The following are previews with betting tips for the Semi-finals of the 2020 AFL season.
Friday, October 9
Richmond vs St Kilda
7:50pm AEST, Metricon Stadium
There were a few surprise results in the first week of the finals, and one of those was the reigning premiers going down to the Lions on Friday night. It wasn’t a huge upset: I mean, the Lions finished the regular season in second place and were playing on their home turf, but it was probably more the manner in which it happened. The history between the two sides was well-known: Brisbane hadn’t beaten the Tigers in their past 15 outings, and Richmond were the red hot flag favourites, having beaten the Lions in the same game this time last year. But the Lions weren’t overwhelmed, played a really strong brand of finals footy and took it right up to Richmond. So, the Tigers now need to do it the hard way, but they’ll be far from discouraged; this week they welcome the return of spearhead Tom Lynch, who is vital to their premiership chances. I think it’s fair to say that if Lynch played against Brisbane, the result could have easily gone the other way.
The Saints will struggle to match up on Lynch and Jack Riewoldt now that Jake Carlisle is out of action; in fact, the Saints are probably going to struggle to match up with Richmond all over the ground. They beat them during the season, but that won’t mean much here. The Saints have done a tremendous job getting to this point, but the injury to Paddy Ryder, along with the omissions of Ben Long and Carlisle, mean that the Saints are missing three of their most important players for such a huge final, a game where the intensity will go to a whole different level, and that’s going to be too much for them to overcome. They’ll need to start well, because if the Tigers get a sniff early I have a feeling this one could turn into a big win for Richmond, who will be keen to make a statement after their loss to the Lions.
Betting tip: Richmond (-20.5) @ $1.91 (Bet365)
Saturday, October 10
Geelong vs Collingwood
7:4pm AEST, Gabba
Friday’s night game might not be all that appealing from a neutral’s point of view, but this one should be a ripper. The largest margin in the last three outings between these two clubs was 22 points, which was when the Pies beat Geelong earlier this year in Perth. That was a game the Cats were favourites to win, and they’ll head into this week in the same position. And for good reason: Geelong have been the better side all year. But the fact is, the Pies have struggled with consistency and injuries all year, and that doesn’t necessarily matter right now. They got things right against the Eagles last week, and if they get things right again on Saturday they’re good enough to beat the Cats.
Geelong tried hard in their game against Port, but it was their usual weaknesses that again came to bite them at the pointy end of the season. They still rely on too few to win them games; too many players went missing when the heat was on. They were also made to look slow by Port Adelaide’s pace and quick ball movement, and that’ll be something Collingwood will no doubt look to exploit as well. The great thing for the Pies is that they’re under no pressure: it’s all on Geelong. The Cats absolutely must win this; they’re two wins from their previous eight finals appearances, and a straight sets finals exit would only heap an enormous amount of pressure on Chris Scott.
Not only that, they’re a decent chance to win the flag if they get through, but the loss to Port means they’ll now need to do it the hard way. The Pies match up quite well against them too, so it won’t be easy. Tom Hawkins won’t have an easy day against Jordan Roughead and Darcy Moore, and Patrick Dangerfield and co. will have their hands full dealing with the Collingwood midfield, not to mention the advantage the Pies will have in the ruck battle. I think it’ll be a really great game of footy and it could easily go either way, but I’m thinking Collingwood might just cause another upset and progress through to a preliminary final.
Betting tip: Collingwood to win @ $2.23 (Unibet)
Best Bets of the Round
Collingwood to win @ $2.23 (Unibet)