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Main AFL Betting Markets

The main AFL betting markets explained

When it comes to having a bet in Australia, the AFL season brings the punters out in force.

The AFL season is run over 23 rounds from late March until the last week of August, after which time the Finals begin. The AFL Finals are contested between the Top 8 sides on the AFL Ladder at the end of the season, with four rounds of Finals played leading up to the big dance, the AFL Grand Final.

There are 18 teams currently in the AFL spread over five of Australia’s six states (Tasmania misses out here).

The bookmakers focus aggressively on AFL betting, and supply an extensive amount of AFL markets throughout the season, along with consistent advertising campaigns, AFL betting promotions and specials.

The AFL season can be make or break for Australian bookies from March to October.

Below we will explain the main betting markets offered for AFL.

Head to Head

The AFL Head to Head market is the simplest market, pitting one team against another, with a winning bet resulting if your bet is place on the side that wins the games.

A Head to Head market will be shown in the following format:

St. Kilda vs Melbourne
St. Kilda__$2.40 Melbourne__$1.60

The home team will be presented in the Head to Head odds first, in this instance St. Kilda is the home team, and would be considered to have a home ground advantage. For this example the bettor has selected St. Kilda to defeat Melbourne in this Head to Head market.

This bet, once selected, would then be placed automatically into the bet slip.

An Example of a Head to Head (H2H) bet slip can be seen below, where the bettor has selected St. Kilda to beat Melbourne.

Bet Slip
Leg St. Kilda__$2.40
Stake $10
Est. Returns $24.00
Net Winnings $14.00

The bettor has placed $10 as their “Stake” in the Stake field.

How are the returns calculated for an AFL Head to Head bet?

The estimated returns are calculated as:

(St. Kilda Odds) $2.40 x $10 (Stake)

Estimated Returns = $24.00

Calculating the profit on an AFL Head to Head bet –

(Estimated Returns) $24.00 – $10.00 (Stake)

Estimated Profit = $14.00

TIP – To make an informed Head to Head AFL bet we suggest –

  • Checking the past five matchups between the two teams, anything beyond the last matchups have too many variables such as new team lists, coaching staff, game plans etc. All teams match up differently, so keep an eye on where the value is.
  • Check each teams previous five games. Some teams may be on a roll, and some on a slump. Catch the in form teams with confidence and bet to your advantage. Make sure to check whether those wins were against top sides, and place a discount on wins over bottom sides.
  • Check for injuries close to game time.

Line Bet (Spread Bet)

A line Bet is a type of market in which a bookmaker will handicap an AFL game by setting a margin for each team, essentially making the market equal for both teams.

This estimated margin of the game is referred to as the ‘Line’, which is where the term line betting comes from.

The line market will present teams in a game with either a (+) or (-) symbol with a margin attached.

For this example, the bettor has selected St. Kilda to ‘beat the line’.

Odds for Line Bets are generally set between $1.91 – $1.95 depending on the bookmaker.

The favourite in the match will always be handicapped as (-).

Line
Line Odds Line Odds
St. Kilda__+11.5 $1.91 Melbourne__-11.5 $1.91
  • When a team has a line with a (+), it shows that the team must win the game outright or lose the game by fewer points than indicated by the line.
  • When a team has a point spread line with a (-), it indicates that the team must win the game by more points than what is indicated in the line.

For this to result as a winning bet, St. Kilda must win the game, or lose the game by less 11 points or less.

An example of a this Line Bet in a bet slip can be seen below.

Bet Slip
Leg St. Kilda__$1.91
Stake $10
Est. Returns $19.20
Net Winnings $9.20

The bettor has placed $10 as their “Stake” in the Stake field.

How are the returns calculated for an AFL Line bet?

The estimated returns are calculated as:

(St. Kilda Odds) $1.91 x $10 (Stake)

Estimated Returns = $19.20

Calculating the profit on an AFL Line bet –

(Estimated Returns) $19.20 – $10.00 (Stake)

Estimated Profit = $9.20

TIP – To make an informed Line AFL bet we suggest –

  • Check the winning/losing margins for the previous five matchups between the two sides. Some teams, such as Geelong and Hawthorn have not had a large winning margin in many years. While teams with poor form are expected to lose games, sometimes the Line can be exaggerated.
  • Check for injuries and omissions during the week, as a loss to any key player will sway the Lines.

Margin (Big Win/Little Win)

AFL margin markets are provided in the same format each week. Margin markets offer a set margin for each game, where the bettor can select a margin in which they believe the game will result for either team.

The most common Margin Markets are:

  • 1-39 points (The selected team must win the game by a margin of 1 to 39 points).
  • 40 + points (The selected team must win the game by a margin of 40 plus points).
  • Draw (The game must end in a draw.

AFL Margin Markets are set out with the following format and odds. For this example the bettor has selected St. Kilda to win the game by a margin of 1-39 points.

Margin Markets
St. Kilda 1-39__$2.88 Melbourne 1-39__$2.00
St. Kilda 40+__$11.00 Melbourne 40+__$4.50
Draw           $56.00

Because the Head to Head markets for this game (St. Kilda $2.40/Melbourne $1.60) have St. Kilda as underdogs, the Margin Markets will also reflect St. Kilda at longer odds than Melbourne.

