Free bets for Victorians

One topic that generates a lot of discussion amongst sports betting fans is the availability of free bets offered to residents of Victoria, Australia. There is confusion around the topic due to the Victorian State Government’s ban on bookmakers offering new customers a free bet in return for opening a new account.

Firstly, it’s important to understand that there are different types of free bets. The most popular bonus bets are those offered by Australian bookmakers to new customers, often referred to as sign up or deposit bonuses. However, there exist other forms of bonus bets, for example, there are: reload bonuses, no deposit free bets and betting promotions or bonus bet offers.

In Australia, gambling is regulated by State Government legislation. The Victorian Gambling Act legislates against bookmakers making free bet offers, or enticing new customers with the promise of free bets. Details of the Act can be found on the Victorian Commission for Gambling website.

So how can you get a bonus bet?

There are number of ways Victorians can still get access to bonus bets, including sign up bonuses:

There are ways to receive free bets

In summary, yes, as per the law, Victorians are not entitled to free bets when they register a new account with a bookmaker. However, by asking nicely, looking around for good betting offers and taking control of your existing accounts, you’ll find that in actual fact there are plenty of ways to secure a free bet if you’re from the great state of Victoria.

Brownlow Medal history and past winners

The Brownlow Medal is the highest individual honour awarded in the Australian Football League (AFL). The medal is awarded to the “best and fairest” player in the competition, and is one of the highlights of AFL Grand Final week.

History

Also known as the Charles Brownlow Trophy, the medal was named in honour of Charles Brownlow by (what was then known as) the Victorian Football League (VFL). Charles Brownlow was an esteemed Geelong Football Club player, club secretary, and VFL president. In 1924 Brownlow passed away following a prolonged illness; that same year, the VFL created the medal in his honour. The medal has been awarded every year since 1924, except for a brief break from 1942-1945 due to World War II. The blue and gold medal with bold text stating “CHAS BROWNLOW TROPHY” is instantly recognisable, and has remained almost the same in shape, size, and design since its creation, except for the change in monogram from VFL to AFL in 1990. The 2019 ceremony will make it the 105th time that “Charlie” has been awarded.

Recent winners

YearWinnerClubVotes
1996James HirdEssendon21
1996Michael VossBrisbane Lions21
1997Robert HarveySt Kilda26
1998Robert HarveySt Kilda32
1999Shane CrawfordHawthorn28
2000Shane WoewodinMelbourne24
2001Jason AkermanisBrisbane Lions23
2002Simon BlackBrisbane Lions25
2003Nathan BuckleyCollingwood22
2003Adam GoodesSydney Swans22
2003Mark RicciutoAdelaide22
2004Chris JuddWest Coast30
2005Ben CousinsWest Coast20
2006Adam GoodesSydney Swans26
2007Jimmy BartelGeelong29
2008Adam CooneyWestern Bulldogs24
2009Gary Ablett JrGeelong30
2010Chris JuddCarlton30
2011Dane SwanCollingwood34
2012Jobe WatsonEssendon30
2013Gary Ablett JrGold Coast28
2014Matt PriddisWest Coast26
2015Nat FyfeFremantle31
2016Patrick DangerfieldGeelong35
2017Dustin MartinRichmond36
2018Tom MitchellHawthorn28

Voting and Nomination

The winner of the Brownlow Medal is determined by votes cast by the officiating field umpires after each home and away game. Votes are awarded on a 3, 2, 1 points voting system, where the best afield receives the maximum 3 votes, the runner up 2 votes, and the third most effective player 1 vote.

Prior to 1980, if two or more players tied for the medal, then only one player was awarded the medal. Until 1930, a tie was disputed based on which player had played the least amount of games. After 1930, ties were disputed based on who had been awarded the most 3-vote games, and if it was still a tie, they would move on to who had won the most 2-vote games. In the case of Des Fothergill and Herbie Matthews however, who tied for the 1940’s medal, this nomination system was still unable to determine a winner. In this case, both players were awarded mock medals and the VFL kept the original.

In 1980, the voting system was amended so that if two or more players tied for the nomination then each player was awarded a medal. In 1989, medals were respectively awarded to the eight players who would have been eligible to receive medals according to the new system.

Ineligibility

According to the spirit and qualifications for the Brownlow Medal, one of the most important attributes in players, and something the winners of this award must demonstrate above all else, is fair play. For this reason, any player who has been suspended during the regular season automatically becomes ineligible for the award, even if they earned the most votes. A player’s ineligibility is indisputable regardless of how many votes they receive. In 1997, for example, Chris Grant would have won the medal, having more votes than the winner of the award, Robert Harvey, but he was ineligible due to a one-match suspension.

Repeat Winners

Only 4 players have ever been awarded the Brownlow Medal three times. These players are Haydn Bunton (whilst playing for Fitzroy in 1931, ’32 and ‘35), Dick Reynolds (Essendon – 1934, ’37, ‘38), Bob Skilton (South Melbourne – 1959, ‘63, ‘68), and Ian Stewart (St Kilda in 1965 and ‘66 and then several years later after switching teams for Richmond in 1971). Eight other plays have been awarded the Brownlow two times each.

2019 Brownlow Medal

The 2019 Brownlow Medal will take place at Melbourne’s Crown Palladium on Monday 23rd September. Correctly predicting the Brownlow winner is a source of pride amongst football fans, and it is commonplace to place a wager on the outcome of the event. We have published a comprehensive betting preview to the 2019 Brownlow Medal that factors in past performance, identifies patterns of previous winners and looks at the different markets available for those looking to place a bet on the night.

