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How punters can learn and earn on AFL pre-season

The prestige of pre-season competition in Australian rules football has declined significantly since the heady days of the 1980s and ’90s night premierships. Clubs put much less stock in results than they used to, instead treating the February fixtures as an opportunity to experiment with ‘structures’ and blood their new recruits.

Yet the AFL pre-season still holds plenty of value for die-hard fans and keen punters. Whether you are looking for that unique SuperCoach pick or scoping out a potential bolter in the AFL Premiership race, a bit of research and observation during the summer warm-up schedule can pay huge dividends down the track. The highly variable nature of pre-season footy also offers huge opportunities for those who aren’t afraid to back an underdog.

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This is my table

How to bet on pre-season AFL games

The first order of business when having a flutter on the footy is to find a first-rate bookie. Each of the licensed online bookmakers above has won our approval by offering competitive odds, excellent market range and outstanding customer service 24/7.

Next, we recommend spreading your bankroll across as many of these trusted betting sites as you can. This is always a good policy, as it means you can get the the best price available. It is even more beneficial in unpredictable markets such as those in the AFL pre-season, which tend to have looser margins and greater price dispersion than in the regular season.

Once you have signed up to your favourite bookies and added some money to your accounts, all you have to do is find your markets and place your bets. Many of these AFL bookmakers have got betting apps available. Popular AFL betting options for pre-season games include:

What to look for in AFL pre-season betting

History of Australian rules pre-season competitions

The pre-season tournament can trace its lineage as far back as the VFL Night Series – a post-season knockout competition featuring the teams that failed to qualify for finals. That ran from 1956 until 1971, after which it was replaced by the interstate Australian Football Championships (1977-1987). Many statisticians and record-keepers consider those comps as early editions of the official AFL pre-season tourney, which commenced in 1988.