The National Rugby League, or NRL, is one of Australia’s biggest footballing codes and arguably the most recognisable league competition in the world.
The NRL attracts the best players from around the world to strut their stuff in the premier competition on the planet, with the fiercest hits, biggest bodies and unrivalled passion.
Online bookmakers place great emphasis on getting their advertising right for the sport, with betting placements spread throughout the game coverage on television and radio.
This guide will take you through the best online sites to place bets, tips on how to bet and all the information you need to make an informed and most importantly winning wager on the NRL.
Best online bookmaker sites for the NRL
One of the undisputed heavyweights of online sports betting in this country Sportsbet.com.au brings maximum effort when it comes to enhancing your NRL experience.
With money back specials, player specials across multiple games over the course of a weekend as well as the widest range of options to bet on across all games, any league bet with Sportsbet is a sound investment.
One of the newest bookmakers in Australia, WilliamHill.com.au, offers different options across the board and with elevated odds on certain select matches. Compound this with enhanced first try scorer and weekly NRL ‘power bets’ – William Hill makes punting on league a truly entertaining experience.
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The 2018 NRL season betting and predictions
Melbourne made up for 2016’s NRL Grand Final disappointment with a resounding win over North Queensland in the 2017 decider. Even though long-serving star Cooper Cronk is off for pastures new, most bookies have the Storm slated as favourites for the 2018 flag.
However, not all betting firms have Melbourne at the top of their early markets. Some have instead pumped up the Sydney Roosters, who made a big impression last season despite failing to reach the big dance. The North Queensland Cowboys are also well liked after a brave campaign, while Brisbane, Parramatta and Penrith are expected to feature in the upper reaches of the table once again.
NRL Premiership odds
Winner (NRL 2018)
30th of September 2018
Bet types on the NRL
Head to head: This type of bet is simply backing one team to beat the other without any handicaps.
Margin betting: This is generally a bet type the bookie will put up which allows you to choose a margin that you think a team will win by. For instance you might get the Raiders to beat the Storm by more than 10+ points at $4.50. For your bet to be successful you would need Raiders to win by 11 points or more.
Line betting: Line betting is a form of handicap wagering, which gives Team A and Team B a head start or handicap with ‘the line’ being where the two teams meet at equal odds.
First try scorer: One of the more popular bets in all of sports betting. The first try scorer bet can also be placed as a team vs. team bet, so if you pick a particular player from the away team to score the first try and the home team cross the line first, your bet is still alive whilst your team remains try-less.
Another interesting variant on the try market is head-to-head most tries which places two particular players from opposing sides against each other with odds to match with the objective of selecting the player who can chalk up the most four pointers to their name for the match.
Will the match go to extra-time bet: It is not uncommon for NRL matches to go past the 80 minutes, especially when two top teams are slugging it out, but due to a perceived scarcity of drawn games over the distance, bookmakers will offer huge odds on an extra time result.
How to fund an NRL betting account
Most websites have multiple options for you to deposit your money.
Credit card: The most popular method of deposit and is available on every Australian sports betting website. All transactions are secure and money can be transferred to and from your card once your account is verified.
Poli bank transfer: Australia’s most popular real time debt payment system. Money is debited from your account and transferred straight into your online bookmaking account.
Paypal: One of the world’s most popular online spending systems and the largest online payment company.
Paypal offers users who either have a credit card or a bank account linked to their Paypal a third party way of depositing their money into their betting accounts.
BPAY: BPAY debts work exactly the same as you would pay a utility or phone bill, however depending on when the transaction is completed the money can be delayed going into your account.
Each website will have its own unique BPAY transaction number and biller code.
Can I bet on NRL internationally?
Rugby League is truly an international sport, derived in England and played all around the world, and given that NRL is one of the most popular rugby league competitions on the planet, it is no surprise every bookmaker that values their place in the industry will have multiple markets each weekend on the NRL.
Bookmakers like Bet365 and William Hill have a truly global footprint and accept most countries around the world. This means you can wager from places as far flung as India, United Kingdom, all over Europe and many other places. If you are based out of the USA your best bet to wager on the NRL is Bovada and BetOnline.
Is it legal to bet on the NRL
Australia has a full regulated sports betting industry with most of the premier bookies being based out of the Northern Territory. As long as you are 18 years of age you can legally bet on the NRL.
How many teams are in the NRL?
The NRL has had several teams come and go, including during the Super League that took the country by storm in the 1990s. The 2018 competition will have 16 teams:
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
St George-Illawarra Dragons
Gold Coast Titans
New Zealand Warriors
North Queensland Cowboys
National Rugby League – The people
John Grant (Chairman)
Professor Chris Sarra
Customer service at Aussie bookies
Aussie bookies such as Sportsbet and William Hill offer both phone and live chat customer service to anyone who is having trouble placing a bet.
The live chat is ideal for people on the go who want real-time knowledge they can insert into their betting slip, but is only operational during their standardised hours, typically 9am to 10pm Eastern Standard Time.
The phone customer service gives punters who want the more personal touch the opportunity to speak to a real person in real-time. Note: due to live-betting legislation in Australia, it is only possible to place a live bet on a match over the phone.
The phone service for all Aussie online bookies is 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will be able to help you in every situation, including when the online site is down for maintenance.