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Australian Rules Review

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Introduction to Australian Rules Betting

Australian Rules (“Aussie Rules”) is the version of football played predominantly in Australia. The sport derives from association football, also known as soccer and invented in England. Aussie Rules is a team sport with a league structure in Australia. The objective is to score points with a goal worth six points and a behind worth one point. The high-scoring nature of the sport provides plenty of betting opportunities. A professional match consists of four quarters of 20 minutes which means bookmakers offer odds on the most popular markets by segments and the full match. The sport did spread to colonies, but in effect, it is only played professionally at a high level in Australia.

Betting Events

The structure of Australian Rules is one dimensional in that the only league of note in the world is the Australian Football League (AFL), which took its current name at the start of the 1990 season. There have been attempts to reach a new audience by staging AFL matches in New Zealand and China. However, the AFL dominates betting on the sport, which is one of the most popular for betting in Australia. There are 18 competing teams in the AFL who play each other on a home and away basis. However, it is not a round-robin league as each team plays just 22 fixtures. The top 8 teams qualify for the post-season finals which culminate in the Grand Final. There is an AFL league for women, but it attracts much less betting interest and turnover.

Betting Types

The match result market is a three-way option (Home Win, Draw, Away Win), but the nature of the scoring system means draws rare. The team that finished at the top of the league during the 2019 regular season scored 1984 points and conceded 1462 points. There were 157 points on average during their matches. The number of points in a typical fixture provides scope for a mix of pre-match and in-play betting. There are fluctuations in the scoring and varying distributions of points over the four quarters of a match. The nature of the scoring makes for cash out betting whereby bettors can close bets before expiry to profit from the scoring going in line with the bet. Aussie Rules is not an Olympic sport and there are no world championships. Therefore, the only potential ante-post market is on the winner of the AFL Championship.

Australian Rules Markets

The most popular Aussie Rules markets are the match winner, handicaps and totals. Bookmakers offer these markets over the match, each half and the four quarters. The totals and handicaps are expressed in half points to eliminate the tie. Match markets have three options, but during the 2019 regular season, there was not one draw. Bookmakers offer odds on more exotic markets such as the first goal scorer and correct score. These markets are attractive because they offer the potential for a decent win with a small stake.


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