Rugby League Betting and Odds
Everything You Need to Know
For a few weeks at least in 2019, rugby league will exist in the shadow of rugby union as the World Cup takes place in Autumn. However, rugby league retains a cult following in the UK, with the North of England a hotbed for the sport and home to teams such as Wigan, Widnes, Leeds and Salford.
Rugby league also has a fascinating history, having split from the Rugby Football Union back in 1895 over the issue of player payments. The aim was to create a faster, fluid and more entertaining iteration of the sport, which has resulted in the code that we know and love today.
At Mark Jarvis, we respect this heritage, and therefore offer access to a huge range of tournaments and betting markets from across the world.
From the Super League and the Challenge Cup in the UK to Australia’s iconic National Rugby League, there are a myriad of opportunities for you to wager as a punter.
Our Rugby League Betting FAQ
What are the Rules of Rugby League?
Unlike rugby union, rugby league games features two competing teams of 13 players, including a single set of ‘forwards’ and a selection of ‘backs’.
The aim of the sport is to score points by breaching the opponent’s end zone - either by touching the ball down behind the goal line (which is called a try and worth four points), or by kicking the ball between the goal posts.
Conversion (which is awarded automatically after a try) and penalties are worth two points, whereas a drop-goal in open play is worth a total of one point
The ball is transitioned by carrying it and passing it sideways between players, although there’s less kicking in open-play as this is only permissible after the sixth tackle in any attacking phase.
Why is Rugby League Different to Union?
The answer to this question lies in the unique nature of the sport, and the desire to create a faster and more fluid game than rugby union.
To begin with, each rugby league team has two fewer players than their union counterparts, which creates additional space on the field for attacking teams to exploit.
Similarly, the inability to kick the ball before the sixth tackle means that teams are forced to carry the ball further in hand, creating open and expansive gameplay that’s incredibly exciting.
What the Most Popular Rugby League Betting Market?
It’s not unusual to find up to 60 betting markets on offer for a rugby league game, including both standard and in-play options.
However, the most common remains the 80-minute market, which requires you to speculate on which team will win a particular match. This type of outright wager allows you to back one of two teams to win or the draw, although the latter is quite rare in rugby league due to the nature of the sport and its scoring.
If you do back the draw, however, you’ll usually access lengthy odds of around 10/1 or more.
Can I Use Handicap Betting in Rugby League?
You sure can, and this represents an excellent way to wager on short-price favourites while improving the odds on offer.
With handicap betting, you can apply a fixed points handicap to a side that has a clear advantage over their opponent. So as long as your selection wins by the required points margin, you’ll cash in at improved odds without overly compromising your chances of winning.
For example, if the Melbourne Storm were priced at around ⅕ to beat the Parramatta Eels (4/1), the handicap line would likely be set at around -14 points. This effectively awards the underdogs a 14 point head start, and you simply need the favourites to romp home by 15 points or more for the bet to be successful.
How Should I Bet on the Super League?
The high-profile Super League consists of Europe’s best 12 teams, who play each other over 29 rounds to compete for the League Leaders Shield. The top five sides also progress to the play-offs, after which the two remaining sides compete in the Super League Grand Final.
The structure of the league undoubtedly offers access to multiple betting markets, including wagering on League Leaders Shield winners, the Grand Final victors and the five sides who will make the play-offs.
Not only this, but you can also wager on the ‘winner’ of the Wooden Spoon, which is awarded to the side unfortunate enough to finish bottom of the Super League.
How Should I Bet on Rugby League?
With so many single game and tournament markets on offer, it’s important that you review all of your options before deploying your bankroll.
When speculating on outcomes in individual matches, we’d also recommend studying each teams’ home and away form, as well as the relevant head-to-head record. The latter is particularly insightful, as a clear trend in recent results suggests that one side has a clear competitive advantage over their rivals.
The fast and fluid nature of rugby league also offers numerous opportunities for knowledgeable players in-play. So, if you fully understand the rules of the sport and the two competing sides, you can place small, live wagers that deliver incremental gains.