AFL Season 2017 is just around the corner and as clubs slug it out on the track in readiness for Round 1, we take a look at the various betting markets on offer.
Here are our top four bets for the upcoming season.
Port Adelaide- To Miss Top 8- $1.50 at CrownBet
2017 looks to be another year of frustration for Port Adelaide, who promised so much as recently as 2014 only to have produced a couple of mediocre campaign's since. I'm not quite sure where the improvement is going to come from for Ken Hinkley and his charges if they are to make the eight. They were very sloppy with their ball use in 2016 and are renowned for their inconsistency. After finishing 10th last year with just 10 wins, clubs around them in the bottleneck for top eight spots, such as St Kilda and Melbourne, look to have more upside.
Melbourne- To Make Top 8- $2.25 at CrownBet
Where will Melbourne find themselves this year? The Dees went from 17th in 2014 to 13th in 2015 to 11th last year, which was the last of Paul Roos' three years at the club. They are on a definite upward trend and have a host of young guns that look set to step up, including Christian Petracca and Jayden Hunt, while best and fairest winner, Jack Viney, and Max Gawn are now elite performers. With former Hawthorn champion, Jordan Lewis, at the club, the Dees should be able to find the hard edge that went missing in winnable games in 2016. The $2.25 for them to feature in their first finals campaign since 2006 looks to be value.
Western Bulldogs- Minor Premiers- $6 at CrownBet
The Minor Premiers market looks to be a race in two between GWS ($3.25) and the Western Bulldogs ($6). After securing the 2016 premiership in memorable fashion, we are backing the drought-breaking Bulldogs to kick on in 2017. Let’s not be blindsided by the Giants. The Dogs should actually be open to more improvement and they have the eighth youngest list in the competition and 10th for average games, while the Giants are the second oldest in the comp and third for average games. The Dogs knocked over the Giants in a classic preliminary final, they have a better coach in the form of Luke Beveridge and they also managed to negotiate a series of nasty injuries in their quest for glory last year. While the Giants (and clubs like Sydney) enjoy a significant home ground advantage, the Bulldogs have copped what looks to be a nice draw considering they won the flag. Take the $6.
Rising Star Winner- Ryan Burton (Hawthorn)- $17 at CrownBet
Looking for value now and the Rising Star award always tends to throw up one at odds, particularly if you jump on early enough. GWS ball magnet, Jacob Hopper, leads the market at $6.50 ahead of promising Bomber, Aaron Francis, at $8. The crop of new draftees including Andy McGrath, Hugh McLuggage and Ben Ainsworth are also up there, but further down is the second year Hawthorn player, Ryan Burton. The North Adelaide product overcame serious injury to make his debut late in 2016 and looked cool as a cucumber in some big games for the brown and gold, despite his inexperience. A player that can perform at both ends of the ground, he should be a permanent fixture in the Hawks 22 and is one to consider at odds for this award.