We have expert betting tips for all four AFL Finals Week 1 games.
The AFL regular season is over for another year and we now have the eight best teams in the competition.
The top eight teams are in action, which starts on Thursday September 5, with Eagles vs. Bombers and ends on Saturday with Lions vs. Tigers.
It’s going to be a great week of finals action and there’s sure to be some notable headlines.
7:10pm West Coast Eagles vs. Essendon Bombers @ Optus Stadium
It hasn’t quite been a stellar season for the West Coast Eagles following their premiership-winning season last year.
They lost out on a vital top-four position when losing to the Hawthorn Hawks last week and that could cost them a second chance at the finals. Had they secured fourth position, they could have lost in the first round of the playoffs and had a second chance.
However, they now face a do-or-die situation against the always-dangerous Essendon Bombers, who love an upset result.
Essendon finished eighth during the regular season with 12 wins and 10 losses. They lost to Collingwood in Round 23 but it was a closely-fought contest, losing 76-65.
They’re a team that has upset potential but the difference between their best and worst is significant and it’s no easy task to fly into enemy territory and come up with the win.
Bookmakers are favouring West Coast and we’re leaning their way as well.
Betting tip: Eagles –28.5 @ $1.90 Bet Now
Eagles by 31
7:50pm Geelong Cats vs. Collingwood Magpies @ MCG
This is a mouthwatering clash between two teams which had only one win separating them this season.
Geelong finished on top of the AFL ladder with 16 wins and 6 losses, whereas the Magpies finished fourth with 15 wins and seven losses. That’s how close to was at the top of the table and there’s not much between them here.
The Cats are the narrow favourites after sealing the minor premiership title with a 129-61 win over Carlton in Round 23. That win should also give them the confidence they need to make a deep run into the playoffs.
For Collingwood, it has been a season with injury troubles and patchy form throughout. Despite those injuries, they still managed a top-four position and they are a dangerous team come September.
Having lost in the Grand Final last season will hold them in good stead this time around and with two weeks to prepare for this game, those injuries could become less serious.
It’s interesting to see bookmakers making the Cats only $1.73 favourites for this game. They’re predicting a close contest and so are we.
The question remains whether or not Collingwood can muster enough points to beat the Cats, who can score over 100 points without too much fuss.
Betting tip: Cats to win @ $1.73 Bet Now
Cats by 10
3:20pm GWS Giants vs. Western Bulldogs @ Spotless Stadium
Another quality game during Week 1 of the AFL Finals sees the Giants host the in-form Western Bulldogs.
GWS had been struggling to find their best form towards the end of the season, but a Round 23 win over the Suns should give them some confidence.
The opposition was poor, however, but they scored 127 points and playing at home should help this team, which was well-backed to win the premiership before the season started.
For the Bulldogs, they come in having scored a 121-87 win over Adelaide and bookmakers have them as the favourites to win this game.
They’re certainly playing well enough to beat the Giants but we thought bookmakers would have the Bulldogs somewhere around the $2.15 mark. That means punters aren’t getting great value betting on the Bulldogs, but can they win?
The confidence is certainly there with this Bulldogs side, which continues to battle and score wins when they most need them. That’s a good trait to have come playoffs time.
GWS is still a quality team and we can see them fighting back to score a win in front of their home fans.
Betting tip: Giants to win @ $2 Bet Now
Giants by 5
7:25pm Brisbane Lions vs. Richmond Tigers @ Gabba
We can’t wait for this game and we won’t be alone. The Lions and Tigers finished with the same amount of wins this season and they’re playing against each other in consecutive games.
Richmond got the better of the Lions when facing in Round 23, scoring an 82-55 win, but that did come at home and now the Lions get to play at The Gabba.
That home-ground advantage could make all the difference and we’re not giving up on the Lions after one bad outing, considering the amazing season they have had to date.
It has been one of the best seasons in recent history for the Lions after finishing second on the ladder. They have played great footy throughout the season and we love what they do.
On the other hand, the Richmond Tigers are a quality team and confidence will be high after scoring that win over the Lions.
Richmond are the $1.70 favourites for this game but we’re going with Brisbane. The home crowd could be enough to see them turn the tables.
Betting tip: Lions to win @ $2.10 Bet Now
Lions by 10