AFL Betting - Line Handicaps

AFL Line Handicap betting gives punters essentially a 50/50 betting proposition on each and every AFL game. No matter how big of a miss match the game may seem the line handicap is there to even things out. Let's say for example that Geelong were playing Melbourne at home and the AFL head to head odds were Geel ($1.05) and Melb ($11.75) and you were confident that Geelong would win comfortably, but the idea of risking $100 to win $5 is not for you. It is boring if you win and would be very painful to lose, this is where the AFL Line Handicap bet appeals.

The AFL Line for a game such as this would look like :
Geelong -49.5 ($1.95)
Melbourne +49.5 ($1.95)

An AFL line bet on Geelong at -49.5 would win if the Cats win by 50 points or more. A bet on Melbourne at +49.5 would win if they lose by less than 50 points or win the game outright. As a matter of interest the above odds and lines were actually from round 10 of the 20120 season where Geelong did indeed win the game, by a margin of 54 points (121-67) which was a win for anyone backing Geelong against the Line Handicap. With leading Online Bookmakers offering odds on AFL Line Handicaps ranging from $1.91 style pricing up to $1.95 style, the returns and win percentages required to profit for Line betting is appealing to many AFL bettors.

AFL Line Betting Statistics 2007 to 2011
Years Winner Covers Loser Covers Draw/Push Favourite Covers Underdog Covers
2007 - 2011 79.91% 19.85% 0.24% 50.60% 49.40%

One major difference between AFL Head to Head betting and Line betting is that we can bet on the head to head moneyline odds knowing that both teams will be giving their all to win the game regardless of the match up or situation. The AFL Line Handicap on the other hand is purely for the bookmakers and punters and means nothing to the teams at all. If the favourite has an unbeatable lead coming into the 4th quarter they could ease up a little, let some star players have early showers or conceded some soft points making the final score line look closer than the game really was, in doing so allowing the underdog to cover the handicap. Unfortunately this scenario happens quite regularly to the frustration of bettors.

Key Numbers for AFL Line Handicaps

AFL Football is unlike rugby league or American football, where their are certain margins of victory that occur regularly such as the number 4 (9.06%) in NRL and 3 (over 10%) in the NFL. In AFL the most frequent margin of victory over the past 5 years has been 8 points which has occurred in around 2.69% of games, followed by 16 (2.47%) and 3 and 9 (2.24%). So while there are not really any significant key numbers when betting AFL Line Handicaps, not ones that strike around 9 or 10 percent anyway, it would still be prudent to get yourself on the right side of 8, 16, 3 and 9 where possible.

AFL Line Handicap Betting Odds

When betting AFL Lines it is essential to bet into the best number and get the best odds. The way to do that is by comparing the lines and odds of a number a reputable bookmakers which you can do right here at's Live AFL Odds page. You may note that in the above example we used $1.95 style odds pricing, this is about as good as it gets with AFL Line Handicap betting as the bookmaker commission is only around 2.5%. You will find this low margin pricing at Pinnacle Sports who consistently offer the highest odds in the industry. Regularly betting into $1.95 style AFL Handicap Lines requires you to win only 51.2% of your bets to break even whereas you need win 52.4% against $1.91 odds.