NRL betting 2023
NRL betting can be done all year round, with all betting sites featuring odds on Australia’s top-flight rugby league competition. Obviously NRL betting is prominent in Australia but most bookmakers worldwide 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:
NRL betting – An Introduction
The National Rugby League of Australia is the top rugby league competition in the world, with its 2022 season scheduled to start on Thursday, March 10.
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 State of Origin matches between NSW and Queensland among the most popular fixtures.
Betting on rugby league
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 2023 are the Ivan Cleary-coached Penrith Panthers, who defeated Parramatta Eels 28-12 in the 2022 NRL grand final.
Best NRL Bookmakers 2023
All of our recommended NRL betting sites 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 widely televised sport, 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 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 like Premiership winner, best and fairest awards, which teams will make the finals and even awards like 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 home and away season the points tally is open to the public.
Unfortunately NRL bookmakers will not allow Australian to bet live online, with this banned under the Interactive Gambling Act Amendment Act, which stops most forms of in-play bets. Many NRL betting sites will also offer a phone service, that does allow live betting though.
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 have been the most successful club with four titles.
NRL bet types
Our leading NRL betting sites will offer all of the following markets and many more.
Many of the leading sportsbooks in the world will offer hundreds of markets 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.
- 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 like 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 Gold Coast Titans (+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.
Can you bet legally on the NRL?
That will depend where you are based and if online betting is legal there. But the NRL itself is a betting partner to many of the biggest bookies in the world and the 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.
Where can I watch the NRL?
In Australia and New Zealand you can watch all matches on Fox Sports and streaming service KAYO and many of the matches on free to air television. This is also the case the 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 watch on the NRL’s Watch NRL streaming service available from watchnrl.com
WGL’s guide to the NRL’s 16 teams
Coach: Kevin Walters
Premierships: 6 Most recent: 2006
Finishing position in 2021: 14th
Unibet title odds: $26
WGL says: The sleeping giants of the competition but they have run cold for years. They are putting together a formidable pack headed by young superstar Payne Haas. They have added Souths wizard Adam Reynolds to steer the side around the park but we don’t think they are ready to contend for the top eight this year.
Coach: Ricky Stuart
Premierships: 3 Most recent: 1994
Finishing position in 2021: 10th
Unibet title odds: $23
WGL says: Oh so close to the title in 2019 for “Sticky” Ricky Stuart but they have not been able to take a trick since with injuries and other factors hitting home. They have refreshed the roster but their results last season don’t scream a team on the rise. Will take time but should be pushing for a spot around 8th-12th.
Coach: Trent Barrett
Premierships: 8 Most recent: 2004
Finishing position in 2021: 16th
Unibet title odds: $23
WGL says: Really tough times for the once-mighty Bulldogs. They have been active players in the transfer market and their long-suffering fans would want to see some improvement or it could get ugly quickly. Rebuilding year.
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! Things have seldom gone to plan since and it’s hard to imagine them jumping back into contention this season. Struggling to pay the bills.
Gold Coast Titans
Coach: Justin Holbrook
Finishing position in 2021: 8th
Unibet title odds: $23
WGL says: The Titans have some serious talent on the books but they don’t seem to excite their dwindling number of fans. Need to turn things around or risk becoming another failed Gold Coast franchise.
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Coach: Des Hasler
Premierships: 8 Most recent: 2011
Finishing position in 2021: 4th
Unibet title odds: $8
WGL says: The Silvertails … with the nutty professor Des Hasler back in charge at the club where he was a legendary player. They are on their way back to the top but they need to strike now while veteran halves Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran are still there. Manly used to be the team all rival fans loved to hate, and the Sea Eagles’ own fans would love nothing more than for that to be the case again.
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; we can’t imagine Bellamy was too happy missing out on making the premiership decider last season.
Coach: Adam O’Brien
Premierships: 2 Most recent: 2001
Finishing position in 2021: 11th
Unibet title odds: $31
WGL says: The Knights have farewelled veteran half Mitchell Pearce leaving young superstar Kalyn Ponga to provide the razzle-dazzle. But he needs plenty of help to emerge. Otherwise they look doomed to finish out of contention again.
New Zealand Warriors
Coach: Nathan Brown
Finishing position in 2021: 12th
Unibet title odds: $41
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. They have been caught in no man’s land lately with COVID-19 trapping them in Australia so they might find some relief at last in 2022.
North Queensland Cowboys
Coach: Todd Payten
Premierships: 1 Most recent: 2015
Finishing position in 2021: 15th
Unibet title odds: $61
WGL says: The Cowboys have not surprisingly dropped away a little since the retirement of all-time great Johnathan Thurston, but they still boast arguably the best player in the game in Jason Taumalolo, who plays with all the skill of a halfback and can run like the wind despite weighing in around 120kg. Just a machine. But they were poor last season and need to turn it around quickly.
Coach: Brad Arthur
Premierships: 4 Most recent: 1986
Finishing position in 2021: 6th
Unibet title odds: $12
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. They have just lacked the X factor that the big teams have in spades to break open games when required. That could the problem again in 2022.
Coach: Ivan Cleary
Premierships: 3 Most recent: 2021
Finishing position in 2021: Premiers
Unibet title odds: $5.50
WGL says: They have shown an incredible ability to unearth young talent from their vast junior rugby league network in western Sydney. The Panthers have been outstanding in the past two seasons and landed a deserved title. Now they must cope with having a target on their back every week as well as losing some players in the off-season.
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Coach: Jason Demetriou
Premierships: 21 Most recent: 2014
Finishing position in 2021: Runners-up
Unibet title odds: $10
WGL says: That drought-breaking title of 2014 was something to behold and Russell Crowe’s club almost landed the dream title in the last Souths game for legendary coach Wayne Bennett and champion halfback Adam Reynolds, who has joined Brisbane. They need to find a new on-field leader. The Pride of the League and many opposition fans have a soft spot for the Rabbitohs.
St George Illawarra Dragons
Coach: Anthony Griffin
Premierships: 15 Most recent: 1979
Finishing position in 2021: 11th
Unibet title odds: $31
WGL says: A proud club fallen on hard times, with more than four decades passing since they last tasted premiership success. They are under the radar and could surprise a few people if they keep their best team on the park.
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. Robinson’s players have a cult-like reverence for the coach and whatever he is telling them usually works. Their 2021 campaign was destroyed by injuries and they will be much better this year.
Coach: Michael Maguire
Premierships: 1 Most recent: 2005
Finishing position in 2021: 13th
Unibet title odds: $67
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. It will be interesting to see if a successful career coach such as Maguire can get them heading in the right direction.