The format for the upcoming 2020 AFL season may still be in limbo, but there are still a few certainties – there will be a premier. Here, we continue our look at the most popular AFL futures market and provide our best bet and value play. Check them out below and good luck to everyone following us this season, whenever it may be.
Richmond Tigers ($4.20)
Rightly deserve to be shortest odds for the Premiership on the back of the three strong years they’ve put together coming in - premiers in 2017, prelim in 2018 and premiers again in 2019. You can, and certainly many do, make the case that they aren’t the strongest team on paper, but their coaching staff has them playing a game plan that suits them perfectly and they have a belief that is unrivalled by all 17 other clubs.
West Coast Eagles ($5.75)
Second in the betting is the Eagles, which is also justified. They miraculously won the Grand Final in 2018 against Collingwood and were tipped by many to repeat in 2019. However, an inconsistent 2019 season (relatively) cost them a top four spot and that was probably their undoing as they lost in Week 2 of the finals on the road against Geelong. The Eagles come into 2020 with the same core that has produced success in recent seasons along with the addition of Tim Kelly (Geelong) who’s a huge acquisition. Josh J. Kennedy has also had a much better preseason than in years prior, which should give them a bit more upside going forward.
Collingwood Magpies ($8)
In the third line of betting we have the Magpies who are at a nice price when you consider their success over the past two seasons. They lost the 2018 Grand Final in a heartbreaker to the Eagles and were pipped by the Giants in a prelim in 2019. The Magpies also bring back a very similar team and are sure to be in the mix once again.
GWS Giants ($8)
Equal third in the betting is last year’s runner up in GWS. The Giants had been flirting with a GF appearance for many years and finally made it there thanks to a fantastic performance in a prelim against Collingwood. Although they would eventually get thumped by the Tigers in the GF, the Giants were missing a number of key players and will be better for the experience on AFL’s biggest stage.
The other three clubs that are still right in the market are the Western Bulldogs ($11), Brisbane Lions ($12) and Geelong Cats ($12). The Bulldogs made a late charge into the finals last season, but were unable to repeat their 2016 heroics as they bowed out to the Giants in the first round of finals. The Dogs do have a young list however, and also boast one of the best midfields in the competition, which could lead them to success in 2020. The Cats look destined for a GF appearance in 2019 when they led the Tigers by three goals at HT in the prelim, but it all went downhill from there as they were completely dominated in the second half. They also lost Tim Kelly to West Coast in the offseason and have an ageing list that has everyone a bit hesitant about naming them as a legitimate contender in 2020. Last but not least, the Lions come in at a really nice price if you can see them building on a fantastic 2019 campaign where they finished in the top four. Their young bodies weren’t quite ready for the finals, but they may be better for the experience if they can avoid the ‘second year blues’.
It’s always tough to predict a premier before a ball is kicked, even more so with so much uncertainty about when and if this season will actually start and complete. However, if all goes ahead, then there’s no reason why the Tigers won’t be the repeat premiers in 2020. They’ve really only put one foot wrong over the past three seasons, which of course was in the prelim against the Magpies in 2018. They’ve shown that they learned from their mistakes and will certainly be a team that no one wants to face in September (or whenever the finals are this year).
Being such an open betting market that it is, you can always take at least two teams and still get decent value for money. For our value play we’ll be siding with the Giants who also featured in last year’s GF. Although they were thoroughly outplayed in that final, they have a lot of upside in 2020 and there’s no reason why they won’t be finishing top four and making another deep run in the finals.
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