How To Bet On Rugby League

Professional writer of over 23 years. I started off as a junior reporter for a local newspaper before moving into sport. Spent four years at Teletext Sport with Press Association before being made redundant. Got involved with BettingPro under the previous owner, then after a break came back under Catena Media. Rugby League writer and author with four RL books on sale and one football book.

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Rugby league is one of the most entertaining sports you can watch, betting on rugby league can also be very exciting. There are plenty of markets available for you to get involved in. You can bet on the Super League and Challenge Cup in Europe, the NRL and State of Origin in Australia and all the International matches scheduled throughout the year. Here, we are going to take you through the best markets on which you can place your rugby league bets, using Super League as a main example.

Super League Outright Betting

Outright League Leaders Shield Winner

Rugby league is different to most sports, just because you finish top of the league that doesn’t mean you are crowned champions. In rugby league, the team that finishes top will be given the League Leaders Shield. They will then have to play a play-off series to see who wins the Grand Final to be crowned champion. Betting on the League Leaders Shield starts before the season kicks off, you can keep an eye on the league ladder throughout the season and bet accordingly. Not everyone loves the idea of not being champions despite being the most consistent team for a whole season, remember just because you are favourite to finish top, that doesn’t mean you can handle the play-offs.

Outright Grand Final Winner

Remember, when you are backing on the winner of the Grand Final, this is to determine who will win the last match of the campaign and not who finishes top of the league ladder. The market for the Grand Final winner, just like the League Leaders Shield, are opened very early. For this market, if you want the best odds then it’s best to get in early. But seeing as only four teams have ever won the Super League Grand Final (and one is now in the Championship), you can already see who the favourites are going to be. Prices on this market will never be massive, but Salford almost upset the applecart last season by getting to the Grand Final. At the start of the 2019 campaign, they were 80/1 to win the Grand Final, they reached the final but were unable to get the job done.

To Finish Bottom

Just like most sports, there is relegation in Super League as well. Sometimes there is more enjoyment in betting on who will get relegated than who will win the whole competition. More often than not, the top teams in the league will not find themselves in deep trouble. Although, Leeds Rhinos were in a lot of difficulty in 2019 and at times it looked like they could be relegated. That delighted a lot of fans, not only those who didn’t like Leeds but the ones who had already backed them to go down. They ended up staying up, but you never know one of the big teams could have a massive injury crisis and end up in a real fight to avoid relegation to the Championship.

Top Points Scorer

This market allows you to back which player you believe will finish with the most points at the end of the season. It’s probably best for your bet if you back a player who is capable of kicking goals as well as scoring a good number of tries. The favourites in this market will almost certainly be their club’s number one kicker and a reputable try scorer. If you can back someone who kicks goals every week and can score 30 tries a season, then you are in luck. The likes of Lachlan Coote, Marc Sneyd, Luke Gale and Stefan Ratchford will always be high up on the list as they kick goals on a regular basis.

Top Try Scorer

If you are unsure who will be doing all the kicking this season, get on the top try scorer market instead. This market allows you to bet on which player will top the try scoring charts at the end of the season. Your best bet on this market is to look at a winger, full-back or centre. These are the most likely positions to be winning this accolade. Safe note, don’t be backing a prop to score the most tries. The odds will be sensational, but it is never happening in Super League. Tommy Makinson led the way in 2019 with 23 tries, while Ash Handley and Niall Evalds from Leeds and Salford respectively finished with 22. You can fully expect these three to be in the mix once again, while the likes of Josh Charnley, Bevan French, Jermaine McGillvary and Regan Grace will all be in with a shout.

Man of Steel

The Steve Prescott Man of Steel award goes to the player who is voted the most consistent over the course of the season. A selection panel awards points on a 1-2-3 system at every game and the player with the most points at the end of the campaign will be crowned Man of Steel. All the points are made public until around week 22, they will then be done in private and only revealed at the Man of Steel Awards Ceremony. Jackson Hastings is the current holder as he was the most consistent player in 2019 as Salford shocked everyone by reaching the Grand Final.  This betting market allows you to select which player you will think have the best season, you can continue to use the market throughout the year as the results start to come in.

