The Australian Football League (AFL) is the marquee Australian Rules Football competition in the world. The season consists of 22 regular season matches per team plus a finals series that runs over four weeks. With so much action, AFL betting is a favourite pastime during the Australian winter. 

Understanding the Basics of AFL Betting

Sports betting has exploded in popularity in recent years due to technological advancements such as the internet, smartphones and cable TV stations dedicated to sport. This provides wonderful opportunities for AFL fans who are prepared to do their betting research.

How Do AFL Betting Odds Work?

In Australia, AFL betting odds are displayed in decimal format. Below is an example of the AFL betting market for the upcoming match between Melbourne and Fremantle:

Melbourne $1.35

Fremantle  $3.25

A $10 bet on Melbourne would return $13.50 ($10 x $1.35) if successful while a $10 bet on Fremantle would return $32.50 if they were to win. In this match, Melbourne are a clear favourite. 

Different Types of AFL Betting Types

As AFL betting continues to grow in popularity so too does the number of markets available to bet on. Below are some of the major bet types:

Head-to-Head Betting is the simplest bet type. You pick a team and place a bet on them to win the match. If they win, you win! 

Line Betting involves placing a bet on the match’s outcome based on the betting “line” which is the number that the bookmaker has handicapped the game at.  

Future Bets are bets on an event over a longer period of time. For example, the Premiership winner.  

Total Points Markets is a bet on the total number of points scored by the teams competing. This is a bet of how you think the teams will play and if the conditions will favour defence or attack.  

Exotic & Prop Bets involve betting on a particular event happening during the match. For example, will Taylor Walker kick a goal. 

Tips for Finding the Best AFL Betting Odds

With so many online bookmakers available, there has never been a better time to bet on the AFL. Shopping around is the best way to find great odds. Australian bookmaker Palmerbet has three generations of bookmaking experience and offers fantastic odds on the AFL. I strongly recommend them. 

Betting on Underdogs: Risks and Rewards

An “Underdog” in betting terms is the team or selection that is not favoured to win and is likely to be at big odds with the bookmaker. For example, in an AFL game, the Adelaide Crows may be $3.75 to defeat the Melbourne Demons who are at odds of $1.25. A $10 win bet on Adelaide will return $37.50 while $10 on Melbourne will return $12.50.

As you can see, betting on the underdog can be rewarding. However, underdogs are that for a reason! Maybe the team is in poor form or a star player is injured.  Betting on an underdog may be risky, but it is rewarding when you win. For that reason, it is prudent to limit your bet size when betting on an upset as losing streaks is probable from time to time. 

Advanced AFL Betting Strategies

Being well-researched and prepared is the key to placing successful AFL bets. Statistical analysis plays a big role in the selection of bets. Once a bettor becomes familiar with AFL betting markets, they can specialise in different bet types.

 Below are three AFL betting strategies that can be successful:

  1. Betting on Home Ground Advantage can be a very successful way to find an underdog winner in the AFL. There are currently 18 teams in the AFL who are based across Australia. Some of the distances travelled are long and as the season progresses this travel can take its toll. Backing a lowly-ranked team at home against a middle-placed team can be profitable. 
  1. AFL it is amazing how History Repeats in the AFL. Some players tend to perform well consistently against certain teams while some teams have outstanding records against other teams or at certain venues. In recent times, Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has described how much he dislikes playing at the Docklands Stadium and his team’s results back up his opinion. These are edges that smart punters can uncover. 
  1. Betting on Totals is a great way to profit from analysis and research. It is a simple bet type; the bookie picks a total e.g., 181.5 points and if the teams combine for 182 points or more then the OVER wins and if the score is 181 points or less then the UNDER wins. Some teams are known as high-scoring teams such as Melbourne while St Kilda play a more defensive game style. 

Conclusion: Putting It All Together
Not only is a bet on AFL good fun, but it can also be profitable with a good plan and research. I bet with Palmerbet because they are licensed within Australia and offer good prices and great service. Check them out at or download their app.