A Guide to AFL Grand Final Betting
AFL Football fans! Get your tips and betting predictions ready! The Australian Football League (AFL) season is fast approaching. After 22 rounds of home-and-away regular season games across all Australian States and Territories, New Zealand and even China followed by the final series, the Premiership will be decided by the 2018 AFL Grand Final, played on Saturday, September 29 2018.
The AFL Premiership season kicked off on Thursday, March 22 2018 with defending premiers, Richmond unfurling their Premiership and taking the points over Carlton at the MCG in front of more than 93 000 spectators.
The starting time for the Grand Final is yet to be announced, with the AFL said to be considering the possibility of a night or twilight match to decide the 2018 Premiership. Odds are it would be a huge shift from tradition, however, purists will be happy to learn that for the second year in a row the match will be played on the traditional last Saturday in September.
The Richmond Tigers are aiming to win back-to-back premierships for the first time since 1973-74 after breaking a 37-year premiership drought in 2017.
2018 AFL Grand Final Betting Odds (current at 24 July 2018 – subject to change)
AFL Football bookmakers have released the following odds on AFL Grand Final betting (in addition, many bookmakers have a range of multibet and bonus options and other special weekly promotions):
AFL Grand Final Venue
The MCG stadium is a shrine of Australian sport with a global reputation. For anyone who has ever played Australian Rules Football, it’s the ultimate venue for AFL finals games and most importantly, the long-time home of the ‘big dance’ on the last Saturday of September.
Built in 1853, the ‘G’ has seen more than its fair share of dramatic AFL/VFL action and Melbourne’s ‘coliseum’ of sport has witnessed the footprints of hundreds of the code’s greatest players across its turf.
The MCG hosted its first AFL/VFL grand final in 1902, with 35,000 people turning up to watch Collingwood beat Essendon on that occasion. Over the intervening years, both the ground and game have grown exponentially, with 100,021 watching Richmond’s demolition of the Adelaide Crows the 2017 Grand Final.
Winners of the Most AFL Grand Finals
16 – Carlton, Essendon
15 – Collingwood
13 – Hawthorn
12 – Melbourne
11 – Richmond
9 – Geelong
8 – Fitzroy/Brisbane Lions
5 – Sydney/South Melbourne
Recent AFL Grand Final Betting History
In 2016, the Western Bulldogs (starting the match as $2.40 outsiders) appeared in their first Grand Final since 1961 and subsequently beat the Sydney Swans by 22 points. The Bulldogs won three consecutive finals from a record seventh position on the ladder, being underdogs on each occasion to progress through to the Grand Final.
The 2017 winner Richmond completed the greatest 12-month turnaround in AFL history, after finishing 13th on the ladder in 2016, the underdog Tigers won their first premiership in 37 years (at the starting price of $2.25) against the hapless Adelaide Crows.
AFL Grand Final Betting Predictions for 2018
Here are our predictions for how the Top 8 ladder will look at the end of the 2018 home-and-away season.
They are a talented and powerful side and were undoubtedly the best team of 2017 heading into Grand Final day. Yes, they mysteriously played their worst game of the year on Grand Final Day and were overwhelmed by the Tigers (and the raucous Tiger Army in particular). We are expecting the Crows to avenge that defeat and they have strengthened their list with the addition of Bryce Gibbs.
Many of their veterans have departed. retired or gone, but still boast a powerful list in the returning prodigal son from the Suns, Gary Ablett, Patrick Dangerfield, Tom Hawkins and Joel Selwood. Geelong is another side that is looking for redemption after a big finals loss to the Tigers and we expect them to do just that and qualify for the Grand Final against the Crows.
Injuries to key position players conspired to the Swans starting 2017 0-6 then storming home to finish sixth. With a little more luck and fewer injuries in 2018, they should challenge for the flag at the pointy end of the season. The Swans are an awesome side, well-coached and packed with defensive tackling intensity and the freakish long goal kicking skills of Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin. Their list always seems to include some talented young impact players that perform with the professional attitude of seasoned veterans.
- Greater Western Sydney Giants
GWS may have lost the mercurial goal sneak Steve Johnson, however, at their best have a young list of dynamic players that can certainly take them all the way. Depth is their issue. If an injury-free season ensues, watch out for the Giants to make another storming run in September 2018. However, we predict a third straight preliminary final loss.
