Welcome to the midseason AFL futures/outrights review. All teams have now played 11 of 22 games, which gives us the perfect opportunity to look at the possibilities come seasons end. We’ll have a closer look at the Premiership, Brownlow, Coleman and Rising Star markets and attempt to narrow down the potential winners of each category.
PREMIERSHIP & FINAL LADDER POSITIONS
To Win the Flag Top 4 Final 8 Miss The Top 8 Least Wins
Sydney 3.70 1.30 – – –
Hawthorn 4.25 1.40 – – –
Fremantle 5.50 1.70 1.03 12.00 –
Port Power 6.00 1.10 – – –
Geelong 8.50 1.40 1.01 15.00 –
Collingwood 13.00 2.75 1.05 10.00 –
Nth Melb 21.00 3.24 1.08 7.50 –
Essendon 41.00 41.00 2.30 1.60 –
Gold Coast 67.00 51.00 2.30 1.60 –
Adelaide 81.00 106.00 3.00 1.36 –
West Coast 81.00 106.00 4.25 1.20 –
GWS 501.00 501.00 – – 1.67
Melbourne 501.00 501.00 51.00 – 14.00
Bulldogs 501.00 501.00 51.00 – 12.00
Carlton 501.00 501.00 12.00 1.03 –
Richmond 501.00 501.00 15.00 1.01 51.00
St Kilda 501.00 501.00 – – 2.70
Brisbane 1001.00 501.00 51.00 – 12.00
The premiership market has taken swung with the brilliant recent form of the Sydney Swans, who now hold outright favouritism at $3.70. Injuries to Hawthorn has seen punters jump off the reigning premier for the time being, which could be slightly premature with many stars to return to the line-up. Port Adelaide sit two games clear on top of the ladder, yet still sit on the fourth line of premiership betting at $6.00. Expect the Power’s odds to shorten if they secure a top two finish and two home finals at Adelaide Oval.
Top 4 markets are at an interesting stage with seven clubs within four points of second position. Port and Sydney look the most likely to hold their guaranteed second chances, with Hawthorn, Geelong, Collingwood and a Fremantle side that holds the riches of a soft second half fixture fighting out the final two positions. North Melbourne are an outside chance for the top four, but could easily surprise a couple of teams above them on the run home.
History says that there are minimal changes to the top 8 at the halfway mark of the season and 2014 looks no different. The Gold Coast Suns look the most vulnerable with a nightmare run in the next month or so. Essendon and Adelaide are the two sides looking to take Gold Coast’s position in the eight. Essendon take on both Adelaide and Gold Coast in Rounds 14 and 22 respectively, which shape as ladder defining clashes. I have all three finishing extremely tight on both points and percentage.
Brisbane’s recent good form has seen it blow out to $12.00 for least wins, with GWS and St Kilda seemingly battling out for the unwanted market.
PREDICTED LADDER AFTER ROUND 23
Most media and betting agencies have Gary Ablett a runaway leader for the Brownlow Medal and we tend to agree. He is currently a $1.80 favourite to take home his third Brownlow Medal and if he can be chased down, there are only three who can do so. Below is the Top 20 vote getters based on our game by game predictions, which sees Gary Ablett 5 votes clear of Josh Kennedy. Like last year, I have also included the total number of Extra Potential Poll Games (EPPG) of each player.
GARY ABLETT – 20 votes x 1 EPPG
JOSH KENNEDY (Syd) – 15 votes x 1 EPPG
SCOTT PENDLEBURY – 13 votes x 4 EPPGs
JOEL SELWOOD – 13 votes x 0 EPPGs
NATHAN JONES – 11 votes x 3 EPPGs
ROBBIE GRAY – 11 votes x 2 EPPGs
TRAVIS BOAK – 11 votes x 1 EPPG
DAYNE BEAMS – 11 votes x 0 EPPGs
PATRICK DANGERFIELD – 10 votes x 1 EPPG
BRENT HARVEY – 10 votes x 0 EPPGs
DAN HANNEBERY – 9 votes x 3 EPPGs
NICK RIEWOLDT – 9 votes x 2 EPPGs
TRENT COTCHIN – 9 votes x 1 EPPG
BEN CUNNINGTON – 9 votes x 0 EPPGs
BRYCE GIBBS – 8 votes x 2 EPPGs
STEVE JOHNSON – 8 votes x 1 EPPG
MARC MURPHY – 8 votes x 1 EPPG
AARON SANDILANDS – 8 votes x 1 EPPG
BRAD EBERT – 8 votes x 0 EPPG
JOBE WATSON – 8 votes x 0 EPPGs
Gary Ablett (Gold Coast) – $1.80
The little champ continues to dominate despite turning 30 in May and is on track for his third Brownlow Medal. He is averaging 31.9 disposals, 8 clearances, 18.2 contested possessions and has kicked 21 goals just to top it all off. The only things that look like stopping him is injury and suspension.
