AFL Strategy – Premiership Market Trade & Lay opportunities



2015 AFL Season

Every AFL season starts in a similar fashion for punters. We make a judgement on sides based on the previous years form, combined with pre-season recruitments, injuries and other off-field factors.

Statistical models and expert AFL punters can then choose to invest early in season but can often find themselves exposed by teams shifting to their new potential. At this pointy end of the season it can be difficult to find value week to week as the market becomes quite efficient. With this in mind, let’s look to alternative methods to finding value at this point of year.

If you’ve played in the premiership market before you’ll know it offers plenty of opportunities throughout the year. As the graph above shows, there has been multiple trading and value opportunities throughout the year. Even though we’re nearing the end, this market still has plenty more to offer the opportunist.

Strategy – Trade opportunities still remain

There is still value in spending time evaluating the premiership market and defining some trade opportunities. We know we can expect movement across this market over the next three weeks – we need to evaluate the current price, look at upcoming events and take a position and back our methodology in.

Back or lay a team you think will perform well or may not perform well over the next three weeks, if your prediction is correct you can trade/cash out on the price change to lock in a profit. Remember you’re not backing these sides to win the premiership – you’re backing them with the goal of trading out of a position.

Run home analysis & predicting future movements in the market


Movements of interest: Sydney Swans, Western Bulldogs, Adelaide, North Melbourne.

The Swans sit at big odds due (11.50) to an inconsistent season and currently sit in fifth place (lacking percentage) just behind this year’s surprise packet Western Bulldogs.

Swan’s run home – GWS, St Kilda, Gold Coast

Bulldog’s run home – West Coast, North Melbourne, Brisbane

The Swans should knock off all three which will launch them into fourth spot as long as the Western Bulldogs lose one of their tough encounters with either West Coast or North. I’m backing this in and expect the Swans to shorten for week one of the finals. This will enable a cash out position.

Back the Swans $11.5 (8.69% probability)

Note: West Coast Eagles

I’m also expecting the Eagles to fly home strong over the coming weeks which could see them shorten in the market. Although this would provide another opportunity, my focus will be on the Swans as the key market mover.

Consider this angle and make your own analysis and predictions on how the market will form over the next few weeks. Identify your own opportunity and back yourself in. If things don’t go your way early, you can always trade out for a small loss – don’t ride out your position if it’s not going to plan.

Strategy – Where does the best value lay sit?

We know this market is highly susceptible to trading as it offers punters a chance to take a long term position on a selection. With plenty of quality teams at the peak of their game it can be difficult to pick out your defined winners this early on. Hawthorn’s price has been fairly steady all year and has shortened off the back of some impressive performances over the last month.

West Coast Eagles have had an impressive year – no doubt exceeding the expectation of most. They have lost only four games this year, all against high quality opposition.

Round 1 defeated by Bulldogs 10 points

Round 3 defeated by Dockers 30 point

Round 10 defeated by Kangaroos 10 points

Round 19 defeated by Hawthorn 14 points

Regardless of the impressive year and most likely second place finish on the ladder, I don’t believe they can beat either Hawthorn or Fremantle come finals.

West Coast have lost their last five to Hawthorn by an average losing margin of 30.66 pts. They have won 1/5 across the last five against Fremantle and I don’t see Fremantle making the same mistake again in the Finals. Couple these two opinions with an inconsistent record at the MCG and having only played one game at the G this year – I don’t like their chances.

I’m avoiding them as a trade opportunity as I think the price will only move marginally. I do like the prospect of laying the Eagles closer to finals if the hype has built up. I’ll be watching closely and will make a move to lay if the price is right week one of the finals.

Lay West Coast Eagles – anything below $5.00

Consider the current prices and watch closely over the next three weeks. The market can often overreact to recent performances which don’t always represent the full ability of a team. Watch for impressive teams over the next three weeks and also watch for any disappointing finishes to the season. The market will react accordingly – its then up to you to analyse the prices available, and define the opportunity. More will arise in this market over the coming weeks.