NRL betting in Australia
NRL betting can be done all season long, with all betting sites featuring odds on Australia’s top-flight rugby league competition. NRL betting is prominent in in Australia and online bookmakers will have both match betting and outright odds for things such as the premiership and making the finals. You can navigate our NRL betting guide here or sign up at one of these NRL bookmakers to see the latest odds:
No post found
NRL betting – An Introduction
The National Rugby League of Australia is the top rugby league competition in the world, with its 2022 season due to start on Thursday, March 10. The 2021 season made it through largely unscathed despite the pandemic.
It was among the first major sporting codes to resume in 2020 after the worldwide shutdown forced by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The NRL is contested by 16 teams with 10 based in NSW, three in Queensland and one each in the ACT, Victoria and New Zealand.
The season in a normal year runs from March to October, with three separate State of Origin matches between NSW and Queensland among the most popular fixtures.
Betting on rugby league
NRL 2022 season to kick off with Thursday blockbuster
The NRL is the premier rugby league competition globally, with the only comparable league being Britain’s Super League competition.
The defending NRL champions in 2022 are the Penrith Panthers, who defeated South Sydney 14-12 in the 2021 NRL grand final at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
Of course, the Panthers’ victory was spearheaded by young superstar Nathan Cleary, the son of the team’s coach Ivan Cleary. Penrith head into the 2022 season as equal favourites alongside the Melbourne Storm with TopSport to land the title.
Best NRL bookmakers 2022
All of our recommended NRL bookmakers will offer extensive markets on National Rugby League matches, as well as on season-long outcomes such as which team will win the NRL title and which player will score the most tries.
NRL betting is highly regulated and the game is widely televised, making it a good product to bet on wherever you are in the world. Obviously being an Australian domestic sport, the NRL is covered extensively by Australian betting sites, and it is illegal for Aussies to bet with overseas bookmakers that are unlicensed in Australia.
The top NRL bookmakers in Australia will feature extensive betting markets on many different aspects of the game, including top match-day markets, such as try-scorers, converted tries scored, total points scored, winner and much more.
The best NRL bookmakers will also look further ahead, offering betting markets on things such as premiership winner, which teams will make the finals and top four, and even awards such as the league best and fairest – the Dally M Medal. It’s worth noting that NRL bookmakers will only have Dally M medal betting available before the season, because up until a certain point in the regular season the points tally is open to the public.
Unfortunately NRL bookmaker will not allow Australians to bet live online on games, with this banned under the Interactive Gambling Act Amendment Act, which stops most forms of in-play bets. Many NRL betting sites will offer a phone service that does allow live betting though.
Top 10 NRL bookmakers
History of the National Rugby League
The National Rugby League held its inaugural season in 1998 after being formed in the aftermath of the Super League war of the mid-1990s when for a year there were two opposing competitions: the Australian Rugby League and News Corps’ Super League. Most of the clubs which played in the long-standing NSW Rugby League competition (founded in 1904) now compete in the NRL. In the NRL the wealthy Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm have been the most successful club with four titles.
NRL bet types
Many of the leading sportsbooks in the world will offer hundreds of markets and different odds on each game. But if you are serious about finding a winner in a rugby league game, many of the markets can be safely ignored without compromising your objective.
We will provide a rundown of the major markets, while the ones we personally avoid are those which rely more on guesswork than skill; bookies likes to tempt you into trying “same-game multipliers’’ and the like which generally swing the odds well into their favour.
Our leading NRL betting sites will offer all of the following markets and many more.
Head to head NRL betting: As the name suggests this is simply backing Team A to beat Team B, with no points spread. You will see some extremely short prices in this market as powerhouse such as Melbourne host minnows such as the Wests Tigers. Upsets, though, are not uncommon in this sport.
Line betting or handicap betting: The NRL bookmakers will handicap the teams to make the dividend as close to an even bet as possible. For example, their $1.90 offering may be Melbourne Storm (-17.5 points) v Wests Tigers (+17.5 points). This means if you want to bet on the Storm they must win by 18 points or more for your bet to be a winner.
Match total points over/under: This is a good option if you are unsure which team will win. You can bet on whether it will be a high-scoring contest or a low-scoring contest. For example, the NRL betting site may set the mark at 40.5 points, leaving you to decide whether the total scores of both teams added together will exceed that mark or fall short. A good bet for the neutral fan.
