AFL 2021 Preliminary Finals Predictions Odds, Previews & Tips

AFL 2021 Preliminary Finals
AFL 2021 Preliminary Finals

Preliminary final week is here and, incredibly, will see a repeat of two of the games which made Round 23 one of the most memorable in the history of the game. Melbourne and Geelong will face off on Friday night at Optus Stadium, the Cats trying to get revenge for Max Gawn’s after-the-siren winner a couple of weeks ago and enter their second Grand Final in as many years, and the Dees trying to break a 67-year Premiership hoodoo. The next day, the Power will go for their eighth consecutive win against a Bulldogs team riding a wave of confidence following a thrilling semi-final win against the Lions last week. We’ve previewed both of these games, each of which shapes up as an absolute thriller.

Melbourne Demons vs Geelong Cats

September 10, 7.50pm, Optus Stadium

Many, myself included, would argue that the Demons and the Cats are the best two teams left in it, and whoever wins this game will more than likely enter the AFL Grand Final as the favourite. As for this one, the Dees are the deserved favourites having finished on top of the ladder and then comfortably defeating the Lions in a qualifying final, while the Cats have had to take the long route to the prelims after they were demolished by the Power that same week. The Demons also beat the Cats courtesy of a famous after-the-siren goal by skipper Max Gawn in the last round of the regular season, but it’s worth remembering that the Cats were dominant in that game until they arguably eased their foot off the gas in the last quarter. Melbourne is the more reliable team and are sensationally well-organised behind the football, but Geelong have been hailed by many as the most talented team in the league for much of the year and despite a couple of key injuries, they still deserve that mantle. The Dees head in as favourites and it’s easy to see why, but I think the Cats’ precocious talent across the park will see them cause an upset in the first preliminary final.

Bet on the Cats to win @ $2.65

Port Adelaide Power vs Western Bulldogs

September 11, 7.40pm, Optus Stadium

Both of these teams would no doubt take umbrage at my previous assertion that the winner of the first preliminary final will likely enter the Grand Final as the deserved favourites. Port Adelaide, in particular, haven’t put a foot wrong for months, having won their last six games of the home and away season before destroying the Cats in a qualifying final. One of those consecutive wins came the day before Max Gawn’s aforementioned post-siren heroics in an equally memorable game against the Bulldogs, Port coming from behind to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in a two-point win. Rather than giving them the edge, however, that result will probably give the Bulldogs confidence that they can head to Adelaide Oval and match it with the Power, given they led throughout that game just a couple of weeks ago. For their part, the Doggies’ proverbial tail will be right up after a thrilling win against the Lions, and as we’ve seen throughout the season, when their confidence is up they are extremely tough to stop. It wouldn’t surprise at all to see this one go down to the wire, but with what will be a raucous home crowd behind them, Port can just sneak into the Grand Final.

Bet on the Power to win @ $1.47

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James is a sports writer from Melbourne, and has contributed to a variety of publications covering a range of sports including basketball, cricket, Australian Rules, golf and surfing to name a few. An avid fan of all of the above and more, James’ downtime is spent falling ungracefully off his surfboard, turning over footies and playing an out of tune guitar.

All Predictions by James Salmon

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