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Round 22 in Review – Blues shortest price in years, Cats on the brink

Round 22 of the 2023 AFL season saw Carlton move into their shortest flag price in years, while the Cats and Dogs rue more missed chances.

Blues shortest flag price in a decade?

Even when Carlton shot out to 8-2 to commence last season, they were never this short…

The Blues’ EIGHTH win on the trot, this time against Melbourne in their most impressive victory yet, has seen them into $7.00 in Palmerbet’s flag market. It’s a figure that must now be their shortest premiership price in over a decade. Carlton ($2.45) were yet again superb against the Dees in perhaps the game of the season. It had all the hallmarks of an AFL final such was the last-quarter intensity. And while Melbourne ran over the Blues 12 months ago at this stage of the season to deny their September dreams, this time Michael Voss’ men were on the right side of the ledger.

While it appears they’ve left their Top 4 run just too late, make no mistake Carlton are AFL Premiership chances. Having not made finals since 2013, they’ve all but broken that drought, with games against Gold Coast and GWS to come. After a rollicking start to last season they got as short as $11 with Palmerbet to win the flag. Now, though, they’re significantly shorter and appear the real deal.

Jezza bag can’t help ailing Cats

Twenty four hours earlier at the MCG was a clash that similarly had the feeling of, albeit three weeks early, September footy. And if you had’ve told Geelong fans pre-match that their man Jeremy Cameron would walk off the ‘G with seven majors to his name ($21 pre-match to kick 6+), they would’ve been preparing for a happy drive back down the highway. As it turned out, though, it was anything but. And the reigning AFL premiers are now on the brink of missing the finals.

The Cats ($2.06) got the early jump on Collingwood on Friday night and, with the premiership favourites losing their skipper and arguably most important cog in Darcy Moore early (plus having lost their last two games), the writing was on the wall early. But a switch was flicked at quarter time, after which Craig McRae’s men steadily dominated. Not even some helpful umpiring, which aided Cameron’s bag, could help their cause.

Geelong have now lost three of their last four, keeping in mind they’ve finished inside the Top 8 in 15 of the last 16 AFL seasons. However they are now in the unenviable position of not only needing to win their remaining two games, but needing others results to fall their way.

Dogs miss golden chance

With the Top 4 all but sealed, attention is firmly fixed on a log-jammed mid-table with the Top 8 battle set to go down to the wire. And it doesn’t require a close look to conclude that the Western Bulldogs missed a golden chance this weekend.

With West Coast to come in Round 23 — as close in modern AFL footy as you can get to a guaranteed victory such is the current state of the Eagles — before a far tougher prospect in Geelong to round out the home and away season, Luke Beveridge’s men knew four points on Sunday against Hawthorn would all but seal their September spot. Starting as $1.48 favourites and jumping to an early 20-point lead, things appeared to be going to plan. But the Hawks ($2.50) chipped their way back, running over the Dogs. The result has huge ramifications for their finals hopes. And while they’re still back to remain in the eight, some have already questioned how a list this talented was has failed to gather any real momentum.



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