In pre-season markets, Dustin Martin, Nat Fyfe, Patrick Cripps and Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield are all vying for favouritism. At the time of writing Palmerbet and Ladbrokes are both showing odds of $6.00 for Dustin Martin to win this year’s medal. He is the shortest price of the favourites.

TV Coverage

The Brownlow Medal will be televised live on Channel 7 from 8:30pm on Monday 23rd September. The Brownlow Red Carpet will be televised before the count from 7:30pm.

close up of Brownlow Medal
Image: The Brownlow Medal

Changes to NSW bonus bet regulations

Update 2019: In 2018, the New South Wales government banned the advertising of all betting inducements to NSW residents. The change in legislation effectively means that NSW punters can no longer benefit from the following promotions offered by licensed Australian betting operators:

  • New account bonuses
  • Cash back or money back refunds
  • Refer a friend bonuses
  • In-play betting refunds


The NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) has made an amendment to clause 12(1) (h) of the Racing Administration Regulation 2012, that effectively bans the advertising of any form of gambling inducements. Previously, various types of bonus bet offers were available to NSW residents. In March 2019, some betting sites were advised that they are able to provide and advertise odds boosts to customers.

Sign up bonuses are affected

The amendment means that free bets offered to new customers that register a new account, are no longer available to NSW residents. Victorian residents remain unaffected by the NSW regulatory change and are still able to benefit from bonus bets offered by bookmakers that are not an inducement to open a new account.

Presentation of bonus bets offers

Australian bookmakers have been forced to change the presentation of their bonus bet specials as a result of the change. They are still offering bonus bet offers to members from other Australian states. However, at the end of each promotion, they publish either: “Offer not available to NSW residents”, or “Excludes NSW”.

The following betting promotions are no longer available to NSW patrons

Bonus bet specials

Bookmakers will no longer be able to offer NSW customers a bonus bet, for betting on a certain event, or as the result of an outcome of a certain event.

Money back specials

Betting agencies typically offer a cash refund, or money back refund if their bet loses but their bet qualifies for some type of voucher. For example, Sportsbet often publishes ‘Money back if you finish 2nd or 3rd” in select horse races. These offers will no longer be available to NSW members.

Refer a friend bonus

Bookmakers that offer refer a friend bonus will no longer be able to offer this financial reward to NSW customers.

So how can NSW punters extract value from their bookmaker?

As a result of the change in legislation, the landscape has changed considerably. For NSW residents, it’s back to the old days where astute punting and securing the best odds are paramount to success. We recommend looking for bookmakers that consistently offer the best odds. If you’re betting on horse racing events, look for a bookmaker like Ladbrokes, Bookmaker.com.au or Palmerbet that offers ‘Best of the Best’ betting. Our bookmaker reviews tell you various different bet types offered by each bookmaker.

In summary

The change for New South Wales punters that take advantage of bonus bet offers is significant. However, customers that do not regularly take advantage of these offers will be largely unaffected. If you are ever in doubt, our site always lists any states that are excluded from both free bet and any bonus bet specials.

CrownBet creates bookmaking upheaval

Update 2019: The CrownBet brand no longer operates in Australia. Towards the end of 2018, the CrownBet and William Hill Australia businesses merged to form BetEasy. It is an ironic turn of events as CrownBet originally entered the Australian market after purchasing and rebranding the BetEasy business.

CrownBet buys BetEasy in 2015

The betting and gaming industry is a fast-paced and constantly changing environment. Nowhere is this clearer than in the $13Billion Australian market. The latest upheaval in the betting world is the rebranding of leading Australian bookmaker, BetEasy. Crown Resorts recently purchased a majority share of BetEasy, which marks their first foray into the online bookmaking world. Their new slogan says it all: The game just changed.

The newly rebranded bookmaker hasn’t wasted any time making moves. They have become an official partner of the AFL and boast an advanced app. For current BetEasy members, the transition should be seamless, even down to the performance of the mobile apps. BetEasy accounts will be moved to the new CrownBet website and, members can use their BetEasy information to log on. While things may not be changing much on the surface, punters in Australia are bound to start noticing some differences in the market. CrownBet is upping the ante on competition in an already competitive space, and the consolidation of power players and significant partnerships is a trend that will more than likely continue, both in Australia and around the globe.

New force emerges in Australian bookmaking

The powerful partnership of Crown Resorts and BetEasy has resulted in an Australian power player in the bookmaking industry. CrownBet promises superior odds, Fixed Odds prices on racing bets, and a broad offering of international and Australian sports betting. CrownBet appears to be keeping a competitive edge in the bookmaking world, offering sign up bonuses, bonus rewards, loyalty offers, and contests through social media outlets. There is even an interest-free credit facility, proving that CrownBet is on the progressive side of the bookmaking industry.

Logical move for Crown Resorts

The partnership between Crown Resorts and BetEasy is a natural one, with Crown Resorts holding a spot as one of Australia’s leading gaming and entertainment groups and BetEasy being an Australian bookmaking favourite. Crown Resorts is approximately a $6Billion company, founded in 2007. In under a decade, they have enjoyed a meteoric rise within Australia’s gaming industry. Though CrownBet may be their first step into the online gaming industry, they are certainly no strangers to the casino game, with global holdings in several casinos, developments, and entertainment complexes globally, including Las Vegas, Perth, Melbourne, Sri Lanka, and the UK.

