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Round 17 Review – Blues alive, Daicos stamps authority

Round 17 of the 2023 AFL season saw Carlton keep their faint finals hopes alive, Nick Daicos stamp his authority, and a surprise performer signal his return. 

Carlton keep finals hopes alive

Whisper it, but do Carlton have a heartbeat in 2023?

The Blues completely outclassed Fremantle as $2.10 outsiders to round out the weekend in the west, crushing the home side by 53 points in a huge swing on the pre-game line. Unsurprisingly, it was twin towers Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay that drove the Carlton charge, finishing with three majors apiece ($1.89 and $3.70 respectively pre-game with Palmerbet). The win, their third in a row, propelled Michael Voss’ side from 15th into 11th on the AFL ladder. Most interestingly, the Blues coach said in the post-match it was about paring their game plan back to the basics. “We’ve no doubt simplified it significantly and the boys have enjoyed that and certainly bought into it. As a result, we’re obviously playing some better footy,” he said.

Three weeks ago, prior to 50+ wins over the Suns, Hawks and now Dockers, Carlton were all but done in AFL season 2023, out to $15 Top 8 hopes with Palmerbet. Now, though, things have changed. And while they’re still outsiders to make their first finals series in a decade given the mid-ladder logjam that currently exists, the Blues are into $5.00 to squeeze into the Top 8.

Daicos breaks barrier

For the first time in 2023, our Brownlow Medal favourite is better than evens. A Nick Daicos masterclass on Friday night sent tongues wagging yet again and forced the footy world to remind itself that yes, the Collingwood star is only in his second year of AFL footy. The 20-year-old amassed 29 disposals, two goals, 15 contested possessions, 11 clearances and six tackles to drive the Pies ($1.51 favourites) to a 12-point win over the Dogs to not only maintain their top spot on the ladder but shorten their premiership price with Palmerbet into $3.00. Daicos, unsurprisingly, claimed the Bob Rose-Charlie Sutton Medal. And on the back of it, he went under $2.00 in the Brownlow market for the first time in 2023. He is now $1.90 to take home the league’s most coveted individual prize in September.

Here’s a look at how his Brownlow price has come down throughout AFL season 2023:

  • Pre-season: $34
  • After Round 1: $17
  • After Round 2: $7.50
  • After Round 4: $4.20
  • After Round 8: $2.40
  • After Round 12: $2.40
  • After Round 14: $2.80
  • After Round 17: $1.90

Jack’s back

A surprising contender for performance of the round.

Just three weeks ago, Lions veteran Jack Gunston pulled himself (alongside Daniel Rich) out of contention for senior selection, telling coach Chris Fagan he was unhappy with his fitness levels. He committed to a “training block” to get himself ready for a September tilt. Prior to the weekend’s clash against West Coast, an injury to forward Callum Ah Chee paved the way for Gunston’s return. And, while it was only against the hapless Eagles, Gunston signalled his return with a bang. Having kicked six goals in his last eight AFL games, Gunston wound back the clock to boot six in one afternoon. The former Hawk was $34 with Palmerbet to kick 6+ pre-game.

The Lions ran out 81-point winners but, such is the low exceptions on the Eagles right now, did not manage to cover the pre-game line of -84.5 points.

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