Rugby has been played in Australia and around the world and legend has it that the game took its name from the English town of Rugby in Warwickshire in the West Midland region.
The belief of many is that game got its start in 1823 when William Webb-Ellis, a student at Rugby school, took a soccer ball in his arms and ran with it, with complete disdain for the rules of football at the time.
The Poms may have invented it, but the Australians perfected in with the establishment of the National Rugby League, which played its first game in 1998.
It is known as the NRL Telstra Premiership, as the country’s largest telecommunications company is the sponsor of the league.
There are 15 clubs in Australia and one in New Zealand.
The claim is that the NRL is the most viewed and attended club competition in the world.
The completion runs for 26 weeks, with each club playing 25 games, after which the eight best teams compete in a finals series.
As one might imagine, punters flock to the NRL, because there are eight matches most every week, played on various days, but mainly on the weekends. The season runs from March to October and the number of wagering markets is frankly astounding.
Here are some of the popular ways to bet on the NRL.
Head-to-head betting on the outcome of a match is by far the most common punt on NRL fixtures. Casual and sophisticated punters enjoy a two-outcome proposition where there is always a winning and a losing club. Drawn games are possible, but there were none in 2018 as the golden point system was brought to the NRL in 2003.
Line betting is also popular and punters will scour the markets looking for the rare, generous bookie (oxymoron) who will offer a spread too tempting to pass up.
Margin betting allows the punter to choose a margin of victory. As an example, consider a margin bet on a match between the 2018 premiership winning Sydney Roosters and the wooden spooner Parramatta Eels. A punter could tip the Chooks to win by five points if that punter could find a bookie willing to take the punt. The dividend would be small, as in most instances, Sydney will beat the Eels by a far greater margin. Make the margin 20 points, however, and the dividend will go up, as it is always possible for the Eels to have a good game or for the Roosters to take their foot off the gas when the outcome of the game is assured.
First Try Scorer is a hugely popular market, as bookies will post odds for every player. Even selecting one of the top scorers will pay a nice dividend, as the typical rugby game has so many uncertain elements and that oddly shaped ball often bounces unpredictably.
There is even a market for the game to go extra-time.
An exotic punt would combine a player from each side, with the one backed who scores the most tries supplying the winning punt.
Of course, the NRL offers futures markets for those punters who think they can predict the future. A futures market that commands a lot of attention is the mid-season State of Origin three-game series between the best players from the New South Wales against Queensland.
Other futures markets alongside picking the premiership are picking a club to make or miss the top eight, lose the most games, or to make the top four.
Many bookmakers will post head-to-head markets for the first round not long after the fixtures are announced, so NRL punters can find markets almost year round.
All the corporate bookmakers offer plenty of various promotions, too, so NRL betting is one that maintains a high level of interest during the season and ascends to a fever pitch during the finals.