The 2018 AFL Finals are here and there are four blockbuster games this week including two do-or-die elimination finals.
All teams had last week off to freshen up for finals and some teams will be sweating in getting their star players back and firing when it matter most.
Week 1 of the Finals kicks off this Thursday, September 6th with the Richmond Tigers taking on the Hawthorn Hawks at the MCG.
7:20pm Richmond Tigers vs. Hawthorn Hawks @ MCG
Richmond were pushed all the way to the final siren last week against the Bulldogs and were lucky to come away with a 3-point win and keep their streak at the G alive.
The minor premiers are the obvious choice to win the back-to-back Premierships, with Jack Riewoldt winning the Coleman Medal and Dustin Martin finding another gear at the right time of the season. Dusty is currently paying $9 for the Brownlow Medal, and he’s definitely worth a shot at those odds!
The Hawks had a tough 9-point win over the Swans at the SCG last week to secure a top 4 finish, but the Swans were without Buddy Franklin and Luke Parker as late withdrawals. The Hawks are playing tough, contested football and it’s enough to match it with any team, but are they up to the level of the Tigers yet?
We think the Hawks will take it right up to the Tigers, but Richmond’s class will get them over the line in the end. Hawthorn will make this a real fight so we are going to take Richmond at the 1-39 margin.
Betting tip: Richmond 1-39 @ $2.10 (BET NOW)
Richmond by 18
7:50pm Melbourne Demons vs. Geelong Cats @ MCG
The Demon’s are high on confidence at the moment and they start as favourites on Friday night against the star-studded Geelong lineup. Melbourne has beaten two genuine contenders in the last two weeks in West Coast and GWS, and that puts them in a good position heading into this match.
Geelong has finished the season with back-to-back 100+ point wins, but they have been against much weaker opposition. They will need to be prepared for a physical encounter from the opening bounce, because they don’t want to get caught napping against a hungry Melbourne side.
This game will be won and lost on the contested ball. The young Demon’s will be giving it their all but we think Geelong’s big names will drag them over the line come the final siren.
Betting tip: Geelong 1-39 @ $2.70 (BET NOW)
Geelong by 8
4:20pm Sydney Swans vs. GWS Giants @ SCG
Both teams are coming off losses last week and it’s now do-or-die in week 1 of the finals.
The Swans lost a close game to the Hawks with a top four position on the line, but will regain the services of Buddy Franklin and Luke Parker for this elimination final.
The Giants have been ravaged by injuries again this season but could get back Brett Deledio, Toby Greene, and Ryan Griffin from injury for this match. All three players will be important to the Giant’s chances, so we will need to look at the team lists when they are released next Thursday.
With both teams having some big “ins” for this match, we think this will be a very close game.We all know Buddy Franklin likes a big game with a lot on the line, and we think he will prove the difference for the Swans in the end.
Betting tip: Sydney 1-39 @ $2.30 (BET NOW)
Sydney by 7
8:10pm West Coast Eagles vs. Collingwood Magpies @ Optus Stadium
West Coast beat the Lions at the Gabba last week to secure second position on the AFL ladder to ensure they will play at least two home finals in 2018, which are crucial to West Coast’s Premiership chances.
Also crucial to West Coast’s Premiership chances is the return of star forward Josh Kennedy, who the Eagles have taken every precaution with to be 100% fit for finals.
There’s no doubt that Collingwood have had a great season, finishing third overall, and they will be thankful that they kept Nathan Buckley as coach after coming under a lot of pressure at the end of last season.
Travelling to Perth for a final is never an easy task, and we think the Eagles will be too good in front of their home crowd. We expect it to be a close game so we will take West Coast at the 1-39 margin for our betting play.
Betting tip: West Coast 1-39 @ $2:30 (BET NOW)
West Coast by 22