What Are The Different Types on NRL Bets and How Do They Work?

The three main betting types on the NRL are listed below:

Head-to-Head Betting is the oldest bet type. Who wins the game? Place a bet on the team you think will win and if they win, you do too!

Line Betting involves placing a bet on NRL on an outcome based on how the bookmaker has handicapped the game. This is the most popular bet type on NRL matches.

Total Points bets are a bet on what the score will be at the end of the match. These are popular for bettors who believe the conditions or style of match will lend itself to a particular outcome.

Head-to-Head Betting in NRL

Head-to-Head Betting is the simplest bet type. You pick a team and place a bet on them to win the match. If they win, you win! However, in a match between one strong team and one weak team the odds are not great and this can lead to very little betting action.

For example, if the reigning champs Penrith are playing the struggling Wests Tigers the odds-on Penrith winning will be low at $1.05. That means a $10 bet on Penrith will return $10.50 ($10 x $1.05) which to many punters doesn’t look worth the risk.

This has led to the introduction of many other bet types to stimulate betting activity on the match.

Line Betting in NRL

Line Betting involves placing a bet on an outcome based on how the bookmaker has handicapped the game. The payout figure is set at around $1.90 ($19 return for a $10 investment).

In the example above, the Penrith Panthers line would be high, around +20.5. That means that the Panthers would need to win the match by 21 points or more for the bet to be a winner. In contrast, the Wests Tigers can either win the match or not lose by more than 20 points for a bet on them to be successful.

Line Betting was introduced to stimulate betting activity in matches that were expected to be one sided. It is common to hear the total referred to as the “spread”.

Over/Under Betting in NRL

Total Points betting can be a good money spinner for well researched bettors. They are generally viewed as an Over/Under market. The bookmakers predict a total that they think the two teams will combine for a particular match set a total of how many points they think the teams score combined in the upcoming match and the bettor decides if thee total will go over or under that total at odds of $1.90.

For example, in the above Penrith and Wests match the line was set at 42.5 points. If you think that the total is too low you would back the OVER with a $10 bet returning $19 ($10 x $1.90).

This is a particularly effective method for bettors who believe they have a good feel on HOW the game will be played. Will the weather conditions effect the scoring? How good are the teams’ defences? All these factors need to be taken into account when placing a total points wager.

Pros and Cons of Different Types of NRL Bets

There can be no denying that different bet types suit different bettors. Some punters are happy to place bets on their team to win in the Head-to-Head markets at shorter odds to win smaller amounts. While others are more analytic on nature and like to bet totals or to “beat the handicapper” in the Line Betting markets.

All three of the bet types above have positives and negatives. The favourites in Head-To-Head markets do not offer large NRL betting odds and therefore payouts are limited. Line Betting can be frustrating when teams relax when well in front and fail to cover the spread while Total Points betting can be affected by last minute weather changes that may be hard to predict

Managing Risk with Different Types of NRL Bets

The basic premise of betting on the NRL is simple. The aim is to maximise profits while limiting risk. In reality, that can be harder than it sounds! There are a few ways that this can be achieved.

Bankroll management is the cornerstone of any betting plan. Many a good tipster has been brought undone by a poor staking plan. It is recommended that no more than 5% of the betting bank is wagered on any one bet. This should be on something that is classified as a “Best Bet” or “Special”. The majority of bets should be of 1 or 2% of the betting bank. This method allows for a lengthy run of outs or bad luck in matches.

Another way to bet is by placing multiple bets on the same game in a variety of markets. For example, you like the Melbourne Storm in an upcoming NRL match. Rather than putting all your money on them to win at odds of $1.33 head-to-head, you might get more creative. Bets could be placed on the Storm to win, as well as Storm to win by 13+ and for their star player Cameron Munster to score a try at odds of $2.50. A good wagering plan will allow you to profit if the Storm wins with the other bet types enhancing the collect if they come in.


With so many different types of markets available on the NRL it is important to bet with a bookmaker who has a great offering and that can be trusted. The Palmer family have three generations of bookmaking experience and Palmerbet is financially guaranteed by the NSW Bookmakers Co-Operative and licensed by the NSW government.

Visit Palmerbet.com.au for all your NRL betting needs. You will be pleased you did!

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