2013 AFL Grand Final Preview and Betting Tips

The following is a preview with betting tips for the 2013 AFL Grand Final.

Season tally so far

Bets = 314.75 units
Won = 319.07 units
Profit/Loss = +4.32 units (1.4% profit)


Last Week = +1.34 units (15.8% profit)


Saturday Afternoon

Hawthorn (1st) vs. Fremantle (3rd)


2:30pm AEST

Background: Hawthorn overcame recent nemesis Geelong in a high-quality encounter last Friday night to qualify for a second Grand Final in a row, while Fremantle strangled Sydney during the first half on Saturday night before cruising through to the club’s first ever Grand Final.

These teams have met just once so far this year, with the Hawks comfortable 42 point winners way back in Round 4 in Tasmania, but the Dockers were without skipper Matthew Pavlich, ruckman Aaron Sandilands and key defender Luke McPharlin that afternoon.

As far as Grand Final experience goes, Hawthorn has many players still on its list from the Grand Finals of 2008 and 2012, while this is Fremantle’s first venture to the MCG on the last Saturday in September and only two Dockers have played on the game’s biggest stage before. Zac Dawson was involved in St Kilda’s unsuccessful 2009 and 2010 bids, and Danyle Pearce would probably rather forget the 2007 showpiece which resulted in a record Grand Final defeat for his Port Adelaide team.

Team news: Just the one change has been made at the selection table, with Hawthorn midfielder Brendan Whitecross ruled out with a serious knee injury, which means that Whitecross unluckily will miss his second successive Grand Final due to a knee injury. Whitecross’s place has been taken by Jonathan Simpkin who will play his first game since Round 20, albeit Simpkin will probably begin the game wearing the substitute’s green vest.

Fremantle have the luxury of naming an unchanged lineup as McPharlin’s little niggles that prevented him from kicking freely last Saturday night have not been deemed of sufficient concern to prevent him from taking the field this Saturday.

Who will win and why?: As the week has progressed I have slowly convinced myself that Fremantle are the most likely team to win this Saturday.

Firstly, the Dockers level of pressure in the Preliminary Final was totally insane and at a level not seen before from any team this season. Hawthorn’s game style is built on dominating ball control from uncontested short passes and Geelong were able to disrupt the Hawks’ flow last week from halfway through the first quarter until three quarter time. If the Cats were able to stifle the Hawks then surely the Dockers, better drilled in this department, will be able constrict the brown and golds too. Wet weather has been forecast for Melbourne on Saturday and I expect this to favour Fremantle’s pressure game.

Secondly, the Hawks second half resurgence against the Cats was led by inspirational performances by midfielders Sam Mitchell and Shaun Burgoyne. I am certain Mitchell will cop a tight tag from Dockers stopper Ryan Crowley, easily the most effective player in the game at restricting the output of an opposition star. With Mitchell likely to be limited, the Hawks will need big games from warriors like Brad Sewell and Jordan Lewis. Fremantle might have a bit more class in the middle through Nat Fyfe, David Mundy and Michael Barlow.

Fremantle’s potential slight dominance in the midfield is likely to be signifacntly exacerbated by the ruck work of hitout machine and certified giant Aaron Sandilands. Sandilands ruckwork was the decisive factor when the Dockers beat the Cats in the Quaifying Final and he should be too strong at the stoppages for Hawks duo Max Bailey and David Hale.

If there’s one area that Hawthorn hold the edge it is in the two teams respective forward lines. In Jarryd Roughead, Lance Franklin and Cyril Rioli the Hawks possess three genuine forward line stars capable of turning the match in their team’s favour. Fremantle have Pavlich as an aerial threat, while Michael Walters is a quality small forward, and Chris Mayne and Hayden Ballantyne are both great at ground level but unlikely to take the game by the scruff of the neck.

This should be mighty close, but I can find more reasons for the Dockers to win than I can for the Hawks.

For the other bets, I have taken Paul Puopolo to get more disposals than Josh Gbson, a feat that Puopolo has achieved in the 3 of the last 4 Hawthorn games, while I have also David Mundy to get more possessions than midfield teammate Nat Fyfe. Mundy has managed this in 3 of the past 5 games and drawing one other, while Fyfe is likely to cop a bit of a tag from Hawk stopper Liam Shiels.

My best bet of the day is Lewis to get more than 89.5 dream team points. Tackle numbers skyrocket in a grand final and Lewis lays more than his fare share, and that should get him nearly halfway to his target of 90 points in this market.

Finally, I have gone for any other result in the Wire to Wire market because no team has led at the end of every quarter in each of the past five grand finals (excluding the replay in 2010).

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Fremantle to win by 39 points or less @ 2.75 (TAB Sportsbet)

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Paul Puopolo to have more disposals than Josh Gibson @ 1.90 (Sportsbet)

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on David Mundy to have more disposals than Nat Fyfe @ 2.00 (Sportsbet)

Andy’s Bet: 2 units on Jordan Lewis to score more than 89.5 dream team points @ 1.85 (Sportsbet)

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Hawthorn to score under 87.5 points @ 1.88 (Sportsbet)

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Any Other Result in the Wire to Wire market @ 2.00 (Sportsbet)

Share this:
Filed in: AFL


Post Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.