The following are previews with betting tips for the third week of the 2015 AFL Finals.
Friday, September 25
Fremantle vs Hawthorn
8:20PM AEST, Domain Stadium
A week is a long time in football. That phrase is used more than just about any other in the AFL. Another good one: you’re only as good as your last performance. Especially now, when it’s finals time and the pool of clubs that are open to scrutiny is considerably smaller. The Hawks are the latest club to bear the brunt of those over-used but relatively accurate sayings over the past two weeks. Two weeks ago, after a big loss to the Eagles, they were done. Finished. The great era had come to a close before anyone had had time to blink. The leaders were old and slow, the others didn’t stand up, and there were just too many passengers.
One week and one dominate performance later, and they’re odds on to win another flag.But let’s face it, the Hawks were always going to beat the Crows. The real test starts this week. With a second trip to Perth in the last three weeks, the Hawks are up against it. That much travel for a team with their share of older bodies, coupled with the fact that they didn’t get a week off as they’ve had in previous seasons, means they’d clearly be more fatigued than the Dockers. But they’re playing a club they’ve had the wood over in recent times, which means two thing:
- They match up well against the Dockers, they know that what they do against them works and they’ll be confident of travelling to Perth and knocking them off
- The Dockers and Ross Lyon will have been planning their strategy to beat the Hawks for months and months, knowing that what they’ve done in the past hasn’t worked
It’s going to be a fascinating game for sure, and it could quite possibly be the best game we’ve got remaining in season 2015. As good as the Hawks are, I reckon there are a few too many factors going against them in this one. The Dockers, minus the question mark over Nat Fyfe, are in pretty good shape, and coming off a week’s rest, playing at home, I’m thinking they’ll win by a very slender margin and book a Grand Final appearance for the second time in their relatively short existence.
Betting tip: 2 units – Dockers to win @ $2.40 (LuxBet)
Saturday, September 26
West Coast vs North Melbourne
7:45PM AEST, Domain Stadium
I’m very hopeful that this will turn out to be a cracking game of footy and I’m stressing for no reason, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t fearful that this could turn out to be similar to North’s last Prelim appearance, and be an old fashioned shellacking. Here are some of the facts: The Eagles are the form team of the competition; in their last game they beat the reigning premiers by 6 goals. This week they welcome back to that team reigning Brownlow medalist, Matt Priddis, as well as an extremely important cog in their midfield, in Chris Masten. The game is being played in Perth, where this year they’ve been almost impossible to beat. The Eagles finished second on the ladder at the end of the regular season, while the Kangaroos finished eighth. That means nothing now, of course, but what it does mean, in a very general way of looking at things, is that over the course of a long year of football, the Eagles were a considerably better team than the Kangaroos.
The Kangaroos have done remarkably well to make another Preliminary Final, but I don’t think they’re good enough to match it with the other three clubs that make up the final four. In my eyes, they’re a clear fourth at this stage and I’d be incredibly surprised if, when the final siren blows on Saturday night, they’re within 5 goals of the Eagles.
Betting tip: 2 units – Eagles by 40+ @ $2.40 (BetStar)