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Betting on the AFL Rising Star

The AFL Rising Star Award is given out at the conclusion of the AFL home and away season to the talented youngster deemed to have had the most impact.

It is a popular category to bet on, with many players going on to become household names having won it. Carlton jet Sam Walsh took out the 2019 AFL Rising Star gong, but which young gun will win it in 2020?



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What is the Rising Star Award?

For those who don’t know, the Ron Evans Medal for the Rising Star is awarded to the best young talent in the Australian Football League. One nomination is handed out each week to whomever was deemed to be the best-performed youngster in the competition for the round. Players may only receive one nomination each for the year.

To be eligible for Rising Star nomination, players must:

  • Be under 21 years of age as of January 1 of this year
  • Have played 10 or fewer senior AFL games prior to this season

Players who receive a suspension during the season will be ruled ineligible for the Rising Star. However, as with the Brownlow Medal, a player may still be nominated for the award even after being suspended – despite the fact he cannot rightfully win it.

Whenever the season is over, an expert panel votes on the 23 nominees. Each member of the panel chooses their top five players and awards five votes to their number-one selection, four votes to their second pick, three to their third selection, and so on. The winner is the nominee who collects the most total votes.

2019 AFL Rising Star, Sam Walsh Sam Walsh (Carlton) – 2019 AFL Rising Star

Top online bookmakers for AFL Rising Star betting

For the best Rising Star odds, you can’t go past Australia’s most recognisable bookmaking brand. Sportsbet should be your first stop for all AFL futures, exotics and novelty bets.

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Few online bookies can match these guys for sheer spread of football betting markets. Bet365’s AFL outrights cover all the big individual awards, as well as more specialised markets such as the McClelland Trophy (minor premiership) and who will miss the eight.

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How to bet on the AFL Rising Star

AFL Rising Star odds go up at the conclusion of national draft in November. This is a great time to splash some cash if you know your footy and want maximum value for money, as the field is wide open and the prices are as loose as they get.

Perhaps the busiest time of year for AFL Rising Star betting is February, when the preseason games start and the new recruits get their first taste of AFL footy. Many a favourite has staked their claim at this time of year, several weeks out from round one of the home-and-away season.

As the season progresses, two or three contenders will break away from the rest of the pack. The earlier you get your bets on, the better, especially when there is an odds-on favourite. For example, a number of online bookies suspended betting on Sam Walsh with several rounds remaining in the 2019 season.

What to look for in AFL Rising Star betting

Unlike the Brownlow Medal, which is dominated by on-ballers, the list of AFL Rising Star winners offers a true reflection of the diverse talents on show in Australian rules football. Having to look beyond the midfield means picking a winner from the start is not always easy, so it worth keeping a few key points in mind when looking at the field.

  • Will they play the whole season?
    AFL fantasy players refer to ‘job security’ when selecting rookies at the start of the year, and this is a key factor when picking Rising Star candidates. A high draft pick is not always guaranteed to have an immediate impact, especially if they are coming into a competitive team and will have to fight for a starting spot. Hence, Rising Stars often come from teams that missed the finals the year before.
  • Do they have any standout qualities?
    There are plenty of fine footballers who get overlooked for major accolades because they lack a certain je ne sais quoi. In midfielders, you want prolific ball-winning and line-breaking speed; a forward needs to hit the scoreboard and provide plenty of highlights inside 50; and defenders are rewarded for their intelligence, craft and maturity above all else.
  • Don’t rule out key position players
    Many of the individual awards in AFL footy are now reserved for ball-winning machines and flashy half-forwards, but the Rising Star is a refreshing exception where role players and big men get the credit they deserve. Ben Holland, Nick Riewoldt, Justin Koschitzke and Jesse Hogan all won it as key forwards, while Jared Rivers and Daniel Talia were obstinate defenders from the off.

Past winners of the AFL Rising Star Award

1993 Nathan Buckley (Brisbane Bears)
1994 Chris Scott (Brisbane Bears)
1995 Nick Holland (Hawthorn)
1996 Ben Cousins (West Coast)
1997 Michael Wilson (Port Adelaide)
1998 Byron Pickett (North Melbourne)
1999 Adam Goodes (Sydney)
2000 Paul Hasleby (Fremantle)
2001 Justin Koschitzke (St Kilda)
2002 Nick Riewoldt (St Kilda)
2003 Sam Mitchell (Hawthorn)
2004 Jared Rivers (Melbourne)
2005 Brett Deledio (Richmond)
2006 Danyle Pearce (Port Adelaide)
2007 Joel Selwood (Geelong)
2008 Rhys Palmer (Fremantle)
2009 Daniel Rich (Brisbane Lions)
2010 Daniel Hannebery (Sydney)
2011 Dyson Heppell (Essendon)
2012 Daniel Talia (Adelaide)
2013 Jaeger O’Meara (Gold Coast)
2014 Lewis Taylor (Brisbane Lions)
2015 Jesse Hogan (Melbourne)
2016 Callum Mills (Sydney)
2017 Andrew McGrath (Essendon)
2018 Jaidyn Stephenson (Collingwood)
2019 Sam Walsh (Carlton)

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