The NRL is the top-flight Australian rugby league competition and is widely regarded as the best in the world. The competition is played in the winter months in the southern hemisphere and as a betting medium is very popular, especially with those in the northern states in Australia.
Crownbet has a wealth of NRL markets with not only round-to-round markets but also a market for the NRL All Stars game. They don’t have as much as some of our other bookmakers in terms on offering a wide range of variable betting types, but they offer competitive odds and this is where they excel.
Crownbet is only a relatively new bookmaker so we’re expecting their NRL market coverage to improve over the next few seasons. They also offer live betting for every league game on the market.
Sportsbet have the best NRL markets available throughout our recommended bookmakers. Australia’s longstanding bookmaker have a great futures market available where punters can bet on a wide variety of options. These include Outright markets, leading pointscorer and top tryscorer.
It’s extremely easy to sign up with Sportsbet and place your NRL bet. The website interface is very user-friendly and betting on league is easy to find. Sportsbet also offer many promotions throughout the season which makes betting on the NRL a profitable endeavour.
The best thing about Bet365 is their incredible live-betting markets. They are the most efficient and valuable live betting bookmakers across the globe and there is plenty of money to be made in this market.
While other bookmakers might suspend betting often throughout an NRL game, depending on the action, Bet365 will keep their markets open for most of the game which enables bettors to get full value. They also offer futures, individual betting markets and prop bets for the NRL season.
They offer top 4, top 8 and to miss the 8 markets, along with other exotic bet types which make betting the NRL more fun.
2017 NRL Championship winner market
Odds courtesy of Sportsbet.com.au*
Nth QLD Cowboys – $6
Brisbane Broncos – $7
Melbourne Storm – $8
Cronulla Sharks – $9 @ Sportsbet.com.au
Penrith Panthers – $9
NZ Warriors – $11
Canberra Raiders – $12
Sydney Roosters – $13
Sth Sydney Rabbitohs – $13
Manly Sea Eagles – $13
Parramatta Eels – $13
Gold Coast Titans – $17
Canterbury Bulldogs – $21
Wests Tigers – $34
St George Illawarra Dragons – $81
Newcastle Knights – $251
NRL game betting options
There are numerous game betting options for the NRL, excluding exotic betting types, and our recommended bookmakers will list all of these for each game in the season.
Head-to-head: Bettors must select either team to win the game outright. There is no margin involved with this option and teams can pay anywhere between $1.10 to $5. If the game goes into overtime and ends in a draw, the payout will halve.
Points spread: This is where bookmakers will offer a points start for and against any team in the head-to-head market. For example: Newcastle Knights ($1.55) vs. Melbourne Storm ($2.44) – to make up the difference in the head-to-head market, bookmakers will set their line around the 4-5 point mark, based on their individual prices. If you take Knights -4.5, then they need to win by at least five points, conversely if you take Storm +4.5 points, then they can either win, or lose by 4 points.
Winning team and margin: There are two variables for this option. One is the 12 and under option, where punters must select their team to win by less than 13 points. The other is the 13+ option where the selected team must win by a margin of 13 points or more. For teams that are equally matched, these options usually pay around the $2.40 (12 and under) and 3.60 for 13+.
Total match points: Bettors must select whether the total match points set my bookmakers will either go under or over the set total. In most dry NRL games, the total will be set around the 48 mark, and bettors must select either for there to be less than 48 points, or more.
Halftime/fulltime doubles: A popular option as it allows bettors to get more value with a little extra risk. There are a variety of options for this betting type – we’ll use the Knights paying $1.70 vs. Storm $2.50 as an example.
Knights/Knights – $2.60 (The Knights must be leading at both halftime and fulltime.)
Knights/Storm – $8 (Seeing as the Storm are outsiders, the chances of them being behind at halftime and winning at fulltime is slim, hence the $8 quote.)
Storm/Storm – $4.20 (Even though they aren’t as heavily favoured to win the game, they would be more likely to be leading from the outset)
Storm/Knights – $5 (This option means the Knights must come back from a halftime deficit and win the game outright.)
Draw at halftime and/or fulltime – $10 (The unlikelihood of this happening is why the odds are so high. Whilst it’s not uncommon for there to be a draw at half or full time, it’s certainly the toughest option to predict.
