Just like Moses helped pass on the 10 commandments that we should live our lives by, we here at Oddschecker are passing on the 10 commandments you should be following when having a punt on the NRL.
1. Obey Bank Roll Management
The absolute number one! If you want to be profitable in the long run you have to follow bank roll management (BRM). This applies to NRL, NFL, T20 or even LEN (that’s Latvian waterpolo for you novices) – Basically any type of punt needs BRM to keep you on the straight and narrow.
BRM is important to make sure a loss doesn’t turn into a tragic loss. The idea of BRM is to set aside an amount of money to be used as your ‘Bank roll’. Your bets should be a certain % of that bank roll. A typical % to use would be anything between 1%-5%. This means that if you were a 5% punter, a bad week where you might go 2-10 in your plays won’t cripple you.
Lets not pretend we haven’t gotten that ‘Absolute lock’ or ‘Sure thing’ and played it a bit harder than we would a ‘normal play’. Well when that sure thing that couldn’t lose, loses, what next? You’ve probably even doubled down on it because of how hot the tip was. This is where punters dig themselves holes – by going on the chase. Doubling up your bet on something you are nowhere near as confident on, just to try and recoup losses. This becomes a dangerous cycle. We’re human. It happens.
Respect BRM because it’s sole purpose is there to keep cash in your pocket and keep the fun of the punt going for a long, long time.
2. Beware the Team With the New Coach
Have you ever noticed that a team that fires their coach tends to play well in the next game or two? Well think about it, it actually makes complete sense.
Let’s ask ourselves, why do coaches get fired? They fall out with the players. Their tactics aren’t working. Maybe they’ve had problems with upper management. All these reasons can lead to losses and worst of all bad morale, which makes teams play below their ability.
So what happens when a new coach comes in? Well firstly, that feeling of low morale, and the lack of player confidence disappears. We’ve all been in a job that we’re actually pretty good at. Your boss is a legend, the team you work with is a load of fun and Friday drinks are a blast. But what happens when your boss gets promoted? The team moves on and their replacements aren’t as fun. Worst of all none of them drink! You don’t look forward to going to work, you’re less interested in your job and that affects your performance. That’s the equivalent to a bad locker room in the NRL.
A new coach brings new life. He’ll bring new tactics, especially in that first game where the opposition wont be able to game plan for.
Always look to bet on an NRL team who changes their coach rather than against them. They’ve got a pretty good track record going back quite some time. This is a key stat.
3. Check on the Weather
There’s many teams that build their success on the back of a potent backline. Crisp passing, speed out wide and timing of their runs. This game plan is perfect for a fair-weather game. Sun shining, little to no wind and a dry track. These teams tend to struggle when the wind whips up and the heavens open, dropping buckets of rain on the pitch.
Wet weather games produce lower scoring totals. Sharp / Pro punters love looking ahead to find the weather forecast for a particular game and seeing if a total has been misrepresented. Teams that rely on offensive prowess all of a sudden play a different brand of footy that is more conservative, trying not to make mistakes.
The wind is another factor to be taken into consideration. If information filters through that there’s a gale coming through the stadium, try to find which team will be running with the wind in the First Half and they will be a great play in most of the First Half markets. The wind can turn a game on its head. Teams that rely on field position and keeping their opponents down their end could struggle if they’re running into the wind and can’t get down to their opposition’s 20.
4. Respect the Form
This commandment is a safety net play. A wise man once said – “there is no reason to try and catch the falling knife”. To put it into punting terms: If a team is running super hot, playing out of their skin and defying all the metrics and trends, there’s nothing wrong with giving them a wide berth instead of trying to find reasons to bet against them. Other opportunities will arise.
There are certain times in a year when a team goes on a form run. It could be a good reason to bet on them as they just seem to get the bounce of the footy. It’s also a good deterrent. There’s no need to try and prove you’re the hero who predicted when the Panthers win streak would end.
By no means is it a definite stay away play, but the universe in that example is on the Panther’s side. Sometimes it’s best not to try and beat the universe. It’ll beat you in the long term.
5. Count the Frequent Flyer Miles
Players are people. If they’re flying all around the country there’s an element of fatigue that will come with it. Take the Warriors for example. These poor buggers have to go international every time they have an away game. That takes a toll on a team, especially some of the younger guys.
