The A-League is the highest level of professional football played in Australia. It is the Australian version of the English Premier League, La Liga and Serie A for example. The A-League follows the FIFA rules, with scoring, players and substitutions identical to league’s around the world.
A quirk of the A-League is that the league champion is not after a certain number of home and away fixtures, but after a playoff series. The best six teams each year compete in a playoff series to crown a Grand Final winner. This prize is more prestigious than finishing the regular season on top of the standings.
The most basic way to bet on the A-League 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. All football matches feature a draw option, which makes the head to head price generally higher than most other sports, due to a third betting option being viable in each contest
For example, if Brisbane were (1.95) on the moneyline they would be considered a favourite to win. Their opponents Central Coast is priced at (3.30), making them a considerable underdog. The draw is (3.75). The price on a draw is seldom below (3.00), with the highest the draw odds, the greater chance of the match being won be either of the two teams.
Factors that can impact on the moneyline include the absence of an important player, such as the team’s captain, leading scorer or key defensive player. Weather conditions can impact on a team’s chances of victory, as some prefer dry weather as opposed to rainy conditions, with home ground advantage also important.
It is important to note that in the A-League, the home team is listed first.
Betting on a team at the handicap in the A-League differs from many other sports and there are a number of handicap betting options. The typical handicap requires a team to cover a certain number of goals to win the wager.
For example, if Sydney is -1 on the handicap, they must win the match by two goals for the wager to win. Most handicap options will state whether or not a draw is included. If it is, then the odds on Sydney -1 will be lower than if the draw wasn’t included.
A wager on ‘draw no bet’ is another popular way of betting on the A-League and offers a refund or push if your selection draws the match. If they win the match, you are paid a dividend that is usually less than the head to head price.
For example, if Brisbane is (1.95) in head to head betting, they might be (1.40) in the draw no bet market. Your wager on the draw no bet wins if Brisbane win, and you are paid out at (1.40) times your stake. If Brisbane draw, your stake is refunded. If Brisbane lose, your wager is a loss.
A-League matches involve only one type of scoring: goals. A goal is worth only a single point. A bet on a totals market involves betting on the totals goals, falling over or under a number set by the sports book.
For example, a match between Brisbane and the Central Coast has a total match goals set at over/under 2.5. A wager on the total match goals to be OVER 2.5 wins if the total goals scored by Brisbane and the Central Coast combined is 3 or more. If you bet on the UNDER in this match, you are betting on Brisbane and the Central Coast to score 2 goals or fewer.
If Brisbane score 2 points and the Central Coast score 2 points, the total goals are 2 + 2 = 4. If the sports book has the total match points set at over/under 2.5, then a bet on the OVER would win and a bet on the UNDER would lose.
Wagers can be placed on total match goals, as well as total team goals, 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 the quality of attacking players involved.
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 the A-League is to bet on the Grand Final winner. The Grand Final winner is the team that wins the A-League Grand Final and reflects the best team in the league that season.
There are 10 teams in the A-League, with a shorter price reflecting a higher likelihood of winning the Grand Final. Due to the fact that an A-League season takes place over a number of months, a team’s odds to win the Grand Final can fluctuate. Only the top six teams every year can make the playoffs.
Other popular futures bets include wagering on the A-League leading goal scorer and which teams will win the minor premiership for finishing on top of the standings at the conclusion of the regular season.
Prop markets are an exotic way of wagering on a match that usually doesn’t involve betting on a specific team or result. In A-League betting, a prop bet can involve betting on a scoring specific number of goals for example.
An attacking player is more likely to score goals than a defender and that is reflected in their price. It is also more likely that a player starting on the field will score the first goal, as opposed to a substitute player.
These wagers are presented as ‘first goalscorer’ or ‘number of goals scored by player A’ in a match. The price on offer for these wagers are usually quite high, reflecting the high number of variable outcomes.
Other exotic options include betting on a team to win to nil, betting on a team to keep a clean sheet (concede no goals, but the match can end in a draw and this wager will still win) and the number of yellow and red cards given out in a match.