How to bet on the AFL grand final
The leading online bookmakers run a plethora of AFL Grand Final markets every year. Our suggested bookies are the ones we trust 100 per cent and which offer great odds, loads of football specials, and easy-to-use desktop platforms as well as iPad, iPhone and Android betting apps. Click any of the links above to find out more about their AFL betting options, secure banking methods and free bonus bets for new customers.
AFL Premiership futures/outright betting
AFL Grand Final futures are those long-term bets you can make at just about any point in the year, from the start of the campaign right up until the pointy end of the finals series. Get big odds on that smoky you fancy at the start of the year, or track the prices and jump on a flagging pre-season favourite midway through.
All the best AFL betting sites run two huge footy futures markets for the big dance:
- To win the premiership
- To make the grand final
Best AFL Grand Final match markets
The top-ranked Australian betting sites list hundreds upon hundreds of AFL match wagers on grand final day. These cover everything from straight odds to handicap bets to totals markets, including a range of GF specials you won’t find during the home and away season.
Head-to-head (H2H) – Which of the two combatants will walk away with the flag? That’s the only question you have to answer when selecting head-to-head match odds.
Points margin – Will it be a blowout, or will it be an arm-wrestle all the way to the final siren? You can select either team to win within a certain margin range – usually between one and 39 points, or 40 points and over.
Line betting – This is a classic handicap market where the underdog gets a virtual head start over the favourite. For example: if you take Collingwood at +12.5, they must secure a 12-point loss or better; whereas if you take Sydney at -12.5, they must win by at least 13 points.
Match totals – You can bet on the number of goals, behinds and total points scored by either team, or by both combined. These are usually over/under bets, but some bookies also offer good odds for exact totals.
Players props and exotic bets
Whereas match markets rely heavily on team performances, props and exotics are those footy bets that focus on specific stats, incidents and individual efforts. There are hundreds of AFL exotics available on every match, all year round, but the GF throws up even more prop markets and special bets for your punting pleasure.
Norm Smith Medallist – Who will stand head and shoulders above the rest to drag his team over the line? Awarded to the player adjudged best on ground, the Norm Smith Medal is just about the hottest bet on grand final day.
First goalscorer betting – This is one of the most popular AFL Grand Final match betting markets. The premise is simple: which player, from either side, will score the very first goal of the game?
Most disposals – Does what it says on the tin. Choose which player will make the ‘G his playground and rack up the most touches for the day.
Player head-to-head markets – Two players from opposite sides are pitted against each other, and you must pick which one will gain the most disposals, or kick the most goals, or tally the most all-round performance points on the day.
AFL Grand Final doubles – Get better odds by covering two separate outcomes in the same bet. The most popular version is the half-time/full-time double, where you must pick which team will lead at the main break and which will triumph at the final siren.
More: Rising Star Betting
AFL live betting
Live in-game betting allows you to take advantage of momentum shifts and significant incidents within a footy match. Is Buddy Franklin looking groggy after that heavy collision? Has Joel Selwood jumped off the chain in the third quarter? If you take notice and put some money down quick-smart, you might be the one laughing loudest of all when the Premiers lift the trophy.
Unfortunately, Australian gambling law prevents online betting sites and mobile apps from accepting in-game wagers on football games, including the grand final. But you can still place live bets the old-fashioned way: by picking up the phone and calling one of our recommended AFL bookies.
How do the AFL finals work?
Like the Victorian Football League before it, Australia’s national football competition has used many methods for determining which two teams will feature in the biggest game of the year. The current AFL finals system, which has been in use since 2000, is a four-week playoff tournament between the top eight teams in the home and away season.
As an example, let’s look at the final eight from 2014:
- Port Adelaide
- North Melbourne
Now, here’s how it works.
Week one – qualifying and elimination
The eight is split into two sections. The upper division (top four) play in two qualifying finals, with first hosting fourth and second playing third. The lower section (bottom four) play in a pair of elimination finals, with fifth against eighth and sixth versus seventh. In all cases, except where an appropriate venue is unavailable, the higher-ranked team is awarded home advantage.
|QF1 – Sydney (1) vs Fremantle (4)|
|QF2 – Hawthorn (2) vs Geelong (3)|
|EF1 – Port Adelaide (5) vs Richmond (8)|
|EF2 – North Melbourne (6) vs Essendon (7)|
Week two – the semi finals
The winners of each qualifier progress straight to the preliminary finals, so they don’t feature in the second round. The losers of the qualifying finals get a chance at redemption in the semi finals, where they will face the winners of each eliminator. Those who lost in the elimination round are out of the tournament.
In 2014, Freo and Geelong both lost their top-four bouts while Port and North both won through. As the loser of QF1 plays host to the winner of EF1, the fixtures worked out like so:
|SF1 – Fremantle vs Port Adelaide|
|SF2 – Geelong vs North Melbourne|
Week three – the preliminary finals
Now it’s do or die as the last four teams play off for a spot in the AFL Grand Final. The qualifying winners, having had a week’s rest, face the victors from each semi final. However, the draws are switched so that the preliminary finals won’t be exact replicas of the qualifying finals. Thus, the winner of QF1 (Sydney) plays the winner of SF2 (North Melbourne), while the winner of QF2 (Hawthorn) plays the winner of SF1 (Port Adelaide).
|PF1 – Sydney vs North Melbourne|
|PF2 – Hawthorn vs Port Adelaide|
The winner of each prelim goes on to play in the decider the following Saturday. In this case it was Hawthorn and Sydney, with the former romping to their 12th VFL/AFL Premiership.
Past AFL Premiers (1990 – present)
Since the VFL evolved into a national competition in 1990, 11 different teams have had the honour of lifting the Premiership Cup. Note that two grand finals were played in 2010; Collingwood vs St Kilda finished in a draw, resulting in a replay the following week.
|1990||Collingwood (def. Essendon)|
|1991||Hawthorn (def. West Coast)|
|1992||West Coast (def. Geelong)|
|1993||Essendon (def. Carlton)|
|1994||West Coast (def. Geelong)|
|1995||Carlton (def. Geelong)|
|1996||North Melbourne (def. Sydney)|
|1997||Adelaide (def. St Kilda)|
|1998||Adelaide (def. North Melbourne)|
|1999||North Melbourne (def. Carlton)|
|2000||Essendon (def. Melbourne)|
|2001||Brisbane (def. Essendon)|
|2002||Brisbane (def. Collingwood)|
|2003||Brisbane (def. Collingwood)|
|2004||Port Adelaide (def. Brisbane)|
|2005||Sydney (def. West Coast)|
|2006||West Coast (def. Sydney)|
|2007||Geelong (def. Port Adelaide)|
|2008||Hawthorn (def. Geelong)|
|2009||Geelong (def. St Kilda)|
|2010||Collingwood (def. St Kilda)*|
|2011||Geelong (def. Collingwood)|
|2012||Sydney (def. Hawthorn)|
|2013||Hawthorn (def. Fremantle)|
|2014||Hawthorn (def. Sydney)|
|2015||Hawthorn (def. West Coast)|
|2016||Western Bulldogs (def. Sydney)|
|2017||Richmond (def. Adelaide)|