AFL 2024 Season Winner Betting Preview – Odds, Tips & Predictions

James Salmon
AFL Betting Tips
AFL Premiership Winner 2024

It’s been a crazy old start to the 2024 AFL season, with both of last year’s Grand Finalists and the two comfortable Premiership favourite heading into this year going winless in their first three games. The result is an extremely tight betting market for the season’s Premier, with eight teams all jostling for spots at the top at $10 or less to win it all. On this page, we will take a look at how the season is panning out for each of those teams, and what their chances are of going all the way. 

Updated: 17 March, 2024

AFL 2024 Premiership Favourites

Greater Western Sydney Giants

The Giants have come a long way in less than a year. Close to halfway through last season they found themselves in the bottom four and seemingly a level or two below nearly every other team in the league, but they switched a flick in the back half of the year to storm into the finals and ultimately fall just one point short of what would have been the second Grand Final in the club’s history. Based on their first few weeks of 2024, they are a great chance of achieving that feat this year. They jumped out of the blocks with a comprehensive defeat of the team that beat them in last year’s Preliminary Final in the Pies, before following that up with a couple of easy kills over the Kangaroos and the Eagles. Subsequent wins over the Suns and Saints saw them undefeated after five games and sitting pretty atop the AFL ladder. Their fixture does admittedly get a little more difficult in the weeks to come, but the way they have been playing so far this week they will be very tough to beat even for their fellow Premiership contenders. The Giants have a great mix of experience and youth, with a lot of their top end talent having been around since the club’s inauguration – names like Toby Greene, Lachie Whitfield, Stephen Coniglio and Josh Kelly – balanced out by younger stars like Tom Green and Sam Taylor. Taylor is the star of what might just be the best backline in the league, but with a high quality midfield and plenty of dangerous forwards the Giants are also one of the most well-balanced sides out there. This team has talent littered all across the park, and is arguably as well-placed as they ever have been to win their first flag. 

  • What brings them here? Life under head coach Adam Kingsley started slowly last year, but since the mid-point of 2023 they have been one of the best teams in the league.   
  • What has changed? Not too much changed for the Giants in the offseason. Phil Davis and Daniel Lloyd both retired while Matt Flynn went to the Eagles as a free agent. Their inclusions were all draft picks.
  • Injury update: Stephen Coniglio and Sam Taylor will both miss the latter stages of April with a knee injury and concussion respectively, while Isaac Cumming is due back around the middle of May from a calf injury. 

Bet on the Giants to win the AFL Premiership @ $5.00 with PlayUp 

Sydney Swans

After making the Grand Final in 2022 and then missing the finals altogether last year, there was an element of unknown about the Swans entering this season. Over the first two weeks of the season, however, they quickly re-established themselves as a legitimate contender, knocking off first the Demons and then the Magpies in impressive fashion. Their first loss came surprisingly to the Tigers before they were pushed a little more than they would have liked the following week against the Eagles, but there is no denying the capability of this team. Isaac Heeney’s move into the midfield has seen him put his name in the ring as one of the best players in the league in the early parts of the season, leading a very talented midfield even in the absence of two of their most important players in Luke Parker and Callum Mills, while Errol Gulden continues to demonstrate he has the best shoe in the league as the beneficiary of his midfield’s grunt work. Their forward line is far from complete, with a number of young and still very much developing key position players holding down the fort, and it will be interesting to see how the likes of Joel Amartey and Hayden McLean manage later in the season. But the Swans look primed to win a whole lot of games this year, and if they can sew up a top four spot they will be a in a very good position to repeat their efforts of 2022 – and hopefully a little more. And with Parker and Mills still to come back, this team will likely only get better as the season goes on. 

  • What brings them here? It’s been an up and down couple of years for the Swans, but they look set to prove that last year’s regression was nothing more than a blip on the radar.
  • What has changed? The Swans had a number of significant retirements, none more so than Lance Franklin, who was joined in hanging up the boots by Tom Hickey and Paddy McCartin. Dylan Stephens was traded to the Kangaroos, but the Swans picked up a couple of big names in Taylor Adams and Brodie Grundy, as well as James Jordon and Joel Hamling. 
  • Injury update: Luke Parker is just about ready to return, as is Dane Rampe from a hamstring, but Callum Mills will be out for a couple more months with his shoulder injury. Angus Sheldrick and Sam Reid both have unclear timelines on their injuries.  

Bet on the Swans to win the AFL Premiership @ $6.50 with PlayUp 

Brisbane Lions

It’s testament to how tight the AFL is at the top that the footy world was so quick to jump off the Lions after a couple of early season losses. A team that looked like going deep into September all of last year, they ultimately ended up within a kick of their first flag since 2003 last year, and entered 2024 as a Premiership favourite alongside Collingwood and comfortably ahead of the chasing pack. Three losses to start the season, however, saw all of that change, even if they were all relatively competitive games against a couple of Premiership contenders and another finals contender. But an easy win against the Kangaroos in Round 4 might have been just the catalyst last year’s runners-up needed to get their season going. They followed up that 70-point win against the perennial cellar dwellers with their best performance of the season, coming away from the MCG with a 22-point win against the Demons which could easily have been a lot more. Their start to the season was obviously far from ideal and has put them up against it to make the top four, but on their day this team is as good as any in the league. As coach Chris Fagan said numerous times last year, though they have been towards the top of the ladder for a number of years, this is still a young team with plenty of scope for growth, and if they can end this season better than they were last year they will be very hard to stop. With the Gabba such a fortress – they didn’t lose there at all last year – it is not at all beyond the realms of possibility that they work their way into the top four by the end of the season, and from there they will be really hard to stop. It would be no surprise to see the Lions’ Premiership odds come in over the coming weeks as they recover from a slow start to the year. 

