James Salmon
James Salmon
AFL Betting Tips
coleman medal
AFL Coleman Medal Winner 2023

Last year’s Coleman Medal race saw just five goals separate the top three players, with Charlie Curnow ending victorious having booted 64 for the year. With one round to go in season 2023, both he and Taylor Walker have well and truly surpassed that, while Nick Larkey will likely do so in the final round if he plays and Toby Greene, Jeremy Cameron and a couple of others won’t be too far behind. But with the season nearing an end, the Coleman Medal is Charlie Curnow’s to lose, and Walker is the only man who can realistically catch him. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the race is shaping up with one round to go, and if it’s possible for Tex Walker to chase him down at long odds.

Updated: 23 August 2023

AFL 2023 Coleman Medal Winner Odds

Favourites to win the 2023 Coleman Medal

Charlie Curnow (Carlton Blues)

Charlie Curnow has been at the head of this pack throughout the course of the year. Initially he was virtually head to head with Jeremy Cameron, but he pulled away from the Cats’ star a while ago and it’s since been Tex Walker looking like the best chance of catching him. Curnow’s goalkicking form, however, has rarely waned, making it very difficult for anyone to catch up with him. He’s established himself as one of the best players in the competition for more than just his goalkicking, but it’s no doubt been a primary reason for the Blues’ incredible turnaround in the back half of the year that they have the most prolific scorer in the game.

After booting 16 goals in Rounds 19 and 20 to re-establish a comfortable lead at the top of the Coleman Medal tally, he kicked just three in Rounds 21 and 22, and with two weeks to go in the season had a lead of five over Taylor Walker, and with Harry McKay coming back into the team there was always the prospect that he wouldn’t quite have access to the big bags which have been so synonymous with him this season over the past fortnight of the year. In Round 23 against the Suns, he went and booted five, all but putting a full stop on this market heading into the last round.

With one match to go he now has an eight goal lead on Walker in second and a 13 goal lead on Larkey in third, so it would take a massive bag from Tex to catch him. The Crows are, however, playing the Eagles, against whom Walker kicked ten last time round, but nonetheless it seems unlikely that anyone but Charlie will be winning this award. His odds are virtually non-existent, though, and you’ll get not much better than bank interest for punting on him to win.   

Bet on Charlie Curnow to win the Coleman Medal at $1.01

Taylor Walker (Adelaide Crows)

Heading into the final round of the season, Taylor Walker is the only man who can catch Charlie Curnow in the Coleman Medal race, but it will take a serious effort from the 33-year-old. Already he’s defied plenty of expectations this season – his 15th in the AFL – booting the highest tally of his illustrious career. At his age that is some effort, and it would be the icing on his individual cake if he can come from the clouds to snatch the Coleman Medal.

As mentioned above, however, he faces an eight-goal deficit on Curnow with just a week to go. Curnow has kicked a goal every game this year and multiple goals on all but two occasions, so it’s safe to assume Tex will need a double-figure tally to chase him down, and Curnow could easily put it out of reach with a bag of his own. If he does kick just a goal or two, the ten Tex needs to win is still very unlikely, though there is a big but. The Crows face the Eagles in Round 24, against whom 100-point margins have been sadly commonplace and who Tex kicked ten against just five weeks ago. This gives just the slightest of chances to Tex.

There are, however, a few caveats. Firstly, the Eagles are actually coming off an incredible win against the Dogs, and also beat the Roos a month ago. With a few of their better players returning from injury, they’re not quite the guaranteed percentage booster they were a little while ago, though they did still lose to the Dockers by 101 points three weeks ago. West Coast will also be farewelling a couple of Premiership heroes, which one would imagine might give them that little bit of extra motivation – something the Crows might be lacking.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve likely heard of the goal umpiring controversy which likely cost the Crows the game last week against the Swans, and with it their finals chances. As a result of that incorrect decision, Adelaide can’t make the finals no matter what happens this week. Motivation will no doubt be a little harder to come by than it would have if a finals spot was on the line, meaning the 122-point win they enjoyed in Round 13 won’t likely be repeated. 

Of course, Walker also has to play. With their season over there is the possibility that the Crows will opt to rest a few of their stars for what is essentially a dead rubber, and at 33 years of age Walker might be near the top of the list. So it’s safe to say it’s not going to be easy, hence the long odds. Hopefully for interest’s sake he does play and boots ten again, meaning the Coleman Medal race will come down to the last game of the season when the Blues play the Giants, but that is very unlikely.

Bet on Taylor Walker to win the Coleman Medal at $15.00

Our Prediction

There’s not a whole lot of value to be had on Charlie Curnow at $1.01, but it’s for good reason. It’s not completely beyond the realms of possibility that Walker kicks a huge haul, but the prospect of him potentially not playing throws a spanner in the works and even if he does play, making up an eight-goal gap on Curnow in one week is highly unlikely. There may not be a great deal of point in punting on the Carlton star to win at this point, but he’s almost certainly going to win the Coleman Medal.

Bet on Charlie Curnow to Win the 2023 Coleman Medal

James is a sports writer from Melbourne, and has contributed to a variety of publications covering a range of sports including basketball, cricket, Australian Rules, golf and surfing to name a few. An avid fan of all of the above and more, James’ downtime is spent falling ungracefully off his surfboard, turning over footies and playing an out of tune guitar.