Round 23 of the AFL season saw the Dogs hold onto the last available spot for the finals, while an upset in the west spectacularly knocked the Eagles out of the top four.
Here’s how it looked for punters:
Finals locked and loaded
In the end, things went to script. The Western Bulldogs were strong $1.30 chances to finish inside the top eight before round 23, and sealed their spot via a dispatching of the Crows in Ballarat. The Dogs now head north to Sydney to face the Giants in the first week of the finals, having won eight of their last 11 AFL games. And they go with confidence. It was only a week ago, after all, that Luke Beveridge’s side smashed GWS to the tune of ten goals. The Dogs are $15 outsiders to win the flag, but as we analysed last week, are they the pre-finals roughy to jump on?
— AFL (@AFL) August 25, 2019
Swings and roundabouts. Pre-finals bye was a huge plus for Bulldogs in 2016. Suspect this season they could probably do without it. #AFLDogsCrows
— Rohan Connolly (@rohan_connolly) August 25, 2019
Four-time premiership coach Alastair Clarkson is used to having a big impact on the AFL environment in September. But while his Hawthorn side won’t be there this season – falling one game short of the top eight – they certainly had a their say on proceedings on Saturday night against West Coast. Going into the game as $1.25 favourites with Palmerbet, the Eagles knew a win would seal a top four spot and with it, the all important double chance. As it turned out, however, they were completely outclassed on home soil, going down by 38 points. Adam Simpson’s side are now faced with an elimination final rather than a qualifying final, and after the loss slipped from $4.20 AFL premiership chances out to $10.
Clarko charged at @XaviEllis18.
— 7AFL (@7AFL) August 24, 2019
Tiger train rolls on
In defeating the Lions on Sunday afternoon, Richmond secured their spot in the top four. The win also saw their AFL premiership favouritism with Palmerbet shorten from $3.50 to $3. As it turns out, they head to The Gabba for the first week of the finals to face the same exciting Brisbane side who were outclassed at the MCG. Back up north, however, it could be a different story. The loss saw Brisbane’s flag hopes slightly lengthen from $4.80 to $6.50.
Lyon: "Who have you got playing off in the Grand Final?"
Watson: "I've got the Cats and the Tigers."
— Garry and Tim (@SENBreakfast) August 25, 2019
Definitely some stage fright for Brisbane on the big stage. Need to contain the damage. Richmond has been outstanding, however. #aflTigersLions
— Ashley Browne (@hashbrowne) August 25, 2019
It was a huge weekend for some of the 2019 AFL Brownlow Medal favourites. At the cattery, Patrick Dangerfield (34 disposals, four goals) ensured he will go into football’s night of nights as the $2.50 favourite after an outstanding performance. In Ballarat Marcus Bontempelli (31 disposals, one goal) put on another clinic, moving him into a $7 chance. And at the MCG, Lachie Neale raised the bat, collecting an astonishing 51 touches to go into $6. Who is your money on?
What a game from Patrick Dangerfield!
He is our @MetriconHomes
Stats Man for Round 23.
Will he win the Brownlow Medal? pic.twitter.com/dePpBIVhuR
— AFL Nation (@AFLNation) August 25, 2019
I reckon Lachie Neale won the Brownlow today.
— Sam McClure (@sam_mcclure) August 25, 2019