Thu, Oct 1, 1:02pm by Scott Jack
AND then there were two.
The Hawthorn Hawks and West Coast Eagles will play in the 2015 AFL Grand Final this Saturday at MCG.
Hawthorn eliminated Fremantle last week by a score of 15.4 (94) to 10.7 (67), while the West Coast Eagles won 10.20 (80) to 7.13 (55) against North Melbourne in the preliminary finals.
Can the Hawks make history? They’ll look to become the third team to win three premierships in a row.
The last team to win three Grand Finals consecutively are the Brisbane Lions (2001-2003).
Hawthorn have been in 18 Grand Finals and have a 12-6 record. The West Coast Eagles have only played in the big game five times (3-2 record) – they last played in the Grand Final in 2006 and won.
• Straight: West Coast 2.40 vs. Hawthorn 1.60
• Line: West Coast +8.5 (1.91) vs. Hawthorn -8.5 (1.91)
• Margin (1-39): West Coast 2.85 vs. Hawthorn 2.20
• Total Game Score: Over 184.5 (1.88) vs. Under 184.5 (1.88)
The odds are the same across the board at William Hill, CentreBet and Tom Waterhouse.
Bookies are expecting a close match, which is fine by me, as I’m getting a good price on the favourite. Find out why I’m betting on the Hawthorn Hawks to beat the West Coast Eagles in the 2015 AFL Grand Final.
These two teams should know each other well – they just played in one of the qualifying finals in September.
The Eagles won 14.12 (96) to 9.10 (64) without midfielders Chris Masten and Matthew Priddis. That’s a scary thought, as both midfielders are now fit. However, Hawthorn did beat the Eagles in Round 19.
Hawthorn beat West Coast 13.10 (88) to 11.8 (74) in what was a close game.
The Hawks main problem in the loss to West Coast were turnovers – they had 74 total. Hawthorn also lost the battle inside the 50 (Inside 50: 50-40 for the Eagles & Marks in 50: 17-10 for the Eagles).
Hawthorn also lost their leading-scorer Jack Gunston in the match, but he may be fit for the final. Gunston has missed the last two matches and we’ll need to keep an eye open as to whether or not he’ll start.
In the absence of Gunston – Luke Hodge (4) and Luke Breust (6) combined for ten goals against Adelaide in the semi-final. Cyril Rioli led the Hawks goalkickers with 3 goals against Fremantle last week.
The West Coast Eagles will rely heavily upon Josh Kennedy. Kennedy won the Coleman Medal after scoring 75 regular season goals. The spotlight will be firmly on Gunston (if he plays) and Kennedy in the AFL Grand Final.
However, the Hawks also need Sam Mitchell to have a strong performance. Apart from Kennedy – West Coast will rely heavily on Priddis and Nic Naitanui. Both teams are expected to be fit, so there will be no excuses.
• Best Bet: Hawthorn Hawks 1.60 to win at WilliamHill.com.au
The Eagles will prove to be a formidable opponent, despite hardly anyone giving them a chance to make it to the 2015 AFL Grand Final. They’ll take a small lead early, but the Hawks will complete the three-peat.
Like last week – I’m not willing to bet on the Hawks line at -8.5 (1.91). I expect the game to be close, so another option would be to bet on Hawthorn to win by a 1-39 point margin at 2.20 odds.
• Best Bet: Under 184.5 Points 1.88 at CentreBet.com
These were the two highest scoring teams during the regular season – Hawthorn had 2452 points for (111.5 PPG) and West Coast had 2330 points for (105.9 PPG). However, scoring has been lower during the AFL finals.
Both head-to-head games this year have gone under the total as well and neither team has scored over 100 points in the two H2H matches. That trend will continue in the Grand Final.
William Hill and CentreBet are running a first goalscorer money back special.
Place a single bet on the player you think will score the first goal and if your player doesn’t score, but his team scores the first goal, each bookie will refund one single bet in the first goalscorer market for up to $50.
I’m going to bet on Josh Kennedy (7.00) at William Hill and Josh Hill (14.00) at CentreBet.
Kennedy is going to attempt to take control of this game early and he’s the favourite to score the first goal, but I also believe Hill is a sneaky punt. Hill was the one who scored the first goal in the qualifying final.
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