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AFL Finals Week 1
The first week of the AFL finals series is a dynamic and exciting stage of the competition, featuring four pivotal games that set the tone for the rest of the series.
These matches are divided into Qualifying Finals and Elimination Finals, each with distinct implications for the teams involved.
Collingwood Magpies vs Melbourne Demons
Date: Thursday, September 7, 2023
Time: 8:20 pm
Melbourne has been on a tear, winning seven of its last eight games. In contrast, Collingwood has stumbled recently, losing three of its last five. Form often dictates finals, and Melbourne clearly has the momentum.
Moreover, Melbourne has already proven they can beat Collingwood at the MCG this season. They edged out a win in Round 13, even without their star player Clayton Oliver. This time, Oliver will be back, adding significant firepower to Melbourne’s midfield. On the flip side, Collingwood will be without Nick Daicos, a key player whose absence will undoubtedly be felt.
Additionally, Melbourne has a knack for starting strong, winning the first quarter in five of its last six matches against Collingwood. As we all know, a strong start can set the tone for the rest of the game, and this may just give Melbourne an early psychological edge.
While Collingwood has an impressive home record, winning 16 of its last 18 home matches, it’s worth noting that one of those losses was to Melbourne. Plus, Melbourne’s recent finals performances have all been high-scoring games, going over the total match points line in their last seven finals. This suggests we can expect a high-scoring game, which plays into Melbourne’s strengths.
Expect a final score of Melbourne 82, Collingwood 73.
Betting Tip: Demons @1.98
Suggested Bet: Demons by 1-39 @ $2.40
Carlton Blues vs Sydney Swans
Date: Friday, September 8, 2023
Time: 8:50 pm
Carlton has been nothing short of spectacular, winning nine of its last 10 matches. Sydney, on the other hand, arguably made it to the finals due to an umpiring error in Round 23. Clearly, Carlton has the momentum going into this game.
Moreover, this Carlton team is not the same one that lost to Sydney in Round 11. The Blues have evolved and improved dramatically since then. Their only recent loss came against GWS when a fifth-place finish was already secured.
Sam Docherty, Harry McKay, and Charlie Curnow have been consistently excellent. Docherty has recorded 25+ disposals in each of his last 10 appearances when Carlton is the favourite. McKay and Curnow have been goal-scoring machines, especially at the MCG.
Sydney does have some strong players like Jake Lloyd and Isaac Heeney, but they’ll be up against a Carlton side that is peaking at the right time. Sam Walsh has been particularly dominant against Sydney, recording 31+ disposals in each of Carlton’s last three matches against them.
As the first of two elimination finals this week it’s going to be a ripper of a game.
Taking all these elements into account, it’s hard to see Carlton losing this match. Expect a final score of Carlton 90, Sydney 70.
Betting Tip: Blues @1.48
Suggested Bet: Blues by 1-39 @ $2.05
St Kilda Saints vs GWS Giants
Date: Saturday, September 9, 2023
Time: 4:20 pm
While GWS has been in better form recently, winning nine of its last 11 matches, there are compelling reasons to believe that St Kilda will emerge victorious.
St Kilda has a psychological edge, having won each of its last four matches against GWS. Their most recent encounter in Round 10 saw St Kilda triumph 92-80, with standout performances from Jack Sinclair and Max King. Although King was absent from the Saints’ latest fixture due to knee soreness, his potential return could be a game-changer, especially with GWS’s Sam Taylor racing against time to recover from a hamstring injury.
GWS has struggled in September, failing to cover the line in each of its last six September matches. This could indicate a tendency to falter under finals pressure, giving St Kilda an additional advantage.
Taking all these factors into account, it’s hard to see St Kilda losing this one. I’m expecting a final score of St Kilda 78, GWS 70.
Betting Tip: Saints @2.10
Suggested Bet: Saints by 1-39 @ $2.55
Brisbane Lions vs Port Adelaide Power
Date: Saturday, September 9, 2023
Time: 8:25 pm
When Brisbane Lions and Port Adelaide Power lock horns at the Gabba on Saturday night, it’s hard to look past a Brisbane victory. Let’s take a deep dive into why.
The Gabba has been a fortress for the Lions, who have won all 11 of their matches at this venue in 2023 by an average margin of 34.9 points. Port Adelaide, on the other hand, has to deal with the travel factor and the intimidating atmosphere of a packed Gabba.
Secondly, history is on Brisbane’s side. They have a four-match winning streak against Port Adelaide at the Gabba. While Port Adelaide did win their only matchup in 2023, that was at the Adelaide Oval, a venue where the Power traditionally excel. The dynamics change significantly when the venue switches to Brisbane’s home ground.
Player availability is another crucial factor. While Port Adelaide is hoping to regain key players like Charlie Dixon and Scott Lycett from injury, there’s no guarantee they’ll be at their best. Brisbane, meanwhile, is expected to field a strong side.
Additionally, Brisbane has shown a knack for turning up the heat in the third quarter, with the highest scoring quarter in each of their last five matches being the third. This ability to ramp up the pressure after halftime could be a decisive factor in breaking open a close game.
Brisbane has a good hand dealt to them this week in regards to players and venue, however, up against the Power…. its not going to be easy, I’m predicting a final score of 100-77.
Betting Tip: Lions @1.44
Suggested Bet: Lions by 1-39 @ $2.10
This Week’s AFL Multi Bet
Take Bet: $8.86 with Ladbrokes
Check out all of this week’s AFL Multi Tips on our Multi Bets Page.
AFL Elimination & Qualifiers
The Qualifying Finals are contested between the top four teams on the AFL ladder at the end of the regular season. These matches are a testament to the teams’ performances throughout the season, and the winners are rewarded with a significant advantage: a week of rest during the second round of finals. This break allows the victorious teams to recuperate and strategize for their upcoming matches in the Preliminary Finals.
Concurrently, the Elimination Finals are played between the teams that finished 5th to 8th on the premiership table. As the name suggests, these matches are do-or-die encounters, with the losing teams being eliminated. The winners of the Elimination Finals advance to the second week of the finals series, where they face the losing teams from the Qualifying Finals in the Semi-Finals.
The structure of the first week of the AFL finals series thus ensures high competition and excitement. The Qualifying and Elimination Finals reward the top-performing teams of the regular season and provide opportunities for lower-ranked teams to progress in the competition. This format underscores the unpredictability and competitive spirit of the AFL as teams vie for a chance to advance further in their quest for the championship.
How it works:
- Game 1: Qualifying Final: 1st (Home) vs. 4th (Away)
- Game 2: Elimination Final: 5th (Home) vs. 8th (Away)
- Game 3: Elimination Final 2: 6th (Home) vs. 7th (Away)
- Game 4: Qualifying Final 2: 2nd (Home) vs. 3rd (Away)
Check the AFL fixture for upcoming AFL matches this season.
AFL Injury List
Keep up-to-date with your team’s injuries this week with our AFL injury list.
Stay on top of the AFL odds for the Grand Final.