AFL Finals Week 3 Preview & Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Week 3 of the 2016 AFL Finals.

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Friday, September 23

Geelong v Sydney



The Swans are again through to a preliminary final, but it’s come at a cost. They curtailed the Crows all game to run out comfortable 36-point winners in the end, but it was a gruelling game of footy and more than a few players will be sore this weekend, especially considering they’ve got only a six day turnaround. Jarrad McVeigh won’t be playing after copping a calf injury, while Gary Rohan has been named in the team but may be a late out after a heavy knock to the knee. The Swans have also named big man Kurt Tippett to return from a jaw injury. If those guys can get up and play well, then the Swans are good enough to beat the Cats, but you’ve got to worry about how fit they’ll be and how much of a toll last weekend will take on them as a team.

The Cats will no doubt be well rested after only playing one game of footy in the past three weeks, but will they be too well rested – if that’s possible – and no longer fully ready and battle hardened for the ferocity of AFL finals football. It’s going to be hard to predict until the ball is bounced, but there may be some slight issues they need to work through in the first minutes to get the ball rolling again. 

The Cats bring back Lachie Henderson and Jed Bews, while Dan Menzel and Tom Ruggles are out of the side. Henderson is a big in and he’ll be needed to help contain Buddy Franklin, but they’d be disappointed Menzel isn’t fit as he always provides a dangerous option for them up forward.

In all honesty, I think the Swans are the better football side and would beat the Cats in ordinary circumstances. I am, however, concerned about the impact of last weekend’s bruising clash against the Crows and of the six day break. If the Swans are still good enough to beat the Cats then they’ll well and truly deserved a Grand Final berth, but will it be a bridge too far? Perhaps, but I reckon they’re good enough. They’re one of the few clubs that have a midfield capable of matching the Geelong duo of Dangerfield and Selwood, and while it’ll be a great battle, I think the Swans will step up and sneak over the line.

Betting tip: Sydney to win @ $2.43 (Pinnacle)

Saturday, September 24

GWS Giants v Western Bulldogs

5:15PM AEST, Spotless Stadium


In what was a historic victory last weekend, the Western Bulldogs again brought the heat that they’d found a week earlier against the Eagles, and it was too much for the Hawks to handle. They’ve now produced two of their best performances of the year in their two finals. If they can keep that form up for another two weeks they’ll go very, very close to breaking the longest premiership drought in the AFL. 

Marcus Bontempelli was massive, as was Liam Picken and Jack Macrae, and there were some encouraging signs from forward barometer Jake Stringer. The Dogs will be hoping that his three goals will go a long way to restoring his confidence and getting him back into top form at just the right time. They’ve been dealt an injury blow with Matthew Suckling still battling an achilles issue – replacing him in the side will be the taller Fletcher Roberts as the Dogs aim to control the tall GWS forward line. 

The Giants have picked Rhys Palmer to come in for the suspended Steve Johnson. They’re in the same situation as the Cats, having only played one game in the last three weeks. It’s possible that this will work in their favour later on in the game as the Dogs start to tire, but I expect it may hurt them a little at the first bounce. The Dogs have been ferocious in the past two weeks, and that sort of pressure may catch the Giants by surprise after a week off. 

It goes without saying on preliminary final weekend, but this is going to be a huge game. If the Giants win, they’ll be in their first Grand Final ever, and if the Dogs can get up it’ll be the first time they’ve made the big dance since 1961. I think it’ll be extremely tight for most of the game, and with the way the Dogs have played the past two weeks, I could definitely see them sneaking in for another upset victory. They look to be peaking at the right time, but they’ll need to keep it up for the full four quarters to get over the super talented GWS Giants. It may be that even their best efforts may fall just short against a well rested and hungry GWS outfit playing on their home deck. But whichever way the result falls, history will be made.

Betting tip:  Giants by 1-39 @ $2.16 (PalmerBet)


Best Bets of the Round

Sydney to win @ $2.43 (Pinnacle)


Season Tally

All Bets:        -11.21 units

Best Bets:     -3.89 units

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