First try-scorer betting: This is a simple bet in which you simply bet on the player you think will score the first try but given the 13 players a side that are on the field at any one time, it’s pretty difficult to find a winner.
Is NRL betting legal in Australia?
Many Australian bookies are ”betting partners” to the NRL, and Australian gambling industry is heavily regulated. Betting on the NRL you can be sure it is always a fair contest with nothing underhanded going on from a betting perspective.
NRL betting laws are governed by the overarching sports wagering laws in Australia, with these part of the Interactive Gambling Act. The basic principal of the IGA is that Australians must bet with licensed bookmakers and offshore betting sites are illegal. It’s also illegal to promote offshore online bookmakers to Australian citizens, even if they offer betting on the NRL.
Several of the prominent NRL betting sites we promote on the Australian Gambling List are even official ‘betting partners’ of the top-flight competition.
Where can I watch the NRL?
In Australia and New Zealand you can watch all matches on Fox Sports and stream them on KAYO, and many of the matches are on free to air television. This is also the case for many of the rugby league-mad Pacific islands.
A large percentage of the NRL’s player base is made up of players from Pacific islands such as Fiji and Samoa; they are perfectly suited to a game which demands large and explosive athletes capable of great endurance.
Outside Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands, matches can be watched on the NRL’s Watch NRL streaming service available from watchnrl.com.
WGL’s 2022 guide to the NRL’s 16 teams
Coach: Kevin Walters
Premierships: 6 Most recent: 2006
Finishing position in 2021: 14th
Unibet title odds: $23
WGL says: The sleeping giants of the competition but they are coming off the worst period results-wise in their history. They are putting together a formidable pack headed by young gun Payne Haas and have added Souths veteran playmaker Adam Reynolds to steer them round the park. Will definitely improve on 14th but doubtful they are ready to challenge for a top-four spot.
Coach: Ricky Stuart
Premierships: 3 Most recent: 1994
Finishing position in 2021: 10th
Unibet title odds: $21
WGL says: After being so close to the title in 2020, “Sticky” Ricky Stuart’s team had a horrid campaign in 2021 and would have been happy when it was mercifully over. They would need to unearth a couple of unexpected stars to challenge in 2022 but should be around the fringes of the top eight..
Coach: Trent Barrett
Premierships: 8 Most recent: 2004
Finishing position in 2021: 16th (wooden spoon)
Unibet title odds: $23
WGL says: Really tough times for the once-mighty Bulldogs. But they have been one of the big players in the transfer market and welcome in big guns such as Josh Addo-Carr (Storm), Matt Burton (Panthers) and fullback Matt Dufty (Dragons). That should help but still face a big battle to play finals.
Coach: Craig Fitzgibbon
Premierships: 1 Most recent: 2016
Finishing position in 2021: 9th
Unibet title odds: $17
WGL says: The joy of finally winning their first premiership seems a long way away for the Sharks faithful, including Australian PM Scott Morrison! Fitzgibbon brings a winning vibe from the Roosters and have reshaped the roster with Storm pair Dale Finucane and Nicho Hynes coming in along with Dragons workhorse Cameron McInnes, among others. They should be a little less flashy and a little more solid this season.
Gold Coast Titans
Coach: Justin Holbrook
Finishing position in 2021: 8th
Unibet title odds: $19
WGL says: The Titans improved enough to make the finals in 2021 and should again be around the mark. Have a heap of exciting talent but have farewelled star halfback Ash Taylor so they really need to unearth someone to take charge of the team around the park.
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Coach: Des Hasler
Premierships: 8 Most recent: 2011
Finishing position in 2021: 4th
Unibet title odds: $9
WGL says: The Sea Eagles were fantastic in the second half of 2021 and loom as serious contenders with one of the most exiciting line-ups of back-line flyers in the comp. Manly used to be the team all rival fans loved to hate, and they may well be hated again this season now that they are back near the pointy end of the comp.
Coach: Craig Bellamy
Premierships: 4 Most recent: 2020
Finishing position in 2021: 3rd
Unibet title odds: $5
WGL says: A juggernaut since Craig “Bellyache’’ Bellamy took over as coach and their record would be a whole lot more impressive if they didn’t lose a couple of titles for rorting the NRL salary cap. The crankier Bellyache gets the better the Storm perform, so look out this year after they fell short in 2021 of reaching the decider.
