Written by AFL Online on 4th Sep 2018
September is always a glorious month for Australian sport, especially for those who follow AFL and NRL during the finals series. But you also get some great stuff happening further afield, such as the start of the UEFA Champions League and NFL, as well as one off events like the Ryder Cup. But, for AFL fans, it’s the business part of the season, when every kick, catch, point, tackle or injury could prove a defining moment in their club’s fortunes.
Of course, it’s a big month for AFL punters as they try to decide who will come out on top in on 29th September at Melbourne Cricket Ground. Most of you will be aware that Richmond, who topped the ladder with 72 points, are the hot favourites. The Tigers come in at a price of 27/20 with Unibet on the eve of their qualifying final against Hawthorn.
Richmond’s odds reflective of a dominant season
While it’s clear that Richmond were the best side in the league overall during the season, it’s worth remembering that only two of the last 10 minor premiers have won the Grand Final. Richmond themselves finished 3rd in the ladder last season, yet they thrashed minor premiers Adelaide by over 40 points in the Grand Final.
Indeed, momentum plays a key role in this part of the season, so don’t forget that Hawthorn put together nine wins in the last 11 games of the season. Richmond are favourites for the showdown on 6th September, but you can see why bookmakers, including Bet365, have put Hawks in at 8/1 for a 14th Grand Final win. Should they slay Richmond, it’s worth keeping an eye on the AFL betting markets, because the odds will tumble.
Collingwood back in the big time
It might surprise some to learn that Collingwood have been made third-favourites at 7/1 with a wide range of Aussie bookies. The Magpies have not graced the finals since 2013, but they put in a decent shift to finish up in third place. Defence is a key worry for Nathan Buckley’s men, with only Melbourne conceding more among the top eight teams.
However, the most intriguing team going into the finals is arguably West Coast Eagles, Collingwood’s opponents on the 8th of September. Very few pundits and betting experts picked the Eagles at the start of the season, highlighted by the fact they were as big as 25/1 at the start of the season. Those odds have, of course, dropped, now coming in at 6/1 (Unibet). Did they peak with that big win over Richmond in May? It remains to be seen, but nobody should be ruling out the Eagles.
Swans have underachieved so far
Melbourne (9/1), Geelong (12/1), Sydney (16/1) and Greater Western Sydney (20/1, all odds Bet365) make up the rest of the finals series, and it certainly wouldn’t be a shock if one of those teams came out on top in the Grand Final. Swans, especially, have the talent at their disposal to make the bookies regret those odds. After all, they were the favourites at the start of the season.
Who will come out on top? The consensus seems to be Richmond, whose odds are so much shorter than the rest. But, footie doesn’t always follow the script in September, so don’t rule out anyone just yet.