Brownlow Medal Betting Tips
Formally called the Chas Brownlow Trophy but commonly known as the Brownlow Medal (and informally as “Charlie”) is awarded to the best and fairest player during the regular AFL football season. For those who don’t know how the Brownlow medalist is chosen, after each match the officiating umpires of every game convene and decide who the three most influential players of the game were. The umpires give 3 votes to the most influential player of the match, 2 votes to the second and a single vote for the third best player on ground.
The Brownlow is arguably the most prestigious award for an individual player in the AFL. It is widely acknowledged in the media as the highest individual honour in the sport of Australian Rules Football, however many Aussie rules football supporters consider the Leigh Matthews Trophy, more commonly known as the AFLPA‘s MVP Award is a more accurate reflection of the best player of the year as it is voted on by current players instead of umpires.
Brownlow Medal night is held on the Monday night before the Grand Final. Check your local TV guide for the exact date and time of the Red Carpet and the Live Brownlow Medal Count which is usually performed by the CEO of the AFL.
Who won the 2014 Brownlow Medal?
Matthew Priddis, West Coast midfielder. Priddis polled 26 votes to beat the ineligible Nat Fyfe by 1 vote and Gary Ablett Jr. and Lance “Buddy” Franklin were equal second officially, each finishing the year with 22 votes. Ablett sustained a season ending injury during Round 16, at which point he was 5 votes clear in the lead.
My Tips for Betting on the Brownlow
At the beginning of each year, there are always some players at great odds to take home the Brownlow Medal. Here are some things to take into account when trying to find a roughie for the Charlie.
- Bet on players in teams that will feature in the top 8.
Generally speaking, the winner of the Charlie will be from a team in the top 8.
- Pick players that don’t have too much team competition.
Being able to identify stand-out players in average to good teams can be an absolute gold-mine in tipping both the Brownlow medalist winner, and the more exotic betting options such as win/place, top 5 and most votes from each team type betting.
- Select players who will play in the midfield.
Many people call the Brownlow a “midfielders medal”, as those who play in the forward line, ruck or in defense rarely get noticed as much as the major ball-winners. Historically, midfielders poll a large percentage more votes than players in any other position. As the adage goes, the game is won and lost in the midfield.
- Find midfielders that are likely to avoid a hard tag.
Some outstanding players can handle a hard tag, while others will benefit in Brownlow votes from having a team-mate who’s considered more damaging by the opposition coach, therefore avoiding the first tag and having more room to gather the pill and catch the eyes of the umpires.
- Take a punt on breakout contenders.
In order to get the very best odds possible on the Brownlow medal, you need to place your bets before the season starts, or at the very latest, during the first several weeks of the fixture. Watching the pre-season games can give you a rough idea about a player entering their 5th or 6th year of regular footy who has had a role change, or is about to step up into the true ‘elite’ players of the game.
- Look at durability over past seasons.
Some players are a lot more durable than others, and one missed game through injury may very well cost your player an addition to the trophy cabinet. Obviously, you don’t want players that have a history of reports and suspensions as the medal is awarded to the best and fairest player of the year. If a player is suspended, they are disqualified from winning the award, even if they are voted the best player of the year.
- Look at recent polling history.
This is especially true if the votes and/or team are on the rise. Some players just don’t attract the attention of umpires, or may be fairly or unfairly treated differently due to the umpires’ perception or public image of a player. Others seem to nearly get a vote for simply stepping onto the field. Research how many votes a player has won in past years and see if there is a trend upwards. If there is also a probability of getting more votes due to retirements, role changes, more experience and so on, you may have found yourself a good candidate.
- Look closely at the exotic betting markets.
I made a killing a few years ago with multis. If you can find a bookmaker that will accept multi-bets on the most votes per team, do your research and you can almost guarantee that there will be a standout player in each team that is highly likely to finish with the most votes for their club. I would leave out some clubs with several star players who all attract a lot of votes such as Collingwood, Hawthorn, Geelong and Sydney, but the teams on the lower end of the ladder are usually very easy to predict who will poll the most votes for their club.
- Don’t discount Brownlow place betting.
