Brownlow Medal betting
The Charles Brownlow Medal is awarded each season to the player or players judged the fairest and best in the Australian Football League, the No.1 competition for Australian football.
It is voted on by the field umpires in each regular-season match on a 3-2-1 basis, with the player accruing the most votes awarded the medal, providing he has not been suspended for foul play during the season.
The votes are decided after each match and submitted to the AFL, and they are kept under lock and key until the night of the Brownlow Medal count.
Brownlow Medal betting has grown enormously in recent years; many keen students of the game keep their own counts during the season and are ready to strike if they can find value in any of the many markets on offer, of which there are plenty.
Bookmakers have tightened the markets considerably after they lost heavily on accumulator bets on top team vote-getters several years back. Generally, they will offer this option only on the day of the count now, and they are much better informed of likely outcomes than they were then.
Tips for finding the Brownlow Medal winner
The Chas Brownlow Medal (Charlie for short) can be a profitable medium for betting, provided you do your homework and search around for the best odds on your chosen player or option. After all, how many events do you get to bet on when all the action is already over, having been played out over 23 rounds before your very eyes?
Here are our quick tips for making some real money on the night.
Stick with midfielders: It’s not for nothing that this has become known as an award reserved solely for midfielders (those who are around the ball the most). Since 2000, one player who was not considered a mid-fielder, Sydney Swans superstar Adam Goodes (2003 and 2006), has triumphed. Goodes was often playing in the ruck in those days and probably qualified as an extra midfielder anyway, such was his athleticism and ability around the contest.
Strength in numbers: If a player racks up huge numbers of possession, they generally fare well under the umpires’ judgment, regardless of how well they may have used those possessions.
Good teams but not too good: The winning team in each match almost always gets the lion’s share of the votes. But if a team is packed with superstar midfielders they cannibalise the vote. Ie, they can cost each other votes and it can be hard for one player to stand out and snare enough votes to contend.
Durability is a key: Of course, the winner will be a stand-out player, but it also helps if they can avoid injury. If you take six weeks out of someone’s season, it’s always going to be hard to compete against someone who has had all 23 games to poll votes.
History is a good pointer: For whatever reason, certain players strike a chord with the umpires. It may be that they treat the men in white with respect and don’t level any abuse at them. Who knows? What we do know is that players who have polled well previously tend to do so again.
Brief history of the Brownlow medal
The medal started out as the Charles Brownlow Trophy for the fairest and best player in the Victorian Football League in 1924. It was struck in honour of Charles “Chas” Brownlow, a former Geelong player and long-time leading administrator in the VFL, who died early that year.
It was halted for several years during World War II but has endured to now be the crowning individual award for the Australian Football League.
The voting system has changed a couple of times over the years. In its first few years just a single vote was awarded for each match. In contrast 12 votes were award for each match in the 1976-77 seasons, though that experiment was short-lived.
Edward “Carji” Greeves of Geelong was the inaugural winner in 1924, polling seven votes to win by a single vote.
Types of wager on the Brownlow medal
There are a tremendous array of options, especially come the day of the count. We will run through the main ones you may encounter.
Win: Straight-out bet on who will win the medal.
Place: A bet for a player to finish in the top three in the count. Normal dead-heat rules would apply in the case of a tie for third.
Quinella: Pick the first two players in the count.
Halfway leader: Find the leader at the half-way point of the count, as deemed by the sportsbook, given there are 23 rounds in an AFL season.
Top team votes: Pick the player to top the voting at each club.
Head-to-head: Pick Player A or Player B to win the most votes. Mismatches can abound here, if you have kept an accurate count.
Group votes: Pick the top vote-getter of players grouped together by the bookmaker. It may be a collection of ruckmen or full-forwards or something obscure such as players sharing the same surname.
Under/over: Bet on over or under a certain number of votes for the winner, for a team or even for an individual player.
Brownlow Medal awards ceremony
The medal count is always held on the Monday night before the AFL grand final at the Crown Casino in Melbourne.
Given all but two of the teams are out of contention for the title, it is the biggest night on the AFL calendar, a chance for AFL players and their partners to walk the red carpet and socialise.
The event is televised live and for the aficionado offers a recap of the season round by round. The awards for goal of the year and mark of the year are also awarded during the night.