Crown Resorts itself began as a divestiture of Publishing and Broadcasting Limited’s (now Consolidated Media) gaming assets. Mergers and acquisitions seem to be the name of the game for Crown Resorts, who have been consistently expanding their holdings and partnering on a wide variety of joint ventures and development properties.

CrownBet promises change

CrownBet’s betting offerings have a strong focus on racing and sports betting. They offer punters action on thoroughbred, harness, and greyhound racing. For sports betting, CrownBet features American football, Australian rules, baseball, basketball, boxing, cricket, golf, ice hockey, motorsport, MMA, rugby league, rugby union, soccer, and tennis. CrownBet will also give members an inroad into the prestigious Crown Signature Club. True to form, there are live betting options and information on upcoming sporting and racing events.

All indicators point to CrownBet upholding the high odds, a variety of sports bet offerings, and superior customer service that made BetEasy Australia’s largest Aussie owned bookmaker. The question on a lot of people’s minds is what the next move will be for Crown Resorts. If these two gaming power players do as well as they are projected to do in Australia, Crown Resorts may even take their online gaming to the global stage and expand beyond the Australian market. That remains to be seen, but what is certain is that the online gaming industry is in for some significant changes. Ed Owens, marketing director of the newly formed CrownBet, noted, “With the combined technology and sporting knowledge of this brand, we really are going to change the game for online wagering.”

Prepare for the marketing onslaught

CrownBet is now in the process of aggressive marketing campaigns aimed at building recognition for the new brand, not the least of which is the promotion of their affiliation with the AFL. Their TV spots are airing nationally, so if you hadn’t already heard much about the news of Crown Resort’s entry into the online wagering space, the chances are good that this won’t be the last instance.

Expect more change

Whenever two powerhouses combine in a market, it always causes to keep a keen eye out. With the face of bookmaking changing so rapidly in Australia, the formation of CrownBet is likely to make waves with competitors. Speculation about Crown Resorts’ next moves in online wagering are already circulating in the rumour mill, and as Crown Resorts is no stranger to taking risks and making big moves into global markets, some rumours may become a reality. Two big names in gaming and entertainment have come together quite literally to change the game, and with it the face of the online bookmaking industry in Australia.

William Hill arrives in Australia

Update 2019: William Hill has merged its Australian operations with CrownBet to form BetEasy. The William Hill brand is no longer present in the Australian online wagering market. To recap: William Hill bought the Sportingbet business and discontinued the brand, choosing instead to operate as William Hill Australia. After struggling to gain market traction, William Hill Australia was purchased by the Stars Group Inc. in 2018 and rebranded as BetEasy.

Original news story from 2015

Notable bookmaker William Hill has been placing big bets on Australia. The largest bookmaker in the UK recently made waves with the purchase of two of the largest Australian bookmakers, Sportingbet and Tom Waterhouse. In 2013, they began rolling these new bookmakers into their William Hill Australia business, along with long-serving Australian bookmaker Centrebet. Founded in 1943, William Hill is a bookmaker with a legacy. Though they are headquartered in London, they have also opened two offices in Australia and seem to be settling in quite well. What’s more is that they seem to have brought friends.

Global bookies attracted to Australia

William Hill is hardly alone in its newfound interest in the Australian market. They share the stage with other global bookmakers of the UK ilk. Other long standing UK bookmakers, such as Unibet and Ladbrokes, have similarly made acquisitions and expansions in Australia. Ladbrokes, est. 1886, similarly made moves into the Australian market in 2013 with the purchase of a local company. They now operate as Ladbrokes Australia. Unibet was the first to the gate with the purchase of Australian bookmaker Betchoice in 2012. This rather quick influx of global bookmakers has made for some hot competition and has already significantly changed the face of Australian bookmaking.

Competition to intensify

The Australian bookmaking market is likely due for a lot more change to come, as well. These global players have brought their A games, bringing the world class odds, promotions, and free bets to the Australian market. The consolidation of the smaller bookmakers is likely to benefit punters and players throughout Australia, as the competition in the market continues to intensify. Other bookmakers are following this trend through mergers and consolidations, including the purchase of a majority share in new Australian bookmaker BetEasy by the provider Betfair. The big names in bookmaking have only just begun to put their irons in the fire here, so it’s likely that new offerings and expansions are to follow from some of the best known names in the business. Without a doubt, there are a lot of new faces in Australian bookmaking and the landscape is shifting.

William Hill acquires Sportingbet Australia

William Hill may fast be becoming the new face of Australian bookmaking in general. Sportingbet is their most recent acquisition, with Sportingbet.com.au officially becoming a William Hill website as of February, 24, 2015. This is major news for the world of bookmaking Down Under, as Sportingbet was one of the most popular names in the business, operating as one of Australia’s largest bookmakers. The combination of a strong hold on the local market with a storied and worldly brand like William Hill should result in a highly competitive business model. The transfer of ownership shouldn’t affect Sportingbet’s current customers, making for what will hopefully be a seamless integration. The brand will be operated online by the William Hill business, which has its own impressive global following.

