The NRL is one of the biggest sporting codes in Australia, capturing the attention of sports lovers particularly in New South Wales and Queensland throughout the winter months. Unsurprisingly, this also makes it a popular league to bet on, and in this article we’re going to take a look at all you need to know about betting on the NRL, including which are the best NRL betting sites, the different bet types that you can place, and much more.
NRL betting sites
Understanding the NRL
The NRL is the pre-eminent rugby league competition in Australia and indeed the world. The 16 teams which compete throughout the course of the season are comprised of many of the best players on the planet, all of whom are competing for the same ultimate goal. In a heavily saturated Australian sporting landscape, the NRL takes the pride of place during the winter in the north-eastern states, and is the most supported football code in both New South Wales and Queensland. As a result, of the 16 teams in the league, 15 of them come from one of these two states – including nine in Sydney – while the only side based elsewhere is the Melbourne Storm.
The NRL season typically kicks off in early to mid-March, when both rugby enthusiasts and punters alike turn their collective attention away from the summer sports like cricket, and onto the football codes. The home and away season includes 25 rounds, with each team enjoying one bye. This means that each side plays eight teams once and eight teams twice throughout the course of the year, for a total of 24 games apiece.
Each of these nearly 200 regular season games have a wide range of markets on which you can bet. Some bookmakers have a particularly extensive selection, and you’ll often be able to find a multitude of player props, alternate lines and more to go with the more standard markets like head-to-head and line. Individual game bets aren’t the only choice though. There are also plenty of futures for you to bet on, including things like Premiership winner, Dally M Medallist, and which teams will make the top eight and top four – bets which are decided at the conclusion of the home and away season, when the teams with the best eight records in the league advance through to the finals.
The four-week long finals series sees the top eight teams separated into a top four, and the next four. Teams finishing fifth to eighth compete in two Elimination Finals, with the losing sides eliminated from the season. The top four teams also play one another, though for them, the losers still advance to the next week, while the winners advance through to the third week of the finals. From then on, every game is an eliminator, beginning with two Semi Finals, then two Preliminary Finals, and finally the NRL Grand Final – which is typically held on the first Sunday of October.
Typically, there is a good amount of knowledge surrounding which teams will perform well heading into the season, but as is the case in every sporting code around the world, there are always a few surprises – both in terms of teams performing above expectations, and teams performing below. The draft system in the NRL, which sees the bottom teams receive higher draft picks, as well as a hard salary cap, act as equalisation measures to ensure the same teams aren’t always at the top or bottom end of the ladder, but nonetheless there are some teams which historically have managed to consistently perform well. The Melbourne Storm have been a prime example over recent decades, while the Sydney Roosters have been their main challenger for the most successful team in recent history, having won three Premierships since 2013.
Top NRL Betting Sites
You would be hard pressed to find a betting site in Australia that doesn’t offer markets on the NRL. It’s one of the biggest leagues in the country, and unsurprisingly is typically towards the top of the list in terms of what sports a bookmaker will offer. However, not every NRL betting site is made equal, and while some offer a great range of markets and good odds, others don’t have quite the same quality of offering. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what we think are some of the best NRL betting sites that you’ll find.
