West Coast Eagles and Richmond Tigers predicted to make the AFL Finals
Realistically, two places remain in the AFL Finals ahead of Round 20 of the season and it is West Coast Eagles and Richmond Tigers who are being tipped to make the eight.
The Eagles, champions in 2018, and Tigers, who have won the Grand Final in 2017, 2019 and 2020, are the only two teams to be AFL premiership winners in the last four seasons.
But both have a fight on their hands to finish in the top eight this season after mixed runs of form from two of the heavyweight sides in the competition.
With the top six all but wrapped up with the Western Bulldogs, Geelong Cats, Melbourne Demons, Port Adelaide, Brisbane Lions and Sydney Swans all booked for September, the race is now on to join them in the finals.
With only the bottom three sides – Collingwood, Hawthorn and North Melbourne – out of the running, nine teams are battling for just two spots in the 2021 AFL Finals. Seven sides are going to be left disappointed, but who will they be? And who will we be seeing in September?
According to the latest betting tips, it is the two sides with recent premiership pedigree who will be making their way into elimination finals.
The Eagles are incredibly short and almost locked in, despite a disappointing run of results including a home defeat to bottom side North Melbourne. At odds of just $1.08, West Coast shouldn’t be missing the finals. At 10-8, they are two wins clear of the chasing pack.
That leaves just one realistic spot up for grabs on the ladder and 2019 grand finalists GWS Giants currently have their hands on eighth spot.
But Greater Western Sydney, who are 8-9-1 for the season and two points clear of ninth-placed Essendon Bombers, are $3.10 third favourites to hold onto their spot in the eight.
The Bombers, despite sitting ninth with an 8-10 record and playing an attractive brand of footy, are $4.25 to force their way into the finals spot.
It is reigning premiers Richmond who are most likely to claim that eighth spot. At $2.45, they are second favourites in the top eight finish markets with most bookmakers.
Damien Hardwick’s side have been a shadow of themselves this season, with a host of injury problems and an inability to string wins together. As a result, they find themselves in 10th spot at 8-10 and with an almighty scrap on their hands.
Fremantle Dockers ($8.00) and St Kilda ($8.00) are also 8-10 for the season and not yet done with. Both have decent claims to get inside the eight over the final rounds of the season.
Carlton have shown enough ability to think they could play finals footy, but again inconsistencies have cost them and left the Blues at 7-11. They are $26.00 to scrape into the eight.
Gold Coast Suns have never achieved a top-eight finish in their short history, and they are $101 to achieve it after another frustrating season for Stuart Dew’s men.
The Suns are 6-12, the same record as last year’s wooden spooners Adelaide Crows. The Crows are also $101 to make a late charge for the finals.