AFL Brownlow Medal Betting Tips & Results
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 2015 Brownlow Medal?
Nat Fyfe, the young Fremantle Dockers superstar has earned what many in the AFL community believed was the right person to win this years Charlie. Fyfe, who was ineligible to win in 2014 was also very close to being ineligible again this year for several minor incidents which were deemed not of sufficient force for a suspension, however 2 attracted fines and one was controversially thrown out. Fyfe finished season 2014 a single vote behind last years winner and this years runner-up, Matthew Priddis.
In his last match of 2015, the Preliminary Final against Hawthorn, Fyfe showed his outstanding ability, courage and competitive nature when playing almost the entire game with a broken fibula. Not only did he play out the game, but he had a massive impact, finishing the game with 16 contested possessions, the most of any player on the field.
Fyfe polled 31 Brownlow votes in 2015, astonishingly, 30 of those votes came before round 13. Fyfe also missed 4 games of the home and away season, rounds 18 & 19 and the last two games in rounds 22 & 23.
Fyfe’s 2015 Brownlow Medal Eligibility Controversy
Controversy surrounded Nat Fyfe’s Brownlow Medal win almost as much as it did in his Brownlow Medal loss last year.
Fyfe was fined for two separate incidents throughout the 2015 season, a tripping fine in round 7 against the Bulldogs which he polled 3 votes, a rough conduct fine after hitting Hawthorn’s Taylor Duryea’s face extremely late after a marking contest in round 15 and most controversially of all, escaping any sanction at all after a front on, head-high collision with North Melbourne’s Ben Jacobs in round 21 which the entire football world thought he would have been suspended for, at best, most thought he would have been offered a fine.
If he was suspended it would have automatically made him ineligible to win the best & fairest award. If fined, this being his third financial sanction, it would have also ruled him ineligible to win the Brownlow Medal in 2015. Nobody suggested that he intentionally collided with the head of a player, however that isn’t how the rule has commonly been adjudicated in the past.
Nonetheless, there’s nobody who believes this years Brownlow Medal winner didn’t deserve it for being the best player of the year, especially in the first half of the year.
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.
2015 Brownlow Medal Results – Top 10
|Matt Priddis||West Coast Coast||28|
|Todd Goldstein||North Melbourne||18|
Nat Fyfe was the favourite to win all year due to the many of his easily best on ground performances early in the year. He polled in every game he played in the first half of the year, including polling the maximum possible 3 votes in rounds 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11 & 13. Round 12 was Fremantle’s bye round, he also polled a single vote in round 3, 6 and 17.
Even after missing 4 games through injury, Fyfe had such a huge lead by round 13 that nobody in the end could catch him. Some online bookmakers paid out early on Fyfe winning the Charlie, while others had his odds so short it wasn’t worth backing him or offered betting markets which excluded Fyfe in order to gain punters attention.
There hasn’t been such a red-hot favourite to win the Brownlow Medal who actually deserved it that I can remember in recent history, the only person who comes close would be Gary Ablett in his prime. The only thing holding Ablett back was when he was at Geelong, there were so many stars in the side taking votes away from him, while at Gold Coast, they didn’t win enough games and he has suffered from injury interrupted years whilst at Gold Coast.
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
- 2015 AFL Brownlow Medal Betting Odds Wednesday, 25 February 2015
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- Brownlow Medal 2015: we look at some of the shocks and surprises from the count Monday, 28 September 2015
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- Brownlow Medal 2015 Live Coverage Monday, 28 September 2015
It’s footy night of nights. This year’s Brownlow Medal count shapes as a close affair with favourite Nat Fyfe expected to poll the majority of his votes in the first half of the season. Can anyone cat. […]
- Brownlow Medal 2015: The case for and against the favourites Sunday, 27 September 2015
THERE are always compelling reasons as to why Brownlow Medal contenders both can and can’t win the prestigious award. While Nat Fyfe is the overwhelming favourite, he’ll have to become the first f. […]