The following are betting tips for the preliminary finals of the 2023 AFL season.
Draftstars have a $90,000 fantasy sports competition for the Collingwood vs GWS clash and a $75,000 competition for the Brisbane v Carlton clash. Entry costs $15 and the top 25% of participants will receive a payout.
Collingwood (1) vs. (7) GWS
Collingwood reached the preliminary finals by defeating Melbourne by seven points in Finals Week 1. GWS, in contrast, had had to do it the hard way. They beat St Kilda at the MCG and then defeated Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval. The Giants now return to the MCG, a venue where Collingwood boast an imposing 12-3 head-to-head and 9-6 line record this season. All up, Collingwood have gone 11-1 as the home favourite this year. GWS can’t be ruled out, however. The Giants boast an impressive 9-4 away record this season. They have gone 7-3 as the away underdog and they have won and covered the line in their last three away fixtures. GWS will be hoping to avoid a repeat of their May fixture against Collingwood, however, which the Pies won 120 (18.12) to 55 (7.13). Last year the Giants were much more competitive in their away fixture against Collingwood, going down by an 88-77 scoreline. Prior to that, GWS boasted a 6-1 record against Collingwood between 2017 and 2021. Over the last decade, GWS have gone 2-5 as the away underdog against Collingwood, however they went 5-2 at the line in those matches.
In team news, Collingwood are expected to welcome back Nick Daicos and Darcy Moore, however Taylor Adams has been ruled out. GWS are expected to bring back Stephen Coniglio after he was ruled out of last week’s semi final.
Collingwood are the rightful favourite, but I’m wary of the fact that they have only won three of their last six games and two of those three wins were by 8 points or less. GWS, meanwhile, have won ten of their last twelve. Injuries did play a role in Collingwood’s late season slump, it must be said, and the return of Nick Daicos this week should give them a boost. Collingwood have been better over the course of the season than GWS, however the Giants are currently in seasson-best form.
One final nod in Collingwood’s favour is the fact that they had last week off, while GWS only get six days rest and this will be their fourth consecutive away game.
One scoreline I’m prepared to rule out is GWS 40+. All nine of the Giants’s away wins this season were by 1-39 margins and seven of those wins were by 1-24 margins. Collingwood, meanwhile, have yet to suffer a 25+ defeat at home this season. Given 8 of Collingwood’s 11 home wins this year were by 1-39 margins, I would place the following two wagers:
Those looking for more risk should simply back the Collingwood 1-39 selection.
Brisbane (2) vs. (5) Carlton
Brisbane reached the preliminary finals by beating Port Adelaide comfortably in Finals Week 1. Carlton reached this stage by defeating Sydney at home and then Melbourne away. The Blues now have the unhappy task of trying to upset the Lions at the Gabba. The two sides last clashed in May, which Brisbane won 100 (15.10) to 74 (11.8) at Marvel Stadium. Brisbane have gone 13-0 at home this season with an 8-5 line record. They have won seven on the trot at home against Carlton and over the last decade the Lions have gone 7-1 at the line at home against the Blues. It must be said, however, that Carlton are a far better side now than they were over the previous few years. In Carlton’s favour is the fact that they have won six away games in a row. The Blues have gone 3-1-1 in the head-to-head and 4-1 at the line as the away underdog this season. They have only conceded 68.5 points per game as the away side, which is the best defensive record for an away team this year.
Both sides bring strong form into this game. Carlton have won eleven of their last twelve games, while Brisbane have won ten of their last twelve. While Brisbane’s 13-0 home record looks ominous, Carlton fans can take heart from the fact that three of Brisbane’s last four home wins were by 1-12 points.
One point worth considering is Brisbane have enjoyed the luxury of a week off. Carlton took several knocks last week, however Blake Acres, Sam Docherty and Harry McKay are expected to play. They also welcome back Jack Martin from suspension.
This is a case of if you looked at Brisbane’s stats in isolation you would want to back Brisbane, but if you looked at Carlton’s stats in isolation you would want to back Carlton.
Weighing it all up, I’m leaning towards the hosts due to Brisbane’s dominant home record, both this season and against Carlton. Melbourne had numerous chances to put Carlton away last week, but couldn’t land the knockout blow, so Carlton do look beatable. Over the last decade, seven of Brisbane’s nine home wins over Carlton were by 1-39 margins so I don’t expect a blowout win. I would place the following two wagers:
Those looking for more risk should simply back the Brisbane 1-39 selection.