Sun, Sep 25, 1:05pm by Jake Equid
According to the bookies and the coaches it’s Patrick Dangerfield’s Brownlow medal this year. The Geelong star heads into Monday’s Brownlow Medal count as the shortest priced favourite in history. Here’s a look at the top eight chances for the AFL’s most prestigious individual honour.
Starting the season as a $9 chance, a string of best on ground performances saw Dangerfield come into $1.68 before Sportsbet made the decision to payout early at the end of July. You can still get on him at $1.18. The coaches are also on the Danger bandwagon having voted him the AFL Coaches Association player of the year earlier this month, polling a record 121 votes.
‘Danger’ is expected to be voted best on ground at least six times including his first match for his new club in round one against Hawthorn when he amassed 43 disposals, 21 of which were contested. He averaged 31.75 disposals, a goal and 4.5 tackles for the season. He is a proven vote getter, finishing sixth last year with 22 votes.
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Richmond ball-magnet Dustin Martin is at $15, Dusty had a brilliant season averaging more than 31 disposals per game. He is expected to poll three votes in at least four games including the dreamtime game against Essendon when he dominated with 38 disposals. He averaged just over 31 disposals and over 3.5 tackles per game.
The only thing holding him back will be his club’s poor season, where they won only eight games. Traditionally a player from the winning team gets the three votes but we have seen a slight change to that in recent years with Jobe Watson in 2012 and Gary Ablett Jr in 2013 both winning the honour despite their club not playing finals. He should pole really well.
On the next line of betting is Luke Parker of the Swans at $18. The ever-reliable Swans midfielder has flown under the radar this year mainly because he plays for a Sydney team and is out of the Melbourne spotlight. Make no mistake though he has been brilliant this year, averaging 28 touches, more than six tackles and almost a goal a game.
Parker is expected to poll three votes in at least three games. He had a hot start to the season and should poll in his first three games. He had 40 disposals against Collingwood in round one, 29 against Carlton in round two and 30 against GWS in round three.
Another player who has been brilliant is Marcus Bontempelli. The 20-year old from Eltham is at $18 after averaging nearly 25 touches a game including five tackles and a goal. He is the complete package and will no doubt captain the club in the near future. He was given the honour of stand-in-captain in Round 11 against the Eagles due to injury to both Robert Murphy and Easton Wood. On that day he became the youngest captain to lead his side to victory in the history of the league at just 20 years, 194 days.
He is expected to be a slow starter with his first standout game not coming until round seven. He then has a block of six games between rounds seven and twelve where he should poll in at least four games. His stats are not as impressive as the other top chances but it’s what he does with the ball that will hold him in good stead. He’s at good value for a top three finish.
The second midfielder from the minor-premiers is Dan Hannebery at $26. Dan Hannebery is at $23, the former Xavier College student came fifth last year with 24 votes and his numbers are even better this season. I expect him to be there when the whips are cracking, he averaged nearly 32 disposals and over 4.5 tackles a game. Might be worth considering for a top three box trifecta.
Next up is Dangerfield’s teammate Joel Selwood at $26. The Geelong skipper has won everything else there is to win in the game, Premierships, All-Australians and he was even named the AFLPA’s best first year player in 2007. He has been so close on many occasions to win the AFL’s top individual honour.
He was runner-up in 2013 and top-five in 2008, 2010 and 2014. He’s had a sensational year but Danger will be stealing votes from him. He is expected to poll the maximum votes in rounds three and five when he dominated against Brisbane and Port Adelaide.
The four-time premiership Hawk is a lock for most votes for Hawthorn after a brilliant season. He helped himself to 38 disposals in his 300th game against Richmond in round 18. He could poll around 20 votes with Hawthorn winning 17 games during the home and away season and Mitch consistently being one of their top performers. He could poll as many as 20 votes. He is at $31.
After polling 12 votes last year, Jack Steven is expected to poll well above that this year. He will finish the season strongly with several big performances from round nine onwards. The round nine performance against Essendon kick-started his season, the South Australian gathered 40 disposals in his club’s big win. A top ten finish is on the cards.
It’s hard to see anyone beating Danger so we’ve decided to scroll through some of the exotics, Sportsbet is offering a box trifecta market for the Brownlow & we like the $5.50 on offer for Danger, Dusty and the Bont.
Brownlow Medal Market:
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