The 2021 AFL season kicks off in early March and there is no better time to place your pre-season bets.
Richmond endeavours to go back-to-back and it has been installed as the favourites. However, four other teams are quoted at single-figure odds, so it’s a wide-open competition.
We preview the season to find our best value picks, including exotic markets and our predictions for the Brownlow Medal.
2021 AFL Season Predictions
2021 AFL Premiership Winner – Brisbane Lions
There was plenty to like about the Brisbane Lions last season and punters should expect another fine display.
Brisbane won 14 of its 17 games in the shortened season and they got the better of Richmond in the qualifying final. Richmond would go on to win the AFL Premiership, with Brisbane losing to Geelong in the preliminary final.
However, this team will benefit from that experience and they could go to another level in 2021.
It is a team packed with quality players, including Lachie Neale, who is the current Brownlow Medal favourite. Neale has the ability to take Brisbane all the way this season and we’re not backing against them.
Punters get a fair price for Brisbane to win and punters should expect the odds to shorten after the season gets underway.
Bet: Brisbane Lions @ $7 – Bet @ Sportsbet
2021 AFL Premiership Winner Value Bet – Western Bulldogs
Western Bulldogs have no excuses not to contend for the AFL Premiership this season. They have Marcus Bontempelli and Adam Trelor as staples, who could improve out of sight this season.
Adding to the impressive midfield rotations are Jack Macrae, Lachie Hunter, rising star Bailey Smith and Tom Liberatore.
The Bulldogs also have Jamarra Ugle-Hagan in the squad, who is currently on the second line of betting for the AFL Rising Star, so there is plenty to get excited about this season.
Western Bulldogs finished seventh during the regular season last year before losing to St Kilda in the second elimination final. It was a credible comeback for the club, which trailed the Saints by a large deficit in the final term.
They won’t want to be ending their season in the first week of the playoffs for the third year running, so expect a big performance from the Bulldogs in 2021.
Bet: Western Bulldogs @ $9 – Bet @ Sportsbet
2021 AFL Premiership Long Shot – GWS Giants
The Giants come off a disappointing 10th in the 2020 season, but there is room for improvement.
GWS made the Grand Final in 2019 where they were humiliated by Richmond, losing 114-25. It was a sorry effort for a proud club, so we’re not surprised by the poor showing last season.
Given time to get over that loss, the Giants could bounce back in 2021. They have enough quality players to make a run, including Lachie Whitfield and Nick Haynes.
Punters get value odds for the Giants this season and they could make another title run.
Bet: GWS Giants @ $23 – Bet @ Sportsbet
2021 AFL Least Wins – North Melbourne Kangaroos
The overwhelming favourite for least wins in the AFL are the North Melbourne Kangaroos.
They come off a poor 2020 season which resulted in a 17th-placed finish. Only the Adelaide Crows finished with a worst record, but the Crows showed some resilience at the end of the season.
North Melbourne doesn’t have much going for it this season, so we’re not surprised by the $2.20 on offer.
Punters should expect the Kangaroos to get off to a poor start and stay at the bottom of the ladder throughout.
Bet: North Melbourne Kangaroos @ $2.20 – Bet @ Sportsbet
2021 AFL Brownlow Medal Winner – Lachie Neale
Lachie Neale was awarded the 2020 Brownlow Medal winner for the Brisbane Lions and he’s every chance of winning again.
The outstanding 27-year-old continues to go from strength-to-strength and there is no reason to jump off his back this season.
Since moving to the Brisbane Lions in 2019, Neale has played 43 games and scored 26 goals, 20 behinds, 1253 disposals and 178 marks.
It’s an impressive record and he got 26 Brownlow Medal points in 2019 before scoring 31 points in 2020.
Bet: Lachie Neale @ $5 – Bet @ Sportsbet
2020 AFL Coleman Medal Winner – Tom Hawkins
Tom Hawkins blew the opposition out of the water last year, scoring 49 goals from 21 games.
The Geelong star scored 15 more goals than his closest rival and 17 more goals than Tom Lynch, who is the favourite for the honours in 2021.
Hawkins had 85 shots on the season, including 36 behinds. His work rate was incredible and although there are more efficient kickers, that won’t worry punters.
He should kick plenty of goals again this season and punters will enjoy the $7 available with bookmakers.
Bet: Tom Hawkins @ $7 – Bet @ Sportsbet
To Miss The Top 8 – Port Adelaide Power
It will be an unpopular pick given the efforts of Port Adelaide last season, but have tapered expectations for the Power in 2021.
They topped the table in 2020, but in 2018 and 2019, Port Adelaide finished 10th. Four of their last six seasons have resulted in missing the top eight, so we like the chances of that happening again.
Of all the well-backed teams, Port Adelaide is the most vulnerable. Bookmakers are offering $3.60 for the Power to miss the playoffs and we like those odds.
Bet: Port Adelaide Power @ $3.60 – Bet @ Sportsbet
🤑 Who should you bet with for the AFL season?
💰 What is the best bet for the AFL season?
To find out our best bets for the upcoming AFL season for the Premiership, Brownlow Medal, Coleman Medal, and more – read our full AFL season preview and betting tips!
📺 How can I watch the AFL season matches?
For detailed information on how to watch and live stream all matches of the AFL season, read our guide on how to live stream AFL!
🏉 What is the fixture for AFL season?
Read our round-by-round previews to find out all of the fixtures and best bets for each round of the AFL season!
After graduating from the University of Auckland (BA – English), Daryl was thrown into the world of sports and horse racing journalism.
Having worked as a racing journalist for two years, he decided to move into the online world of horse racing and sports writing. After years of honing his craft, Daryl became a professional punter in 2009 – with a focus on horse racing, NRL, AFL, NBA, Rugby, NFL, and US college sports. Daryl’s tips have been featured on various websites around the world before joining the GoBet team. When he’s not working, Daryl tries to avoid making bogeys on the golf course.