Friday August 25, 7:50PM AEST – Etihad Stadium

The Hawks are currently $2.16, yet the Betfair Model makes them $1.67 favourites against the Bulldogs. Both teams will be determined to farewell their champions in style but it’s hard to see Hawthorn not fighting ferociously for Luke Hodge’s final game. The Hawks were flat against the Blues last week and Alastair Clarkson rarely allows his team to produce that effort in consecutive weeks.

Hawthorn has also won the last six of seven against the Bulldogs. The only loss in that period was when the Bulldogs were on their way to a premiership, back when Easton Wood and Jake Stringer were causing headaches at both ends. Those two are out injured this week and Footscray haven’t found the 2016 finals form for long periods all year.

The Dogs are coming off consecutive losses and don’t deserve clear favouritism against the Hawks. Like the Betfair Model, we’re finding value in the Hawks at these odds.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Hawthorn

Brisbane Lions v North Melbourne

Saturday August 26, 2:10pm AEST – Gabba

The Roos have won six of their last eight against the Lions but recent history seems irrelevant in this wooden spoon deciding clash. North Melbourne are desperate for the season to finish, having been decimated by injury. They have 18 players on their injury list and will be in real trouble if two of their most influential players, Jack Ziebell and Jarrad Waite, don’t suit up.

Things just look more hopeful in Brisbane which hasn’t been the case for a decade. Dayne Beams is legitimately one of the best midfielders in the competition (65 disposals and seven goals in the last two games) and Dayne Zorko has been even better over the whole season. Their draft picks continue to improve and Chris Fagan’s culture brings optimism. The Lions have also started kicking goals, averaging over 14 across the last five games.

In a low win season, Brisbane have still managed to win by 30, 57 and 58 in Gabba victories so we like them to avoid the spoon and cover the line here.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Brisbane Lions –

Essendon v Fremantle

Sunday August 27, 1:10pm AEST – Etihad Stadium

The Fremantle demise has been lucrative recently and there’s no reason to think their form won’t continue. Back-to-back 104-point losses and now a trip to Melbourne to face a finals-bound Bomber outfit. We doubt Lachie Neale will be risked this week and we can’t see any other selection decision changing their fortune.

Essendon, despite losing their last four to Fremantle, are a dangerous side that has quietly won five of their last seven. They have one of the healthiest lists at this stage of the season and could be strengthened by Michael Hurley and Jobe Watson. Joe Daniher is capable of kicking a Coleman stealing bag and their midfield brigade has too much depth for Fyfe and the Hill brothers.

Not only that but there is a stark contrast in scoring power. Fremantle are the lowest scoring team in the league with Essendon the fourth best. That difference, current form and home ground advantage should see a decisive win under the dome.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Essendon –

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