2017 AFL Grand Final Odds
Aussie Rules Football Grand Final 2017
The Australian Rules Football (AFL) Grand Final is one of the biggest sporting events on the Australian calendar and now boasts a huge global audience. The 2017 edition will be held on Saturday September 30th and will be witnessed by approximately 100,000 people attending the match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground plus millions more domestically and abroad.
The Grand Final is the final game of a gruelling AFL season that features 18 teams, 22 regular season fixtures and an intense four week finals series contested by the top eight teams. Last year's winners were the Western Bulldogs who celebrated their first victory in the big match since 1961, ending the longest premiership drought in the league.
The 2016 Western Bulldogs became the only team to win a Grand Final from outside the top-four placed teams since the turn of the century, and while their breakthrough victory gives hope to any team that finishes in the bottom half of the top eight, the odds are stacked overwhelmingly in favour of the highest-placed teams. This is definitely an important statistic to consider when attempting to pick a winner!
AFL Grand Final Picks
So who genuinely has a shot at winning the 2017 Grand Final? The current league table is incredibly close with three rounds to go and it is really anyone's guess as to who will make the eight, let alone go on to win the title. Below is a summary of the current odds, according to Bet365, followed by a comprehensive review of the contenders and our fearless top eight predictions.
|Who Will Win The 2017 AFL Grand Final?|
The Favourites - Adelaide Crows
Adelaide have been in great form so far in 2017.
They lead the competition by six points heading into the final three rounds and are coming off a thumping win over local rivals Port Adelaide. The Crows have been slowly building over the last three seasons, with finishes of eighth, seventh and fourth respectively, and will have an eye on their first premiership since their back-to-back wins in 1997 and 1998.
The Crows have the best points differential in the league by far thanks to an average winning margin of just over nine goals in their fourteen wins so far.
This has been mainly down to their dominant attacking displays lead by captain Taylor Walker (46 goals) and three-time leading goal scorer Eddie Betts (45 goals).
Their ruthless displays have them closing in on the AFL minor premiership.
Interestingly, the team who has won the minor premiership has historically had mixed results in the finals, with just six top-placed teams since 2000 going on to win the Grand Final. Adelaide last finished top of the regular season in 2005 and failed to make it to the final game, so Crows fans will be hoping history does not repeat itself.
Greater Western Sydney are next on the list and are sitting pretty as things stand at second on the ladder. GWS are another team that have been building slowly over the last few seasons and just missed out on a Grand Final appearance last season as they fell to the eventual premiers in a thrilling preliminary final. They will be hungry to avenge their loss and will have an opportunity to do so when they take on the Bulldogs this weekend.
This match is the first of three big fixtures for the Giants who will also face West Coast Eagles, who are fighting to keep their season alive, and Geelong, who are looking to lock in a top four position. These games represent a great pre-finals test for GWS and will give us a much clearer indication of their title credentials. You can currently pick them up at odds of +325.
Next on the list according to the bookies are the Sydney Swans at +450, which is very interesting considering they are currently sitting in sixth on the ladder and aren't completely safe in the wide open race for the last four positions in the top eight. While they may be one of the form sides in the competition, they will still be up against it if they fail to finish in the top four.
Having said that, if you were to exclude the first six rounds of the competition, Sydney would be first on the ladder having lost just twice in the thirteen matches since their abysmal start. Their final three matches include two against teams in the bottom third of the ladder and a clash against Adelaide which will certainly provide a good yardstick for their premiership aspirations.
If they win all three and sneak into the top four, you can bet their price will plummet so it's definitely a good time to bet on the Swans.
Richmond and Geelong face off this weekend in a match that could seal a top four finish for the winner and have the loser looking over their shoulder. In spite of just two points separating the two sides on the ladder, the difference in odds according to Bet365 is quite staggering, with Richmond currently available at +650 and Geelong next best at +1300.
The Tigers have had an impressive season and could even be on top of the table right now if it wasn't for three consecutive losses by less than a goal in the first half of the season. They currently sit in third on the ladder and should lock down a top four finish with games against Fremantle and St. Kilda to close out the season. This would see Richmond assured of a post-season that extends beyond week one for the first time since 2001.
Richmond have built their season around a solid defensive effort, and they have conceded the fewest points so far in 2017. While this will be critical to their success at the back end of the year, it is difficult to see the Tigers going all the way, especially considering they have next to no finals experience and a pretty ordinary playoffs record in the last two decades.
Geelong may not be as strong as they have been in the past, they must be considered a genuine contender due to their solid 2017, building on a second-placed regular season finish to the 2016 campaign. They will be tested in the final three rounds by both Richmond and GWS, but if they can overcome these challenges and maintain their fourth-placed position on the ladder, they are sure to cause a stir in the finals. The Cats have had no problems putting points on the board in 2017 - they are the league's second-highest scorers behind Adelaide - so their match against Richmond will be very interesting. Make sure you back Geelong now if you think they can win the Grand Final this year as their odds will only shorten from here.
Port Adelaide leads the list of outsiders and are pretty close to being considered contenders. They have the second best percentage in the league and have a decent run in to the finals with only the Western Bulldogs to provide any real challenge.
Again, if they can win all three and sneak into the top four, they will be as good a chance as anyone, and at odds of +1600, now is the time to act. They should at least secure a top eight spot.
The Western Bulldogs are currently in seventh position, the very same place that they won the competition from in last year's finals series. While the odds against them going back-to-back are slim, there is absolutely no way you can write off a team that has been there and done it.
Mind you, their last three games will be very challenging and their percentage is weaker than the surrounding teams. They will have to be at their best to hold on to their top eight position.
Top Eight Prediction
As we head into the final three rounds there are still fourteen teams that are in contention for the finals. Although Collingwood, Hawthorn and Fremantle mathematically have a chance, we're going to exclude them from this list as it would take an absolute miracle for them to make the eight let alone go on and win the title. That leaves seven teams that are all on the cusp of the final four positions. Who will miss out?
Essendon currently hold eighth position and have a reasonably comfortable run it in spite of facing Adelaide this weekend.
West Coast, who sit ninth at the moment, run into the league's best two teams in the last two rounds and will be up against it to secure a finals berth.
Melbourne and St. Kilda (10th and 11th respectively) go head to head this weekend and the loser will almost certainly be eliminated from the top eight race, although both sides have winnable fixtures in the last two rounds.
Below is our fearless prediction for the final top eight standings:
- Port Adelaide
- Western Bulldogs
The 2017 AFL season is one of the closest in recent history and every match from here on is absolutely crucial. Who do you think will win the 2017 AFL Grand Final? Do you agree with our analysis? Make sure you jump on to our Facebook page and let us know your thoughts!
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