2017 AFL Season Betting Preview
With the JLT Community Series concluded, the AFL regular season is just around the corner. While we are looking forward to hopefully bringing you a profitable season week-to-week, there are also plenty of season long markets to analyse, and that’s what we are here to do today. As well as bringing you our predictions for Top 8, Grand Final and Premiership, we’ll take a look at the medal markets and try to find some value amongst the pack.
2017 AFL Top 8 Predictions
There are two teams who I really like to make the jump back into finals contention this year. The Saints had an up and down 2016 but ultimately showed a lot of improvement. The Saints are still in a transition phase, with elder statesmen Nick Reiwoldt, Leigh Montagna, Sean Dempster and Sam Gilbert making up a portion of their core. However, with those guys still playing at a relatively high level, mixed with the infusion of youth and the prime aged core of Jack Steven and David Armitage could spell out a winning season for the first time since the 2012 season.
The one thing going against the Saints is their schedule. Somehow the AFL has given them the 3rd hardest schedule in the league based on last year’s ladder, right up there with GWS, Hawthorn and the Western Bulldogs. Not sure how they figured that out but it’s disappointing for the Saints who will have to play the Cats, Hawks, Giants, Swans, Dogs and Crows from weeks 5-12. I still think they are more than capable of finishing in the 8 though, and getting on them mid-season after that horror run of games might be the best play.
The 2nd team I like to make the eight are the Tigers. Everyone seems to be writing the Tiges off this year but with some handy inclusions as well a core that are all around the prime age, they could be poised to make a run at the 8 this year. They’ve also been blessed with one of the easiest schedules in the league this season. They get to play both the Lions and Blues twice, which is almost a lock for four wins right there.
I also like the fact that they offloaded Tyrone Vickery, it allows them to play solely through Jack Reiwoldt as they did so well when he was winning Colemans and the Tiges were making finals a few years back. They boast a top line midfield core with Trent Cotchin, Dustin Martin, Dion Prestia and Josh Caddy and arguably the best bookends in the business in Alex Rance and Reiwoldt. At $3.75, they could sneak in with top 8 teams like North Melbourne and Hawthorn possibly wavering from last year.
I’ll annoy a lot of people in saying this, but for me, the Dogs are the team to stay away from this year. Yes, they had a miraculous run to win the 2016 Premiership but I think their inexperience could be exposed over the 23-game season and every other team has had another 6 months and another pre-season to figure out ways to combat their attacking style of play. They’ll still make the 8 and probably be competitive in September but if you can find a market on them to miss the top 4 it’s definitely worth a punt.
2017 AFL Grand Final & Premiership
It’s the popular choice, however, I think it’s the safest choice to say that this year’s AFL Grand Final will be an all Sydney affair. Greater Western Sydney showed signs of why they will be the dominant force in the AFL for years to come towards the end of last year and with one more pre-season under the belt of the young core, they look primed to take the next step and reach their first ever Grand Final.
While Sydney ultimately went down in the 2016 big dance, I think their style of play is a lot more sustainable than their counterparts in the Western Bulldogs and they have the consistency and experience to find themselves in the top two at the end of the year which just makes it so much easier to reach the Grand Final.
I think the Giants will have to wait one more year to claim their maiden AFL Premiership as my pick for the 2017 flag is the Sydney Swans. After two disappointing Grand Final results in the last few years, the Swans will be out for blood this year. They have retained the bulk of their core minus midfielder Tom Mitchell, who left for Hawthorn, and if they can stay healthy I think they are capable of winning it all.
I’m not a fan of the Brownlow medal and never have been. I don’t like the voting system and I think it’s way too biased towards midfielders, however, it won’t stop us from trying to pick the winner before we have any idea of how the season will pan out. A Brownlow prediction has to past 3 tests before they can be considered in my eyes.
1) Will his team win enough games to poll 3 voters?
2) Does he past the eye test (is he flashy or have something that makes him standout)?
3) Is he a midfielder?
Nat Fyfe cleaned up when Fremantle finished first on the AFL ladder with 17 wins, I don’t think they’ll win enough this year for him to take out the Charlie. Dustin Martin had a break out year in 2016, coming 3rd in the Brownlow, but I don’t think he’s consistent enough and has too many good midfielders around him.
Judging by those factors, and ruling out Gary Ablett because of the games he’ll inevitably miss, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are 3 guys who can win the 2017 Brownlow. Those three are Patrick Dangerfield, Marcus Bontempelli and Rory Sloane. After that I’m throwing darts blindfolded.
Here’s an interesting snippet from The Age
“Suns coach Rodney Eade told SEN that despite the departures of Jaeger O’Meara and Dion Prestia and the knee injury to Michael Rischitelli, the dual Brownlow medallist would have most value closer to goal.”
Here’s another interesting snippet of what happened the last time a Gary Ablett went forward.
_ _ _
WHERE TO BET ON THE 2017 AFL SEASON
TopBetta are one of the better punting sites in Australia, they offer great racing and sports markets as well as the penomenon of tournament betting! So click to get an account today and also score a $250 sign-up bonus!
Ladbrokes have plenty of AFL markets, so get an account today and also score a $500 sign-up bonus!
Sportsbet are one of the most popular and trusted Australian Bookmakers, you can click to sign-up today to take advantage of a $501 bonus! Just make sure to read the terms and conditions before creating an account.
TIPS ARE SIMPLY THE AUTHOR’s OPINION. ALWAYS GAMBLE RESPONSIBLY