AG’s Highest-Rated AFL Bookies for 2014, and Why
Bookmakers we strongly promote and whom also offer in excess of 200 AFL betting markets are Sportsbet.com.au, Centrebet.com and Sportingbet.com.au. We advise punters to open accounts with all four sites to take full advantage of the lucrative first deposit free bonus bets, other frequent promotions and offers, and most importantly, to compare odds and ensure you get the best available on any AFL bet at any given point in time.
2014 Premiership Betting
All Australian bookmakers offer a future market on the 2014 AFL premiership winner, prior to the start of the season and throughout the year, with the odds constantly fluctuating. Our four bookies are split in terms of the favourite for the 2014 premiership, with Sportsbet installing 2013 champions Hawthorn as a $4.75 favourite to go back-to-back, and Sportingbet and Centrebet placing Sydney and Fremantle, the 2012 premiers and 2013 grand finalists respectively, as equal $4.75 favourites. The title race this year promises to be as close as ever. On the fourth line of betting with all four bookmakers is Geelong, while Collingwood and then interestingly North Melbourne, rounding out the top six.
Want to see what the team at AustralianGambling are predicting for the AFL in 2014? Check out our tips for the season right here.
Common AFL Markers
- Handicap & points
- Over & under
Head-to-head (H2H) Betting
The outright H2H wager simply asks who you think will win the match. The favourite will always be priced at less than $2.00 odds, and at a shorter price than the opposing team. On some occasions, both sides can be paying equal odds (for example, $1.90 each) if the contest is considered extremely even. Like other markets, bookmakers set their head-to-head odds via the opinions of an expert team who formulate prices based on public opinion, team form and history, and a range of other significant factors.
As always, setting early prices is a risky business, as the views of the team of experts might in fact differ to that of the public. Once the market is set, wagers placed on the two teams will force their starting prices to fluctuate, and can often lead to favourites becoming underdogs, and underdogs becoming favourites. H2H wagers can also be placed on who will be leading at quarter time, half time and three-quarter-time (3QT).
The team at longer odds to win the match is, in the handicap market, given a precise head start on points, and the team at shorter odds is given a disadvantaged start, researched and chosen by the bookies, in order to create a bet with even odds (generally $1.92), designed to give both sides a 50 per cent chance of winning. For example: if Hawthorn is playing Carlton and the Hawks are considered slight favourites at $1.60 to beat the $2.25 Blues, the handicap/line betting could look something like this:
Hawthorn: -11.5 at $1.92
Carlton: +11.5 at $1.92
The $1.92 line odds for each side, and the accompanying handicaps of -11.5 and +11.5, was where the bookies decided the game would become an even contest (such odds are always equal). So the handicaps show the bookmakers believe Hawthorn is currently an 11-and-a-half-point better team than Carlton, which is the same as saying Carlton is an 11.5-point inferior side than Hawthorn. This line which is set, is therefore what the bookies believe will roughly be the winning/losing margin for the game.
If the final score for the match is Hawthorn 82 def Carlton 74, wagers placed on Carlton at +11.5 @ $1.92 would win, while wagers placed on Hawthorn at -11.5 @ $1.92 would lose. If you add on the 11.5-point head start given to the Blues to their final score, it is easy to see that 74 (which becomes 85.5) is greater than Hawthorn’s final score of 82. Conversely, if you subtract 11.5 from Hawthorn’s final score of 82, then its new score is less than Carlton’s original final total. If you calculate one, there is no need to calculate the other. The easiest way to distinguish which bet is the winning bet is to ask yourself: did Hawthorn win by more, or less than 11.5 points? If the answer is more, than it has successfully covered what is known as the spread, and a wager on the Hawks is successful. But in this case, they failed to cover the spread, so Carlton to get within 11.5 pays off. The reason for the 0.5 value given to either side is so if Hawthorn wins by 11 or 12 points, we can clearly see which selection is victorious.