Unibet and Ladbrokes may be feeling a bit of a squeeze with the expansion of William Hill’s Australian business, but only time will tell how they respond. They may do so in kind, with further expansion or acquisition. Punters everywhere will also be on the lookout for William Hill to start making further moves here, either by way of new offerings, expansions, or new acquisitions. They have certainly attracted some attention already with their Best Tote Plus 5% offering on all metropolitan horse racing meets in Australia. They also offered promotions on the Australian Open Tennis in January of 2015. All signs coming from the gaming company seem to be pointing toward continued involvement in the Australian bookmaking market and the continuation of the local legacies that its new acquisitions have built over time. Horse racing fans will likely be particularly pleased, as William Hill has earned a reputation for great odds and even better special payout promotions.

Australian punters to benefit from increased competition

Bookmaking is a fast paced industry, with mergers, divestitures, and acquisitions a fair constant. Many of the more well-known names have made a habit of acquiring promising local or regional companies, often with great success. For so many of the larger players in global bookmaking to have taken such a pointed interest in the Australian market must mean that there is great potential for success here. The success of the preexisting providers for the local market points to that. It is exciting to think of what the largest names in the business could mean for the industry. The best news for punters is that the bookmakers seem invested in their new customers. As the takeover of Sportingbet’s online betting hopefully indicates, William Hill plans to make its entrée into the Australian market a seamless and simple one. It’s a smart move to use an Australian favourite as their newest bookmaking partner. This acquisition should do wonders to cement William Hill’s already strong foothold in the Australian bookmaking marketplace.

2019 Australian Open preview

It’s that time of the year again. Yes, the next couple of weeks will effectively be ‘owned’ by the 2019 Australian Open Tennis Championship. Out of only 4 tennis Grand Slam competitions held in the world, it is the first of the Grand Slam tournaments held ever year. Hosted at the Melbourne Park tennis centre in Melbourne, Australia, the Australian Open tournament is played on a hard court surface, providing one of the fastest surfaces of the Grand Slam competitions. Thousands of people will be making their way to the traditionally blisteringly hot centre court, Rod Laver arena, and surrounding tennis courts which make up the “Melbourne Park” entertainment centre. This year the Australian Open will take place from 14th Jan until 27th Jan, 2019.

Swiss maestro Roger Federer has taken out the men’s title for the previous 2 years. Last year Federer defeated Marin Cilic in a five set thriller 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 to win. The win was Federer’s sixth at the Australian Open.
The previous women’s Australian Open winner, Dane Caroline Wozniacki, defeated Romanian Simona Halep 7-6, 3-6, 6-4, to breakthrough for her maiden grand slam victory.

Although certain players tend to dominate, it could be anyone’s tournament this year. Betting on the Australian Open always provides a reliable pointer to the tournament chances, and allows fans to interact with the tournament. According to the current Betfair exchange market odds for the favourites in the men’s title this year are tight, Novak Djokovic leading rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the Men’s event. Other big names with good odds to win are Andy Murray, Juan Martin Del Potro and Alexander Zverev, although all of their chances are subject to change as we get further into the event.
According to major bookies such as Sportsbet, a win from Australia’s Nick Kyrgios, who has a good chance of doing well and possibly causing a major upset, currently pays a generous amount of 19.00.

rising tennis star Omar Jasika in action
Image: Omar Jasika – Tennis Australia – AusOpen

Another Australian to keep your eyes on is Omar Jasika, who made his debut grand slam appearance at the 2016 Australian Open, at the tender age of 18. He made it through to the second round in 2016 before being knocked out. He is much improved, and will benefit from his previous experiences. We expect big things from this up and coming sports star in the years to come, and the 2019 Australian Open will give him a chance to show what a strong competitor he has become over the few years.

Extreme weather at Melbourne Park

Apart from being the first grand slam of the year, one factor that makes this sporting event stand out for sports fans is the unpredictable player behaviour due to the extreme heat.
Given that mid January is often peak summer in Victoria, where temperatures frequently hit 35 degrees Celsius, and there are often heat waves in the mid 40s, this makes matches at Rod Laver Arena and surrounds traditionally very gruelling due to the extreme temperatures.

Matches are often halted due to the Australian Open extreme heat policy, which was 35°C, but since 2014 has been 40°C. There is another temperature system used called the wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT), a more complex temperature system which takes into consideration wind speed, humidity and other factors, and is used by athletes and military to determine how long they should be exposed to certain temperatures.

photo of the wet bulb globe temperature meter
Image: U.S. Navy photo by Gary Nichols

When the WBGT temperature hits 32.5°C or above the game may be halted. However according to charts using the wet-bulb globe temperature, if there is no humidity in the air, the actual WBGT temperature may reach 50°C during game play, well before the 40°C limit is reached (if the temperature is measured the standard way). It is not uncommon for heat exhaustion and other factors to take their toll on rookies and well-seasoned professionals alike.

In short, the Australian Open is not only a test of tennis skill, it is one of the ultimate tests of fitness, endurance and mental fortitude. Even seasoned campaigners suffer from the weather extremes that are regularly served up at the Melbourne Park precinct, which makes the viewing all the more compelling.

Four of the most memorable AFL Grand Finals of all time

 
The AFL grand final breaks television rating records year after year, with good reason. It’s the most heart-stopping, chip dipping, beer sipping, edge of your seat sporting event of the year. Whilst it originated in Victoria, the AFL is now a truly national sport. Many of you NSW betting fans might still prefer NRL, but no sport in Australia is more watched and loved than AFL football, so when it comes time to grand finale of the footy season, nothing quite matches the AFL grand final.
 
