It’s the business end of the season as the 2023 AFLW Finals Series kicks off after a remarkable home & away season. Who will set themselves up for a premiership tilt, and who will be going home? We’ve got you covered with our preview for week one of the finals!
We've got you covered with previews for every game of the AFLW Finals Series, so be sure to stay up to date with our AFL Tips page!
AFLW 2023 Finals Week One Preview & Betting Tips
Adelaide vs Brisbane
Norwood Oval, Saturday 3:05pm AEDT
Two familiar foes begin the finals series as the competition’s two most decorated clubs add another chapter to their iconic rivalry. Adelaide stole the minor premiership after Brisbane knocked off Melbourne last week, setting up a matchup between the minor premiers and the only side that have beaten them in 2023. Both clubs have played in four Grand Finals each, with the winner of this clash giving themself a golden opportunity to make the Grand Final by avoiding playing Melbourne in the Preliminary Final.
Brisbane’s win over Melbourne means the Lions are 3-0 against the top four, in what has been a bizarre season of ups and downs for last season’s Grand Finalist, who have also lost three games to teams outside of the top eight. When they’re at their best, the Lions are capable of beating anyone and they’ve shown their capacity to rock up for the big games.
Both clubs have been excellent inside forward 50 this season, however Adelaide’s star studded midfield will be the catalyst to give the Crows the upper hand in this clash. If Ebony Marinoff (averaging 28 disposals per game) and Anne Hatchard (26 disposals) get going through the middle of the ground, it’s going to be difficult for Brisbane to stop Adelaide’s forward line. Although the Lions have won their last three games against the Crows, all three of those games were at home. Adelaide have won ten of their last eleven games at Norwood, in what has been a fortress for the Crows.
$1.52 (1.5 Units)
Gold Coast vs Sydney
Heritage Bank Stadium, Saturday 7:15pm AEDT
Two sides that failed to make the finals last season have the opportunity to win their way through to a Semi Final as Gold Coast host Sydney on Saturday night. The Swans will make their first finals appearance in just their second season, while the Suns will be playing in just their second final. It’s been a remarkable campaign for both clubs who were expected to be towards the bottom of the ladder.
Sydney booked their ticket to the finals with a 22 point win over Fremantle, while Gold Coast’s fourteen point victory over Essendon earned the Suns the right to host the Elimination Final at Heritage Bank Stadium. Sydney’s three game winning streak has been built on the back of a red hot attacking game, which has seen the Swans put up scores of 96, 58 and 40 in their last three games. The Gold Coast defence has been outstanding in the last fortnight conceding just 42 points across their last two games, and the Suns have been outstanding on the wide expanses of Heritage Bank Stadium.
Sydney have had an excellent run of form to end the home & away season, however the Swans are yet to beat a team that has finished inside the top eight this season. It’s going to be a major adjustment for Sydney playing on a bigger ground this weekend, which is going to limit their capacity to score in the manner they have on smaller grounds over the last three weeks. Gold Coast have won four of their last five games at Heritage Bank Stadium by an average margin of 33 points, and will end the Swans fairytale season.
Gold Coast -9.5
$1.87 (1.5 Units)
Geelong vs Essendon
GMHBA Stadium, Sunday 1:05pm AEDT
The Cats will be looking to redeem themselves after losing a home Elimination Final last season, when they host Essendon at GMHBA Stadium. Essendon’s Round 10 loss against Gold Coast saw the Bombers drop from fifth to seventh, giving them the difficult task of playing at the Cattery in the club’s first finals appearance in the AFLW. Geelong were outstanding last week with a 40 point win over Hawthorn, which will have the Cats full of confidence coming into this weekend.
The battle between Geelong’s backline and Essendon’s forward line looms as the differentiating factor in this clash, where the Cats will gain an advantage. Geelong have the fourth best defence in the league this season, conceding an average of 31.8 points per game. Essendon are the lowest scoring team to make the finals series averaging just 37.9 points per game, the only team in the top eight that isn’t scoring at least 40 points per game.
Geelong’s experience from last year’s Elimination Final defeat will hold them in good stead against an inexperienced Essendon outfit. Geelong haven’t conceded more than three goals in a game in their last four games, and will be too strong for the young Bombers who haven’t played at GMHBA Stadium before. The Cats will suffocate Essendon in a low scoring affair.
$1.87 (2 Units)
Melbourne vs North Melbourne
Ikon Park, Sunday 3:05pm AEDT
Week One of the AFLW Finals rounds out with the Second Qualifying Final as Melbourne take on North Melbourne for a spot in the Preliminary Final. The Demons failed to claim the minor premiership after a 25 point loss to Brisbane last week, meaning Melbourne have likely given up the right to host the Grand Final if the reigning premiers make it to the Grand Final.
Despite finishing third on the ladder, the Kangaroos are 0-3 against their fellow top four members, including a 23 point loss to Melbourne in Round 8 where they only managed two goals. Melbourne are the highest scoring team in the competition averaging 65 points per game, and are the number two ranked defensive side conceding just 29 points per game. Although the Roos are the best defensive team in the league, their work in the front half of the ground leaves a lot to be desired, averaging just 47 points per game.
Melbourne’s first loss of the season saw a resounding bounce back performance with a 70 point win in Round 7, and after being comprehensively outplayed for the first time in a long time, expect a fired up Melbourne outfit looking to send a statement on Sunday afternoon. As it was shown in Round 8 when these two sides met, the Kangaroos don’t have the attacking firepower to match with the Demons.
$1.87 (2 Units)