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Swans flex muscle and hold onto premiership favouritism

Mon, Aug 29, 12:09pm by Jake Equid

It’s finals time and the AFL could not be happier with the way the finals fixture fell into place on Sunday afternoon.  The reigning champs saluted by the smallest of margins to set up a Friday Night blockbuster against the Cats while a day earlier both Sydney teams won to set up the first ever all Sydney final.  Perhaps the most interesting result came on Friday night though when the Eagles comfortably defeated the Crows, a result that has left the Adelaide faithful pondering what might have been.  They lost their spot in the top four at the worst possible time.

Sydney went into the final round at $3.25 for the flag and after their 113-point humiliation of the Tigers, shortened even further to $3.  Hawthorn were anything but comprehensive but once again found a way to win their fifth game by under a goal this year.  They moved in slightly in the market from $5.50 to $5 as they now play what is effectively a home game in the first final.  The big sliders of the round were Adelaide after their shock 29-point loss against the Eagles they eased from the second line of betting at $3.75 out to fifth favourite at $12.  They now face North Melbourne in a home elimination final.

Speaking of the Eagles, they did all they could do by winning that crunch game on Friday but were relying on other results to go their way to secure a top four finish.  They now host the Western Bulldogs at home in an elimination final and are $13 for the flag.

Geelong were also impressive, smashing Melbourne by 111 points on Saturday and shortened from $5.50 to second favourite at $4.  The win set up a mouth-watering first final against a team they’ve got a great rivalry against – Hawthorn.  On the next line of betting, GWS were solid against North, winning by 37-points and in the process moved in from $10 to $7.  It will be fascinating to see how they go in their first final against the older brother Swans.  They have earned themselves a double chance.

Despite scraping over the line on Sunday my money is still with the Hawks. I’m sticking with them as they have the experience, class and ability to deal with the higher level of pressure that comes with finals football.  The unprecedented move by the AFL to have a week’s break after the home and away season will serve as a blessing for their ageing list as they head into yet another finals campaign.

 

BEST BET: Hawthorn to win. $5

 

Week One Finals (All times AEST):

Thursday September 8 – 8.10pm Domain Stadium

West Coast $1.22 (-26.5) v Western Bulldogs $4.40 (+26.5)

Friday September 9 – 7:50pm MCG

Geelong $1.64 (-7.5) v Hawthorn $2.30 (+7.5)

Saturday September 10 – 3:20pm ANZ Stadium

Sydney $1.42 (-16.5) v GWS $2.30 (+16.5)

Saturday September 10 – 7:40pm Adelaide Oval

Adelaide $1.19 (-30.5) v North Melbourne $4.90 (+30.5)

 

Premiership Odds:

Sydney $3

Geelong $4

Hawthorn $5

GWS $7

Adelaide $12

West Coast $13

Western Bulldogs $51

North Melbourne $101

 

*All of the above odds were provided by Sportsbet and were correct at time of publishing


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