The 2021 AFL season was another fantastic campaign, and all 18 clubs will now be putting plans in place for next year. It will be the 126th season of the Australian Rules league.
Bookmakers have opened betting on the 2022 campaign. Here is a look at the early best bets in the outright market for the Grand Final.
Repeat Success Likely for Melbourne in Grand Final
Melbourne were the dominant team in the AFL in 2021. They finished top of the ladder at the end of the regular season, winning 17 of their 22 matches. It was enough for them to conclude with 70 points, two points clear of Port Adelaide.
The league winners made no mistakes in the Grand Final. They prevailed by 74 points at the Optus Stadium in Western Australia. It was their first victory in the Grand Final in 57 years, so their fans had waited a long time for them to get their chance at the trophy.
A second successful premiership can arrive for the Demons. They had to do it the hard way in 2021 as their win came in Perth, rather than Melbourne. The Grand Final in 2022 will return to the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where if they get there, they will have strong home support.
Melbourne are usually among the favourites on the AFL betting sites like William Hill and they are the team to beat in 2022. It’ll be a huge achievement if they can replicate what Richmond did in 2020 by defending their crown.
Sydney Swans May Take Flight In 2022
Last season was a decent campaign for Sydney Swans. They finished sixth in the regular season, and they were a little unfortunate that their position was not higher. Brisbane Lions and Western Bulldogs both ended on the same number of points as Sydney, but their PP was a little lower than their rivals.
Expect to see the Swans build upon on their good season which should see them even closer to the top of the ladder. This will ensure they are seeded better in the final series which will give them a better chance of reaching the Grand Final for the first time since 2016.
The Swans were beaten by Great Western Sydney in the opening round of the final series in 2021. They were not at their best in that game and that led to them being eliminated. It was a defeat that will have hurt them, and they will learn a lot from it heading into the new season.
The Swans represent a good each-way alternative to the defending champions. If they reach the final, you will guarantee the place part of your bet. As they showed last season, they are capable of beating any team in the AFL on their day, so there is also a good chance they could prevail in that game.
The new AFL season begins on the 17th March and will run through to the Grand Final on the 24th September. Fixtures are likely to be released in early 2022.