The NRL is the best and most competitive rugby league competition in the world. It is made up of 16 teams, with 10 based in New South Wales, three in Queensland and one in Melbourne, Canberra and Auckland.
The NRL combines running, passing and tackling, with the objective of scoring a try, conversion, penalty goal or field goal. The team with the highest score at the end of an 80-minute game wins. If the match is tied, a period of overtime is played to determine a winner.
The most basic way to bet on the NRL is by taking a moneyline bet. Each match features two teams, each priced differently according to their chance of winning. The lower the price, the better the perceived chance of victory.
For example, if Melbourne were (1.35) on the moneyline they would be considered a strong favourite to win. Their opponents Cronulla’s price is (3.25), making them a considerable underdog.
Factors that can impact on the moneyline include the absence of an important player, such as the team’s captain, leading try scorer or playmaker.
It is important to note that in NRL, the home team is listed first. 10 of the competitions 18 teams are based in Sydney, which can make determining home ground advantage tricky. Teams often play at a variety of venues, some with more of a home ground advantage than others.
Betting on a team at the handicap in NRL is one of the most popular ways to bet on the sport.
For example, if Melbourne is (1.33) in the head to head betting, there is a very strong chance they will win the match. Their opponents, Cronulla, are priced at (3.25) to win. The return on investment when betting on Melbourne can be increased by taking them at the handicap. Conversely, if you believe that Cronulla are a chance to win the match or might lose by a small margin, you can bet on them in the handicap.
In this match, Melbourne may give away an 8.5-point start. In order for you to win this bet, Melbourne must beat Cronulla by 9 points or more. If they win by 8 points or less, or lose, your wager is a loss. If you bet on Cronulla +8.5, then Cronulla need to either win by any margin or lose by 8 points or less for the wager to win.
These wagers are commonly priced between (1.90) and (1.93), depending on the sports book.
Some sports books offer ‘pick your own line’ options, where most single point spread interval is covered. For example, you could bet on Melbourne -3.5, but it will pay less than (1.90). Conversely, if you’re confident of a big victory, you might take Melbourne at -12.5, which would be priced greater than (1.90).
NRL matches involve four types of scoring: tries, conversions, penalty goals and field goals. A try is worth four points, conversions and penalty goals are worth two points and a field goal is worth one point. A bet on a totals market involves betting on all of these points combined to fall over or under a number set by the sports book.
For example, a match between Melbourne and Cronulla has a total match points set at over/under 36.5. A wager on the total match points to be OVER 36.5 wins if the total points scored by Melbourne and Cronulla combined is 37 or more. If you bet on the UNDER in this match, you are betting on Melbourne and West Coast to score 36 points or fewer.
If Melbourne score 30 points and Cronulla score 12 points, the total points are 30 + 12 = 42. If the sports book has the total match points set at over/under 36.5, then a bet on the OVER would win and a bet on the UNDER would lose.
Wagers can be placed on total match points, as well as total team points, which will vary depending on the quality of the team. Totals betting is also heavily influenced by ground conditions, the ground where a match takes place and time of day.
The most popular margin betting in the NRL has four options per match.
The typical options are a win by 1-12 points for each side and a win by 13+ points for each side.
Margin betting typically presents higher odds for bettors compared to a head to head wager on a favourite or handicap betting, for example. If Melbourne is an 8.5-point favourite, you may believe they will win the match, but the (1.33) head to head price nor the handicap appear worthwhile wagers to you.
A wager on Melbourne to win by 1-12 points could pay (3.10) in this instance. It offers a wider range of points and is a winning bet if Melbourne wins by anywhere between 1 and 12 points. If Melbourne lose, or win by 13 or more points, the wager is a loss.
Futures wagers are long term wagers, usually based on how a team or teams perform during the duration of a season, or a defined period of time.
The most common futures wager in NRL is to bet on the Premiership. The Premiership winner is the team that wins the NRL Grand Final and reflects the best team in the league that season.
There are 16 teams in the NRL, with a shorter price reflecting a higher likelihood of winning the Premiership. Due to the fact that an NRL season takes place over a six-month period, a team’s odds to win the Premiership can fluctuate. Only the top eight teams every year can make the playoffs.
Other popular futures bets include wagering on the Dally M Medal, which is awarded to the league’s best player every year, as well as which two teams will make the Grand Final (quinella) and which team will win the wooden spoon or finish at the bottom of the ladder.
Prop markets are an exotic way of wagering on a match that usually doesn’t involve betting on a specific team or result. In NRL betting, a prop bet may include betting on the first tryscorer in the match, last tryscorer in the match, whether or not a player will score two or more tries and many more options.
Betting on an NRL parlay combined multiple bets into one wager. Typically these bets are from different matches and can be a combination of margin, head to head, handicap or totals bets. For example, a two-team parlay of Melbourne (1.38) and Brisbane (2) would pay (2.76) if both teams were to win.