For this to result as a winning bet, St. Kilda must win the game by a margin of 1-39 points.

An example of a this Line Bet in a bet slip can be seen below.

Bet Slip
Leg St. Kilda 1-39__$2.88
Stake $10
Est. Returns $19.20
Net Winnings $9.20

The bettor has placed $10 as their “Stake” in the Stake field.

How are the returns calculated for an AFL Margin bet?

The estimated returns are calculated as:

(St. Kilda Odds) $2.88 x $10 (Stake)

Estimated Returns = $28.80

Calculating the profit on an AFL Margin bet –

(Estimated Returns) $28.80 – $10.00 (Stake)

Estimated Profit = $18.80

TIP – To make an informed Margin AFL bet we suggest to-

  • Check the past 10 games for both teams. If one team is prone to heavy losses while their opponent is winning by big margins, their is value in the 40+ points margin. Alternatively, if one team keeps their games close, the value is in the 1-39 margin for either team.

AFL Total Game Points/Over Under

With Total Points betting in AFL, you are betting whether the total score of an AFL game is going to be over or under the total points given by the bookmaker. If the total score of the AFL game is higher than the Line given by the bookie, then the over wins; if it is lower than the predicted total, then the under wins.

The Total Game Points is calculated by adding the total points scored by both teams following the final siren.

Total Points markets are presented in the following format by the bookmaker –

In this example the bettor has selected that the Total Points Line (set by the bookmaker) will be over 179.5 points.

Total Game Points
Over (179.5)__$1.91 Under (179.5)__$1.91

A with a Line bet, the odds will not favour a particular market, with the bookmaker looking to get roughly 50% of bets on either side of the Total Points market.

An example of a this Line Bet in a bet slip can be seen below.

Bet Slip
Leg Over (179.5)__$1.91
Stake $10
Est. Returns $19.10
Net Winnings $9.10

The bettor has placed $10 as their “Stake” in the Stake field.

How are the returns calculated for an AFL Total Game Points bet?

The estimated returns are calculated as:

(St. Kilda Odds) $1.91 x $10 (Stake)

Estimated Returns = $19.10

Calculating the profit on an AFL Total Game Points bet –

(Estimated Returns) $19.10 – $10.00 (Stake)

Estimated Profit = $9.10

TIP – To make an informed AFL Total Game Points bet we suggest –

  • Check the average scores of both teams for the current season. Total Points bets are not generally recommended to take until midway during the season, when it’s clearer as to the scoring trends of teams.
  • If both teams score a lot of points, go the over. If one team is defensive and the other attacking, stay away. The Total Points markets is one of the hardest to predict, as the outcome relies entirely on the defense of either team. If you feel comfortable with a line, take it, it’s the punters methodology.
  • Watch for team lineups closer to game, if a teams main forward is not playing, perhaps stay away.

AFL First Goal Scorer

AFL First Goal Scorer markets list out players of both teams in the game, and the bettor must select which player they think will kick the most goals.

These markets are generally available for

  • First Goal Scorer in a team
  • First Goal Scorer in a 1/4 or 1/2
  • First Goal Scorer in the game, listing all applicable players (the most common)

Some players, such as full-backs, will not be listed in the market, as they are highly unlikely to kick the first goal.

For this example, the bettor has selected ‘Player L’ to kick the first goal of the game. Player L is at odds of $21 to kick the first goal, and is likely a midfielder. The players most likely to kick the first goal play at the positions of full forward, forward pocket, centre half forward and forward flank.

Below is how the First goal Scorer market may appear in a wagering site –

1st Goal Scorer
Player A $8 Player B $9 Player C $8
Player D $12 Player E $13 Player F $13
Player G $14 Player H $13 Player I $15
Player J $19 Player K $21 Player L $21
Player M $21 Player N $21 Player O $21
Player P $23 Player Q $26 Player R $26
Player S $34 Player T $34 Player U $41
Player V $41 Player W $41 Any Other Player Not Listed $5

For this to be a winning bet for the punter, ‘Player L’ must kick the first goal of the game.

An example of a this Line Bet in a bet slip can be seen below.

Bet Slip
Leg 1st Goal Scorer – Player A__$21.00
Stake $10
Est. Returns $210.00
Net Winnings $200.00

The bettor has placed $10 as their “Stake” in the Stake field.

How are the returns calculated for an AFL First Goal Scorer bet?

The estimated returns are calculated as:

(Player A Odds) $21.00 x $10 (Stake)

Estimated Returns = $210.00

Calculating the profit on an AFL First Goal Scorer bet –

(Estimated Returns) $210.00 – $10.00 (Stake)

Estimated Profit = $200.00

TIP – To make an informed First Goal Scorer bet we suggest to –

  • Look at 1st quarter scoring statistics for both teams. If one team manages to score a lot in the 1st quarter, it is likely that they will start well, and have many early inside 50’s. Back the forwards in that team for the First Goal Scorer bet.

Don’t be shy…

If you’ve got any queries or questions don’t hesitate to send us a message, we love to help our fellow punters as best we can.

Good Luck!