Kelly, Kennedy and Fyfe to Win Brownlow Medal Exotics

Josh Kelly has had a breakout season with Greater Western Sydney.

Josh Kelly has had a breakout season with Greater Western Sydney.

The Brownlow Medal is Australian Rules football’s night of nights and, while it is a foregone conclusion that Dustin Martin will become the first Richmond player to receive the prestigious prize in the room since 1971, it is possible to strike good bets on several of Bet365’s exotic markets.

Josh Kelly has been one of the Australian Football League’s breakout stars this term, leading Greater Western Sydney in handballs (357), disposals (680), tackles (148), inside 50s (113) and uncontested possessions (436), as well as contributing 18 goals from midfield for the Giants.

Bet365 has paired Kelly, who has agreed to extend his deal with Greater Western Sydney as the Giants strive to secure their first Australian Football League premiership, with Zach Merrett in a Brownlow Medal votes head to head. It is impossible for Merrett to become the first Essendon player since James Hird in 1996 to win the Brownlow Medal because he served a one-match ban for striking Lachie Plowman but Bet365 will count all of his votes as being valid. Merrett has, statistically speaking, had a similar 2017 Australian Football League season to the one that he enjoyed in 2016 which ended with him polling 19 of Essendon’s 36 Brownlow Medal votes. But Essendon was not a one-man band in the Australian Football League this term so one is expecting Merrett to struggle to improve on his Brownlow Medal vote count year on year, whereas most analysts think that Kelly is an absolute lock to poll at least 20 votes.

The Brownlow Medal contest between the Sydney version of Josh Kennedy and Western Bulldogs star Marcus Bontempelli should be closer than the one between Kelly and Merrett but one thinks that Bet365’s head-to-head market is not affording sufficient respect to the Swans midfielder.

Kennedy did not play in three of Sydney’s 22 Australian Football League regular season games and the Swans lost their first six matches. But Kennedy was the driving force behind Sydney’s resurgence, averaging more contested possessions per Australian Football League game than everyone except Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield and Melbourne’s Clayton Oliver. Bontempelli led Western Bulldogs in not only the positive statistics of tackles (138), inside 50s (100), clearances (92), contested possessions (259), contested marks (21) and goal assists (19) but also the negative statistics of clangers (76) and frees against (30).

According to the Brownlow Medal predictor on the Australian Football League website, Kennedy is forecast to poll 18 votes, one more than Bontempelli. But it may underestimate the gap between Kennedy and Bontempelli because Sydney won three Australian Football League matches more than Western Bulldogs and winning games is absolutely vital to accumulating Brownlow Medal votes from field umpires.

With Bet365, Kelly is available at odds of -222  to beat Merrett in the Brownlow Medal count and Kennedy is trading at odds of -133  to get the better of Bontempelli. Bet365 is listing odds of -154  about Nathan Fyfe being the Fremantle player who accrues the most Brownlow Medal votes, with his key Dockers rivals being Lachie Neale and Michael Walters.

Fremantle won just eight of its 22 Australian Football League games so Brownlow Medal votes are likely to be thin on the ground for Dockers players. Fyfe, the 2015 Brownlow Medal recipient, is a vote magnet because of his profile and no Fremantle star won more contested possessions than him this term. The Brownlow Medal predictor on the Australian Football League website favours Fyfe by one vote over Neale and Walters, whereas other forecasters have a wider gap between the Dockers captain and his mates in purple.

Tips Summary

Josh Kelly to beat Zach Merrett in Brownlow Medal vote count
Monday 25th September
Odds:  -222

Josh Kennedy to beat Marcus Bontempelli in Brownlow Medal vote count
Monday 25th September
Odds:  -133

Nathan Fyfe to be Freemantle player with most Brownlow Medal votes
Monday 25th September
Odds:  -154