Punters also can pick their own line, where set prices are given for a large scope of possible results, all in relation to the original line for the game. So $1.92 odds for each team at -11.5 and +11.5 will begin to increase and decrease when you start to change the line in a positive or negative direction for either team. For example, set a line of -19.5 for Hawthorn, and the odds might climb from $1.92 to $2.30, because according to the original line, it will obviously be harder for the Hawks to win by more than 19.5 points than 11.5 points, hence the rise in price. Handicap betting can also apply to each stage of the match (i.e. if a certain team covers a set spread by quarter time, HT or 3QT).
Bookmakers will often add another element of the same nature to line/handicap betting, but instead of offering odds of $1.92, the points market will provide the punter with slightly better value, where a handicap/head-start amount will be reached where both teams are usually paying around $2.10. In this example, such a market could be as follows:
Hawthorn: -16.5 @ $2.10
Carlton: +6.5 @ $2.10
So if the Hawks had won by more than 16.5 points, a bet on them at $2.10 would win, while if the Blues had got within 6.5 points, a bet on them would have won.
Note: There are scenarios with this form of wagering where both options may not come to fruition, and that’s why odds of over $2.00 can be offered, even though there are only two options in play. A final margin ranging from seven points to 16 points would not be a successful result for either of the $2.10 bets. As per the original final score above, the winning margin of eight points does no one any favours if they took either of the points wagers.
Hypothetically, if you saw a market with only two outcomes at the same bookmaker, and each was paying in excess of $2.00, by punting on both, you would guarantee yourself a profit, but this is why such markets would not exist within the same company – unless due to error – because the company would be haemorrhaging money.
Generally, backing all outcomes of one event would guarantee a loss of a small percentage (the bookmaker’s margin). However, there is such a form of wagering known as arbitrage betting which takes advantage of different odds from diverse companies to turn what would usually be a loss in to a guaranteed profit; scenarios which can arise due to bookmakers’ altered opinions on the outcomes of events, and fluctuation in prices at different times and organisations.
Margin markets are specific bets which cover the range/span which the winning margin of one side will fall within. There will often be multiple choices with a variety of differing prices, and obviously the more specific you get, the higher the odds become. You should always find the following markets in any AFL game:
- Team A to win by 1-39 points.
- Team A to win by 40+ points.
- Team B to win by 1-39 points.
- Team B to win by 40+ points.
- Team A or B to win by 1-24 or 25+ points.
- Team A or B to win by 1-19, 20-39, 40-59 and 60+ points.
- Team A or B to win by 1-9, 10-19, 20-29 … 90-99 and 100+ points.
You can also choose to bet on Team A or B to win by a specific two-point margin spread (such as 14-15 points), or the exact margin (23 points). Within all these markets, the option to wager on the draw, and its price, is provided. Again, like the above markets, punters are given the choice to wager on a team leading by a certain amount at each break in the game.
Over & Under (Points Total*)
Points total betting is wagering on the accumulated number of points to be scored either by one team or both teams at certain stages of the match (quarter time, half time, 3QT and full time). An Over/Under approach is taken here; whether the total amount of points will be over or under a set aggregate. For example: sites will often set 192.5 as the aggregate benchmark for the scores of the two teams collectively, in any one particular game, by full time. The odds will, in most circumstances, be of equal value at around $1.92 each.
*This form of wagering is also available for the results at each designated break in the match, and should not be confused with the Points market, which was explained above.
There are several markets available which allow punters to wager on outcomes of individual players, which again can come to fruition at quarter time, HT, 3QT, and at the final siren.
Goal Scorer – Predict which player will bag the most goals, be the first goal-kicker, last goal-scorer, or simply anytime goal scorer at some stage in the match. Forward-line players will be at shorter priced odds than back-line players.
Most Possessions – Who will be the leading possession-winner on the ground at any of the four stages of the match? A list of selected players and their respective odds are offered by bookies, with highly-rated midfielders often at much shorter prices than defenders or forwards.
There are a vast number of doubles offered by our bookies, where you can bet on two outcomes of a game as one overall wager, with both results needing to be achieved in order for you to win. The odds of each individual result are multiplied together to form one overall set price, thus creating higher returns. Some doubles include:
Line/Points Total Double: The handicap/line selection, along with the total amount of points to be scored in the match. For instance; St. Kilda has a handicap of +28.5, against Collingwood who has a handicap of -28.5, and the total points to be scored in the match is set at Over/Under 192.5 The four options would include:
- Collingwood -28.5 and Over 192.5 (Collingwood to win by more than 28.5 points & the total sum of points to be greater than 192.5).
