Ahead of the AFL’s biggest day, we take an in-depth look at five key questions set to define which team will be holding the 2019 Premiership cup aloft.
1. Will Toby shine on the biggest stage?
No man has been spoken about more this AFL Finals series than Giants star Toby Greene. He’s done everything this September, and the cameras have followed his every move. Some would say too closely, others not closely enough. We saw him almost unable to watch in the final stages of the preliminary final, and for good reason. His absence could have played a part in the Giants mission the Grand Final. As it turns out, they held on, and he now has a huge chance to win a flag with his club. Greene is currently $2.80 to kick two or more goals on Saturday afternoon, and $8.50 for three-plus. If you fancy him to take out the Norm Smith medal, he’s currently at $12.
— GWS GIANTS (@GWSGIANTS) September 22, 2019
2. Can de Boer shut down Dusty again?
A key pillar of the Giants’ hard, tough brand of footy is tagger Matt de Boer, who has racked up a number of huge scalps in AFL season 2019. Cripps, Bontempelli, Neale, Kelly, Pendlebury – they’ve all been kept quiet by the shutdown king. Another name you can add to that list is Dustin Martin, who de Boer kept to just 15 touches in round three. But, presuming he goes to the Tigers’ superstar, how many will he keep him to in the Grand Final? You’ll remember the last time Martin took to the field on that last Saturday in September, he walked off a Norm Smith medalist. Palmerbet’s disposal market for Martin is (currently) as follows:
- 20 or more disposals: $1.62
- 25 or more disposals: $3.20
- 30 or more disposals: $8.00
Matt de Boer's hard tag in Round 3 triggered a Dustin Martin meltdown. Who wins round 2?
— SuperFooty (AFL) (@superfooty) September 21, 2019
3. Can this be the forwards’ Grand Final?
Grand Finals invariably have elite talent at both ends of the ground, but this year might be extra special. With a seemingly unstoppable Tom Lynch partnering Jack Riewoldt at one end (plus the pinch-hitting Martin), and Coleman medalist Jeremy Cameron playing with Greene and Jeremy Finlayson at the other, we’re set for a classic. Here are Palmerbet’s current prices for the aforementioned players to kick three or more goals:
- Lynch (RICH): $2.00
- Cameron (GWS): $2.88
- Riewoldt (RICH): $3.20
- Martin (RICH): $4.33
- Greene (GWS): $8.50
- Finlayson (GWS): $9.00
This is why the Tigers wanted Tom Lynch, and why Tom Lynch wanted the Tigers. https://t.co/MktnoYYgU3
— AFL (@AFL) September 20, 2019
4. Will the low-scoring Grand Final trend be bucked?
Naturally, the first thing punters look for when assessing the ‘total score’ market is the weather. And Saturday afternoon is forecast to be a dry affair – so a tick on that front. The last Saturday in September, as we know, tends to be a lower scoring affair. The last four AFL Grand Finals have all returned less than 170 points and as such, Palmerbet’s current total score line is at 152.5. Both sides, however, average 87 points a game in season 2019. And while the biggest game of the year brings with it a higher pressure game than usual, could the aforementioned forward line talent see the low-scoring trend change?
5. What impact will previous results have?
In the 2017 preliminary final, the Tigers beat up the Giants to the tune of six goals. On perhaps the biggest stage GWS had played on to date, they succumbed to the Richmond crowd and pressure. But according to Matthew Lloyd the impact of that result will matter little when the two teams run out on Saturday. The former Essendon great told Access All Areas they’re now a ‘totally different side’. Not only have the Giants shown against Collingwood that they can perform on the MCG in front of a huge crowd, they have actually beaten the Tigers twice in their last three meetings. Nevertheless, they’re still currently $3.12 outsiders with Palmerbet, with the more fancied Richmond holding firm at $1.37.
— 7AFL (@7AFL) September 24, 2019