if you think you know who will be awarded the Clive Churchill Medal as the man of the match for the NRL Grand Final, bookmakers offer odds on many top contenders for that honour.
There are plenty of different Rugby League futures that can be made throughout the season. Obviously, you can bet on which team will ultimately win the Grand Final, with the odds fluctuating throughout the year as each team’s fortunes change and match results come in. If you’re not quite as confident on how a team will perform, you could also back them to reach the Grand Final, or finish in the top four or top eight in the regular season – though the odds won’t be as high, since these outcomes are more likely. If you feel really confident about your knowledge, you can even bet on the two finalists who will face off in the Grand Final.
You can also make futures bets on individual NRL players. You can place bets throughout the season on the top pointscorer or the top tryscorer, with odds changing as players work their way up or down the ladder throughout the year.
To understand NRL betting odds, you’ll need to be able to read decimal odds. These are essentially odds expressed in a “for one” format. In other words, these odds tell you how much money you’ll win on a winning bet if you assume that your original bet is lost regardless of the result of the bet.
Here’s a quick example. Imagine you bet $10 on Newcastle to win their next match at odds of 2.50. That money is considered lost as soon as you make the bet. If Newcastle wins, you’ll win $25 from the bookmaker, for a profit of $15. Decimal odds are fairly simple to understand, but it’s important to remember that they are “for one” rather than “to one” odds, like those you often see in a casino.
State of Origin is perhaps the biggest rivalry in all of Australian sport, so you can be sure that you can make bets on each match in the series. You can choose to back NSW or Queensland, or choose to bet on a number of other facets of the game, like who will score the first try or what the first score of the game will be.