And it’s here, week 1 of the AFL finals, we’re down to the best 8 teams of 2018 which will be whittled down to the best team in 4 weeks time. We’re set for 4 huge games this week with a week that has worked out perfectly for the AFL.
Richmond V Hawthorn
Thursday 7:20 – MCG
Hawthorn managed to slide into 4th position and they will take on the reigning premiers and minor premiers in Richmond. A massive crowd is expected for this Thursday night blockbuster at the MCG.
A big inclusion this week for Richmond is Kane Lambert who returns from an ankle injury at the expense of Brandon Ellis, this is the only change in Richmonds line up.
Hawthorn have three big inclusions for the structure of their team with James Sicily coming back from a wrist injury, James Frawley and Jonathon Ceglar also come into the team. The outs are Kaiden Brand, David Mirra and Teia Miles, the ins outweigh the outs by a long way and they will strengthen the lineup of the Hawks.
Hawthorn have lost their last two encounters with Richmond, even with Tom Mitchell dominating their last match racking up 42 disposals.
I expect the Tigers to come out strong and a harder tag to be placed on Tom Mitchell this time around to reduce his output.
The Tigers are a little bit stronger for mine, they have been the best team all year and they will carry in a positive mind frame from last years finals performance. I expect it to be a close result, Richmond by 10.
Tip – Richmond 1-39 Winning Margin – $1.85 @ BetEasy
Melbourne V Geelong
Friday 7:50 – MCG
Melbourne enter their first finals series in 12 years and the G will be packed to the rafters!
Geelong and Melbourne have faced off twice this year with the Cats getting the chocolates narrowly in both encounters, in fact the Dees have only won one of the last 5 contests against the Cats.
Melbourne have the upper hand in the ruck with Max Gawn one of the premier ruckmen in the comp going up against either Ryan Abbott or Zac Smith. The Geelong mids will have to read Gawns tap work and the ruckmen will have to negate him when he floats forwards or back taking contested marks.
The experience of Patrick Dangerfield, Gary Ablett and Joel Selwood with the new addition of Tim Kelly should be too strong in the middle and with Tom Hawkins in career best form down front it looks like the Cats will have an edge in experience and big game players over the Dees. Melbourne are the best up and coming team in the comp and will play finals for many years to come but I can’t see it happening for them this year.
Experience and top end talent will win this one and unfortunately it looks like Melbourne will have to wait until next year.
Tip – Geelong to win – $2.10 @ BetEasy
Sydney V GWS
Saturday 4:20 – SCG
Sydney will take on their cross town rivals in the second elimination final.
A couple of massive inclusions for both teams, Lance Franklin and Luke Parker return for the Swans and Brett Deledio and Toby Greene for GWS.
This game will be a close one and it really could go either way, GWS have been better than Sydney in the second half of the year and I think they’ll be too good in a close one.
Tip – GWS to win – $2.15 @ BetEasy
West Coast Eagles V Collingwood
Saturday 8:10 – Optus Stadium
Collingwood travel to Western Australia to face West Coast in the last final of week 1.
Collingwood have been in excellent form this year and really surprised me by finishing in third place on the ladder.
The big inclusion in this game is Josh Kennedy, the Eagles have really struggled when he hasn’t been playing. Collingwood have rushed back Adam Treloar and Tyson Goldsack, this could backfire on them because they will both be very underdone and in a final you need everyone firing.
The inclusion of Josh Kennedy and the fact that this game is played in Western Australia swings the game in favour of West Coast for mine.
Tip – West Coast 1-39 Winning Margin – $2.10 @ BetEasy
- Richmond 1-39
- Geelong to win
- GWS to win
- West Coast 1-39
Multibet pays $17.55 @ BetEasy
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