Footy is back! Round 1 of the 2021 season saw some sensational performances and some stunning upsets as the new season kicked off with a bang. Fans could hardly contain their excitement to be back in attendance for the first time in a long time, and the players put on a great show. From Dusty Martin’s dominance on Thursday night to Tex Walker winding back the clock with a bag of goals to Jayden Stephenson having the game of his career in new colours, there was plenty to like in Round 1.
Read on for our 2021 Brownlow Medal vote predictions for every game of Round 1.
You’ll be able to stay up to date with our 2021 Brownlow Medal leaderboard tracker with links to round-by-round voting posted there.
An easy game to dissect to start the season as Dustin Martin was clearly best on ground in the Tigers win. Martin picked up 31 disposals, 5 clearances and 2 goals in a dominant performance and will be winning the first 3 votes of the season. Jack Graham (33 disposals) and Kane Lambert (28 disposals) were busy in the middle, while Jack Riewoldt finished with 4 goals. Sam Walsh (31 disposals, 6 clearances) was best for the Blues.
Dustin Martin – 3
Jack Graham – 2
Sam Walsh - 1
The Bulldogs kicked three early goals and that was the difference in the match. Bailey Smith won the medal for best afield with 36 disposals, 8 marks and 2 goals. Jack Macrae (35 disposals, 7 tackles) and Marcus Bontempelli (28 disposals, 9 marks) were prolific as the Dogs controlled the ball, while Alex Keath (18 disposals, 9 marks) was a rock in defence. Scott Pendlebury (25 disposals) tried hard while Darcy Moore (18 disposals, 12 marks) was among the Pies best.
Bailey Smith – 3
Jack Macrae – 1
Marcus Bontempelli - 1
Darcy Moore - 1
As crazy as it sounds, but the Dees couldn’t afford to drop this one back on their home turf at the G. It was scrappy, but they got the job done. Steven May (24 disposals, 8 marks) and Jake Lever (18 disposals, 7 marks) setup the win from half-back, while Christian Petracca (24 disposals, 2 goals), Ed Langdon (22 disposals, 1 goal) and Tom McDonald (18 disposals, 9 marks, 2 goals) were influential. Andrew Brayshaw (29 disposals, 1 goal) was best for Freo.
Steven May – 3
Jake Lever – 1
Tom McDonald – 1
Christian Petracca - 1
The Crows pulled off the first upset of the year as the Cats will be bitterly disappointed with their start to the 2021 season. Tex Walker wound back the clock with a vintage display with 18 disposals, 7 marks and 5 goals. Rory Laird (27 disposals, 7 marks, 6 tackles) and Lachie Sholl (23 disposals, 9 marks) won plenty of ball, while Patrick Dangerfield (26 disposals, 6 marks) was best for the Cats despite coming under scrutiny for a head bump during the match.
Taylor Walker – 3
Rory Laird – 2
Lachie Sholl – 0.5
Patrick Dangerfield – 0.5
The game of the round saw the Hawks muster an amazing comeback after being down by 39 points to claim a stunning one-point victory. The Hawks were out-gunned in the first half, but Tom Mitchell picked up 17 touches in the 3rd quarter alone, and finished with 39 disposals for the game, to help mount the comeback. Will Day (28 disposals, 8 marks) and Jaeger O’Meara (30 disposals) were also busy in the middle. Andrew McGrath (33 disposals, 11 tackles, 1 goal) and Zach Merrett (31 disposals, 1 goal) were best for the Bombers in the disappointing loss.
Tom Mitchell – 3
Andrew McGrath – 2
Will Day – 0.5
Zach Merrett – 0.5
The Swans might be a team on the improve in 2021 after they shocked Brisbane on Saturday night. Callum Mills (29 disposals, 8 marks, 2 goals) was great through the middle, while Errol Gulden (19 disposals, 10 marks, 3 goals) was super impressive on debut. At his fourth club, Tom Hickey (24 hitouts, 23 disposals) played one of his best games and Isaac Heeney (13 disposals, 8 marks, 3 goals) was busy up forward.
Callum Mills – 3
Errol Gulden – 2
Tom Hickey - 1
The Power overcame a slow start to run away with a comfortable victory over the Roos. It was set up on the back of Travis Boak (27 disposals, 7 clearances, 2 goals) who was dominant in the middle along with Ollie Wines (30 disposals). Steven Motlop (24 disposals, 12 marks, 1 goal) had a good game, and new recruit Orazio Fantasia would be please with his 4 goals from 14 disposals. Another at a new club was Jaidyn Stephenson who enjoyed the extra midfield time in picking up 33 disposals and 7 tackles to be best for the Roos.
Travis Boak – 3
Ollie Wines – 1
Orazio Fantasia – 1
Jaidyn Stephenson - 1
The Saints escaped with a narrow win over the Giants in the toughest match of the round for Brownlow votes. With no clear standouts on either team, the votes could go a number of different ways. Tim Membrey will be a chance with 21 disposals, 7 marks and 3 goals, while Jack Billings (30 disposals, 1 goal) and Jade Gresham (28 disposals) were also good. Tim Taranto (26 disposals, 1 goal) was best for GWS while big man Matt Flynn (34 hitouts, 18 disposals, 6 marks) was also impressive.
Tim Membrey – 2.5
Jack Billings – 2.5
Tim Taranto - 1
The Suns pushed the Eagles all the way, and another upset was on the cards, but the Eagles steadied late to claim a solid win. Oscar Allen stood tall in the star-studded forward line with a career-best 4 goals from 13 disposals and 9 marks to be the difference. Dom Sheed (34 disposals, 12 marks, 9 clearances) and Tim Kelly (28 disposals, 7 marks) ran all day while Shannon Hurn (31 disposals, 12 marks) was the typical rock in defence. David Swallow (29 disposals, 1 goal) was best for the Suns.
Dom Sheed – 3
Oscar Allen – 2
Tim Kelly – 0.5
David Swallow – 0.5
For those who need a refresher on how our Brownlow vote predictor system works, we assign 6 votes per game so that our total votes are the same as the official 3-2-1 system, however we break up those votes as we see fit across potentially more than three players. Some games are really tough to call which way the votes will go, so a better predictive model is to split performances and assign half points to each player where there is doubt. So for example if two players dominate and it's too hard to split their performance, they are given 2.5 votes each, with the remaining 1 vote given to another player(s). This will give us a predictive total closer to their true total, rather than guessing. We can then form a 'range' for each player (i.e. a min and max we think players can poll) with the thinking behind this that the variations from the half votes will even out over the long term.
If you intend on using our Brownlow votes to bet why not consider one of the best Australian sports betting sites which offer some great features for new customers. Also be sure to check out our Twitter page at @Before_You_Bet and continue returning to the site for our AFL tips.
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