Wed, Sep 28, 1:57pm by Jake Equid
After 206 matches it all comes down to 120 minutes in the hunt for the holy grail. Preliminary Final weekend delivered one absolute special that will long live on in the memory and one that will not. Similarly, the recent history of the two competing clubs are also at opposite ends of the spectrum with the Swans playing in their fifth grand final in 12 seasons while the Dogs have only played in two in their history, which dates back to 1925.
First up on Friday night at the home of football, the MCG, the Swans started against the Cats in brutal fashion. When Gary Rohan goaled at the two-minute mark of the second term the lead was at 45 points and the game was over.
The same cannot be said for the epic Freliminary Final that was played in Sydney’s west the following evening. There were nine-lead changes during this brutal contest with the Dogs rallying late to claim an emotional win.
There is no shortage of love for the Dogs this week with a huge majority of the non-competing club’s supporters adopting the feel good story of the year. The city of Melbourne has turned red, white and blue for the week.
There is no tomorrow, here’s our best bets for the grand-final:
Grand Final –Sydney v Western Bulldogs, MCG – 2:30pm, Saturday 1 October
After opening up at $2.50, the money really started to come for the Dogs which has seen them come into as short as $2.35 with Sportsbet. The Swans started at $1.56 but drifted to $1.62. The line has also shortened from 11.5 to 10.5.
WATCH: Our Preview of the 2016 AFL Grand Final
The tale of the tape makes for interesting reading, the Dogs defeated the Swans both this year and last, both by the slender margin of four-points and both at the SCG. Fittingly, these two clubs had the ball in their hands more than any other this season with the Dogs the only club to average more than 400 possessions per match, the Swans are nipping at their heels at 396. The Swans have the best defence in the league and although the Dogs backline have had a good year too, sitting in fourth place, they will be outsized dramatically here.
Exactly who gets the job on Lance Franklin could be important to the result. The Dogs have so definite match-up for the powerful Swan, who is $7.50 favourite to score the first goal and $2.30 to score most goals for the match.
The Bulldogs get all their run and drive from defence so the likes of Matthew Boyd and Jason Johannisen will need big games.
The Swans midfield is the best in the business with the likes of Dan Hannebery, Luke Parker and Josh Kennedy all dominant this season. Hanneberry and Kennedy are both a very short price to get more than 30 touches, while
Parker looks good value at $2.37. The Dogs’ pressure has been outstanding and they’ll need that again. Luke Dahlhaus not only lead the match for disposals last week (32) but he also had 30 pressure acts. He is $2.30 to get more than 30 touches in this match.
The Swans have started fast in not only their last two finals wins but also the entire season, winning 19 of 25 first halves. They tore the Cats apart last week, kicking the first eight goals and the week before they were 25 points up at quarter time against the Crows.
That won’t worry the Dogs though, they’ve won 15 of 25 second halves this season. However, the Swans have only lost once when leading at half time this year and you guessed it, it was against the Dogs.
The first goal market is something that always captures the imagination on Grand Final day and there is one man who stands above the rest. Gary Rohan is $17 to kick the first goal, a feat he’s achieved on six occasions this season. Franklin has kicked the first goal four times for the Swans and is at $7.50.
The Swans have kicked the first goal in 18 of 25 games this season while the Dogs have only managed to open the goal-scoring on 11 occasions. With that in mind, consider a Sydney player when you are considering investing on that popular bet type.
We are going to steer clear of the head-to-head market and take the fast-starting Swans to be leading at quarter time. The Swans are 19-6 in first quarters this season and we’re backing that to continue.
BEST BET: Sydney to be leading at quarter time: $1.66
Sportsbet Full Market:
Head to Head
Big Win Little Win
1st Goal Scorer
Total Match Points – Over/Under
Stay tuned to australiangambling.com.au over the coming days for betting previews including best bets and video previews and as we continue to preview the AFL Grand Final.
Odds sourced from Sportsbet and were correct at the time of publishing*
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