Australian NRL betting sites
Betting on the 2022 NRL season is now open across the globe, with this top rugby league competition from Australia featured heavily at bookmakers. NRL bookmakers feature odds on all aspects of the game, including premiership, match-day markets and individual awards. Our guide to NRL betting will give you a run down of betting on rugby league in Australia and from international locations. This includes things like NRL bet types, bookmaker bonuses and free bet legality and more.
NRL betting in Australia
THE NRL is hugely attractive for punters with matches on at least four nights a week during the season. This means online bookies in Australia target us with potentially lucrative bonuses and freebets.
Online bookmakers are operating in a very competitive market so these promotions are getting better and better, despite the government doing their best to block the traditional ‘freebet’.
Long gone are the days of lining up in the dingy TAB to make a bet, trying to decipher the codes and Jurassic era machines to place a bet. Now we can have a flutter at home, placing a bet through your desktop, tablet or mobile: it’s a great time to be alive.
With the boom in online bookies came competition and competing bookies chasing your dollar are constantly trying to undercut their opposition and offer you the best deal, sign up bonus, free bets, elevated odds etc. in an attempt to win your betting dollar.
Best bookies to bet on NRL
The best bookies to have a flutter on the NRL are listed below. We personally use the following Australian betting sites of their well earned reputations for bettor safety and privacy as well as their penchant for offering great sign up bonuses and a constant flow of promotions and free bets. Always be aware though that sign up bonuses are not available to residents of Victoria, NSW, Western Australia and South Australia.
Sportsbet is one of the top NRL betting sites in Australia, with this company taking the most bets. Sportsbet has great apps for both both Android and iOS smartphones, while in general their website and telephone service are first-rate. Sportsbet review.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Top NRL futures and exotic betting markets
Leading pointscorer market:
It’s wise to back a player who is the team’s designated goal kicker. It is also good policy to back players in free-scoring teams, as they will have more opportunities than kickers in sides that score fewer tries. The likes of Nathan Cleary (Panthers), Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs) and Ryan Papenhuyzen (Storm) are good names to follow.
Leading tryscorer market:
The top end of this market is reserved almost exclusively for outside backs, especially wingers. There are some guys who are always going to be in the mix if they play a majority of the season, such as Alex Johnston (Rabbitohs), Josh Addo-Carr (Bulldogs) and Kyle Feldt (Cowboys).
Dally M Medal winner market:
The Dally M Medal is awarded to the best player throughout the regular season as adjudged by various media outlets. Points are awarded on a 1-2-3 basis in each game and they are tallied up at the end of the regular season. Playmakers tend to dominate the voting, so look at halfbacks and five-eighths in particular.
NRL free bets
Being vigilant is the best way to take advantage of free bets. Having accounts with multiple online bookies ensures that you can pick and choose which online bookie fits you best for the bet you want to make.
Regularly checking the promo pages of these online bookies to see what deals, free bets, cash back deals or bonus bets are on offer is a great way to save you money or maximize your winnings.
Another way to stay in the loop is to have signed up at these bookmakers. You will find in the days leading up to the new NRL round they will send out an email with details of any ongoing, or one-off promotions they might be running.
Unfortunately Australian NRL free bets are not allowed to be marketed anymore, under restrictions placed by laws in this country.
Overseas readers of BettingPlanet are free to claim many of the top free bet offers.