AFL Betting Guide

Welcome to our AFL betting section.

Betting on AFL has exploded exponentially in recent years, particularly as technology advances have enabled anyone with a smart phone or an ipad to be bet online on the AFL from anywhere they are located.

In this AFL betting guide we are endeavouring to give you a bit of an insight into some of the things that will enable you to bet on AFL profitably.

Such things as injuries, the weather, the venue, recent form and how teams actually match up against others are important factors, but obvious ones, so we’re going to highlight a few other, less obvious things to consider with AFL betting that present better value and returns in the long run.

#1 Value is generally NOT in the head to head betting markets:

To understand this is to understand how sportsbooks make their money. Sportsbooks set their prices with a profit margin built into the odds. Depending on where you are in the world this is commonly called the “juice” or “vigorish” that the book applies to its prices. In Australia, its generally just referred to as the bookies margin.

When setting their AFL odds, the sportsbooks add the most margin to the H2H (head to Head) prices, as this is where they get the higher turnover, particularly from the casual punter just looking to drop a dollar on their favourite team.

It’s also one of the reasons why seasoned AFL punters steer clear of H2H betting for the most part and focus in on alternative markets such as line betting or even more esoteric markets like Half-time/Full-time betting.

These bet types often have lower margins applied by the books, or are out of line more often than with the true odds and thus present better betting value, particularly if you are armed with statistical data to back up your bet.

For example, did you know that at the time of writing this guide Hawthorn have beaten the line the bookies have set in 12 of the past 13 games?

Obviously, a bet on Hawthorn at the line would have been far more profitable in this period than one on them just winning.

Similarly HT/FT betting (half time-full time) can throw up similar results. A recent example is the game game between Essendon and Geelong. Essendon were paying $1.83 to win the game, but $2.35 to be leading at half time and full time. When you consider Essendon being notorious good starters this season and Geelong slow starters, its obvious if you fancied Essendon to win , you would think they would be leading at half-time as well and thus the $2.35 is much better value. As it turns out, Geelong went against the trend and led from start to finish to win very comfortably……but you get the picture I’m sure.

KEY POINT – look at the line betting or alternative market odds to find value


#2 when is the best time to place your bets

Some of the more risk adverse punters wait for the teams to be published before betting. However, you should always check the lines on a Wednesday or Thursday. This is because the betting lines are at their most inefficient and the volume of smart money “corrects” off-lines. Bookies endeavour to balance their markets as best they can, so they move the lines to do this. Lines that are clearly out and over the odds get hit by Thursday, so come Friday onwards, a lot of the value has been taken by the smart money.

So whether you intend betting on a game or not this early in the week, you can always determine where the smart money is being placed and add that information to your arsenal. Purely by taking note of market movements.

KEY POINT – check the markets early in the week and note the movements


#3 Shop around for best odds and promotions

Betting the best odds is a critical part of successful AFL betting. You aren’t going to win 100% of your bets, in fact, most professionals are happy with a 55% plus win rate and “line-shopping” can be the difference to being a winning or losing punter.

One thing that is a bit unique to Australian betting is the promotions that are on offer. Due to laws in Australia not allowing sportsbooks to offer deposit bonuses to a large part of the country, the sportsbooks look for other ways to make them stand out from the pack.

Promotions such as money back on your bet if your team leads at ¾ time but loses the game can be used to your advantage, and in some cases allow you to avoid losing your bet.

This is a simplistic example, but just demonstrates how you can combine line-shopping and promotions to get much more value in your AFL betting.

For this reason, we highly suggest you have accounts at most of the major Aussie books, as each week they will email you numerous promotional offers that you can pick and choose from and may sway you to bet that weeks bet(s) at one particularly bookie over the others.

KEY POINT – Line shopping is just as important as your picks in the long term