|PlayUp doesn’t have the same level of experience as some of the other bookmakers in Australia, but they nonetheless deserve to be regarded as one of the best NRL betting sites. They always offer decent fixed odds, have a great website and app and quality customer service, and this excellent all-round experience which they provide for the punter is one of the primary reasons that they are such a good bookmaker for punting on the NRL.|
|Boombet used to be known as SportsBetting, and while they have rebranded they have managed to retain many of the features which helped their initial brand able to endure for so long. They offer a good range of markets for every NRL game as well as a number of futures, and the good fixed odds for which they are renowned are also evident in their NRL offerings. With an easy-to-use website and app to boot, this makes them a popular NRL betting site.|
|WinnersBet is another name you might not be particularly familiar with, but unlike the aforementioned Boombet, that’s simply because they haven’t been around for very long. WinnersBet’s primary focus has been on racing so far, but their NRL offerings are constantly improving and there are a number of things they do very well which make them a good option, most notably in the fact that they have one of the best websites to use in the business.|
|Bet365 has been one of the biggest bookmakers not just in Australia, but the world, for many years now. They are renowned for having an enormous range of markets and some of the best odds in the business, and this extends to their NRL offerings. You’ll find as many different NRL-related things to bet on as virtually anywhere with Bet365, and will get some of the best odds that you’ll find as well, making them a popular choice for NRL punting.|
|Unibet falls into a similar basket as Bet365 in that they are a major global betting organisation who have had a big impact on the Australian market. And like Bet365, where they excel is in their broad range of markets and their excellent fixed odds. This means that for NRL punting they are a great choice if you like to ensure that you get the best value, or like to bet on some of the less common markets such as player props.|
|Draftstars offers an entirely different way to bet on the NRL. They are a fantasy sports betting company, so rather than betting on normal markets like moneyline, with Draftstars you create your own NRL team based on how you expect players to score on a given weekend. You then enter this team into contests, and the players in your team score points based on how they perform statistically in real life. Your team total is then created from an accumulation of your players’ scores, and you can win money based on finishing high up in a competition.|
|Picklebet is, like Draftstars, a bookmaker with a difference, though instead of offering fantasy sports markets their focus is on eSports. Obviously rugby league doesn’t fall into this category, but nonetheless you can bet on NRL here. Picklebet have been continually developing their range of regular sporting markets over recent years, and this has extended to the NRL to the point where there is now a pretty solid selection of markets on which you can bet.|
|Palmerbet has been plying its trade as a bookmaker for many years, and while they don’t have the reputation of some of its competitors, there is plenty of reason to choose them as an NRL betting site. They perform well in basically all key metrics; they have lots of markets, good odds, a nice website and app and great customer support, so if you’re looking for a solid NRL betting site which will give you all that you need, Palmerbet is certainly worth considering.|
|TopSport is another experience bookmaker, but despite having been around for a long time they have recently started to make themselves more known within the industry. A revamped website and app have given rise to an increase in popularity, and excellent odds and market selection have also helped significantly. They offer a good choice of NRL markets and solid value to boot, so they are also worth checking out as a potential NRL betting site.|
Best NRL Betting App
Betting apps are an increasingly common way to bet, with the ease of being able to simply open up your phone for all your betting needs making them the preference over a desktop site for many punters. As a result, it’s imperative for bookmakers to offer a good mobile app or at least mobile version of the desktop site. There are a number of great mobile betting apps, but among the best NRL betting apps in our view are Bet365, which is very easy to use and functional, PlayUp – whose app runs as smoothly as any – and TopSport, with their app also very easy to use.
How to Bet on the NRL
As mentioned, the popularity of the NRL in Australia means that, invariably, there are a whole lot of NRL markets on which to bet. Different punters obviously have different ways of betting – some like to simply stick to betting on the result of a game, others like to focus on the performance of individual players, while some might tend to focus more on long-term futures bets. Often, punters will choose to bet on a variety of different things, too. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the different markets types you’ll have available to you when betting on the NRL.
Markets, Bet Types, Odds
As with every sport, the first market that you’ll see when looking at NRL markets is the moneyline. This is the easiest form of betting, and simply requires you to select who will win – with each team given odds based on the bookmaker’s perception of how likely they are to win. Outside of this market, at the top of each match page you’ll also be presented with the line – which gives out a handicap to one team and then offers even odds for each team to ‘win’ once that handicap is added – as well as an over/under market for total match points.
After those, you’ll start to get into the more obscure match markets. You can bet on things such as individual half results, and with the best bookmakers you’ll also be able to find alternate lines both for the match result and for the total match score. Then, depending on the range of markets offered by the bookmaker that you’re using, you’ll have the option to bet on player props. Some of these are available virtually everywhere – things like ‘first tryscorer’ – while others might only be available with some bookmakers.
