AFL line betting explained
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What is line betting?
A line wager is the most common kind of handicap market in Australian sports betting. Rather than offering straight match odds on either team to win, the bookmaker sets a margin – called ‘the line’ – which acts as the new par score. This effectively squares up the contest, so both parties tend to sport similar (often identical) prices.
From here, it’s much like a head-to-head bet: you pick either Team A or Team B to cover their side of the line. But what does that mean, exactly?
For example, let’s say you want to bet on Collingwood versus West Coast. The Magpies are favourites, so the bookie decides to give the Eagles a head start of 10.5 points. Thus, the odds might read:
|Collingwood -10.5 – $1.90|
|West Coast +10.5 – $1.90|
The idea is to pick which outcome is more likely: Collingwood to win by 11 points or more, or West Coast to do no worse than a 10-point loss. If you think the Pies should win easily, you’d take them at -10.5; but if you reckon the Eagles will at least push them to the wire, you’d probably take West Coast at +10.5.
Different AFL line markets
The above is an example of what is sometimes called a ‘match line’ or ‘game line’, which focuses entirely on the final score. While this is far and away the most common type of line wager, the best sports betting sites offer a few more AFL handicap markets besides:
Quarter-time and half-time lines – Instead of the final score, you must pick which team will be ahead of the points line at quarter-time, half-time, or three-quarter-time.
Quarter-only lines – Rather than the match totals, quarter line bets focus solely on the score within a single quarter of football.
Pick your own line – If you don’t like the bookie’s match line, you can set it where you like. Not happy with Port Adelaide at -14.5 points? Take them at -9.5 instead, at adjusted odds.
In addition to handicap lines, AFL betting sites also offer dozens of over/under options per match. These follow much the same principles as standard line wagers, except they can encompass any number of periphery outcomes within a game of footy.
For example, let’s say we are betting on total points scored in a game between Essendon and Hawthorn. The over/under odds might look like this:
|Over 180.5 – $1.89|
|Under 180.5 – $1.91|
As with our regular AFL handicap bet, the premise is simple: to decide which side of the line will win out. If you think the teams’ combined scores will total 181 points or more, take the overs; but if you suspect it will more likely be 180 or less, you’ll want to put your money on unders.
Popular AFL over/under markets include:
- Total match points
- Total halftime points
- Total goals scored
- Total behinds scored
- Home team points/goals/behinds
- Away team points/goals/behinds
How to make AFL handicap bets online
First, you need to get an account at one of our top-ranked Australian betting sites. All of these leading bookies are 100% secure and support fast, convenient banking methods like Visa, Skrill and POLi, so you’ll be signed in and cashed up in no time.
Once you have credits available, you must pick which game (or games) you want to gamble on. Head to the ‘AFL’ or ‘Australian rules’ section and search through the upcoming matches until you find the one you want, then click on the game heading (e.g. ‘Richmond vs Carlton’) to view the available markets. Line betting odds are usually listed among the favourites towards the top, but they can also be found under the ‘Handicap’ subheading at most sites.
When you find the odds you want, just click or tap them to add the wager to your virtual betting slip. Now you just have to set your stake and hit ‘Confirm’, and you’re good to go.