Ahead of the AFL’s night of nights, we take an in-depth look at the 2019 Brownlow Medal favourites, smokies and the markets to watch.

It’s that time of the year again. Red carpet, highlights packages and slightly cringe interviews. You know the drill. Amongst the glitz, glamour and gotcha shots surrounding Brownlow Medal night, there’s a football award to win. Luckily, that’s all we’re focusing on here. We’ll leave everything else to the fashionistas.

The favourites

In a market that has naturally fluctuated throughout the AFL season, one man who has remained a fancied chance for the duration of 2019 is Geelong star and outright Brownlow favourite Patrick Dangerfield ($2.60). Averaging 27 touches and over a goal per game, the Cats superstar goes in with a huge chance of taking Charlie home for the second time.

Next up is Brisbane in-and-under gun Lachie Neale who, quite simply, has racked up the numbers yet again in season 2019. Neale averaged 31 disposals over the course of the season and is currently priced as a $5 second-favourite with Palmerbet.

2015 winner Nat Fyfe and Western Bulldogs virtuoso Marcus Bontempelli are next at $6.50. The Bont made a huge run at the back half of the AFL season. He shortened almost weekly from $17 in round 15 all the way into his current Brownlow price. And if the coaches’ views are anything to go by, the Doggies star will be the man on Monday night…

Carlton skipper Patrick Cripps is next at $11. At the halfway mark of the season, Cripps shortened into the $4 favourite with Palmerbet following an incredible 38-disposal, four-goal haul against Brisbane in round 12 – a game he describes as his best ever. Shortly after, however, an injury saw him miss back-to-back games and, following that, some less influential games will mean he will struggle to poll. Don’t be surprised, however, if he polls strongly early on. In fact, Cripps is $5 with Palmerbet to be the count leader after round 10.

The only non-midfielder in the favourites bunch is Collingwood ruckman Brodie Grundy who, like in 2018, is fancied by some to become the first ruckman since Scott Wynd in 1992 to win a Brownlow medal. Currently at $15, could the Magpies machine do it? There remains significant questions over whether a ruckman can actually win the medal such is the midfield dominance of the award. Last year Grundy was superb, and went into the 2018 count similarly favoured amongst several experts. But he walked away with just 17 votes, far fewer than many expected.

The smokies

Collingwood midfielder Adam Treloar had a brilliant 2019 and finished the home-and-away season averaging 33.3 disposals. That number was the equal most in the AFL, alongside Bulldog Jack Macrae. And while Treloar is a somewhat outside chance at $21 to win the Brownlow, punters may look at other markets for the Pies ball winner. Such was his consistency throughout the season, his $8 price for ‘player to poll in the most games’ looks a shrewd bet.

Jack Macrae, ironically, is the next-best chance in the overall Brownlow market, currently $34 with Palmerbet. But it’s his ball-winning consistency that punters will look to for specific markets. In particular, Macrae is $3.75 to finish in the top-five. Where he may struggle, however, is votes taken from him via both Bontempelli and fellow ball magnet Josh Dunkley (currently $51).

Our final smokey is Tim Kelly ($51) who at one stage in the AFL season was the Brownlow Medal favourite. After round 10, Kelly was the $3 favourite with Palmerbet. But a poor back-end of the season saw him drop off. Unsurprisingly, however, he is the $1.60 favourite to be leading the count after 10 rounds.

Markets to watch

Much like the aforementioned round 10 leader, the ‘leader after round five’ market could prove really interesting. The usual suspects in Neale ($3 favourite), Cripps ($3.25) and Dangerfield ($4) lead the race in that one but don’t discount the Saints’ Jack Billings ($5.50) who started the year like a house on fire and may not have the ‘vote stealers’ within his ranks like the others.

If you’re looking for something a bit more left field, the seemingly close nature of this year’s count could bring into play the first joint-winners since 2012. As such, the ‘will there be a tie – yes’ market at $4 could lure in some punters.

Winning margin is another popular market for Brownlow night punters, and 1-2 votes remains the favourite at $1.75. For 3-4 votes you can get $3.50 while a 5-6 vote margin will return $10. If anything those market reveal we could be in for a close one.

Finally, Palmerbet is bringing footy tribalism into Brownlow night in the ‘Team to poll most votes’ market. Geelong are strong favourites in this one at $1.70 but don’t write off the Lions ($4.50) or Tigers ($8) who should poll strongly across the board.