Your AFL Ultimate Guide: Betting on Australian Rules Football
Betting on the AFL in Australia can be lucrative, but you have to know what you are doing before you wade in.
With so many markets, a league that is tighter than ever (excluding you, Saint Kilda, Carlton and Brisbane Lions) and upsets happening every week, going on a losing run can be easy.
Luckily, there are plenty of tips that can make the job a lot easier for you to pick winners in the AFL. Here are some of our suggestions for being a winner in betting on the AFL
Look for value early in the week
The average AFL market will fluctuate between 10-30 per cent during the week.
That means a team you fancy on Monday at $2.10 could have been crunched into $1.90 by week's end.
Always look for that value at the start of the week, before the casual punters have waded in with weekend bets.
Get comfortable with AFL statistics
AFL is a numbers game and you need to know them to be able to beat the bookies.
Create your own spreadsheets, note when there are fluctuations like a player that traditionally has a lot of disposals but struggles against certain teams.
This gives you vital ammunition in picking your bets, especially when it comes to player props.
Avoid the temptation of 'pick your own line' markets
These are cleverly framed markets designed to entice the recreational punter while stripping away value from each and every bet.
The premise is simple, you enhance the line to your choosing to seemingly get a much more winnable bet. For example, you might see that you can get Hawthorn at +10.5 at around $1.90 to beat Geelong.
So you choose to create your own line by pushing this buffer out to 30.5 at $1.30. The thing is, once the mathematics has been applied, you are actually reducing the true odds of each team down to around $1.80, instead of $1.90. The bookies are trimming them market and pocketing casual punter coins.
Get to know fantasy football
Creating Supercoach or fantasy AFL sides is in some parts great fun, in others a sure-fire way to create a civil war in your office.
But it is more than just a fun little way to interact with the sport, it is a great way to make money as well.
There are versions of fantasy football, like Moneyball and Draftstars, where you can compete for real, cold hard cash.
But you can also bet on unders and overs for individual player scores with your bookie as well. It pays to analyse the form of every player and how they match up against certain teams and opponents. By recognising when a line is set too high or low, you can make some serious bank.
Be quick, though. These lines are notoriously fast to move once money begins to be wagered.
Set your own odds first
If you fancy yourself as an AFL expert and analyst, then back yourself.
The best method is to go over each game for the round before you even look at what the bookies are offering.
Set your own odds on each match, then look at what the bookies are offering. If you see a big difference, you could well be onto a winner.
Don't be lazy, pick up the phone
Live betting legislation in Australia is draconian, but that means there are plenty of opportunities available.
Bookies have all the time in the world to frame markets before a match, but during? They have to act fast and assess all manners of historical scenarios.
This basically means that you have plenty of windows to move before them. Do you know the team you are playing historically fades late? Get on quick when the odds blow out after they kick the first two goals.
Watch for these windows, understand history and look for value. But most of all, make the effort to pick up the phone if you spot value before the bookies do.
Follow social media religiously
Information tends to leak, and when it does it usually leaks on Twitter.
We will use the recent example of Andrew Bogut signing to play for Sydney in the NBL. This broke on Twitter when the Kings were at $13-1 to win the championship.
It took a solid 20 minutes before the bookies acted and crunched the Kings into $6-1. Get the picture?
If you find out first that Buddy Franklin has busted his knee at training, act quickly. Because you can grab value lines before the bookies discover the news themselves.
Be a weather watcher
We don't mean take a look at the sky the day before a game, get really nerdy about it.
There are a number of long-range weather forecasting services out there. One of the best is the US Navy's Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center at www.usno.navy.mil/FNMOC. Rain, especially heavy rain, definitely has an influence on total scores in AFL matches played in stadiums without rooves.
This can give you a real advantage when it comes to team, player and total score markets.
Have a staking system
It is important to recognise that there will be losing runs, what is important is that the winning runs out-number the lean days. It is a marathon, not a sprint.
It can be tempting to up the ante when the chips are down to chase down those losses, but that is how the bookies get you.
EziSports recommends using a unit system, where one unit is equal to one per cent of your betting stack. For example, you might have $100, so your units are $1. If you lose $50 of that, your units become 50c. If you win and go up to $150, your units are $1.50.
This is a safeguard against losing your entire betting stack.