- Collingwood -28.5 and Under 192.5
- St. Kilda +28.5 and Over 192.5
- St. Kilda +28.5 and Under 192.5
First Score/Head to Head Double: The combinations involving the first team to score in the game, and the team which will win. Using the above example:
- Collingwood to score first and win the match
- Collingwood to score first and lose the match
- St. Kilda to score first and win the match
- St. Kilda to score first and lose the match
Half-Time/Full-Time: Who will lead at half time in combination with who will be leading at the conclusion of the match, with the following possibilities:
- St. Kilda/Collingwood
- St. Kilda/St. Kilda
- Collingwood/St. Kilda
- A draw at the end of any quarter
All these doubles can also be used as single bet. For instance, you can simply place a wager on who you think will score first. You can also punt on what type of score the first score will be – a behind to Team A or Team B, or a goal to Team A or Team B.
The scorecast is a new type of bet where precise odds are given for a player to score the first goal of the game, along with the final winning margin spread of the match. For instance, if Melbourne is playing Gold Coast, you will find an option of Mitch Clarke to score the first goal and Melbourne to win by 10-19 points. Odds for these selections are always high and very attractive.
A common selection which often presents good value for money. As the name suggests, such a market offers three different outcomes in any one match, with AFL games usually handed the following confines:
Team A to win by over 15.5 points
Team B to win by over 15.5 points
Either Team under 15.5 points (this includes the tie).
Similar to the half time/full time double, here you can wager on which team will lead at each stage of the match. As there are four distinct periods of a footy game, there would be 16 different options to choose from, and picking the right one is always a difficult but entertaining task. The option to select ‘scores level’ at the end of any term is available, too.
A multi-bet is a wager involving a series of two or more individual selections combined, which produces a much greater dividend. Each individual selection is called a leg, and each leg must be successful in order for the entire multi-bet to pay off. If one or more of the outcomes does not occur, then the bet will lose. The multi-bet odds are calculated the same was as a doubles wager is calculated; by multiplying the price of each individual wager together. Thus, the overall price can stand to grow significantly.
Note: You cannot add multiple legs of the same game together to create a multi, or events which are deemed to be related (i.e. you won’t be able to multi Melbourne beating Gold Coast, with Melbourne winning the same game by 20-39 points).
Multis open up a plethora of options for us and are a thoroughly entertaining, high risk/high reward style of punting. Take one team paying $2.50 to win in a H2H market, multi it with a different match and take the favourite to cover the spread at $1.92, and then multi those two selections with an individual player in another game to be the leading goal-kicker at $4.75 odds. You will now have odds of $22.80.
Popular AFL futures markets include (events which will result later on in the season):
- Premiership Winner
- Minor Premiers (to finish top of the table at the end of the H&A season).
- To Make the Top 4
- To Make the Top 8
- Wooden Spoon Winner (to finish bottom of the ladder).
- Grand Final Quinella (which two teams you think will make the Grand Final).
- Brownlow Medal Winner (arguably the most respected medal, awarded to the best and fairest player of the Home and Away season, as deemed by the official AFL umpires).
Live Betting and Wagering on Mobiles
Live, in-play betting, while no longer allowed online by Australian sports bookmakers, is still completely legal by calling up your designated bookie and placing you selected bets over the phone. You will need an account with the bookmaker you decide to call up, and minimum wagers are usually AUD $5.
Each of our recommended bookies offer mobile betting, so you can punt on the AFL directly from your Apple iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry or any other phone/tablet device with a data connection. The phone layout and design of each site is clean, easy to use and extremely efficient.
Where to Watch AFL
You can watch all AFL matches live on Foxtel, while Channel 7 hosts four games free-to-air every round. AFL.com.au streams entire replays of every game 24 hours after the conclusion of the selected match, while the site also offers a link to listen to each and every game live on the radio.
Questions and answers for punting on the AFL.