While every grand final is memorable in its own right, some matches remain unforgettable, no matter who you support. We’ve nominated our top four grand final matches – let us know if you don’t see your favourite!
 

1. 1970 – Carlton vs Collingwood

While technically the AFL was still known as the VFL at this point in time, it just wouldn’t feel right to exclude this historic grand final from the list. Widely regarded as the best grand final of all time, the Carlton vs Collingwood game still holds the record for the largest crowd to ever attend a footy game in the history of the sport, an incredible 121,696 spectators were lucky enough to witness it.
 
The conditions were perfect – a huge, noisy crowd looked on as two arch rivals went head-to-head. At half time, Collingwood led by 44 points, seemingly leaving Carlton in the dust. However, in what would prove to be an unbelievable comeback, Carlton not only clawed its way back, but went on to defeat Collingwood by 10 points in a stunning turn-around, winning 17.9.111 (17 goals, 9 points) to 14.17.101 (14 goals, 17 points).
 
Some might remember the match for the image of Carlton’s Alex Jesaulenko leaping up so high that his knees touched Collingwood’s Graham Jenkin’s shoulders. The feat is often described as “The Mark of the Century”. A record crowd, a pulsating comeback and so many iconic moments, it’s easy to see why the 1970 grand final has cemented its place in football history as one of the best matches of all time.
 

2. 1989 – Hawthorn vs Geelong

Dermott Brereton and Robert'Dipper' DiPierdomenico before the 1989 Grand Final
Image: Dermott Brereton and Robert ‘Dipper’ DiPierdomenico
 
The 1989 Grand Final was one of the most intense matches the sport has ever seen. There were bone-jarring hits, broken bones and spectacular marks. Perhaps the most memorable moment, was when Geelong player Mark Yeates charged at Hawthorn’s Dermott Brereton, striking him with enough force to break several of his ribs and injure one of his kidneys. But in an unbelievable show of determination, the battered Brereton did not leave the field – he wound up staying in the game and scoring three incredible goals. DiPierdomenico, who won the 1986 Brownlow Medal, also played out the game with broken ribs and a punctured lung and was later hospitalised for 8 days.
 
Broken ribs, concussions, and punctured lungs were just a few of the injuries sustained during one of the grittiest finals in history. All of Australia watched on in morbid fascination to see Hawthorn take a narrow victory of 21.18.144 to 21.12.138 and a certain Gary Ablett kick 9 goals in a losing side.
 

3. 1990 – Collingwood vs Essendon

Lightning doesn’t strike twice, but amazing grand finals can strike back-to-back. This is one for the Collingwood fans, lovers of underdog stories and hard nosed footy. In 1990, Collingwood hadn’t won a grand final in 32 years, and with Essendon’s strong start it was beginning to look like the drought would extend to its 33rd year.
 
The most memorable moment of the match wasn’t a kick, catch or a score, but rather a huge brawl that broke out on the field as the first quarter came to an end. The end of quarter siren signalled the ding of a boxing bell, as players ran to jump on each other in a pile-up the likes of which Australian sport had never seen. While only one minor injury was actually sustained by the players involved, it’s still one of the most talked-about fights in AFL history.
 
The kerfuffle seemed to give Collingwood a renewed energy, as the club would make a vigorous comeback in the ensuing quarters. Collingwood’s captain Tony Shaw would be remembered as the best player the match, carrying the club to a long-awaited, hard earned victory, with a final score of 13.11.89 to 5.11.41
 

4. 2012 – Hawthorn vs Sydney Swans

If you like close, edge of your seat matches that are a toss-up until the last second, it’s hard to go past the 2012 AFL grand final. No one likes a game of footy where they know who’s going to win within the first five minutes, and this was certainly not that kind of match.
 
In a great back and forth contest, Hawthorn led in the first quarter, Sydney in the second and third, and then Hawthorn again at the start of the final term. In an unbelievable nail-biting finish, Sydney managed to score a match-winning goal with less than a minute to go, ending the match in front 14.7.91 91 to 11.15.81. It was like something out of a movie, except no script was required to create this unforgettable match.
 
What is the most memorable grand final that you’ve seen? Maybe it was the first one you watched as a kid, the year your favourite club won, or when the match was so close in the final quarter that you were on the edge of your seat until the very last moment. Let us know your all-time favourite AFL grand final!

Brownlow Medal analysis and betting preview

Brownlow Medal betting preview infographic

Our comprehensive analysis and preview of the Brownlow Medal has unlocked some tips and predictions for the big night that will help you extract value from this year’s count.

This time last year, we were dealing with a $1.20 favourite for the Brownlow Medal, and discussing how to deal with such a short-priced favourite. Well, the favourite for the 2017 Brownlow Medal is even shorter! Richmond star Dustin Martin is an incredible $1.05 to take ‘Charlie’ home. Ironically, it’s the ineligibility of last year’s short-priced winner, Patrick Dangerfield, that has caused Martin to be so short. Fear not though, our analysis has once again unearthed some value picks, away from the winner’s market, for the 2017 count.

The 2017 Brownlow Medal will take place at Melbourne’s Crown Palladium Ballroom on Monday 25th September. The count will be televised from 8:30pm on Channel 7. The Brownlow Medal is steeped in history and past winners include several of the all time AFL greats.

