Say the word “footy” and most peoples’ minds will automatically conjure images of Australian Rules football. Those who enjoy the best on offer will soon start to envision the wildly popular games staged by Australia’s premier competition, the Australian Football League.
Historical accounts claim that Rules was dreamed up by cricket players looking to maintain fitness outside cricket season and over 100 years later, it seems as though what they created has exceeded cricket in terms of popularity.
At the present moment, the AFL has 18 clubs across the country. The AFL also plays fixtures in states that do not have franchises, so the entire population has some opportunity to take in a game.
The popularity of the game can be seen by simply visiting one of the Australian online bookmakers during the season. Most games offer 200 markets or more weekly.
Head-to-head markets receive the lion’s share of the money and most AFL punters would admit to chasing the occasional upset, as almost every week will see a team on the bottom shock one of the top clubs.
Examples from the 2018 AFL season showed lowly Brisbane beating Hawthorn twice, or when St. Kilda, winners of just four for the season, shocked Melbourne in Round 15.
Some fans like to bet on the winner of the Grand Final, the club that takes home the premiership and those markets open early, not long after the Grand Final concludes the season. This market shifts during the fixture and up until the mid-point of the season and offers some tempting selections.
For the upcoming 2019 season, still month away, there are futures markets for the premiership, a club to finish in the top 4 or 8 and the team to win the fewest games.
This is a challenging market, what with 18 clubs in the AFL, and as anyone who picked pre-season favourite Adelaide, but punters can still get good bets on after some of the games have been played and a club’s true form takes shape.
Popularity of Line Betting
Line betting is also very popular. Pay heed, however, as most of the betting agencies will post a point-spread using half-point increments, and backing a favourite often results in a losing punt, even when the backed club wins the game and it is staggering the number of times that half point proves the decider between a winning punt and one that loses.
Just as soccer or rugby offers Half markets, the AFL does the same, but goes one step beyond, offering quarter markets as the setup of the game played over four quarters offers double the markets of soccer and rugby.
AFL betting also presents a chance for one of the major growth areas of sports wagering, which is Live In-Play betting. There are enough stoppages and breaks that the Australian law-required telephone call can be made by punters who enjoy making wagers once a game has started.
The number of more exotic markets frankly boggles. Punters who have a favourite player can usually find futures markets for the Coleman Medal and the Brownlow Medal.
One or more bookies are already offering head-to-head punts with the bounce of the 2019 months in the future, at least for Round 1.
Promintions for the season and each fixture are abundant, so those punters who would like to find a little edge can always find something to tilt the ground in their direction.