The Warriors have perennially been a great fade (bet against) whenever they step foot in Australia. The travel usually finds them a bit flat and they don’t play the same footy we’re used to seeing when they’re at Mt Smart Stadium.
Look to fade teams that have consecutive road games that cover many Kilometres. The one thing in the back of the players’ minds in this situation is just getting away from the planes, busses, hotels and back to their own bed and shower.
6. Bounce-Back Ability – It’s a Thing
How many times have we seen a team lose by 30 in a shock result only to be facing a stronger team the next week and keep the final margin much closer than the week before?
Professional NRL players have immense pride. They don’t appreciate being toweled up by a big margin. They’re thinking about the loss all week. The media will be all over them. The coach will be on their backs and in today’s social media age, are probably copping some flack online.
The only thing these boys are thinking about for the week leading into the next game is how much they need to perform. Don’t count out such teams. If anything, look to be the contrarian and find a reason to bet on them. These teams usually have inflated lines as underdogs, which Joe Public will want to bet against them. If Joe Public was right more than he was wrong, the bookies would be out of business… I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
7. Thou Shall Not Be Overconfident
Pretty much the opposite of bounce-back ability. Teams off a big win may get complacent leading into the next match.
Try and figure out why a big win or an upset happened and see if it’s a true indicator of a team’s ability.
For example, we know the Storm are better than the Dragons. If the Dragons beat the Storm but the error count was 13-2 in favour of the Dragons, it’s an indicator that the Dragons didn’t outplay the Storm, but rather the Storm beat themselves.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking all wins are created equal. The bounce of the Steeden can dictate the outcome of many games. Teams who get unusually lucky in this sense can be a good fade opportunity in their next outing.
8. Avoid the ‘Hail Mary’ Multis
Hail Mary’s work in the NFL but they don’t work as often as you’d like when putting on your NRL multis.
Better results come from combining as few legs as possible or even sticking to single plays. There’s no love from the bookies if you hit 6/7 but a bad refereeing decision sways the outcome of your final leg and turns it into a loss. A loss is a loss no matter how you slice it. The only thing you’ll gain from hitting 6/7 is a classic heartbreaking story of a multi that got away.
Play smart, don’t spray the board with money and you’ll see your Bank Roll increase faster than if you rely on the high-risk high reward tactic.
9. The Trend is Your Friend
Trends are important factors to take into consideration before placing a bet. You shouldn’t base your bets solely off trends, but they can definitely be used to add confidence. Trends can also play devil’s advocate and steer you away from a play that might not be as appealing as you’d like it to be.
Did you know that leading into the 2016 NRL Grand Final between the Sharks and the Storm, the unders had cashed in on 8/10 Storm games, on 8/12 Storm games away from Melbourne and 4/5 Sharks games as underdogs? Little surprise the game went under the posted total of 34.5 points. Trend = Your friend.
There are many sites which will provide trends and analytical data analysis. It’s important to keep in mind that some trends aren’t worth squat when you really think about it. For example, don’t follow a trend like “the Eels play well in Saturday night games”. Think about why this might be the case, their last few Saturday games may have been at their home ground, in which case it’d be more likely that the Eels played well because they had their home support rather than the calendar showing a Saturday.
Don’t be spoon-fed useless information but keep in mind that trends can really help to tell a story if you’re willing to listen.
10. Learn to Like the Tri-Bet
An often unknown and extremely underutilized betting market is the tri-bet. The tri-bet is a market with three options. It began with the options of Team A to win by over 6.5 points; Team B to win by over 6.5 points or either side to win by under 6.5 points.
Since then the tri-bet has evolved to include bigger margins. Nowadays there’s the option to take the tri-bet up to 10.5, 12.5 even 14.5 on some games. Albeit the value will diminish the higher you take the points, there are many games where the only guarantee is that the two teams are so evenly matched that the game will go down to the wire. In these instances it’d be worthwhile to take an either side by under 12.5, which covers your bet whichever way the result lands as long as it’s not a blow out.
This season the most successful disciples will follow these commandments on the way to a big payday.
Written by Nik Hatzi