And that’s just the markets for individual games. You’ll also be able to find futures markets with most bookmakers. There are usually a few of these available, beginning with the Premiership winner and going through to which teams will finish in the top eight and top four, which team will finish with the least wins, which player will win the Dally M Medal, and of course, towards the end of the season, the Clive Churchill medallist for the best player on the ground in the Grand Final.
NRL Betting Rules
There are a handful of rules that you should also be aware of when betting on the NRL. For example, in the NRL, when the game is tied at the end of regular time an overtime period is added. This means that you should be aware whether this overtime period will count towards your bet, which it typically does; for example, if you’ve bet on the total match points, you need to know whether overtime scores count towards the total. Usually it does, though more confusion can arise if you bet on something like a second half market – in this instance, make sure you’re aware of the rules of the bookmaker that you’re using in terms of whether overtime counts as the second half.
Top NRL Betting Sites
- Playup: Some of the best fixed odds that you’ll find and a great website.
- Boombet: An experienced bookmaker with a new name.
- Winnersbet: A new bookie offering an easy-to-use website and app.
- Bet365: One of the world’s biggest bookmaker, offering a range of NRL markets and great odds.
- Unibet: Another global betting giant with fantastic fixed odds.
- Draftstars: A different way to bet on the NRL, with fantasy sports the focus of this bookmaker.
- Picklebet: An eSports bookie offering an increasing range of regular sports markets, including for the NRL.
- Palmerbet: An experienced NRL betting site with great odds, plenty of markets and a quality website.
- TopSport: Another long-time member of the Australian betting industry with a good app and decent NRL odds.
What to Look for in an NRL Betting Site
We’ve already told you which bookmakers we think are among the best NRL betting sites, but you might be wondering how we come to these conclusions. We take a look at all the options and consider a number of key metrics in order to decide which bookies we think are among the best to bet on the NRL with, and in this section we are going to take a look at a couple of the most important things that we consider during the course of our research.
First and foremost, we take a look at the range of NRL markets as well as the odds that are on offer. These are two of the most important things to consider at any point when looking at different bookmakers, and when researching for the NRL we specifically consider these metrics as they relate to this league. Most bookmakers tell you exactly how many markets there are for each individual match, so this is an easy way to check in on their range of markets, but we also click into these games to take a look at exactly what these markets are, as well as how the odds they offer for those markets compare to competitors.
We also consider how easy it is to bet on the NRL, something which predominantly relates to the quality of the website and the existence and quality of an app. If a bookmaker has a really good website and, perhaps even more importantly, an app which is very easy to use, then that evidently makes it more straightforward to bet on the NRL, and subsequently those bookies get a tick in their favour.
We then consider a few other factors, probably most notably the customer support platform. This comes a little down the list in terms of importance – certainly it’s not as important as the range of markets, for example – but it is still important that the bookies we recommend have a decent customer support platform in case you run into any issues while betting on the NRL.
These are the major things that we consider when looking for an NRL betting site. They are each important in their own right, but as mentioned there are certain things that we value more than others when doing the research to find the best NRL betting sites.
NRL Best Betting Sites Offers and Promotions
Most if not all bookmakers provide customers with some offers and promotions, but how regularly these appear as well as how valuable they are can vary dramatically depending on the bookmaker. It’s worth noting that Australian regulations dictate that these promos can’t be advertised to anyone except customers – this is to avoid using them as a lure to attract new punters – so you will need to be signed up and logged in to see any with a bookmaker.
Given its popularity, it’s probably no great surprise that there are fairly regularly promotions related to the NRL which pop up. One such example might be a multi-related offer, something which many bookies opt to offer. This could be something like if you put on a four-leg multi and one leg fails, you’ll get your money back as a bonus bet. There might also be offers on individual bets, such as early payouts if your team gets a certain number of points ahead of their opponent – this is something that Bet365 has offered in the past, for example.