Team Top Try Scorers

You can back on the leading try scorer market by using individual teams rather than the league as a whole. If you think Jermaine McGillvary will score the highest number of tries for Huddersfield, but not necessarily overall, use this market to do so. Each team will have four or five options for to back.

Super League Match Betting


This market is a simple as it gets and is just the same as other sports. You get to pick who you believe the winner of a certain game. The opening game of the Super League season is Wigan vs Warrington. So for this market, you will back either Wigan or Warrington to win. You can also back the draw, but seeing as rugby league now has a Golden Point system, there shouldn’t be many tied matches.


This market is seen as an alternative to the Winner one. Teams are given handicap points which gives you better odds rather than just backing a team to win. If you are backing one team with a handicap of -10, then that team needs to win by 11 points or more for that bet to be successful. On the other hand, you could back an underdog at +10 and as long as they don’t lose by more than 10 points then you will win.

Including Overtime

We have already mentioned that a game cannot end in a draw after 80 minutes. If the game is all-square at the final whistle, a period of golden point extra-time will be played to try and find a winner. You can take this in consideration when you bet on rugby league, you can use this market to back your game winner to need the extra period of time.

First Try Scorer

This market is self-explanatory. It allows you to back the player you feel will score the opening try of the game. If the game you are backing has Tommy Makinson, Regan Grace or Mahe Fonua playing, then you have a great chance of being successful. The wingers and centres will mainly be the favourites, but you can get generous odds for a prop forward to barge over in the opening stages.

Last Try Scorer

Again, this one does exactly what it says on the tin. Keep your bet alive for the whole 80 minutes and back a player you believe will score the last try of the match.

Anytime Try Scorer

The odds on this market will not be very favourable for the out and out try scorers on show, but if you fancy backing a prop to go over, then it could be quite lucrative. It doesn’t matter what time your player goes over, as long as he crosses that try line your bet will come in.

Drop Goal

Unlike rugby union, the drop goal is not used as frequent in rugby league, but it’s still a good weapon to have in your arsenal. A player will attempt a drop-goal if they are level or trailing by one heading into the dying seconds. It is almost always the go-to play to win a game in golden point extra-time, so it might be coming more common.

Total Tries

This market allows you to bet on how many tries will be scored in each game. It will more than likely be under the over/under format and it’s your job to decide which one you fancy.

Draw No Bet

This is very similar to the football market. It allows the bettor to back the winner of a game and if that match ends in a draw, you will receive a refund as your bet did not win or lose. It’s a bit of added insurance, but not really that much of a popular market in rugby league because of the overtime rule.

Team To Score First

This market allows you to back which team will score the opening points of the game. It’s similar to the first try scorer market, but you don’t have to specify which player will get the points. You can choose from three different outcomes – try, penalty or drop goal.

Double Chance

This market allows you to take out a little bit of added insurance on your bet. If Wakefield Trinity are playing Hull Kingston Rovers, you can get odds on Wakefield to win or draw just to cover you if the game does eventually fail to find a winner.

Total Points – Odds/Evens

Rather than bet on how many points are actually scored, this allows you to just back whether it will be an odd or even number. This one is seen as a bit of fun as it basically is a flip of the coin.

Winning Margin

This market allows you to pick the number of points you expect a team to win by. The choice is endless, you can opt to back a team to win by 4+. That is a safe bet and will not pay out very much,going for a team to win by 22+ will see your odds improve dramatically.


This is a very popular market in rugby league, you can back who you believe will be winning at half-time and then at full-time. Taking Wigan and Warrington as an example, you can back Warrington to be winning at half-time and Wigan to win the game, while you can also go for a draw after 40 minutes and Warrington to win after 80.

Team To Win Both Halves

This market is quite similar to the half-time/full-time one. You can back a certain team to win both halves of rugby.

To Win To Nil

There shouldn’t be many games ending in such a blowout that only one team scores points. But it does happen, if you think your chosen game will be one of them, use this market to do so.

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