Not so long ago, sports betting was seen as something of a subculture among fans. It was something for those who understood the mysteries of the betting shop, or perhaps those who had set up a telephone account and could call up their bookmaker to place their bets.
The internet age has opened up a whole host of sporting experiences to new audiences, but perhaps betting is the most significant. These days, there are websites and betting apps by the dozen, and everyday fans enjoy putting a dollar or two on their team so they can share in their success – even if it is just to the tune of a round of drinks to celebrate.
Of course, accessibility is one thing, but you still need to know what you are doing to avoid simply throwing money away. Here are some tips to help understand the different types of rugby league bets you can place.
The money line
This is the most straightforward type of bet and one with which you will be familiar, at least conceptually. Also known as the match odds, you are simply betting on which team will win. The bookmaker will provide odds for each team, and sometimes there will also be the possibility to back the draw. Naturally, the team seen as the strongest will have the shorter odds, so it is up to you whether you will take the safer option of backing the favourite or go out on a limb and back the underdog – call it right, and you could get a healthy pay day.
Sometimes described as the Asian Handicap, this is a type of bet that has its origins in soccer but is rapidly spreading to other sports. You can read full details about exactly how it works by studying the Unibet Asian handicap rules, but in short, the bookmaker will offer a range of odds on a handicap basis, and you bet on which team will win after the handicap has been applied. The idea originated in Indonesia, which is how it came by its name, and it is now the most popular form of sports bet of them all.
In general, the longer you leave it to place your bet, the better picture you have of who is likely to win, as you know the latest form, any injuries and so on. Futures betting turns this concept on its head. If you place your bet well in advance, there are more unknowns, and therefore the bookmaker will offer longer odds. Futures betting makes sense if you know you are going to back your team in a major tournament no matter what – for example if you intend to back Australia in the 2021 Rugby League World Cup. Here, it pays to put your money down as early as possible when the odds are at their longest.
This final type of bet has nothing to do with who wins or loses. The bookmaker will set what he thinks will be the total points scored in a game, and you can then make an over or under bet, depending on whether you think it will be more or less. He will set his number at a non-integer (eg 30.5) to negate the risk of getting it exactly right. It’s a great type of bet to place in an evenly matched game where it is hard to call a winner.