Past 20 winners: their playing position, votes polled and their starting price

Year
WinnerClubVotesPositionTeam finishedPrice
2016Patrick DangerfieldGeelong35Midfield2$1.18
2015Nat FyfeFremantle31Midfield3$2.0
2014Matt PriddisWest Coast26Midfield9$21.0
2013Gary Ablett JrGold Coast28Midfield14$1.8
2012Jobe WatsonEssendon30Midfield11$5.0
2011Dane SwanCollingwood34Midfield1$16.0
2010Chris JuddCarlton30Midfield8$17.0
2009Gary Ablett JrGeelong30Midfield2$3.3
2008Adam CooneyWestern Bulldogs24Midfield3$13.0
2007Jimmy BartelGeelong29Midfield1$10.0
2006Adam GoodesSydney Swans26Ruck / Midfield4$2.7
2005Ben CousinsWest Coast20Midfield2$2.1
2004Chris JuddWest Coast30Midfield7$11.0
2003Nathan BuckleyCollingwood22Midfield2$2.5
2003Mark RicciutoAdelaide22Midfield6$4.5
2003Adam GoodesSydney Swans22Ruck / Midfield4$6.0
2002Simon BlackBrisbane Lions25Midfield2$3.5
2001Jason AkermanisBrisbane Lions23Midfield2$16.0
2000Shane WoewodinMelbourne24Midfield3$13.0
1999Shane CrawfordHawthorn28Midfield9$1.5
1998Robert HarveySt Kilda32Midfield6$11.0
1997Robert HarveySt Kilda26Midfield1$2.5
1996Michael VossBrisbane Lions21Midfield3$3.5
1996James HirdEssendon21Midfield6$5.0

Patterns of Brownlow winners: looking for an angle

Trying to predict the minds of the umpires that compile the 3, 2 and 1 Brownlow votes for each AFL match may seem like an impossible task, but there are however patterns, winners tend to have similar credentials.

The ‘Midfielders Medal’

The Brownlow is now described by many pundits as the ‘Midfielders Medal’, and it’s easy to see why. In the past 20 years, the medal has only been won by midfielders, except for the two Brownlow’s that Swan great Adam Goodes won in 2003 and 2006. An important stipulation, Goodes was effectively an old-fashioned ruck rover, covering the ground and collecting possessions much in the mould of a midfielder. The only other notable winner in the past 20 years in terms of the position they played is Jason Akermanis. The charismatic Lion combined time in the forward half with extensive periods in the midfield. Look for midfielders to win the medal and to feature prominently in most team votes markets. If in doubt, back the midfielder.

Look for players that have polled well in the past

When looking for the winner of the medal, or the most team votes, look for players that have consistently polled well in prior years. Of the past 20 winners, only Shane Woewodin failed to consistently poll well in the years either side of his Brownlow victory. Adam Cooney is perhaps the only other player to not rack up votes year after year, however, his career was curtailed somewhat by injury; and when he was fit, he still polled relatively well. Cooney only polled 4 votes and 9 votes in the years prior to his victory, however, in a pointer to his eventual win, he polled 12 votes in the 2005 count as a 21 year old. Most winners poll at least 13 votes at some point early on in their career, or in the few years just prior to their Brownlow; an indicator that their style of play falls under the notice of the adjudicating field umpires.

Ladder position of winner’s team

Until recently, there was a very strong trend of the winner’s team finishing inside the top 8 and playing in the AFL finals. From 1996 to 2011, only one winner came from a team that finished the season outside of the top 8,; Hawthorn finished 9th when Shane Crawford won in 1999. Perhaps even more significant, 11 of those winners played for teams that finished inside the top 3 ladder positions. However, in a sign that this indicator is far less important, three of the past four winners have come from teams that finished the regular season outside of the top 8. In summary, don’t be too perturbed if your selection played for a team that didn’t playoff in the finals, but be mindful that the trend of winners coming from teams that filled the top few positions on the ladder is still strong.

Polling record of 2017 Brownlow favourites

Player20162015201420132012
Dustin Martin252113165
Patrick Dangerfield3522212223
Tom Mitchell1212020
Josh Kelly6000DNP
Zach Merrett1910DNPDNP
Rory Sloane244101511
Matt Crouch700DNPDNP
Marcus Bontempelli20134DNPDNP
Lance Franklin17822512
Josh Kennedy (Syd)1425211419
Dayne Beams0916119
Gary Ablett65222824
Joel Selwood1813212714
Daniel Hannebery2124112112
Stephen Coniglio174201

Strategy for tackling the 2017 count

Dustin Martin: The $1.05 favourite

What to do with a $1.05 favourite? There is no value in backing Martin to win the Brownlow. The Brownlow still remains somewhat unpredictable even for the hottest of favourites. In fact, of the past 11 winners, 5 have been double figure odds just before the count. In that time, 5 favourites have gone on to win the medal.

That being said, there is no knock on Martin’s form, nor his Brownlow credentials. In numbers that are remarkably consistent, Martin’s votes are on an upward trajectory, with a high of 25 votes in 2016. He has pedigree. If you do really fancy the Richmond champ, consider including him in your Brownlow multi with other markets, or look for him to poll over 30 votes and try and extract value that way.

