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Margin betting explained

Margin Betting is a form of betting whereby the bookmaker breaks up the number of possible outcomes by creating a points margin. You must select both the correct winner and the winning margin for the bet to be successful. The margin can be either; a narrow points range or, it can be a broad range like 1 – 39 points.

Margin bet

A margin bet involves selecting a team to win as well as selecting the correct margin. They are sometimes referred to as Big Win Little Win bets, as betting websites look for a way to distinguish one margin bet from another. For example, if the bettor believes Team A will win, they then must select by how much they think they will win; Team A to win between 1 – 39 points.

Margin bet example – AFL margin betting explained

Margin betting example

The example shows a margin bet market for a game of AFL between North Melbourne and GWS Giants. North Melbourne are favourites to win the game and are listed as a $1.74 chance in head to head betting. The bookmaker has broken up the contest using margins to offer punters better odds and a variation on the game. There are now five possible outcomes including the draw!

If North Melbourne win by between 1 – 39 points the payout will be $2.25 for punters that took the 1 – 39 margin. The margin odds represent much better value than the $1.74 on offer for them to win the match. However, If North Melbourne win by over 39 points the margin bet will not be successful.

Bookmakers that offer margin betting

Margin betting is available with all of the major online bookmakers that field sports bets. Popular sports include AFL, NRL and basketball. Margin betting on all codes of football is very popular in Australia. Due to their popularity, margin bets are typically used as a leg in same game multi bets. They are also suitable for when redeeming free bets.

Types of margin bets

Due to its popularity, bookmakers have created new bet types based around points margins. They are forms of margin betting, for example, tri bets, are in effect a margin bet where there are three possible outcomes.

Margin betting is often confused with line betting; however, the two products are different. Both are popular AFL bet types, but there are only two possible outcomes with line bets: either side of the set line. AFL line betting is explained in detail on the line betting page.