Played at one of the most recognisable stadiums in the world, the MCG, the AFL Grand Final is the culmination of all the hard work and dedication teams have put into the regular season. While the two best teams are slugging it out on the field to hoist the premiership cup, the general public are able to sit around BBQs, critique their effort and bet on the outcome.
A true Aussie tradition.
Yet the AFL Grand Final is unlike any other beast you will see throughout the season, with a huge upswing in markets, and a flood of money coming in before and during the game. The AFL’s showcase game for the season is in the true sense of the phrase — a once-in-a-year celebration — both literally and figuratively.
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AFL 2016 Grand Final result
Sydney Swans vs Western Bulldogs at the MCG, 2.30pm, October 1, 2016
Sydney was the first team to enter the 2016 grand final with a stunning victory over Geelong. The Swans were the outsider heading into the clash but their greater spread of midfielders proved too much for the Cats, who were heavily reliant on Patrick Dangerfield.
The Western Bulldogs won a thrilling clash against expansion club GWS at Spotless Stadium to reach their first grand final in 55 years. The Bulldogs midfield was brilliant in the clash while small forward Clay Smith booted four goals to be the most dangerous forward on the ground.
Last time Sydney and Western Bulldogs played
The Western Bulldogs won by four points in an epic contest at the SCG in round 15 of the home and away season. The 13.5 (83) to 11.13 (79) victory over the Swans was arguably the Dogs best all year.
The Swans were horribly inaccurate in front of goal, but nothing can be taken away from the Dogs who hit the front in the dying seconds when Jason Johannisen, who was returning from a serious hamstring injury, kicked a set shot goal from 45m out.
Matthew Boyds led the disposals, while Lachie Hunter and Marcus Bontempelli were also brilliants. The Swans best was Lance Franklin, who booted five goals against the under-sized Dogs’ backline.
Bonus bets and promotions – Sydney vs. Western Bulldogs
Every Australian loves a flutter on the AFL grand final and with all the bookies vying for our punting dollar, they bend over backwards to give us something free. With some restrictions around the ability to market bonuses and promotions to some Australian states it pays to sign-up early and give the bookie time to send out the offers via email, or to your account.
Sportsbet: Place a head to head bet on the AFL grand final and they will double our winnings. This can be up to the value of a $50 bonus bet. Just to be clear if you win $50 or more, they will give you a bonus up to $50 extra.
Another great deal Sportsbet is putting on is on the first goal-scorer market. If your bet loses but your selection kicks the second, third or fourth goals you get your cash back, up to the value of $55. Claim offers.
Crownbet: Place a head to head bet and if it loses Crownbet will give you a bonus bet of the initial stake, up to the value of $55. So if you put $100 the Dogs to win and they lose your account will be credited with $55 in bonus bets.
William Hill: Norm Smith Medal cash back offer. If you bet on the Norm Smith and your bet doesn’t win, but your player gets the most possessions or goals get your money back up to the value of $25.
Palmerbet: Is giving customers who place a head to head bet up to $100 cash back if their team leads at three quarter time, but loses.
Palmerbet also offers even money lines on the AFL between 4-7pm Fridays.
Head-to-head betting and line betting
A head to heat bet or a ‘win bet’ is the most popular bet people will have on an AFL game.
Invariably the Grand Final pits two of the best teams of the year against each other, which means the odds will be much more even than they are throughout the season. Also, due to the sheer amount of money put into the market on this one, the agencies usually offer huge money back specials on head-to-head markets throughout the game.
Line betting will give you better odds on a straight head-to-head market to if you are prepared to concede a head start to another team. It is also a great saver bet if you think your team is in with a chance but you are not absolutely certain they can be in front when the final siren sounds.
Both head-to-head and line betting is available throughout the match, but bear in mind that due to the fluctuations in matches the odds will change rapidly. Australians are restricted in betting live on the internet, but most corporate bookmakers will have a phone line that you can call and place bets during the course of a game.
Norm Smith medal
The Norm Smith medal is awarded to the player adjudged best afield in the AFL grand final.
