Australia is very proud to have its own sport and it often surprises outsiders to learn that ‘Aussie Rules’ has been established now for well over a hundred years. It’s an idiosyncratic game that combines a bit of rugby and some NFL along the way but we simply know it as ‘footy’.
The AFL was officially formed way back in 1897 when it was known as the Victorian Football League. The game itself was more prevalent in that particular state before its popularity started to grow through the rest of the country.
In the present day, the Australian Football League features 18 teams across the nation. The regular season runs from March to August before we head into the finals series where the best eight teams battle it out in a series of knockout games before the Grand Final itself takes place at the start of October.
While it’s a proudly Australian sport, Aussie Rules leagues have been set up across the world and it has some popularity with spectators outside of the country. It’s also very popular with Australian punters and the global betting community as a whole as footy is a sport that naturally lends itself to a host of interesting markets.
So, if you are considering whether to get on board with AFL betting, what can you look forward to?
Outright betting for the Grand Final winner starts almost as soon as the previous season finishes. The task here is to pick your new champion from the 18 teams on show and while this is clearly an onerous quest, this is AFL betting in its simplest form with just one option to add to your betting slip.
The Western Bulldogs were the winners in 2016 as they defeated Sydney to claim their second title overall while Carlton and Essendon are the most successful teams in the history of the competition with 16 title victories apiece.
All three of those sides are among those that you should be watching out for ahead of any campaign. Other outright betting options give you the chance to name the team who will be on top of the table at the end of the regular season and you can also bet on the two Grand Finalists.
Brownlow Medal betting is available too although the list of available bookies for this type of stake is more restricted. However, it is possible to pick your favourite player and stake on him to win that medal from the smaller list of operators.
Result betting for Australian Football league matches takes a basic form with most bookies quoting just two possibilities – a win for either side. A draw is so rare in this sport that most outlets don’t even bother quoting odds for it but those that do tend to set them at around the 40/1 mark so it’s a tempting figure if you feel it’s an option.
As a slight variation, you could make use of the Handicap which is offered by a growing set of operators. This gives a head start in terms of points for either team and if the other side wins and overtakes that number of points, you get a return but at an increased price.
However, many punters just like to keep it simple by analysing form together with the head to head results displayed by the teams on show and making an either / or decision.
Outsiders may be surprised when they take a look at the side betting for AFL matches as there are many more options than they might expect. Bets that focus on individual players are popular for many sports and Aussie Rules is no exception with a number of options available.
First, last and anytime goal scorer markets are quoted by a smaller set of bookmakers. While everyone gets involved in the result, around a third of those outlets quote for individual scorers so read on to find out who has the bigger sets of side bets. As an extension to individual player betting, it may also be possible to get prices for any player to score a hat trick – certainly for the bigger matches including the Grand Final.
Elsewhere, much of the focus is on points scoring so, you can speculate on the total number of points scored in your selected match and it’s possible to split that down further and bet on the number of points registered in each quarter.
Those quarters can be split to take on several bets themselves. So, you can bet on the team to win the quarter in question while even speculating on the winning margin involved. There is a whole host of options available and for those knock out games beyond the regular AFL season, there may well be up to 100 markets quoted across the board.
If choice in terms of side betting is important, you’ll therefore need to be shrewd when it comes to picking your bookmaker.
Best Bookies for Betting on Australian Football League
Choice is important but so is value in terms of general odds, together with any offers and promotions that the bookie may be providing so here is a rundown of some of the best AFL bookmakers.
Outside of Australia, a lot of bookmakers like to list Aussie Rules among the roster of offered sports. It makes it seem as though they are strong for ‘niche’ events but when you investigate further, they generally only offer some outright betting together with the straight result for individual matches.
That’s certainly not the case at Bet365 however and this UK based bookie are really embracing footy with a range of markets that can match all of the Aussie firms. Prices in the standard markets are always competitive here and you can obtain even better value with an opening offer as a 100% match on your first deposit together with some excellent promos which can be used in the Australian Football League markets.
LuxBet one of the more established Australian bookmakers, LuxBet first came online back in 2008 and they’ve been able to build up a strong following based on trust and value during that time. Once again, the offers are there and these promotions back up the great value that you can always find in the standard Aussie rules markets.
And, as far as choice is concerned, LuxBet are arguably a very close second to Bet365 when it comes to a range of side bets so they really are a logical choice for AFL and for any other sport.
One of the most recent entries from Australia, PalmerBet may not have age on their side but they’ve worked hard to compensate for that with a great welcome deal that can earn you a mighty $250 AUD at the top end of the scale. That’s already attracted a lot of attention and it’s a promo that is being backed up by with a great set of ongoing deals, many of which are available to fit AFL matches.
It may be fair to say that the choice of side markets for Aussie rules may not be as big as you might find elsewhere but you can get strong odds on the bets that they do publish so there is tremendous value right across the spectrum.
Other AFL punters have good things to say about Unibet, 10Bet and others such as the established brands of Ladbrokes and William Hill. Once again, there should be a good mix of value from good prices and choice with a wide set of Aussie Rules markets.
It’s one of the first sports that we get involved with, both in terms of playing and watching but also with betting so if you are getting involved with punting on the Australian Football League, we hope we’ve left you well informed.