Generally these promotions are going to have their flaws, and they are often constructed to sound like they offer something a little better than what they really do – it’s worth reading the terms and conditions, too, to ensure you understand what they really mean. They’re also not going to be something you can bet exclusively on, and bookmakers may even remove your eligibility for promos if you only bet on them. However, as a complement to your normal betting, the offers and promotions related to the NRL can certainly be worth checking out.
NRL Best Betting Sites Features
There are a number of things that are important to look out for when searching for the best betting site, but when you narrow that down to a search for the best NRL betting sites, you can hone in on a few specific features. In this section, we will take a look at some of these features.
One feature of particular note which we haven’t discussed yet in this article is live betting. This form of betting is growing increasingly popular, but it isn’t yet available with every bookmaker, and among those with whom you can live bet, the range of markets and value available can vary greatly. If you want to watch part of an NRL match to get a feel for how things are unfolding before placing a bet, then finding an NRL betting site with a live betting platform, and ideally one which offers a number of different markets and good odds, can be pivotal.
This wide range of markets is key when live betting, but even if you’re betting on pre-game markets then, for many punters, it’s important that there are lots of betting choices available. Of course, if you just want to bet on things like moneyline then you won’t need to worry so much about this as every betting site will have that and some of the other most common markets, but if you like to have a wider range of choices available then you’ll definitely want to consider how many markets a bookmaker offers.
Finally, another important consideration when looking for an NRL betting site, and indeed a betting site for any sport, is the quality of the website and specifically the mobile app. Having a slow or difficult to use – or even in some cases, the absence of one entirely – means that you’ll likely be bound to your computer when betting. What’s more, there’s often a correlation between bookies with poor mobile apps and bookies with poor desktop sites, so if one of them isn’t much good it’s likely the other isn’t either. To make your NRL betting experience that little bit smoother, make sure you find a betting site with a decent app and ideally desktop site.
These are the major features to look out for when hunting for the best NRL betting site. There are other things that you may want to consider depending on what you value as a punter, but the aforementioned components of a bookmaker are certainly among the most important for many bettors.
Which are the best NRL betting sites?
There are a number of bookmakers which could be argued to be among the best NRL betting sites. Ultimately, there is no one bookmaker which is objectively the best – each of them has different advantages and disadvantages, and which one you like the most will depend on what you value in a bookmaker. In this article we’ve taken a look at some of the bookmakers who are likely to be the favourites of manyCan I live stream the NRL on betting sites? punters, including PlayUp, Bet365 and Unibet, as well as a number of others.
Can I live stream the NRL on betting sites?
The number of things that you can live stream varies greatly depending on the bookmaker that you’re using. Many don’t offer any live streaming whatsoever, some offer only a handful of niche events, while others have a good range of popular sports and racing. The NRL, however, is one thing for which the broadcast rights are typically limited to free to air TV and Foxtel, and it’s rare that you’ll be able to find an NRL live stream on a bookmaker site.
Can I bet on the NRL live?
Yes you can, although not with every betting site. Live betting is something that you’ll find available with virtually every major bookmaker, but some of the smaller sites don’t have it available. Among those who do offer live betting, however, you’ll almost certainly be able to bet live on the NRL given that it’s one of the biggest sports in the country. You will have to call up to place a live bet in line with Australian regulation, but generally that’s a fairly easy process.
Who offers the best odds on NRL games?
It won’t always be the same betting site offering the best odds on NRL games, but there are a handful who will generally be among the best value bookmakers for NRL markets. Included within that group are the likes of Bet365, Unibet and PlayUp, all of whom tend to have among the best fixed odds available among Australian bookmakers.
Can anyone bet on the NRL?
Just about anyone can bet on the NRL, with just a couple of exceptions. For starters, you do of course need to be at least 18 years of age in order to place a bet of any kind in Australia, including on the NRL. Secondly, you also need to be in Australia in order to access Australian betting sites and place a bet. If you tick off those two criterion, then you’re ready to go.
- Mybetting Australia
- NRL betting sites