AFL Finals Week 2 Preview & Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Week 2 of the 2016 AFL Finals.

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Friday, September 16

Hawthorn v Western Bulldogs



Last Friday night – in yet another epic finals encounter between the Cats and the Hawks – Hawthorn’s dreams of winning a fourth consecutive flag took a major hit when Isaac Smith’s post-siren shot at goal sailed to the right, resulting in a heartbreaking loss for the Hawks. They were good enough to win the flag from this position last year, but it’s going to be a tough ask to do it the hard way for the second year running. This week they’ve got the Dogs, who were incredible last week and will be tough to beat, after which the in-form and carefree young Giants are waiting to host the victor at Spotless Stadium. Not to mention the fact that if the Hawks can get through those two, they’ve then still got to actually win the Grand Final, which would require beating the Cats, Swans or Crows. It’s definitely an uphill battle for them now.

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, because there’s no guarantee the Hawks will make it through this week. The Dogs played one of their best games of the season over in Perth last Thursday night, taking everyone – including the Eagles – by surprise to record a 47-point thumping. They looked an entirely different side from the one that just two weeks prior lost to the Dockers on the same ground. They played with a level of intensity that the Eagles couldn’t cope with, which is impressive considering how good the Eagles’ form over the previous three weeks had looked.

It will require their absolute best to topple the mighty Hawks, but if they bring the same pressure and intensity from last week then they’ll go close. Big games from their midfielders will be essential, but they’ll also need one of Tom Boyd or Jake Stringer – or more preferably both – to stand up and kick a few goals. And that’s where the result is likely to be determined. The Hawks seem to have a few more consistent goal kickers, or avenues to goal anyway, and this should get them over the line.

I’m expecting it to be a fiercely contested match with nothing in it all night, but as they’ve done so often, the Hawks will find a way to get the win and move towards a trip up north to face the menacing Giants.

Betting tip: Hawthorn by 1-39 @ $2.12 (UniBet)

Saturday, September 17

Sydney v Adelaide



In what was another big upset in the first week of finals footy, the Giants were bigger and better than their ‘big brother’ and dealt the Swans a 36-point loss, sending them into a sudden death clash with the Crows. The Giants handled the moment better than the Swans and showed that they won’t be intimated at all by the stakes and pressure of September action. Even so, I would’ve thought the Swans would’ve been good enough to hold the Giants off, but they weren’t, and there are now some major cracks appearing. Kurt Tippett, who plays such an important role for the Swans, will miss with a fractured jaw, while rising star winner Callum Mills has done his hamstring and won’t be available for selection. Those two guys are both capable of playing some special footy. This week they’ll be replaced by Toby Nankervis and Jeremy Laidler, who are both capable of playing a role, but that’s about it.

Lance Franklin will be keen to bounce back after being kept goalless last weekend, but he can’t be solely relied upon to drag the Swans to victory. It will be vitally important that their midfield stand up after being beaten by GWS because if the Crows can at least halve the midfield battle they’ve got enough firepower up forward to hurt the Swans.

The Crows were good against the Kangaroos, but their opposition were quite clearly the weakest of the finalists, so we’ll see if they can reproduce that form against a much better side, and this time away from home. Again, I expect this to be a really tight one. The Crows are right in with a chance of dealing the Swans another upset defeat, but I’m going to back the Swans in. I can’t see them going out in straight sets for a second year running. They will have learnt from last year and besides, they’re a better team this year. They should prove it on Saturday night.

Betting tip:  Sydney by 1-39 @ $2.25 (Sportsbet)


Best Bets of the Round

Hawthorn by 1-39 @ $2.12 (UniBet)


Season Tally

All Bets:        -11.26 units

Best Bets:     -2.89 units

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