Five members of the media are given the honour of selecting the winner through a 3,2,1 voting system, with one of the five appointed the chairman.
There will only ever be an individual winner of the Norm Smith medal, with a count-back system awarding the medal to whoever accumulated the most best on ground votes as allocated by the judges on the day. If there is still a tie the chairman has the deciding vote.
The Norm Smith medal has live-betting all throughout the match, with markets closing late in the fourth quarter. In 2014, punters were still able to get $6.50 live on the Norm Smith medal winner Luke Hodge deep into the final quarter due to the fact there were no standout performers in the contest.
It pays to check the statistics and figures on the match before making a live-bet, with kicks and handballs not the be-all and end-all when it comes to influence. New stats such as score involvements, pressure acts and score chain possessions will greatly assist in helping you find and winner on the live betting side of things.
Marcus Bontempelli $7
Josh P Kennedy $8
Dan Hannebery $8
Luke Parker $9
Lance Franklin $9
Isaac Heeney $14
Luke Dahlhaus $16
Tom Mitchell $16
Lachie Hunter $16
Kieran Jack $21
* View all odds at Sportsbet.com.au
First goal scorer bet
Outside of Norm Smith betting, betting on who will kick the first goal in the AFL Grand Final is always a hot bet going into the match. The idea is simple — either select a player you think will kick the first goal of the entire match, or select a particular player from their respective team to kick the first goal.
This means if his opponent nails the first goal of the contest, you are still in with a chance to make a collect on the game.
This bet also works in as a popular multiple bet, with the first goal scorer/match winner double typically a favoured multi bet coming into the big dance.
Some agencies feature a first goal scorer bet for each quarter too, so if you feel robbed that your guy missed a goal from five metres out, there is always next quarter.
Lance Franklin $6
Tory Dickson $9
Kurt Tippett $9
Jake Stringer $12
Clay Smith $14
Tom Boyd $15
Ben McGlynn $15
Tom Papley $15
Gary Rohan $14
Xavier Richards $21
* View all odds at Crownbet.com.au
Most possessions betting
Another one of the self-explanatory bets but a critically hard one to master. The most possessions bet through some agencies has the overall market, but typically the big agencies will split key possession gathers into two groups and will only compete against five other players.
In games throughout the season most possession bets start and end prior to the match, but in the Grand Final live betting of most possessions runs all the way through the match.
Sometimes this market correlates directly with the Norm Smith voting, due the fact that if you have the most possessions in a game you are typically exerting the most influence on the outcome.
AFL Grand Final facts
An average of 2.8 million people from every capital city around Australia tuned in to watch the 2014 Grand Final, making it by far the most watched television program in the country. The peak viewership of any national sporting event was the 2005 grand final between Sydney and West Coast, which sits eighth on the most watched Australian programs since 2001.
The MCG has the capacity to hold up to 110,000 patrons, but the record attendance for the game was set in 1970 between Carlton and Collingwood where standing areas took preference over the seated arrangements we see today.
Geelong holds the record winning margin in an AFL Grand Final, crushing the Port Adelaide Power in 2007 by 119 points.
Carlton and Essendon are currently the two teams with the most premierships to their name, both with 16, while Collingwood are just behind with 15.
What bookies are best to bet with on the AFL grand final?
All the best betting agencies have multiple markets on the game, as well as stellar promotions throughout the season and leading right up to the game. Any company who truly values their position in the sports betting market will have a multitude of options to choose from when it comes to odds, markets and specials so you will never be bereft of choice when the big dance rolls around.
In the past Sportsbet.com.au has offered money back specials on a myriad of outcomes, such as if your team leads at any break but loses, you get your cash back. Sportsbet also offer markets on just about every possible statistic that is collated and has live operators all throughout the match ready take your call.
Another company that is new to the game but is really making an impact is Crownbet.com.au – who offer all kinds of specials throughout the season on AFL bets, including money back if your teams leads by two goals or over at any stage throughout the match but goes on to lose.