The National Rugby League (NRL) is the world’s most popular rugby league club competition held in Australia and New Zealand. As a result, it’s one of the popular sports for bettors worldwide due to its high monetary appeal and huge betting volumes. Moreover, like many other sports, you can place different types of wagers, such as First Scoring Play bets, Half Time Result Bets, Money Line Bets, and Futures bets, to name a few.
However, handicap betting has become incredibly popular in recent years to make one-sided games more interesting. In this post, we’ll share everything you need to know about handicap bets in the NRL.
What Are Handicap Bets?
Handicap bets are sporting bets designed to give a team a virtual shortfall AKA handicap to overcome at the blow of the whistle. In the NRL, bookmakers handicap teams more likely to come up on top in a game, giving them a disadvantage against lesser opponents. Simply put, this bet evens the playing field and makes rugby games more interesting for bettors.
How Handicap Bets Work in the NRL
Also known as spread or line betting, handicap betting gives one of the teams a hypothetical disadvantage or advantage by either adding or subtracting points in an attempt to spice things up in games with highly predictable outcomes or clear winners/losers. For example, Sydney Roosters are playing New Zealand Warriors.
The game is highly one-sided, and Sydney Roosters are expected to win. You place your wager on New Zealand Warriors with a +11.5 handicap, meaning they will start the game with 13.5 extra points. If New Zealand Warriors win or lose with less than 11 points, you can cash your ticket. If Sydney Roosters win with 12 points or more, you lose the bet.
When searching NRL odds, you’ll come across numbers with +/- as prefixes, e.g. -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, and so on. The positive numbers are for the underdogs, whereas the negative ones are for the favorites. If you come across handicap bets with a .5 suffix, don’t be alarmed. This is something bookmakers use as tiebreakers to eliminate the possibility of a draw.
Handicap Betting Tips for Beginners
If you’re new to handicap bets in the NRL, here are some great tips to help you strategize and generate more profits from your wagers:
1. Study the Teams
Every team has its playing style and tactics. For instance, some like to win by going for tries, while others like to defend and rely on penalties for the win. Ideally, you should place your wagers on the team using tries, as they offer significantly higher winning odds. However, if you’re betting on the underdog, this strategy could pay off.
2. Let Your Bookmaker Guide You
While there’s a lot you can learn on your own, the best way to improve your winning chances is by using the stats on your betting platform, especially the scoring averages of home and away teams in recent times. By checking the latest NRL odds, you can anticipate the point gap during winning and losing teams and place your wagers accordingly.
3. Trust Your Instincts
Are you an avid fan of the National Rugby League with sufficient knowledge of teams, tactics, players, and other aspects related to performance? Try and come up with your handicap prediction before the game commences. By anticipating the likely outcome of a game, you can check if it’s in line with your bookmaker’s handicap bet before proceeding with your wager. This way, you can not only make a lot of money but also save a lot of money by not betting in that particular game.
4. Avoid Handicap Bets With High Equality
In NRL games where equality is maximum, you should avoid placing handicap bets. Although the odds go up, it’s nearly impossible to win and earn money with them, especially if you’re a beginner. For instance, if Melbourne Storm is playing North Queensland Cowboys, you can expect a highly competitive and tight game even though you expect Melbourne Storm to win based on recent stats and performances. Thus, it’s more difficult for bettors to place handicap bets since these types of games often have very little in them in terms of goals.
Handicap betting is among the most exciting types of sporting bets in the market today. However, these bets aren’t suitable for beginners due to their complexity and the higher stakes involved. Nonetheless, they’re excellent for bettors and bookmakers looking to increase odds and facilitate betting in one-sided games. So, before you place any wagers, you need to thoroughly grasp the basic principles of handicap bets in the NRL.
More importantly, always remember to gamble responsibly. Contact the Gambling Helpline for free and confidential support, information, and counseling on 1800 858 858 or visit www.gamblinghelponline.org.au.
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