The AFL is the highest level of Australian football in Australia. There are 18 teams in the AFL, with each team playing 22 matches per season. It is a fast paced sport that combines running, kicking and passing the oval-shaped football. The objective is to kick more goals and behinds than your opponent and the team with the highest overall score is the winner.
The biggest match of the AFL season is the AFL Grand Final. It is typically held on the last Saturday afternoon in September and features the two best teams taken from an eight-team playoff.
The most basic way to bet on the AFL is by taking a moneyline bet. Each match features two teams, each priced differently according to their chance of winning. The lower the price, the better the perceived chance of victory.
For example, if Richmond were (1.38) on the moneyline they would be considered a strong favourite to win. Their opponents Collingwood’s price is (3.15), making them a considerable underdog.
Factors that can impact on the moneyline include the absence of an important player, such as the team’s captain, leading goal kicker or key midfield player. Weather conditions can impact on a team’s chances of victory, as some prefer dry weather as opposed to rainy conditions.
It is important to note that in AFL, the home team is listed first. 10 of the competitions 18 teams are based in Melbourne, which can make determining home ground advantage tricky. For example, Richmond and Collingwood both play at the MCG, so any advantage is lost. That is unlike American sports, where most teams play on different home fields.
Betting on a team at the handicap in AFL is similar to many other sports and it can make a relatively one-sided fixture much more interesting to wager on.
For example, if Sydney is (1.20) in the head to head betting, there is a very strong chance they will win the match. Their opponents, West Coast, are priced at (4.50) to win. The return on investment when betting on Sydney at (1.20) can be increased if you’re confident that they can cover the handicap, points spread or line as it is also known.
In this match, Sydney may give away a 24.5-point start. In order for you to win this bet, Sydney must beat West Coast by 25 points or more. If they win by 24 points or less, or lose, your wager is a loss.
Handicaps are available on both teams, so when Sydney is a 24.5-point favourite and -24.5, West Coast is a 24.5-point underdog and +24.5. These wagers are commonly priced between (1.90) and (1.93), depending on the sports book.
Some sports books offer ‘pick your own line’ options, where most single point spread interval is covered. For example, you could bet on Sydney -16.5, but it will pay less than (1.90). Conversely, if you’re confident of a big victory, you might take Sydney at -30.5, which would be priced greater than (1.90).
AFL matches involve two types of scoring: goals and behinds. A goal is worth six points and a behind is worth one point. A bet on a totals market involves betting on the goals and behinds, falling over or under a number set by the sports book.
For example, a match between Melbourne and West Coast has a total match points set at over/under 171.5. A wager on the total match points to be OVER 171.5 wins if the total points scored by Melbourne and West Coast combined is 172 or more. If you bet on the UNDER in this match, you are betting on Melbourne and West Coast to score 171 points or fewer.
If Melbourne score 150 points and West Coast score 30 points, the total points are 150 + 30 = 180. If the sports book has the total match points set at over/under 171.5, then a bet on the OVER would win and a bet on the UNDER would lose.
Wagers can be placed on total match points, as well as total team points, which will vary depending on the quality of the team. Totals betting is also heavily influenced by ground conditions, the ground where a match takes place and time of day.
The most popular margin betting in the AFL has five options per match.
The typical options are a win by 1-39 points for each side, a win by 40+ points for each side or a draw.
Draws are untypical in the AFL, but unlike other sports, there are no overtime periods if a match is drawn at full time.
Margin betting typically presents higher odds for bettors, particularly if a match is expected to be close. If Richmond is a 17.5-point favourite, you may believe they will win the match, but the (1.38) head to head price nor the handicap appear worthwhile wagers to you.
A wager on Richmond to win by 1-39 points could pay (2.10) in this instance. It offers a wider range of points and is a winning bet if Richmond wins by anywhere between 1 and 39 points. If Richmond lose, draw or win by 40 or more points, the wager is a loss.
Futures wagers are long term wagers, usually based on how a team or teams perform during the duration of a season, or a defined period of time.
The most common futures wager in AFL is to bet on the Premiership. The Premiership winner is the team that wins the AFL Grand Final and reflects the best team in the league that season.
There are 18 teams in the AFL, with a shorter price reflecting a higher likelihood of winning the Premiership. Due to the fact that an AFL season takes place over a six-month period, a teams odds to win the Premiership can fluctuate. Only the top eight teams every year can make the playoffs.
Other popular futures bets include wagering on the Brownlow Medal, which is awarded to the league’s best player every year, as well as which two teams will make the Grand Final (quinella) and which team will win the wooden spoon or finish at the bottom of the ladder.
Prop markets are an exotic way of wagering on a match that usually doesn’t involve betting on a specific team or result. In AFL betting, a prop bet can involve betting on a player to have a specific number of disposals for example.
Disposals are counted as the number of times a player either kicks or handpasses the football. The more disposals, the more times a player has been involved in a match and often the better the player.
Typically, a midfield player will earn more disposals than a defender or attacker, so it is important to know where a player is expected to play in a match before placing such props. These wagers are typically presented in an over/under manner, such as Scott Pendlebury to have over/under 26.5 disposals against Richmond paying (1.90). If you bet OVER 26.5, the wager wins if Scott Pendlebury has 27 or more disposals.