It’s sudden-death Aussie Rules action on Friday as the Geelong Cats and GWS Giants kick off Round Two of the playoffs on Friday.
The Brisbane Lions and Western Bulldogs continue the action on Saturday, with the winner going straight through to the Preliminary Finals against the Melbourne Demons and Port Adelaide Power.
With only three weeks left in the season, now is the best time to enjoy the value AFL odds at the sportsbook.
GWS Looking for Upset
We think the GWS Giants are capable of beating the Geelong Cats on Friday. They are the +15½ underdogs, but betting online is all about finding value and the Giants could outmuscle the Cats.
They scored a stunning and nail biting win over the Sydney Swans last week. It came down to the final kick in the 74-73 contest, which should give the Giants confidence against a team that lost to Port Adelaide.
The level of opposition was different, but the Geelong Cats looked particularly poor at Adelaide Oval. They scored only 43 points on 5.13 scoring, which isn’t going to get it done against most teams.
GWS Giants chairman Tony Shepherd has praised the club’s resilience, saying the outfit’s humble beginnings have helped navigate the “difficult and trying circumstances” that come with playing during a pandemic.https://t.co/cMFizlZGmj
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) August 27, 2021
Geelong has been the better team for most of the season, but the Giants have improved at the tail end. There is a concern about Toby Greene, who could miss the qualifying final due to suspension for contact with an umpire.
Former Giants captain Callan Ward provided an honest opinion of Greene’s competitiveness.
“His personality is just a competitive beast,” Ward told ABC. “Why he’s stepped over the line a couple of times in the past, I’m not too sure. Maybe he’s over-competitive, maybe he’s trying to do too much, maybe he wants to be the leader that stands up.
“I think it is probably a work in progress … we’ve always said we love the way he plays and he’s so passionate about everything, but he’s just got to be careful with a few of the things he does.”
The Giants will need to contain Tom Hawkins, who scored only two goals against Port Adelaide and will be looking for a better game. He was the only decent player on the field for the Cats, who were beaten in all aspects of the contest.
If Geelong can’t rebound after the week off, it will be curtains. The Cats are one of the more consistent teams in the history of the AFL, but after winning premierships in 2007, 2009 and 2011, they haven’t won for the last 10 years.
Greater Western Sydney has yet to win a title after entering the competition in 2012, but they made the final in 2019 and that experience will do plenty of good in a do-or-die situation this week.
Lions Ready to Roar
The Brisbane Lions are AFL betting favorites to beat the Western Bulldogs and make the Preliminary Final next week.
Recovering from a 33-point loss isn’t easy, but despite facing an in-form Western Bulldogs, Brisbane is the testing material.
The Lions lost 93-60 to minor premiership winners Melbourne, but it was a tight contest for most of the game. It was a three-point margin at halftime and the game could have gone either way, but the Demons had too much class late.
“We lost contested possession and the territory battles, which is crucial against Melbourne,” Lions coach Chris Fagan told ESPN. We had a number of players below their best.”
Brisbane had only 15 scoring goals compared to 28 from Melbourne, so if it’s going to beat the Bulldogs, a better offensive rhythm is needed.
— Dave Middleton (@Dave_Middleton) August 28, 2021
The Bulldogs dominated their game against the Essendon Bombers, but the Bombers made it easy. They were awful at clearing the ruck and their ground game was disastrous, so the win could look better than it appears.
Getting home ground is a huge advantage for the Lions. They are tough to beat at The Gabba and given how well they have played throughout the season, we would be surprised if they didn’t follow it through in the finals.
The online sportsbook has the Lions as narrow favorites to win, but expect to see plenty of line movement nearing game day.
A player the Bulldogs need to keep an eye on is Charlie Cameron. The Lion was superb in defeat against Melbourne, scoring five goals and outscoring the likes of Christian Petracca and Kyasaiah Pickett by himself.
If the Bulldogs allow Cameron to get out and running, it could be a long night for the visitors.