Josh Kennedy (Sydney) – $8.00
The big bodied stoppage king is arguably having his best season and is the most threatening to ‘Ablett’s Medal’. He is averaging a mammoth 31.4 disposals per game, 17.5 of which are contested with 7.1 clearances. The Swans should provide plenty of vote opportunities in the second half of the year as many wins are expected.
Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood) – $9.00
The Collingwood skipper is always in Brownlow contention, but with Dane Swan dropping off in 2014, there are more votes on offer for the silky smooth midfielder. He is averaging 29 disposals per game and has kicked some match defining goals over the journey.
Joel Selwood (Geelong) – $14.00
Selwood started the season on fire but has dropped off slightly as Geelong’s consistency has waned. His kamikaze style is still evident, but the numbers aren’t nearly as high as they once were. The Cats have plenty of winnable games on the way home which will generate some polling opportunities for their captain.
Impossible not to tip Gary Ablett at this stage.
The Coleman Medal looks an open race at the halfway mark of the season, as seven players sit within five goals of each other. It again looks like 60-70 goals is going to be enough to win the medal, but we have seen a lot more hauls against the lower sides which could lead to a slightly higher total by the end of the season.
Jack Riewoldt – 34 goals – $6.00
Riewoldt has been much maligned throughout the 2014 season, but at the halfway mark he leads the competition with 34 goals. Those statistics have been exaggerated with an 11 goal haul against GWS. Jack will be right up there at the business end of the year, but his form tends to match that of the Tigers.
Tom Hawkins – 32 goals – $6.00
Tom Hawkins looks a different man to the 2013 version and is now free of the back complaints that crippled his season. He has been the most consistent forward in the competition kicking 3 or more goals on 8 occasions. He is yet to kick more than 5 goals in a game, but the Cats have a favourable run home playing seven bottom ten sides which should create plenty of big haul opportunities. He is a big chance to take the medal home.
Nick Riewoldt – 31 goals – $15.00
Nick has had an outstanding season for the Saints, averaging 2.8 goals and 16.2 disposals per game. His goal kicking opportunities have dropped off since the opening rounds and with the Saints form steadily dropping, you get the feeling his numbers will continue to do so as well.
Jay Schulz – 31 goals – $10.00
Schulz has been the beneficiary of a side that is two games clear on top of the ladder. He has kicked a goal in every game he has played and rarely wastes an opportunity with only 7 behinds. Bags of 7 and 6 goals against Brisbane and GWS respectively have been the highlights of his season, but he doesn’t have the same quantity of shots on goal as the other contenders.
Jarryd Roughead – 30 goals – $7.00
Roughead has got himself back in Coleman Medal contention after an 8 goal haul against West Coast in Round 12. After winning the medal last year, Roughead has been given even more forward time in the absence of Lance Franklin, but has found things more difficult with greater attention and less space created by Buddy to lead into. In saying that, he has still averaged 3 goals a game and can kick goals against any opposition, despite the Hawks playing seven top eight sides on the way home.
Luke Breust – 30 goals – $23.00
Luke Breust has had a great season averaging 2.7 goals per game, but small forwards don’t hold favourable records when it comes to Coleman Medals. There certainly haven’t been any crumbing forwards in the modern era to win a Coleman, while Leigh Matthews is the only small of the last 40 years secure one. You can basically write Breust off.
