Another year of AFL is nearly behind us. This means the Brownlow is upon us and the Grand Final is just around the corner. This will be the hardest Brownlow to pick in the last five years with the three favourites all playing in teams that finished outside the top eight. Will Swans constant 40+ disposals game get him close to going back to back? Will Ablett be able to poll enough in a losing squad? Will Dangerfield’s invisibility in the early rounds give Scotty Thompson the extra 3-4 votes to give him a real shot at stealing it or will Jobe Watson shoot to 20+ votes by the 12th round and poll a handy 7-8 in the final 13 rounds to get himself his first Brownlow? Or will Cotchin’s highly overrated season be rewarded with an inlikely Brownlow.
The below are the combination of own statistics and two different sources I have been following week by week on the internet. I have agreed with both of their voting along the way as one was based on purely stats + who was really the best on ground while the other was about stats, visibility to umpires and overall media influence.
The analysis has the winner down to two with about a 85% chance either of the two will pick it up while the other 15% is made up by four others with sneaky chances who needs things to really go their way.
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Gary Ablett or Jobe Watson. We have Ablett more of a chance than Jobe on stats but it will be very close. Both have different variables that will affect how they poll with Jobe likely to have Stanton stealing top poll votes in a number of the first ten rounds. If he gets the majority of those best on ground votes in the first ten rounds, he will be very hard to beat. Votes being given to Ablett are an unknown factor. Going off how he polled last year, he had a much better year this year and has had even more media hype around him.
Dane Swan won last year in a blowout. After his loss the year before, his 2011 team was actually worse than his 2010 year performance wise but he polled considerably more than anyone even expected. The majority of experts had him getting an absolute maximum of 27-28. He stands out with his tattoos and gets a lot of the ball with 40+ disposal games getting in the umpires minds. While those games were not best on ground performances most of them, they still poll well in the history of the Brownlow and he will certainly be there at the end, especially with Scott Pendlebury having an off second half of the year due to the injury. Beams may steal too many Best on Grounds away from Swan in the final half of the year and that could cost him.
Scott Thompson and Patrick Dangerfield. Both had sensational years. Scott Thompson had a huge first half of the year while he fell away in quite a few games late in the year but will still pick up handy votes. Being in a team that won so many games, the majority of the points will go their teams way. The problem Dangerfield has is that all the focus early in the Media was on Thompson. He was playing well and we predict he will get the main votes early. Dangerfield finishes very very well and could ‘swoop’ late to use a Horse Racing term but he will need to get the runs on the board early. They should both poll well with no one else in the team getting very many points.
Sam Mitchell is the stand out in the team that finished the top of the ladder. He certainly didn’t have the best season by any stretch but Mitchell is the golden boy of the team. He stands out like a sore thumb and is there when it counts. You can’t ignore him and the umpires certainly know he is there. The media have had him in the headlines quite a few times this season. Expect him to poll more than most are mentioning.
Adelaide: A race of two. Scott Thompson gets the nod.
Brisbane: A battle of three with Tom Rockliff’s best on ground performances getting him over Redden and Black.
Carlton: Marc Murphy by a mile with a predicted five best on grounds.
Collingwood: Could be good value here. Swan should win this nine out of ten times on our statistics.
Essendon: Jobe Watson
Fremantle: Matthew Pavlich stood out the most all season. The heart and soul of the club won’t be overlooked and should win Freo by 4-5 votes
Geelong: You are very brave if you bet on this one. Joel Selwood SHOULD win this but every indication is that Tom Hawkins will go close and Steve Johnston was super all year.
Gold Coast: Gary Ablett
Greater Western Sydney: If there is any justice in the world, Toby Greene wins. Jonathan Giles could poll very well also.
Hawthorn: Sam Mitchell
Melbourne: Nathan Jones was the stand out all year in the games they won.
North Melbourne: The toughest going around. Well, Swallow, Harvey and Petrie should all be around the mark but we are going with Andrew Swallow. He over polled last year and is always hard at the ball. His stats all year were SUPER.. actually better than Cotchin.
Port Adelaide: Another hard to pick market. Boak, Hartlett or Ebert get this one. Boak is our pick.
Richmond: Not as easy as you think. Deledio had a super year and up until the half-way mark should over poll compared to Cotchin who will under poll. Deledio stands out more. Cotchin SHOULD win it by 1-2 votes but Deledio is value.
St Kilda: Lenny Hayes
Sydney: Most don’t have any Sydney player over the 20 vote mark and this is one that could blow out like Nick Dal Santo did last year. Kennedy had a super year and we have him winning this but Jack had a blinda of a year also.
West Coast: Many votes all over the place for this team all year. Scott Selwood the stand out.
Western Bulldogs: A battle of two. Boyd is on top for us but Griffen will be within 2 votes of him.
All of the above are the opinions of the author and are not recommendations or advice. Bet at your own risk.
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