Week 1 of the 2019 AFL Finals continues and concludes on Saturday with a two-game slate. First up we’ve got the Giants hosting the Dogs, followed by the Lions hosting the Tigers. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the first game of the day, which is an elimination final in Sydney!
Here, we’ve previewed the GWS vs Western Bulldogs game and provided our best betting tips from the major agencies in Australia. Make sure you check out our AFL Tips Page regularly to find all our other previews and tips for the first week of finals!
Saturday, 3:20pm AEST, Giants Stadium
An interesting fixture will kick off the two-game Saturday slate in week one of the finals. The Giants have been plagued by injuries yet again this season, while the Dogs have come from nowhere to finish in seventh. It promises to be an exciting fixture to say the least!
The Giants are about where everyone expected them to be this season. They’re dangerous on their best day and can beat anyone, but when they’re off by 5% they’re really vulnerable. Injuries have plagued them again this season, which seems to be a common theme for them since their inception in 2012. The most notable injuries are to Callan Ward and Stephen Coniglio, who both suffered serious season-ending leg injuries.
GWS haven’t been in the best of form in recent weeks, dropping two of their last four games. Home losses to the Hawks by 56 points and the Bulldogs by 61 points during that span were quite alarming and will put a bit of doubt in their minds ahead of their fixture on Saturday. The amount of talent on the Giants list is immense, but their consistency is a worry, particularly when they’re without a double chance.
The Bulldogs have come from nowhere to finish inside the top eight, and now loom as a serious threat if they can get through the Giants on Saturday. They’ve won seven of their last nine matches and are certainly one of the form teams of the competition heading into the finals. The Giants finished the home and way season with four 30+ point wins from their last five games, with their only blemish being an 18-point loss to the Lions at the Gabba.
The strength of this young Western Bulldogs side is undoubtedly their midfield. Marcus Bontempelli headlines a talented group and could quite possibly end up with a Brownlow Medal this year. Jack Macrae is a superstar in his own right and earned an All Australian nod, and Josh Dunkley isn’t too far behind.
These clubs have met 11 times since the Giants inception in 2012 – Western Bulldogs lead the count head-to-head count 6-5. The Giants have won four of the last six, although the Dogs won their most recent clash, which was just a couple of weekends ago.
Last five meetings:
2019 R22 – GWS Giants (65) lost to Western Bulldogs (126)
2018 R1 – GWS Giants (133) defeated Western Bulldogs (51)
2017 R21 – Western Bulldogs (57) lost to GWS Giants (105)
2017 R6 – GWS Giants (75) defeated Western Bulldogs (73)
2016 PF – GWS Giants (83) lost to Western Bulldogs (89)
Key Betting Statistics
- GWS has won five of its last six matches as a home underdog.
- Each of GWS's last seven matches at GIANTS Stadium have gone OVER the total match points line.
- Toby Greene has kicked three or more goals in four of GWS's last five home matches against the Western Bulldogs.
- Jack Macrae has recorded 35+ disposals in each of his last five outings.
- Jeremy Cameron has kicked three or more goals in seven of his eight previous appearances against the Western Bulldogs.
We got a decent preview of this match just three weeks ago when the Bulldogs absolutely smashed the Giants in Sydney. They kept the home side goalless in the second half and banged on 10 of their own goals to finish up 61-point winners.
Due to the contrasting form of the two sides and the recent blowout win by the Bulldogs, the bookies have the away team starting as slight favourites. In our view, the Bulldogs are in much better shape than the Giants and should be too strong for their depleted outfit if recent form is anything to go by. We have the Bulldogs winning this pretty comfortably in our best bet of the weekend.
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