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What is fantasy sports betting?

Fantasy betting is an online game of skill whereby the bettor assembles a virtual team that accumulates points based on statistics relevant to the sport.

Fantasy sports bets can either be placed on a fixed odds market, or, more commonly, in an online competition whereby the winner claims a portion of the total prize money, similar to pari-mutuel betting. Fantasy sports betting is available on the AFL and NRL, as well as popular international sports.

How to play fantasy sports

At the onset of a season (or a game), you build a team of players, using an allocated budget. You choose a mix of star players and new talent. As the season progresses, you are awarded points for the performance of each player in your team. Just like the competing teams in the league, your team competes against others in the fantasy betting competition.

There are multitudes of ways to bet on fantasy football, from participating in an entire season or from game to game in ‘daily fantasy sports’ contests. Fantasy betting has become hugely popular and is predicted to grow by 41% annually, reaching a global market value of US $14.4 billion in 2020.

Australian daily fantasy sports betting sites:

Types of fantasy betting

Traditional fantasy sports betting leagues, like Supercoach (for AFL and NRL) invite players to build a team within a salary cap at the onset of the sporting season. As the season unfolds, your fantasy league is ranked according to the performance of your chosen players, with winners declared at the end of the season.

Daily fantasy sports betting offers a similar approach, but instead of getting involved for an entire season, you can select the players you think will perform well for a single round.

Fantasy betting leagues in Australia

League fantasy betting sites:

  • In AFL: Supercoach, owned by the Herald Sun/NewsCorp and the AFL owned Dream Team
  • In NRL, Supercoach owned by the Daily Telegraph/NewsCorp
  • In A-League Soccer, Fox Sports and SportsDeck
  • Internationally, there are fantasy betting options the English Premier League, NFL in the USA and many other sports around the world

Australian Daily fantasy sports sites:

  • TopBetta – privately owned Australian a hybrid sportsbook and fantasy betting site
  • Draftstars Australia’s number one daily fantasy sports site, created by CrownBet, now owned by US operator PlayOn
  • Moneyball Australia, a privately owned Australian service, covering an extensive range of sports
  • SportChamps offers tournament style betting against other punters, owned by Australian bookmaker Alan Eskander

How to succeed with fantasy betting

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Know your sports

You need to be familiar with each player’s recent performance and you’re more likely to be successful if you’re a fan of the sport.

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Know each player’s performance

Understanding typical the peaks and troughs of a player can help you predict their future performance.

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Understand player match ups

How does Geelong’s defence cope against GWS forwards? Or how does the Brisbane Roar goalie perform against Sydney FC strikers? This knowledge can be very beneficial to success.

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Understand your risk

Know what you are willing to lose and bet accordingly.