Winner without Martin

We normally shy away from these sorts of bets, but this just may be the year to consider who might run second to the Richmond star. Most bookmakers will field a market on who will finish second. Tom Mitchell is currently a $2.10 chance whilst there is great value for a player like Josh Kennedy ($17).

Look to other markets

If you do fancy a roughie to outpoll Dangerfield, you’re sure to get good value owing to the short price of the favourite. However, most of our bets will be placed on other markets including: most team votes, top 5 finish and top 10 finish markets. We have included the top 10 finish market from Bet365 below, as we feel it is one of the best markets to tackle for this year’s Medal.

top 10 finish market for the 2017 Brownlow Medal

Odds and analysis of the favourites

PlayerOutrightWinner w/out MartinTop 5Comment
Dustin Martin1.05N/A1.00Likely to win but way too short to back
Tom Mitchell132.101.22Consistent poller who has had breakout year. Only threat to Martin
Josh Kelly173.251.45Only polled 6 votes last year. Doesn't represent value in any market
Rory Sloane346.52.50Proven vote getter. Good value top 5 pick.
Marcus Bontempelli61154.25Didn't appear to have as good a year as 2016 when he missed top 5
Matt Crouch61173.75Hasn't polled well yet, big watch this year
Josh Kennedy (Syd)71176Attracts votes, fancy for top 5 or most team votes

Brownlow tips and selections

Winner without Martin

Selection: Small bet on Rory Sloane to win at $6.50
It would be a major surprise if Martin, the $1.05 favourite, didn’t win the Brownlow. A proven vote getter, he has enjoyed a stellar season and fits the criteria of past Brownlow winners. For what it’s worth, we think he’ll win. Will we back him? Absolutely not! So, we have dodged the outright market in this year’s count.

It’s worth looking at who might run 2nd to Martin. We are viewing the market from CrownBet where Patrick Dangerfield is excluded. Tom Mitchell is favourite at $2.10. He has polled 12 votes in each of the past 2 years and has had a breakout season at new club Hawthorn. He seems a risk at such a short price for a player that has yet to poll more than 13 votes in any one count. Sloane ($6.50) and Josh Kennedy ($17) are far more appealing. Both are proven vote getters. Sloane was the early favourite before being bogged down by negating players mid-season. Kennedy is likely to storm home given the Swans slow start to the season.

Top 5 finish

Selection: Josh Kennedy (Syd) at $6.00
Kennedy seems too good a price for a proven poller. Given that there are polling doubts on Josh Kelly and Matt Crouch, Kennedy seems like a very good bet.

Top 10 finish

Selections: Trent Cotchin at $11.00, Joel Selwood at $6
Along with the top 5 market, the top 10 finish market is appealing this year given Martin’s short quote. The good thing about this market is that it’s slightly more predictable, in that the proven vote getters normally occupy the majority of the top 10 positions. Richmond captain Trent Cotchin has enjoyed a good year alongside Martin. At $11, he seems good value to sneak a top 10 placing. Joel Selwood was one of the early favourites for the Brownlow, whilst he missed some games late, he might do enough to grab a place inside the top 10.

Most team votes

Selections: West Coast – Andrew Gaff at $3.40, Melbourne – Jack Viney at $11, Melbourne – Western Bulldogs – Jason Johannisen at $11*
Where possible, the strategy should be to back players that are proven vote getters and pot those traditionally don’t perform so well. There are two great value picks: Andrew Gaff to attract more votes than Josh Kennedy at West Coast, and Jack Viney to outpoll the unproven Clayton Oliver for the Melbourne Demons. In Gaff’s case, we would much prefer to take the midfielder at far superior odds, whilst Viney may just get enough votes if Oliver fails to catch the umpires eye.

The other market of interest is the Western Bulldogs team votes market without Marcus Bontempelli (offered by Sportsbet). Despite a poor patch of form mid-year, Johannisen had a decent season and is likely to attract votes again this season to go along with his 10 from last year. His competition includes Macrae and Hunter.

Team votes markets provide a good opportunity to extract some value if you have followed a team’s performance closely throughout the year. Other players of interest that appear very good value are: Dayne Zorko, David Zaharakis and Nat Fyfe.

Tell us who you think is good value to poll the most votes for your team!

Australian Women’s Football League Rising Stars

As we’re currently in the middle of the Men’s AFL footy season, it’s a good time to look back and reflect on the success of the Australian Football League Women’s competition earlier in the year. The debut season of the AFLW brought with it a new wave of Australian football stars. These marquee players created a splash in 2017 and are sure to do the same next season. We profile the women destined to make Australian sports history.

Players to watch

Daisy Pearce

Captain of the Melbourne Football Club, and member of the Darebin Falcons since 2008, Pearce is now one of the biggest names in the sport. She is one of the most highly decorated athletes in women’s football and dedicates her life to the game. She won the Helen Lambert Award from 2009 to 2011 and in 2014. As captain, she carries a lot on her shoulders, yet remains a quality midfielder and cooperative, determined team player. Pearce’s rise to prominence has seen her score a media role commentating on the Men’s game for Channel 7.

Moana Hope

#comeback

A post shared by Moana Hope (@moanahope) on

With a unique name, and silky skills, it’s not hard to see why Hope has created a wave of interest amongst fans in her debut AFL season. She began playing when she was only 13, for an all boys’ team, and has since continued to be one of the best goal kickers in the sport. Her position is full forward, and whilst she perhaps didn’t quite live up to some very high expectations in 2017, we’re sure you’ll see the best of her in 2018. She currently plays for the Collingwood Football Club and won their goal kicker award. With her lively talents and zest for the game, Hope has driven herself to the very top of the sport. We encourage everyone to track her progress in the 2018 season.

