The AFL Finals Series is here, and we’re already wiping the drool from our mouths.
A Big V battle, the resurgent Blues, Ross the Boss, and the Gabba fortress are all talking points as BetDeluxe breaks down every game and provides best bets.
game of the week: Magpies vs. demons
7th September 7:20PM
Is your mouth watering yet?
While both teams have a second chance should they lose, there’s no doubt this 1st vs 4th battle will pull an incredible number of eyeballs both in-person and on TV. Currently, it’s the minor premiers who have market support at $1.84, with the winner assured a home preliminary final at the ‘G.
The Pies found a shred of the form that led them to the first spot on the ladder with victories against Geelong (8) and Essendon (70) in the final three weeks of the season. Having gone through most of the year with a healthy list, Craig McRae was forced to find ways to win without Brownlow Medal fancy Nick Daicos and captain Darcy Moore.
Daicos isn’t expected to return until the second week of finals, but they will be buoyed by the inclusion of Moore, Nathan Murphy, and Beau McCreery.
Melbourne’s recent form has undoubtedly been more impressive than Collingwood’s, and they will enter the match with their chests out on the back of seven wins from their past eight games.
Simon Goodwin’s tactical changes throughout the season have been well documented, but he must reconfigure the forward line after Jake Melksham’s knee injury. Tom McDonald, Brodie Grundy, Charlie Spargo, and Josh Schache are all names thrown around, but the former is expected to suit up.
These two sides have been hard to split over recent years, with the Pies winning two of their past three. The Dees, who won their most recent encounter by four points, could cause a minor upset if they bring their kicking boots.
TIP: Same Game Multi:
- Leg 1: Melbourne to win
- Leg 2: Under 155.5 points
- Leg 3: B. Fritsch 2+ goals
- Leg 4: J. De Goey 25+ disposals
- Total: $9.50
Blues vs. Swans
8th September 7:50pm
The Carlton train experienced a brief delay with a Round 24 loss to the Giants, but it will hardly concern Michael Voss and Blues supporters as they prepare for their first final since 2013. Having won nine games prior, the all-conquering Navy Blues are set to welcome back Patrick Cripps, Sam Docherty, and Jesse Motlop. The Swans, who also stumbled at the final hurdle following six straight wins, know what it takes to win finals after playing off in last year’s decider. It’s clearly not the same Swans team, so expect the Charlie Curnow-led Blues to get their September off to a winning start.
TIP: Blues 1-39 @ $2.20
Saints vs. Giants
9th September 3:20pm
It’s taken very little time for Ross the Boss to start having a significant impact in his second stint at Moorabbin, with the Saints hosting the Giants in a must-watch elimination final. Having won their past three games against Adam Kingley’s men, the Saints will take even more confidence into the game with the return of star forward Max King. The Giants rallied for a final-round victory over the Blues to book their spot in September. Still, they will need similar output from Tom Green (35 disposals), Lachie Whitfield (32) and Josh Kelly (28) if they plan to snap their losing streak against the defensive powerhouse.
TIP: Saints (+4.5) @ $1.90
Lions vs. Power
9th September 7:25pm
The Sunshine State is set to light up on Saturday night as their favourite sons take on Port Adelaide at The Gabba. Chris Fagan has delivered a coaching masterclass in 2023, with the Lions securing second spot following an undefeated season at home. Lachie Neale is in Brownlow-winning form, Josh Dunkley isn’t far behind him, Charlie Cameron is the best small forward in the AFL, and Harris Andrews rarely loses a contest. The Power have also impressed throughout the season and will be looking to replicate their 54-point win over the Lions in Round 1. We’d consider a Power upset at any other venue, but right now, the Lions don’t lose at home
TIP: Half-Time/Full-Time Lions/Lions @ $1.76