Coach: Adam O’Brien
Premierships: 2 Most recent: 2001
Finishing position in 2021: 7th
Unibet title odds: $23
WGL says: The Knights have said goodbye to veteran Mitchell Pearce so will have a different look among their playmakers though Pearce has battled injuries in the past few seasons. Any team that has Kalyn Ponga will always bring the entertainment but the question is whether there is enough support for him to make the team a challenger. We don’t think there is.
New Zealand Warriors
Coach: Nathan Brown
Finishing position in 2021: 12th
Unibet title odds: $34
WGL says: It’s a tough gig playing rugby league in the rugby union-mad home of the All Blacks and the Warriors have not been a consistent power for a few years now. It was largely disappointing season on the road in 2021 but hopefully they will get a better crack at playing at home this season. Favourite son Shaun Johnson is back for the Warriors and will team up with Ash Taylor, who has a point to prove after a few underwhelming seasons at the Titans. Mid-table only for this team.
North Queensland Cowboys
Coach: Todd Payten
Premierships: 1 Most recent: 2015
Finishing position in 2021: 15th
Unibet title odds: $51
WGL says: The Cowboys have lost all momentum in recent seasons and it’s not going to be easy to turn it around. They have added veteran playmaker Chad Townsend but will need more than him to challenge for the finals. Will be relying on their talented youngsters to improve.
Coach: Brad Arthur
Premierships: 4 Most recent: 1986
Finishing position in 2021: 6th
Unibet title odds: $13
WGL says: All the Eels’ success came in the 1980s, so they are more than overdue for some success. A club with a massive supporter base and Arthur has had them in the mix in recent seasons but they have been shown up as pretenders late in the season. This is their last chance to contend before they look to refresh the roster and the coaching panel. Will play finals but need to find something to bridge the gap on the better teams.
Coach: Ivan Cleary
Premierships: 3 Most recent: 2021
Finishing position in 2021: Premiers
Unibet title odds: $5
WGL says: The Panthers are right in the mix to defend their title. Even though they have lost a few key players, there is no doubting their ability to unearth young talent from their vast junior rugby league network in western Sydney. If they have not lost the burning desire they show in winning the title in 2021, they will be a huge chance to salute again.
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Coach: Jason Demetriou
Premierships: 21 Most recent: 2014
Finishing position in 2021: Runners-up
Unibet title odds: $9
WGL says: Russell Crowe’s club and they have farewelled Wayne Bennett, possibly the most successful coach in the game’s history, after going so close in 2021, as well as key playmaker Adam Reynolds. The heat will be on Demetriou straight away and we have doubts about whether they can be quite as strong in 2022 with a handful of regular top-grade players departing. Need a big year from the wayward Latrell Mitchell.
St George Illawarra Dragons
Coach: Anthony Griffin
Premierships: 15 Most recent: 1979
Finishing position in 2021: 11th
Unibet title odds: $51
WGL says: A proud club fallen on hard times, with more than four decades passing since they last tasted premiership success. Should have a better run with injuries etc and have refreshed the roster. Their best team is handy but we suspect they will fit into the range of teams battle for the places between 7th and 14th.
Coach: Trent Robinson
Premierships: 15 Most recent: 2019
Finishing position in 2021: 5th
Unibet title odds: $6
WGL says: The new team everyone loves to hate and that sits well with their fans. They have become a powerhouse on and off the field and make no apologies for their aggressive recruitment of superstars such as NSW and Australian fullback James Tedesco. Robinson’s players have a cult-like reverence for the coach and whatever he is telling them it is working. Everything went wrong for them in 2021 as far as injuries were concerned but they still managed to finish fifth on the table after the regular season. They should be around that mark again with a better run.
Coach: Michael Maguire
Premierships: 1 Most recent: 2005
Finishing position in 2021: 13th
Unibet title odds: $51
WGL says: Renowned entertainers but success has been fleeting from the boys from the inner west. They are a club formed by the merger of the successful Balmain Tigers and less successful Western Suburbs Magpies but as West Tigers they have always had a distinctive free-flowing style. They need to show some signs of improving this season or Maguire will be out the door.