Alright punters, the 2016 AFL season is still a few weeks away from beginning, but NOW is the time to start trying to find some value betting on futures markets. Once the NAB Challenge is completed and Round 1 of the regular season is about the begin, all the value would already have been sucked out of the market. So make sure to do some research and take a look at what the best betting sites have to offer. And before we start offering our regular AFL betting tips all year long, here are my 2016 AFL futures betting tips.
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There is plenty of value to be found in predicting how many wins any specific team will manage in any given AFL season and 2016 is no different. For research, I took a look at every game of the year and gave a win, loss, or 50/50 based on who I thought would win.
Here are the teams I think there is some value with:
Adelaide: The line for the Crows in 2016 is set at 11 to 11.5 wins at most of the books and I think this might even be a little generous. They managed 13 wins last season (with Dangerfield) and some of those were speculative anyway. Going through the 2016 season and there is an actual argument to be made that they could lose the first 10 games in a row. I don't think that will happen, but I really think it will be a tough ask to win more than four of the first 10 games. Happy to take the under here.
Tip: Adelaide UNDER 11.5 wins - $1.75 at Sportsbet
Confidence Level: mid to high
Collingwood: Collingwood is an interesting prospect in 2016. The bookmakers have the line between 11.5 and 12.5 and I think they have it just about right. However, I think there is slight value in the under. Some of the teams around the Pies have improved at a slightly faster rate, so I can't see them winning 3+ more games than last year's effort. They have a relatively easy draw and will start the year strong, but lots of games that could go either way in the middle of the season and plenty of games they are close to no chance of winning.
Tip: Collingwood UNDER 12.5 wins - $1.95 at CrownBet
Confidence Level: low
Port Adelaide: Can Port Adelaide bag three more wins than last year? That's what Sportsbet are asking with their 14.5 line. There is no doubt we all thought they would do better in 2015 after a stellar 2014, but there aren’t many reasons to think they will improve enough to bag 15 wins - which would have been enough to finish in the Top 5 last year. Jump on the under.
Tip: Port Adelaide UNDER 14.5 wins - $1.75 at Sportsbet
Confidence Level: Mid
Richmond: Richmond managed 15 wins last season and I think they could be around that mark again in 2016. Despite having a relatively tough draw late in the season, they are playing Essendon twice and leaving Victoria only once in the first seven rounds. As long as they don't spud it up in the games that should be easy wins, there looks to be value on the OVER here.
Tip: Richmond OVER 13.5 wins - $1.80 at CrownBet
Confidence Level: Mid
The season head-to-head markets on CrownBet are basically an extension of the season wins market, so I have used the research for that market to determine a couple of spots you might want to consider betting on.
It seems like a copout to be saying the best team of the modern era will be the last undefeated team of the 2016 AFL season, but I really think there is value here. If the Hawks beat the Eagles in Melbourne in Round 2, it's smooth sailing from there and if they get the wins they should against Sydney in Melbourne and Freo in Tassie, they have a relatively easy draw through to Round 14.
Tom Rockliff is the favourite in this market at $5, but I think Matt Priddis well and truly deserves to be favourite, so he shows some value at $7. Priddis had 12 more tackles than his nearest competitor last year, was third behind Libba and Rocky in 2014 and had the second most tackles in a single season of all time in 2011 with 193. There is no doubt Rocky is a prolific tackler and should play a full season this year, but Priddis at these odds looks good.
Take note: Also watch how Libba looks during the NAB Challenge, if he is still playing an inside mid role and looks fit, then he shows a lot of value in this market.
Another market where Tom Rockliff is the favourite (sharing with Ablett and Mitchell) and while there is no doubt he deserves to be amongst the top few, I think once again we can find value betting against him. This time it looks like there could be value with Josh P Kennedy. He has been in the top 5 in the last four years (3rd last year and 2nd in 2014) and with Hannebery getting more and more attention it's safe to say he will continue to be left alone by taggers. Rocky is certainly JP's biggest threat, while Mitchell could play more time off half back this year and Ablett we are still uncertain about his full fitness and I think he will play more time up forward this year anyway.
It's always hard to predict the All Australian team, but I think there are a couple of players who are over the odds for the 2016 season. A couple of them were All Australian in 2015 (Easton Wood and Todd Goldstein) and with not much new competition in their positions, I think they are good chances to repeat. Rockliff, meanwhile, is just too good when and not mention too popular a player (which plays a role in the midfield selections)... So if he stays on the park, he is a very good chance. The odds for this market are easily the best at Ladbrokes, especially with Wood who is paying just $5 at Sportsbet.
*** More markets may be added to this article in the leadup to the 2016 AFL season, so make sure to return to find out. There will also be a full season preview and ladder prediction posted closer to Round 1! ***
Full AFL fixture and more can be found on the AFL website
Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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