Jack Gunston – 29 goals – $9.00
Gunston isn’t the type of forward who is going to kick a massive bag, but he’ll always be a chance to kick 2-4 goals against any opposition. He rarely wastes an opportunity in front of goal, but he is generally the number two target to Roughead. He’ll be around the mark.
Lance Franklin – 26 goals – $8.00
He is starting from a long way back, but if there is anyone who can make up an 8 goal deficit, it is Buddy. He is just beginning to hit some serious numbers as the Swan’s form takes off, averaging 3 goals per game over the last 6 weeks. Sydney plays eight bottom ten clubs on the way home, all potentially ripe for a Buddy Franklin picking. He won’t be far off the top.
Tom Hawkins to win from Roughead and Franklin.
At the halfway mark of the season, the Rising Star award is as open as it has ever been. Excluding Danyle Pearce in 2006 and Daniel Talia 2012, there has generally been a clear favourite at this point of the season that has gone on to win the trophy. It has more often than not been awarded to a midfielder, but there have been a sprinkling of tall winners including Nick Holland, Justin Koschitzke, Nick Riewoldt, Jared Rivers and Daniel Talia. There is still plenty of water to pass under the bridge this season.
Tom Langdon – Nominated Rnd 7 – $4.00
After being overlooked for the 2012 draft and being one of the last picked in the 2013 draft, Tom Langdon has become a key part of Collingwood’s defensive set up. Averaging 18.9 possessions and 3.8 rebounds per game, Langdon’s reading of the play has made his intercepting a major strength. He is a justified favourite at this point of the season.
Luke Dunston – Nominated Rnd 1 – $6.00
The big bodied teenager from Woodville-West Torrens has had an immediate impact for the Saints after having senior experience in the SANFL. He has averaged 20.3 disposals, 8.2 contested possessions and 3.5 clearances per game. Midfielders often win this award, so he is certainly in with a great chance.
Kade Kolodjashnij – Nominated Rnd 10 – $6.00
The number five draft pick has slid into the AFL with minimal fuss and isn’t quite generating the attention of other Rising Star nominees. He has been outstanding in averaging 19.4 possessions per game off half back, at an impressive disposal efficiency of 78.9%. He has also managed to float forward and kick some long range goals. His composure and class could be enough to see him stand out from the pack in the second half of the season.
James Aish – Nominated Rnd 6 – $6.00
The dual Norwood SANFL Premiership player has immediately cemented himself in Brisbane’s best 22 after being a top 10 pick in the 2013 draft. He has averaged 17.9 possessions from his 11 games and while he hasn’t been as prolific as others, he is having an influence on the wing.
Josh Kelly – Nominated Rnd 3 – $8.00
Last year’s number two draft pick has looked extremely classy and poised when on the field, but he is priced short for a player who hasn’t cemented his position in the best 22 at GWS. He hasn’t looked out of place in his 7 games and should get greater opportunity in the second half of the season.
Joe Daniher – Nominated Rnd 12 – $12.00
After being the original favourite for the 2014 Rising Star, he hasn’t quite lived up to the expectations. In saying that, he has basically been the Bombers number one forward and has played against monster defenders every week. He has kicked 3 goals in each of the last two matches, suggesting his form has turned for the good.
Troy Menzel – Not Yet Nominated – $12.00
There are plenty who love the work of Troy Menzel and think he is great value at $12.00. I’m a massive fan and believe he has enormous talent, but medium forwards aren’t generally the Rising Star types. 14 goals is a great return, but he is only averaging 8.6 possessions and 1.1 tackles per game. He needs to increase his defensive pressure to be considered.
Brodie Grundy – Not Yet Nominated – $12.00
The effort of Brodie Grundy taking the number one ruck position at Collingwood has been underrated. For a man who has just turned 20, he is holding his own. He averages 20.3 hitouts, 11.1 possessions, 5.4 contested possessions and 1.9 clearances per game. Expect a nomination soon.
Kade Kolodjashnij to win from Tom Langdon and Luke Dunston.
All of the above are the opinions of the author and are not recommendations or advice. The author may not be taking every bet listed above. Bet at your own risk.
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