One of the most-loved sports in the UK, rugby league provides a wealth of betting opportunities for fans. From the Super League to the Challenge Cup and from the World Cup to other big events like Australasia’s NRL or State of Origin series, punters can pick out bets either in-play or pre-match before sitting back to cheer on their chosen selection.
Rugby league is one of the main focuses for many online sportsbooks and there are some great odds and markets to be found at the following sites:
In big finals and eagerly-anticipated close games it is common to place straight bets on which team will win, but much of the time in rugby league there is very little value in backing the favourite, so the most popular type of bet is the handicap. In these markets, bookies make a prediction on the margin by which one team will emerge victorious in order to attract roughly the same number of wagers for each side.
If the expected difference between the sides is 12 points, then the favoured team will be given odds of close to evens (perhaps 5/6 or 10/11) that they will still win with a 12-point deficit and this will be displayed as -12. The underdog will be given the same head start (+12) and similar odds. Bets on the favoured team are successful if they win by more than 12 points, while bets on the underdog are successful if they lose by fewer than 12 points or even win the match.
There are a whole range of other rugby league markets, such as who will be leading at half-time, who will get to ten points first and which player will score a try first or last. It is also possible to accept double chance bets, i.e. betting on two players to be the first tryscorer, as well as longer-term bets on teams winning competitions or being relegated.
Handicaps offer far more scope for profit than simply backing the favourite to win a match, while good value can also be found in player bets such as the first tryscorer. Backing a player to score anytime rather than first will not deliver very good odds but may well be a wise strategy, as rugby league can be such a high-scoring game and there is more pressure to keep pushing for tries than in rugby union.
It might sound odd, but you should consider the weather predicted for the match before placing a bet on the winning margin or total points. If the pitch is wet and muddy and the forecast is calling for rain and wind, you should probably lower your expectations for the number of points scored in a match, as the ball becomes slippery and grabbing those all-important tries becomes more difficult.
In-play betting on rugby league is particularly exciting as there are so many markets to choose from and following the action live can make it far easier to judge the flow of the game and predict what will happen next.
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