10 Tips to Improve Your NRL Betting

nrl betting

NRL betting can be difficult for the uneducated but follow these 10 pieces of advice to help your NRL tips and NRL sports betting. 

NRL Betting Tips

1. Don’t Write Off The Melbourne Storm

Pundits have been writing off the Melbourne Storm for a decade and in that time they have three more premierships. The Storm have missed the Top 4 just twice since 2006 – and one of those times they were thrown out of the competition. Since 2016 they have finished Top 2 on the ladder while they have lost five or fewer regular season games in five of the last six seasons. From 2016 to 2021, the Storm covered 58% of their games, four full percentage points higher than the second-placed Sydney Roosters.

2. Totals Often Don’t Go Low Enough or High Enough

Wet weather is the biggest driver in a low-scoring game yet totals rarely go low enough during extreme wet weather or severely heavy rain. The rule changes last year saw a different style of football played yet totals did not go high enough during its strictest enforcement. When there are seismic shifts or extreme wet weather, assume that the totals are not where they should be.

3. Flogged Teams Bounce Back

Recency bias makes fools of many in betting and that is particularly so in the NRL. Teams that concede a big score are often written off as a betting proposition but this is not the case. Since 2008, teams that have conceded 50-plus points cover at a rate of 64%. Teams off a loss of 40 or more cover at 59%.

4. Understand Player Values/Roles and Replacement Value

Understanding the importance of a player and the role they play is critical in understanding value in NRL betting. Some positions are naturally more important than others. Fullbacks, dominant halves and hookers are the three most important while centres are the least valuable position. There are subtleties to this. Players like Isaah Yeo and Cameron Murray are far more valuable than traditional tackling locks, for example. Understanding the drop a replacement brings is crucial too. Latrell Mitchell to Blake Taafe is immense. Harry Grant to Brandon Smith is not.

5. Identify Trends

Trend-based wagering can provide situational spots that can provide an edge over the market. This means identifying differences in home/away splits, understanding the impact of travel and quick backups, figuring how teams handle expectations or a lack thereof, the difference between day and night football and the many other variables Rugby League offers.

6. Early Season Home Underdogs Are Money

The best bet at the start of any NRL season is to bet big early-season home underdogs. The logic is simple. Teams have not had a lot of exposed form, betting is very much based on opinion rather than fact and depth of weaker teams has not been tested. Home underdogs of more than a try cover at 65% dating back to 2008.

7. Referees Have Their Biases

Referees are expected to be neutral and consciously, all are. This does not mean that referees don’t have their subconscious biases or peccadilloes. Some referees favour home teams. Others seem to make a concerted effort not to get influenced by a home crowd. Some tend to referee open games. Others officiate low-scoring games. Understanding refereeing style biases can provide many great betting angles.

8. Wet Weather Means Bet Unders

Weather, like all outdoor sports, has an impact on Rugby League. There is a very obvious angle here but the under is the only play when the game is genuinely wet. The under has hit at 63% since 2008 when it is raining. The market does not adjust enough.

9. Close Games Are a Great Guide To True Stature

Looking at records in one-score games is an illuminating way of measuring how much luck a team has had. Teams who do particularly well in one-score games in a particular season nearly always regress. Teams who go poorly tend to perform better the following season. Be very wary about teams who do really well in one-score games.

10. Defence is the Best Indicator of Quality

There is no bigger indicator of quality in the NRL than defence. Over the last 13 seasons, the premier has come from the top two defensive sides. Grand Finalists are nearly exclusively drawn from the Top 4 defensive teams. When identifying teams to bet on, particularly in futures markets, look at defence.

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Joel has worked for more than six years at Sportsbet and BetEasy in the content and tipping space, specialising in AFL, cricket, NBA and UFC.