Darcy Vescio

Darcy Vescio is a younger player, coming in at 23 she balances a career in graphic design in conjunction with her football pursuits. Her position is full forward and she plays for the Carlton Football Club. She is a highly marketable athlete and her star is set to keep rising. If you don’t know her name you soon will. She also holds the title as a triple premiership player for Darebin. Vescio’s accurate kicking and quick hands make her one of the sports stars.

Chelsea Randall

Chelsea Randall is known for her vibrant competitive nature. Randall played her early football in boys’ teams. Like Moana Hope, the lack of women’s teams at home made it hard for Randall to play, but that did nothing to crush her spirit. She is known to never shy away from contests and her forward line teammates benefit from this quality. Randall currently plays for the Adelaide Crows after having made the move from Western Australia to Adelaide.

Katie Brennan

Katie Brenna is another young, aspiring football star. Clocking in at only 23 years old, Brennan has already established a name for herself. She played in 3 premierships with the Darebin team after moving south from Queensland. She currently plays for the Western Bulldogs as a forward. Her determined attitude, consistency and off-field preparation will ensure that she prospers in season 2 of the AFLW.

2018 Season

The 2018 AFL Women’s season is sure to be an exciting one. These footballers we have profiled will continue to prosper and will likely become household names. What is certain, is that more footballers will follow in their footsteps. Perhaps it won’t be long before bookmakers offer incentives on AFLW matches, as they do for the Men’s game.

Who have you got your eye on in the AFL women’s league? Let us know!
With new brand leagues and doors being opened up in sports it means whole new audiences to the betting world. If you’re new to this arena, welcome and be sure to read our guide on sports betting to discover how to best take advantage of free bet opportunities from Australian bookmakers.

The Best Surfers in the World in 2017

Australia is well known for its surf culture. Our affinity with the beach has produced many famous surfers. The battle for 2017 World Champion crown is heating up, we preview the best surfers from around the world.

Surfing is a unique sport that requires its participants to not only have the strength and flexibility of most athletes, but also possess an instinct and understanding of varying conditions that they face every day. The best surfers exude these qualities, allowing them to win with regularity on the pro surfing league. We’ve compiled a list of who we think are a few of the best surfers in the world right now.

John John Florence

As a native-born Hawaiian, John John (Jo Jo) Florence has been on a surfboard since he was six months old and riding waves on his own at the age of 5. So, it’s no wonder that this pro has surfed his way to the top by winning the 2016 World Surf League Men’s Championship. His journey began in 2003 when he was the youngest surfer to win the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, he was only 13 at the time. John John is the first Hawaiian to win the WSL championship since Andy Irons.

Mostly known for his pipe surfing and his effortless style, John John has every surfer on notice. And everyone’s looking to see how he’ll do this year. Will he tame the competition and earn the number 1 position again, or will his competitors win out?
Check out his footage of John John nailing it at this year’s Bells Beach Rip Curl Pro:

Some of you Victorian betting fans may have been lucky enough to watch Jo Jo in person at the 2017 Bells Beach Rip Curl Pro just recently. Although Jo Jo earned a 9.97 in his round at this year’s event, he was still beaten out by South African Jordy Smith. However Jo Jo is a top favourite to win the world championship title for 2017.

Kelly Slater

With a long and triumphant career, Kelly Slater has set a record for hitting the number 1 spot in the WSL Championship, even winning the championship five times in a row from ’94 to ’98 and never ranking lower than 9th place since 1992 when he won his first championship.

Born in Florida, Slater has spent years honing his skills and has become known for his style and competitive nature. Though some claim he’s on his way out, 11-time WSL champ, Kelly Slater, might still be able to pull more wins out. Only time will tell if the best surfer of our time can take back the number one spot in the WSL championship.

Joel Parkinson

This Australian has used his laid-back method of surfing to stay on the radar of the World Surf League for years by being nothing more than himself and a pretty inspired surfer. Since his appearance on the international level back in 2001, Parkinson has consistently ranked high, usually in the top 5, of the WSL championship. That is until 2012 where he finally took the top spot from none other than the 11-time World champ himself: Kelly Slater. Parkinson hasn’t taken the number 1 spot again in some years, however he is always thereabouts, it would take a brave pundit to declare that Joel Parkinson won’t win the WSL Championship again.

Mick Fanning

Born in New South Wales, Mick Fanning has been riding the Australian waves since he was 5 years old. He’s gone on to win some big-name events, like Australia’s Rip Curl Pro competition in 2001, the same year he won the of ‘Rookie of the Year’ title. He’s even shown up his best mate Joel Parkinson on several occasions during the WSL Championship and is a three-time winner of the competition. Fanning has experienced some scares in his surfing career. The most notable being his run in with a shark during the J-Bay open in 2015. But nothing has been able to stop him, he even bounced back to finish with the Number 2 in the WSL that same year. Fanning is one of the most proficient power surfers in the league today and still has some of his best years ahead of him.

These are just a few of the best surfers of the current crop, but who do you like? Are there any surfers we missed? Comment below with who your favourite surfer of all time is.

Kelly Slater at the Margaret River event in 2017