Your 2020 Brownlow Odds & Preview

With the 2020 AFL season just around the corner, it’s time for a look at the 2020 Brownlow odds and the key contenders.

The Analysts are back again with their Brownlow preview for the 2020 season, hoping to find another winner after picking Nat Fyfe as their equal-top selection in the 2019 season.

Be sure to check out the Betfair Hub across the 2020 AFL season for more Brownlow predictions content, as well as weekly game tips and our AFL Model.


Introduction

One can only watch the Big Bash for so long. What feels like an eternity, the summer of the mediocre sports is over. The real stuff is back!

For us, it’s been a summer of reflection. Confidence took a massive hit on Brownlow night when our projections got off to a start more likened to a 2018 Moonee Valley Chautauqua jump out. Cripps and Fyfe were out the gate early leaving ours and industry-wide predictions in their wake. For us, however, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. We managed to find Nat Fyfe pre-season with 30% of our staking strategy dedicated to the Fremantle superstar:

1.5 units – Nathan Fyfe ($7.6 – $8.2) – Can his body hold up? Can he keep the elbows down? Gritting our teeth, but last year’s preview we still think rings true “take with a grain of Salt but injury free, here’s your winner”. Was the leader after round 5 & 10 last year polling five 3 vote games and one 2 vote game. If Fremantle can snare enough wins at home and keep the captain interested and on the park until the end of the season, then he’s the one to beat.

Enough of the head-wobble though because we did miss his final number by an impressive nine votes. All is forgotten, however, and onto 2020 we go!

It shapes as being one of the most hotly contested years of the modern era where any one of 10 sides have a genuine claim on winning the flag, and with the rise and rise of genuine young superstars in the game, the list of potential Brownlow winners is just as stacked.

What was once an award for a midfielder from a top 8 side now seems that little bit more open. There’s a ruckman out there who can average 23+ disposals and 42 hitouts a game. A midfielder that despite recording only the six wins for the season, polled 26 votes. And not to be outdone, 2019’s winner came from a side finishing 13th on the ladder.

Without further ado, it’s time to breakdown the contenders and some of the diamonds in the rough.


Market Top 8

Patrick Cripps ($6 – $8) – Requires a bet. Worthy of a big bet. The AFLPA MVP award winner of 2019 looks the obvious choice this far out and rightly so. Breaking down his numbers, it’s not hard to see why. In 2018 he equalled the record for most votes in losing games in a season with nine, combined with a staggering 54.1% of Carlton’s total votes – 5th highest of all-time.

Not one to rest on his laurels, in 2019 Cripps managed to collect votes in 55% of games played, polling 13 of a possible 15 votes by round five and becoming the first player to do so in the modern era. The star Blue has played in only eight wins across the 2018/19 seasons and in 2020 the mighty Blues are in for 8.5 wins. Avoid injury and he can win it comfortably.

Nathan Fyfe ($7 – $8.60) – Has now become the most prolific Brownlow Medal vote-getter of all time. In 162 H&A games, Fyfe has polled 174 votes, which equates to 1.07 votes every time he walks on the ground. A back-to-back Brownlow Medal winner from a team that misses the eight both years though? He’s obviously good enough but not interested at the short price. Surely, he’s due to be suspended as well!

Patrick Dangerfield ($8.40 – $11) – Had him as the winner coming into the 2019 count. Landed one off our number but that wasn’t enough, finishing a worthy second. Four Best and Fairest awards in five years plus a Brownlow is evidence enough that he’s not to be taken lightly. Arguably the most consistent player in the comp over the past five years and with an uninterrupted pre-season coupled with a Tim Kelly-free midfield, he’s worth another bet.

Dustin Martin ($7.20 – $11) – Quite the resume when breaking down his last four years – that good, in fact, that in 30 of his last 85 games played (home & away and finals – coaches votes) he’s been voted BOG. Obviously a proven big-game player but we’re looking elsewhere in 2020. The Tigers can comfortably reach the top 4 in second gear, opening the door for Dusty to have a week or two in cotton wool and workload managed. With no confidence whatsoever, we’re passing.

Tom Mitchell ($11.50 – $15) – At the time of writing we still didn’t have a confirmed date around when he’ll be fit to play. Integrated back into full-game play in late January which seems to suggest he’s on track for Round 1, however, it would take a colossal effort to win a Brownlow coming off such a serious injury. Not for us.

Lachie Neale ($11-20) – If he can recreate his 2019 stat line, he’s a contender. History shows 20+ games/30 possessions, 15-20+ goals a season, a positive +/- Free kick differential, 6+ clearances a game and coming from a top 8 side are key metrics for a Charlie winner. In 2019 he fell short only of the 15-20+ goals, averaging 0.5 a game. Umpires remember goal-kicking midfielders and Lachie needs to find another half dozen.

Tim Kelly ($15-19) – He had Danger to contend with for votes in 2019. 2020 presents an even harder challenge jostling for a key role in an already star-studded midfield. Kelly is a proven goalkicker who now benefits from the game’s best tap ruckman, but without a sample-size of what his role looks like, we’re looking elsewhere.

Marcus Bontempelli ($20-29) – Hard not to consider. Disposal count always the concern but the way his numbers have been trending the past three years, a 28+ avg in 2020 is not out of the question. If he can find his one-goal average form of 2016-18 to complement the disposals, then look out.


The Value

Stephen Coniglio ($26+) – Remove the game he went down with a knee injury in the opening minutes vs Richmond and he averaged 1.21 votes per game in 2019 which was only bettered by Fyfe, Danger and Cripps. Has a Dane Swan-type game style of accumulation over efficiency with the ability to kick 3+goals in a game, doing so three times in 2019. Whitfield and Kelly not only receive more attention from taggers than Coniglio but also don’t have the ability to move forward and shake tags kicking goals. Want to see how he looks after injury in a few practice games but if he’s moving free, he’s worth a bite at odds.

Shaun Higgins ($81-100/ Top 3 $26) – Dig a little deeper and he could be the value at big odds. When looking at his 2019 season removing his injury it has piqued our interest. Without the three-possession AC joint game, he averaged 1.13 votes per game (sixth-highest average) in 2019 and polled in 56% of games played (third-highest percentage in the Top 20). In what was an unsuccessful year at club level, the smooth viewer was still noticed by the umpires. If the Kangaroos can find a few more wins, he could be worth a peanut.


Five-unit Betting Strategy

 BACK – Patrick Cripps for 3 units

 BACK – Patrick Dangerfield for 1 unit

 BACK – Stephen Coniglio for 0.5 units

 BACK – Shaun Higgins for 0.5 units


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