Can Hawthorn win their third Premiership in a row? Or will the Eagles reclaim the glory of their mid 2000's run? It's experience and history-making up against young hunger. Find out what we think in our lastest AFL betting tips article - 2015 AFL Grand Final betting tips and preview which includes a North Smith prediction.
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Hawthorn Hawks Vs. West Coast Eagles (Saturday, Oct. 3 at 2:30pm AEST)
Despite overcoming the Hawks in the first week of the 2015 AFL Finals, and having a week's extra break, the Eagles are the roughies to capture the premiership. Punters, the media and everyone in between seem to rate the experience of the Hawks as the biggest factor in winning the Grand Final. I tend to agree.
There is no doubt the veterans of the AFL will be giving their all. They know what it takes and what sort of intensity they need to bring to win on the biggest day on Australia's sporting calendar. They know how to handle the nerves, they know how to prepare. They are just going to be so tough to beat, especially by a relatively inexperienced Eagles. Winning in the first week of the finals is one thing, winning in a Grand Final is something else all together.
There has been much talk this week about Jack Gunston and Luke Hodge training away from the main group. All signs point to both players getting on the field for the Grand Final as they were declared fit on Thursday afternoon. The Eagles, meanwhile, will pretty much field the team they have all year, without the long term injured Mackenzie and Brown. There are perhaps some question marks still around Chris Masten who didn't look 100% in the prelim, but he will play and no doubt get through the game.
Eagles fans will point to the first week in the finals when they beat the Hawks by 32 points - without superstar Matt Priddis, nonetheless. Whatever holes the Hawks had in their structures and game plan that week will no doubt be completely plugged. And if it was just a form slope, or lack of effort, you can be guaranteed the Hawks will put in a much bigger effort in the Grand Final. Looking back to the last time they met prior to that final, the Hawks overcame the Eagles by 14 points at Domain Stadium. The final was also at Domain, whereas this one is at the MCG. Being 1-1 in two games at Domain is about what you would expect from the Hawks and the MCG is certainly at least a little in their favour.
There are so many key matchups in this game and I think the Hawks take the edge in a few. The difference between the depths of these teams is that the Eagles will be relying on Josh Kennedy to have the impact he had when they beat the Hawks a few weeks ago and in last week's prelim. I believe they rely on him and if the Hawks can either stop him at the source, or stop the ball coming into him they way he would expect, then I don't think the Eagles can win. Yes, the Eagles have solid forward support for Kennedy in LeCras, Hill and Darling, but Kennedy is the foundation of the Eagles success. The Hawks, however, aren't too reliant on the success of any single player. They control the ball, control the pace and punish opponent's mistakes. If they can do this at even 90% of their usual success, plus influence Kennedy's form, they will win their third straight Grand Final.
Regardless of the result, this game is pretty much guaranteed to be a close, hotly contested battle. There are plenty of great promos around to take advantage of when head-to-head betting, but officially our tip is for the Hawks to win in a close one. For more information regarding lineups and more, head to the official AFL website.
For those that like a flutter on the Norm Smith Medal, we are recommending to use the CrownBet special that sees you get your stake back as a bonus bet if the player you chooses finishes 2nd or 3rd in the voting.
If you are backing Hawthorn like we are suggesting, and they win the Grand Final, then history tells us a Hawthorn player is extremely likely to win the Norm Smith. For footy romantics, you can get $6.50 for Hodge to win an unprecedented third Norm Smith. We actually don't think that's a bad play considering all the talk this week around how to nullify Norm Smith favourite Sam Mitchell's influence.
However, our pick for the Norm Smith is Jarryd Roughead. While this is generally a purely midfield award, Roughead has the star factor to stand out on a big stage. He has kicked almost 20 goals in the last five games against the Eagles and seven in the last two Grand Finals. If he gets much of a run through the midfield as he sometimes does, and manages to kick a few goals, then this price is huge value.
Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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