The following are previews with betting tips for the second week of the 2015 AFL Finals.
Friday, September 18
Hawthorn vs Adelaide
7:50PM AEST, MCG
One loss, and all of a sudden the Hawks are too old and too slow. Yes, it was a big loss in an extremely important game, but I wouldn’t be writing the Hawks off just yet. They have made it hard for themselves though, as history states that it’s very difficult to lose a Qualifying Final and then come back to win the flag. The last team to do it was the Eagles in 2006. History also states that it’s next to impossible to win a flag from outside the top four, so the Crows have an even bigger uphill battle. But after a very impressive win over the Dogs in a fantastic contest, they’ve at least given themselves a shot at creating history.
First of all, the Crows v Dogs game was sensational. It was fast paced, exciting, skilful, and produced some outstanding individual performances and displays of brilliance. Let’s hope this game is similar. The Crows will once again need big games from Tex, Danger, Sloane, and Eddie if they’re to upset the Hawks. I reckon they’ll all play well and give the Hawks a real scare, but I’m struggling to see the Hawks letting the opportunity for a 3-peat slip away with a straight sets finals exit. They’ll will themselves over the line in this one. Expect big games from guys who were poor last week against the Eagles. Players like Bruest, Roughy, Burgoyne and Lewis will all be much better than they were last Friday night, you can just about guarantee it.
The Crows have been incredibly brave this year throughout one of the toughest times in the history of club, but I think their 2015 season is about to come to a close. Even if it does, they should be very proud of what they’ve achieved and the manner in which they’ve done it.
Betting tip: 1 unit – Hawks by 25+ @ $1.92 (UniBet)
1 unit – Most Goals – Jarryd Roughead @ $4.00 (William Hill)
Saturday, September 19
Sydney vs North Melbourne
7:20PM AEST, ANZ Stadium
The Swans were quite unlucky to be beaten by the Dockers at Domain Stadium last weekend. The Dockers limping towards the final siren was in stark contrast to the game on the same ground the night before, where the Eagles won in absolutely emphatic fashion. The Swans had 12 more inside 50s, and six more scoring shots, but in the end they just couldn’t do enough to hit the front on the scoreboard.
They’ll rue the missed opportunity, but they need to move on quickly and focus on taking care of the Kangaroos back in Sydney, although not at their favoured home stadium. ANZ Stadium barely gives the Swans a home ground advantage. The only advantage they get from having the game played at that poor excuse for an AFL stadium is the benefit of not having to travel. Which I guess is significant at this time of year, especially when you’ve just come back from Perth, and if you win, have to go back there next weekend for a Preliminary Final. In all honesty, the Swans were much better against the Dockers than I expected them to be without Buddy, Jack, and Parker. If they play in the same vein, they’ll beat the Kangaroos easily. But I have a sneaking suspicion that they threw absolutely everything they had at that game last weekend, and that could take its toll in this contest. Especially considering they’re playing the fresh-as-a-daisy Kangaroos!
While the media are definitely overplaying the whole issue regarding the resting of players in round 23, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Kangaroos have more run in the second half of this game. I’m not sure it will be enough of an advantage to get them over the line, but I’m not writing them off, and if they’re close enough or even holding a lead heading into the last quarter, they might well be on their way over to Perth.
Betting tip: 1 unit – Kangaroos to win @ $2.60 (Centrebet)
1 unit – First Goal Scorer – Shaun Higgins @ $21 (TAB Sportsbet)