NRL Ladder

All league fans keep a close eye on the NRL ladder, but it offers few valuable insights for NRL punters!

From a betting perspective you can learn much more with our NRL Line Ladder.

While the traditional NRL ladder simply records wins and losses, the Line Ladder instead records performance against the closing betting line.

NRL Line Ladder: Round 6

The Eels might’ve finally missed a line last week… but they hit back hard. They were actually handed a 3.5 point head start again Canberra, only to make a mockery of the market’s doubts and smash the Raiders by 25 points.

Their hurdle for this week is currently -13.5 points against the Broncos, and you’d be brave to bet against them – even with Brisbane’s vastly improved performance last week. They were given a whopping 27.5 point head start against the Panthers, yet only lost by 8 points.

The club in perhaps the most surprising position is the Sharks. Languishing in 11th on the league ladder, they currently sit third on the line ladder with five covers from six games. They’re getting there by the skin of their teeth, however! They’ve covered both their last two lines by just 0.5 points… the market is reading them quite well.

NRL Line Ladder: Round 5

NRL Line Ladder: Round 4

NRL Line Ladder: Round 3

NRL Line Ladder: Round 2

What about those Roosters?

For the second week in a row they’ve made the betting market look stupid after being installed 10.5 point favourites. They destroyed the Tigers 40-6 to secure their spot at the top of the NRL Line Ladder. They’re just 3.5 point favourites against the Rabbitohs this week, so if you think they’re being underestimated again then get on board!

Also impressive were the Panthers, running out 28-0 winners overs the Bulldogs. This doubled the market’s expectations, which had them as 13.5 point favourites.

The Roosters have inflicted plenty of damage on their opponents, with the Tigers (beaten by the Roosters by 34 points in Round 2) and the Sea Eagles (42 points in Round 1) holding up the bottom of the NRL Line Ladder.

NRL Line Ladder: Round 1

The NRL line ladder is back! This is, of course, the NRL ladder that matters. Rather than simple wins and losses, it measures how each club is performing against the betting market.

We’re just one week in of course, so it’s too early to make any proper conclusions. The runaway winner of the week was definitely the Roosters. Are reports of their demise premature? You’d have to say the market was somewhat confident in the Roosters, handing them a 10.5 point handicap. But it wasn’t nearly enough as they crushed Manly by 42 points to get their backers (including our NRL man Steve Green!) off to a cracking start to the season.

NRL Line Ladder: 2020 Final

The line ladder has been finalised for 2020 – and with some interesting results!

The big overachiever compared to market expectation was the Warriors.

Pre-season the Kiwi franchise had already been predicted to finish in the bottom few sides, and were quickly given no hope following the COVID outbreak that saw them set up in Tamworth for the entirety of the campaign.

However, a 10th place finish on the NRL ladder was  admirable given the circumstances, and the market failed to react to their form.

The Warriors finished third on the line ladder with 12 covers from 20 games – and that comes after failing to cover in three of their first four games.

At the other end, the Eels finish the season in 14th spot on the line ladder despite finishing 3rd on the NRL ladder.

Early on the Eels were underrated by the market, however on this occasion the market DID adjust and well and truly caught up to them.

What’s interesting is that it failed to then re-adjust late in the season when Parramatta’s form slump hit – they covered the line just once in their last nine contests.

In both these instances, the market seemingly made up their own mind about each run of results – that the Warriors were overachieving in games and would revert to the average long-term, while the Eels had underachieved in some games late in the season but would find form again at some stage to balance it out.

Of course, both of these never eventuated and it meant a big edge on the market developed for punters who found it.

So how does this affect 2021?

Using the Warriors as the example, there’s a chance that they are overrated by the market on the back of their efforts this season and their form does indeed drop off, creating an edge backing against the NZ franchise.

Alternatively, the market could stick to its 2020 guns and the Warriors may never ‘revert to the mean’, maintaining the current edge in the process.

The teams that show big discrepancies against the market, such as the Warriors and the Eels, are the ones to watch as a starting point next season. We’ll be back then with the Line Ladder… the NRL ladder for punters!

The NRL Ladder for Punters: How it works

While the regular NRL ladder simply records wins and losses, the Line Ladder takes the betting market into account and measure performance against the line.

For example, let’s say the Storm were playing the Dragons. The closing line is -9.5 (Storm) and +9.5 (Dragons).

Storm win the game by 20 points.

The Storm covered the line by 10.5 points. So they record 1 cover, and their ‘Final margin v closing line’ figure is 10.5.

The Dragons record 1 miss, and their ‘Final margin v closing line’ figure is -10.5.

Then those figures just accumulate through the season. The ladder is ranked first by covers, then by cumulative margin vs the closing line.

That’s all there is to it. It measures team performance, but in relation to the market. So you get a view of how well the betting market is performing in predicting each team’s results. A good example of this in 2019 was South Sydney. They had a great year, finishing in third position on the NRL ladder at the end of the regular season. But despite looking good in terms of wins and losses, they often fell short of the market’s expectations. They covered the line only ten times in their 24 matches to finish way down in 13th position on the line ladder. They weren’t often a good line betting proposition. That’s the sort of information that is valuable as a punter, and isn’t available on the regular NRL ladder.

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