After progressing from 13th to Premiers, the Tigers have really stepped up their game and now have the belief to go with the promise that their ‘Moneyball’ recruitment methods long threatened. Armed with the best player in the competition in Dusty Martin, the most imaginative coach in Damien Hardwick and the best supporters in the AFL, we expect the Tigers to make a solid defence of their title.
- Port Adelaide Power
The Power are looking to live up to their nickname in 2018. Long considered the ‘poor cousin’ to the Crows, Port may well have the playing personnel to make a deep finals run in 2018. On the back of a dream trade period where the Power picked up star signings Tom Rockliff, Jack Watts and Steven Motlop, the new-look Port Adelaide could clinch a top-four berth and be a serious premiership contender.
The Demons appear well set to enjoy their best season in more than a decade. Their spine looks well set. They simply need to continue on from last year and have better discipline and a better run with injury management. If star All-Australian ruckman, Max Gawn and key forward and early Coleman Medal (AFL’s leading goalkicker) favourite, Jesse Hogan, stay fit, the Demons can beat any side on their day.
- Western Bulldogs
The Dogs should recover from last year’s drop-in-form (again, due to injuries) and be back to their best, kicking big scores at Etihad Stadium.
Expect John Worsfold’s young group of players to keep learning and improving. Any side coached by Worsfold will play the full four quarters and deny opposition sides chances to score with defensive and tackling intensity. The Bombers have recruited excellently with Premiership winner and proven goalkicker Jake Stringer joining from the Dogs, speedster Adam Saad from the Suns and versatile livewire Devon Smith from the Giants.
AFL Grand Final Betting – How to Tips & Types
There are a number of AFL Grand Final Betting types (combinations of all the different types are generally available to make multibet and/or accumulator options) provided by the best bookies promotions. AFL Grand Final Betting is without a doubt the biggest punting day of the AFL season.
Most commonly, the easiest and most simple bet is the Head-to-Head, where you select who you think will win the game outright.
Next there is the Line Bet, where the favourite is handicapped with a margin which in effect makes the game equal. For example, if Team A is calculated to be 29 points better than Team B, the line will be set at -29.5 for Team A and +29.5 for the Team B. This means that if you bet on Team A, they need to win by more than 29 points in order for you to win your bet; Team B will need to get within 29 points of Team A or win the game. The return for a Line Bet is generally close to even money at around $1.89 or $1.91 depending on the bookmaker.
The most popular exotic for AFL Grand Final Betting is the First Goal Kicker bet. The concept is a pure and simple one. You place a bet on who will kick the first goal of the game. You can bet on the first goal kicker for either side, or the first goal kicker in the game/half or particular quarter. It’s important and pertinent to check the final team lists before placing your First Goal Kicker bet. Note, team line-ups must be finalised only 90 minutes before the first bounce. It will generally pay to avoid placing First Goal Scorer bets on players who start the match the bench.
You can also bet on which side will be ahead at each break, who will gain the most disposals and who will win the Norm Smith Medal, the award given for the player voted best on the ground.
Norm Smith Medal Betting
The Norm Smith Medal winner is one of the most innovative bet types on AFL Grand Final day, with the best player on the ground (as voted by a panel of media representatives) receiving the honour. In 2017, Richmond superstar, Dustin ‘Dusty’ Martin was the first player to win the Brownlow Medal as the AFL’s best player and the Norm Smith Medal in the same year.
In 2018 the Norm Smith Medal Winner is anyone’s guess and betting markets should begin to become available from August 2018 as the Top 8 begins to take shape before the finals.
The Norm Smith Medal was named after the famous Melbourne Demons player and coach and it has awarded every year since 1979. Only three players have won the award twice; Hawthorn’s Gary Ayres (1986 and 1988) and Luke Hodge (2008 and 2014), in addition to the Adelaide Crows Andrew McLeod in 1997 and 1998. Can Dusty Martin make it back-to-back Norm Smith’s? If the Tigers make it to the big dance again, it would take a brave man to bet against him!
Bonus Bets and Promotions
*Other promotions, markets and bet types will become available closer to AFL Grand Final Day on September 29 2018.