NRL Betting: Introduction

They say in life the more things change the more they stay the same, and that could not be any truer in the 2017 NRL Season.

Last year’s Grand Finalists Melbourne Storm and Cronulla Sharks have settled comfortably back in their familiar positions in the top four on the ladder, while the Newcastle Knights look destined for a third-straight Wooden Spoon to give both ends of the table a similar look to the way it ended last year.

On the flip side, Sydney Roosters have put a 2016 campaign from hell behind them where they finished second-last to rocket back up the ladder into the top-four, where they are joined in the upper echelon by a resurgent Manly side whose rebuilding efforts appear to be finally paying off as they head towards a first final appearance since 2014.

The big slide down the ladder in the early stages of the season has happened to two clubs who many believed to be headed towards Premiership glory before a ball was kicked this year, in Canberra and Penrith. The Raiders and Panthers’ descend down the ladder has been one of the major on-field stories to develop in the NRL from the opening rounds.

As we turn the bend past the difficult Origin period and head down the straight with the final series in sight, we’ve decided to take a look at the trends that have developed out so far in season 2017.


Market and Liquidity Formation

Time Distribution of Bets Placed

The time distribution of bets placed paints an interesting picture on the best time to get a bet on. It shows punters are ignoring the early price on offer early during the week with more bets placed on the scheduled day of the game, with bets increasing as kick-off time approaches. The introduction of the 6pm Friday fixture has seen Friday afternoon become the most popular time for bets to be placed as punters get ready for two games of football.

The 8pm Friday night fixture sees the biggest percentage of bets placed, largely to to that fixture typically being the best match of the round as well as being televised nationally on Free To Air.

Time Distribution of Volume

The volume of bets sees a similar trend to that of the time distribution of bets placed in regards to time of placed bets.

Based on average number of games played, Thursday is most popular in terms of volume, followed by Friday, Sunday and Saturday. The hour before kick-off sees the highest volume of bets placed.


Volume

Volume by Round

Round 7 enjoyed the highest volume for the season so far with in play trading at $2.17 million in volume. This was driven by the Brisbane v Gold Coast Queensland Derby when James Roberts broke Titans hearts with a try at the death to secure a thrilling 24-22 for the Broncos. The Easter long weekend also fell during this round contributing to the record trading volume, along with four matches ending in single figure winning margins.

Rounds 9-10 recorded the lowest pre-play volume and two of the three lowest volume weeks overall as the NRL typically takes a back seat during this period as attention turns to State of Origin.

Volume By Markets

The most popular market for Betfair customers to bet on is the match odds market with a total volume of $32million traded. The next most popular markets is the +/- Points Handicap, Unders and Overs and Winning Margins.

Not much changes after the first whistle either with the most popular in-play markets being match odds, under/over and handicap betting.  The most popular player exotic is First Try Scorer.

Volume by Team – Match Odds

The Brisbane Broncos sit on top of the ladder in terms of volume traded on teams with Wayne Bennett’s side the most popular to bet on. This is helped largely due to the Broncos being almost exclusively given the Thursday and Friday night fixture. In the opening 10 rounds of the season only once were Brisbane not playing in either time slot. Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm follow in second and third.

The Storm started favourites in every game up to Round 10 this season, losing just two. Brisbane are the next best on that list with nine games as Sydney, Canberra and Penrith are tied in third with eight games starting as favourites.

Volume by Team – Match Odds – Pre/In Play

Another accolade for the Broncs with Brisbane being the club with most volume traded on both in-play and pre-play. The Roosters, Storm, Dragons, Eels and Eagles have higher in-play volume compared to pre-play suggesting in-play strategies and some pre-odds upsets likely for these outfits. Manly and Cronulla have recorded the most upsets wins so far in 2017 with four.


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