If you’ve ever had a bet on a player who’s finished 2nd or 3rd then you will feel my pain. The good thing is, however, all online bookmakers allow you to bet on a player to come in a place. Depending on the bookmaker, this could be the Top 3 or the Top 5 place-getters. The odds are 1/4 of the win odds, which if you get your bets on early in the season, can still give you a good return on investment. I highly recommend place bets after several successive years of winning a lot more than my initial Brownlow fund outlay, thanks in part to only losing a single place bet.
2014 Brownlow Medal Results – Top 10
|Matthew Priddis||West Coast||26|
|Gary Ablett||Gold Coast||22|
|Travis Boak||Port Adelaide||21|
Matt Priddis was a surprise winner of the Brownlow Medal this year, but I wouldn’t say that he was unworthy as he has had a fantastic year. In a poor polling year, he managed to win when his team finished just outside the top 8, they were 9th with 11 wins for the year. One of the things I always look for when selecting a roughie for the Charlie is the competition for votes in the team. Priddis was the dominant inside midfielder in many of West Coast’s wins in 2014, Andrew Gaff was the closest eligible Brownlow Medal contender with just 6 votes. There is no other team in the competition with such a large margin between the first and second brownlow medal votes received. Even Josh J Kennedy, who was ineligible only finished with 11 votes, 15 behind Priddis. If you bet on Priddis to win before the season started, you would have been quoted odds well over $100. On Monday night, the best odds available were around $40 to win and $10 to place. Not bad.
2013 Brownlow Medal Results – Top 10
|Gary Ablett||Gold Coast||28|
Gary Ablett has won his second Brownlow Medal and is in my opinion one of the most deserving winners in recent history. His 2013 season was arguably his best ever, although he has been the best player in the competition for a very long time, this year he added a record 5th MVP award to his medal collection, as well as another club best and fairest award. I think he should have polled more, but the only thing that matters is he finished with the most votes on the night.
Gary Ablett becomes the first player from the Gold Coast Suns to win a Charlie. He was heavily backed in the pre-season, during the season and after the season. He was deservedly the short priced favourite on the night and in an extremely tight finish. Ablett was 2 votes behind Selwood going into the final round, Joel wasn’t awarded a single vote, while Gary was given 3 votes by the umpires in the final round of the year when Gold Coast defeated Greater Western Sydney by 83 points, Gazza had 33 possessions and kicked 4.1. This placed him 1 vote clear of ex Geelong teammate Joel Selwood, and a very deserving winner of one the league’s most prestigeous awards for the second time in his career.
2012 Brownlow Medal Results – Top 10
|Sam Mitchell *||Hawthorn||26|
|Gary Ablett||Gold Coast||24|
|Lenny Hayes||St Kilda||19|
Jobe Watson was a well deserving winner of the 2012 Brownlow medal, finishing with 30 votes – 4 votes clear of Sam Mitchell, who was ineligible and Trent Cotchin who both finished with 26 votes. Both Cotchin and Mitchell had great years, however Sam Mitchell was not eligible for the award due to a second controversial ruling in consecutive years.
2011 Brownlow Medal Results – Top 10
|Sam Mitchell *||Hawthorn||30|
|Nick Dal Santo||St Kilda||28|
|Matthew Boyd||Western Bulldogs||24|
|Gary Ablett||Gold Coast||23|
|Lance Franklin *||Hawthorn||20|
|Matt Priddis||West Coast||19|
Chris Judd was an unbackable favourite heading into the 2011 Brownlow, but he didn’t manage to live up to expectations. After last years poor polling and an injury affected season, Dane Swan was paying $16 to win the Brownlow medal on the night. In a strange turn of events, Last year Dane Swan (like Chris Judd this year) was too short to back and ended up being out-polled by Chris Judd. Fortunes were reversed in an upset that defies all logic and reason.
2010 Brownlow Medal Results – Top 10
|Lenny Hayes||St Kilda||19|
|Travis Boak||Port Adelaide||16|
It’s fair to say that Chris Judd was just as shocked as the rest of the country when he polled the most votes to win the Brownlow in 2010. Dane Swan was unbackable at less than $2, Gary Ablett was the only other player paying less than $10 and either were, in my opinion, much more worthy of the award than Chris Judd. Especially considering the fact many believed he should not have been eligible for the best and fairest player that year (or any year, in this writers not so humble opinion).