Explaining NRL and it’s history
A game of NRL takes 80 minutes, excluding overtime. Teams get a set of six tackles before they must turn the ball over. On most occasions, teams will use five tackles before putting up a kick, in which they can either recover, but must score, or the opposing team takes over possession.
NRL is considered one of the most exciting sports in the world as it is fast paced with only one 10-minute break at halftime.
Teams get four points for a try and an extra two points for a conversion – the conversion is taken in line with where the try was scored. A penalty kick is worth two points and a drop goal is worth one.
The league started in 1908 and has had many transformations since, with the latest institution having been in place since 1998. The NRL is always expanding with new teams, rules and contests including the Auckland Nines which is held every January.
The most successful clubs are the South Sydney Rabbitohs (2014 winners) which have won a total of 21 premierships over their rich history. The Rabbitohs, despite their success, fell out of the competition but under the backing of Hollywood actor Russell Crowe, they were able to secure the financial backing needed and have since achieved good success.
The Sydney Roosters have won on 13 occasions, the latest being in 2013, and their stadium can sit 45,500 people, the third largest stadium in the NRL.
There are teams that have never won a championship, these include the New Zealand Warriors, which has finished second twice, the Cronulla Sharks, North Queensland Cowboys and then newly-created Gold Coast Titans.
The most popular games to bet on throughout the season are the local derbies.
Brisbane Broncos vs. North Queensland Cowboys
St. George Dragons vs. Cronulla Sharks
Brisbane Broncos vs. Gold Coast Titans
Parramatta Eels vs. Penrith Panthers
Also, the traditional rival games attract big attention, no more so than the Roosters vs. Rabbitohs – the longest standing rivalry game in the NRL. These two teams take on each other in the second week of the 2015 NRL season where the Rabbitohs are slight favourites.
The top eight teams make the playoffs, where the top four and bottom four are separated into divisions. The bottom four play off to find out which teams will take on the losers of the top four matches – with the winners getting a second round bye. The final takes place at ANZ Stadium which has a capacity of 84,000 people.
Exotic NRL betting markets
Leading points scorer market:
Jarrod Croker (Raiders) – $4
James Moloney (Roosters) – $5.50
Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs) – $6
Shaun Johnson (Warriors) – $6
Pat Richards (Tigers) – $7
Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys) – $10
Michael Gordon (Sharks) – $13
Jamie Lyon (Sea Eagles) – $15
Chris Sandow (Eels) – $17
Trent Hodkinson (Bulldogs) – $31
Jamie Soward (Panthers) – $34
Gareth Widdop (Dragons) – $34
It’s wise to back a player who is the teams goal kicker. Most of these players listed above and goal kickers as they are most likely to tally up point totals each game. Shaun Johnson is a good selection from the Warriors as he has the ability to score tries and he is there goal kicker as well.
Leading try scorer market and odds:
Alex Johnston (Rabbitohs) – $11
Peta Hiku (Sea Eagles) – $15
Brett Morris (Bulldogs) – $15
Blake Ferguson (Roosters) – $17
Greg Inglis (Rabbitohs) – $17
Semi Radradra (Eels) – $17
Manu Vatuvei (Warriors) – $17
Michael Jennings (Roosters) – $21
Sisa Waqa (Raiders) – $26
Ben Barba (Sharks) – $34
Bill Slater (Storm) – $41
Sam Tomkins (Warriors) – $51
Shaun Johnson (Warriors) – $51
Dally M Medal winner market:
The Dally M Medal is awarded to the best regular season player throughout the season. Points are awarded on a 1, 2, 3 basis in each game and they are tallied up at the end of the regular season. Last season saw a rare 50/50 split between the now NFL playing Jarryd Hayne and North Queensland Cowboys play maker, Johnathan Thurston.
Selected players courtesy of Sportsbet*
Johnathan Thurston – $8
Daly Cherry-Evans – $11
Cooper Cronk – $15
Shaun Johnson – $17
Greg Inglis – $17
Anthony Milford – $17
Ben Hunt – $17
Gareth Widdop – $21
Kieran Foran – $21
Other betting options include: Least wins, top NSW team, halfway leader and season win totals for each team.
Season win totals market – selected teams:
North Queensland Cowboys – Over 13.5 ($1.72)
South Sydney Rabbitohs – Under 15.5 ($1.96)
Brisbane Broncos – Under 14.5 ($1.88)
New Zealand Warriors – Over 12.5 ($1.80)
Sydney Roosters – Over 15.5 ($1.78)