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Hawthorn has won each of the last three Australian Football League premierships and it is top of the ladder with eight rounds of the regular season remaining but one thinks that the Hawks are well worth avoiding in one betting markets.
One is not willing to rule out the possibility of Hawthorn equalling Collingwood’s feat of winning four consecutive Victorian Football League/Australian Football League titles but one is willing to oppose the Hawks in betting on this season’s minor premier, the moniker given to the team that qualifies for the Final Series as the number one seed.
Most Australian Football League pundits believe that the top eight will not change and that, in alphabetical order, Adelaide, Geelong, Greater Western Sydney, Hawthorn, North Melbourne, Sydney, West Coast and Western Bulldogs will be the Final Series combatants. However, the order in which the top eight will finish the Australian Football League regular season is a hot topic and one thinks that bookmakers are overrating Hawthorn’s chance of filling first position.
Hawthorn’s last eight Australian Football League games are at Port Adelaide (away), Sydney (away), Richmond (home), Carlton (home), Melbourne (away), North Melbourne (home), West Coast (away) and Collingwood (home). One has Hawthorn winning just five of its remaining Australian Football League matches and not improving its percentage. Having forecast the result of each of the 72 Australian Football League games between now and end of the regular season, one has Hawthorn finishing fifth, one win below the ladder leader and the lowest ranked of the sides on 68 points.
One’s number crunching has Adelaide and Western Bulldogs ranking third and fourth on 64 Australian Football League points and one acknowledges that the Crows have a fairly easy run home – they are scheduled to face only two other premiership contenders, with a home match versus West Coast and an away game against Geelong. Sydney, West Coast and North Melbourne are one’s idea of the Australian Football League teams likely to finish sixth, seventh and eighth respectively, which leaves just two sides to mention.
Geelong and Greater Western Sydney each has a good shot at not losing another match during the Australian Football League regular season and finishing the 22 rounds with an 18-4 record. One has Geelong pipping Greater Western Sydney to the Australian Football League’s minor premiership on percentage but the difference is minute and, consequently, one is not willing to back the Cats on their own. At the odds – Geelong is available at +225 with Bet365 and Greater Western Sydney is trading at +333 with Coral – one thinks that there is value in dutching the Cats and the Giants, an option that produces a double-pronged wager at -116 .
The acquisition of Patrick Dangerfield from Adelaide has transformed Geelong into an Australian Football League force again – Dangerfield’s form has gone to a whole new level playing for his boyhood heroes – while Greater Western Sydney’s youngsters have matured a year or two earlier than most people thought that they would. Geelong has dropped Australian Football League points unexpectedly this term and, therefore, one does not trust the Cats 100 per cent. Greater Western Sydney has a terrific run home with its last eight Australian Football League games versus teams that one projects will finish seventh or lower but the Giants are a very young group subject to pressure for the first time.
The Australian Football League regular season will end on the final weekend of August and one thinks that odds of -116 underestimate the likelihood of either Geelong or Greater Western Sydney qualifying for the Final Series on top.
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