Statistics, information and resources
- FootyWire’s Brownlow Medal Page
My favourite resource site for checking past statistics on the Charlie.
Past Brownlow Medal Winners & Total Votes
|2014||Matthew Priddis||West Coast||26|
|2013||Gary Ablett||Gold Coast||28|
|2008||Adam Cooney||Western Bulldogs||24|
|2005||Ben Cousins||West Coast Eagles||20|
|2004||Chris Judd||West Coast Eagles||30|
|2002||Simon Black||Brisbane Lions||25|
|2001||Jason Akermanis||Brisbane Lions||23|
|1998||Robert Harvey||St Kilda||32|
|1997||Robert Harvey *||St Kilda||26|
|1996||Michael Voss *||Brisbane Bears||21|
For the best and fairest winners prior to 1995, check here.
Latest Brownlow Medal News
- Best 2014 AFL Brownlow Medal Odds & Tips Wednesday, 10 September 2014
In January I predicted that Ablett would win the Brownlow if he didn’t get injured or suspended. Well, unfortunately he was struck down with a season ending injury in round 16 and not many would be br. […]
- AFL overhauls tribunal system Tuesday, 25 November 2014
Players can still take discounts for early pleas, a key feature of the old system. A player’s eligibility for the Brownlow Medal will still rely on whether he was suspended during the season. There wi. […]
- Brownlow eligibility relaxed in MRP changes Tuesday, 25 November 2014
BROWNLOW Medal eligibility has been relaxed as part of the biggest Match Review Panel shake-up since the system was introduced by Adrian Anderson in 2005. AFL football operations boss Mark Evans has s. […]
- MRP simplified for 2015 Tuesday, 25 November 2014
Brownlow Medal eligibility has also been relaxed as part of the biggest MRP shake-up since 2005. Players can remain in Brownlow contention despite being found guilty of an offence as long as the punis. […]
- Nat Fyfe rule: Brownlow Medal shake-up Tuesday, 25 November 2014
It’s a borderline one, but depending on what the Match Review Panel determined it could well be deemed a fine (under the new system) Mark Evans, on Nat Fyfe’s controversial suspension last season BROW. […]
- AFL overhauls contentious tribunal system, relaxes rules for Brownlow Medal eligibility Tuesday, 25 November 2014
The AFL has overhauled in controversial tribunal system, abandoning the use of demerit points. Offences will now be categorised as either fines or suspensions, and there will no longer be any carryove. […]
- AFL unveils radical tribunal overhaul Tuesday, 25 November 2014
THE AFL has unveiled a radical overhaul of its tribunal system that also loosens the rules for Brownlow Medal eligibility.
- AFL Tribunal rule changes finally bring some common sense, writes Jon Ralph Tuesday, 25 November 2014
The headline moments in the review announced to clubs on Tuesday will be the Brownlow Medal eligibility and fines for low-level incidents which formerly drew suspensions. Yet what is just as important. […]
- No more demerit points as AFL aims for simpler MRP Tuesday, 25 November 2014
Only suspended players will be ineligible for the Brownlow Medal – Removal of double penalties covering all Grand Final incidents. This will remain for serious events, but lower-end offences will be p. […]
- AFL’s tribunal overhaul brings welcome change to Brownlow count Tuesday, 25 November 2014
Passed by the league commission last week, it is a much simpler version of its controversial forerunner with a welcome change to Brownlow Medal eligibility. From next season a player has to be suspend. […]
- All the action from the Brownlow Medal Monday, 22 September 2014
The Brownlow Medal always provides drama, dresses and a tight race. Catch all the action here.
- Eagle Matt Priddis' shock Brownlow win Monday, 22 September 2014
UPDATE: Brownlow Medal hero Matt Priddis said seeing the reaction of his teammates gave him as big a thrill as actually winning the award.
- Fyfe to shun Brownlow Saturday, 20 September 2014
Fremantle star Nat Fyfe won’t watch Monday night’s Brownlow Medal count and may not be in Australia to hear the result.