  • What brings them here? The Lions have been a contender for a long time, though last year was the first time during this run at the top that they made it through to the last day in September.
  • What has changed? Jack Gunston and Tom Fullarton were traded and Jack Gunston retired, while their ins included Tom Doedee from Adelaide and Brandon Ryan from Hawthorn.
  • Injury update: Doedee will unfortunately be on the injury list for a long time after suffering a partial tear of the ACL he ruptured last year, while Keidean Coleman is also out for the year following an ACL tear he suffered in Round 0. Will Ashcroft continues to recover from his own ACL tear and should be back in the latter stages of the year, while Zac Bailey will be out till around the end of May with an ankle injury.

Bet on the Lions to win the AFL Premiership @ $8.00 with GetSetBet 

Carlton Blues

Like that of the Giants, the Blues’ 2023 season was a tale of two halves. A dreadful patch through the beginning and mid-parts of the season saw them only beat West Coast over the course of more than two months, but in the latter stages of the year things finally began to click for the first time under Michael Voss and a run of thrilling finals wins saw them make their way through to a Preliminary Final. That set expectations very high for this year, and for good reason. A highly talented core led by the likes of Patrick Cripps, Jacob Weitering and Charlie Curnow – to name just a few – should really be winning a lot more games than they are losing, and with all those players sitting right in the primes of their careers they are as well-placed as they have been for a long time to challenge for a Premiership. They proved an uncanny ability to win close games late last year which was previously the domain of the Magpies, and that continued during their undefeated first month of this year in which they beat the Lions, Tigers and Dockers by ten points or less. At long last they found themselves on the wrong end of a close one when the Crows came from behind to beat them by two points in Round 5, but nonetheless it’s been a strong start to the season from the Blues. Question marks surrounding them invariably focus on their bottom six or so players, but with the incredible talent they have in their top seven or eight players, there is no doubting that this team is good enough to pose a legitimate Premiership threat. 

  • What brings them here? The Blues have loomed as an improver for many years, and last year it finally all came together. This year, they will be hoping to play the way they did in the back half of 2023 for the entirety of the season and secure a top four spot in the process.
  • What has changed? Ed Curnow and Lachie Plowman both retired, while Paddy Dow was traded to the Saints and Zac Fisher to the Kangaroos. Elijah Hollands was a good pick up in a trade with the Suns, while Orazio Fantasia was picked up as a free agent.
  • Injury update: Unfortunately the Blues have a pretty long injury list early in the season. Jack Silvagni will miss the season with an ACL tear, as will Sam Docherty. Jesse Motlop and Jack Martin are due back in late May from hamstrings, while Adam Cerra and Mitch McGovern should be back in early May. 

Bet on the Blues to win the AFL Premiership @ $8.00 with GetSetBet 

Melbourne Demons

The Demons are the forgotten contender in many ways, but write them off at your own peril. They have suffered four consecutive finals defeats which have seen them knocked out in straight sets in the past two years, as well as a tumultuous offseason, but the fact remains that this team has finished in the top four in each of the past three years. What’s more, their straight sets defeats last year were both very close games; they went agonisingly close to beating eventual Premiers in Collingwood in their Qualifying Final, before going down by less than a kick against a rampaging Blues side. They have still been as consistently good as any team in the league over the past few years, led by an elite midfield group of Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver, Christian Petracca and Jack Viney, as well as a terrific defence led by Steven May and Jake Lever. Their forward line has been and remains their weakest link, and though they do have plenty of talent down there in the form of Bayley Fritsch and Kysaiah Pickett, the absence of a quality key forward is a clear hole in their team. But they overcame that to win a Premiership in 2021, and there is no reason to think that they can’t do the same this year. They’ve enjoyed a relatively strong start to the season albeit with a couple of disappointing performances against quality teams, and look like one of the better value Premiership picks early in the season.

  • What brings them here? The Demons have been up the top of the ladder for a number of years, having won the flag in 2021 and then finished top four in each of the subsequent two years
  • What has changed? Angus Brayshaw’s concussion-related retirement on the eve of the season was a big blow for the Dees, while Michael Hibberd also retired, the Brodie Grundy experiment ended with the big man being traded to the Swans, and James Jordon and James Harmes were also traded. Jack Billings and Shane McAdam were solid inclusions from St. Kilda and Adelaide respectively, while Tom Fullarton adds some ruck depth after coming across from the Lions.
  • Injury update: Jake Melksham is due back from his ACL injury late in the year, while Jake Bowey and Christian Salem will both be out until around late May with a collarbone and hamstring injury respectively. Charlie Spargo is due back a week or so before that, while new recruits Marty Hore and Shane McAdam should be back in late April or early May.

Bet on the Demons to win the AFL Premiership @ $8.00 with GetSetBet 

Port Adelaide Power

The Power have been a consistent feature at the top of the AFL ladder in recent years, finishing in the top four in three of the past four seasons. But their failure to get past a Preliminary Final in that time has led to plenty of questions about the ability for this team to go all the way. Certainly there are holes in this team, but that’s the case for virtually every other side too, and they went a long way to covering them up in the off-season. The acquisition of Brandon Zerk-Thatcher and Esava Ratugolea addressed key needs for the Power, and though they aren’t individually superstars, they have, alongside Aliir Aliir, become the backbone of a much more imposing defence. Further up the ground, the midfield is this team’s clear strength, and the trio of Connor Rozee, Zak Butters and Jason Horne-Francis looks likely to be one of the best in the league for a long, long time to come. A trio each capable of breaking lines, kicking goals, and winning the ball both inside and out, they are already a tough group to stop even at their young age, while the likes of Ollie Wines and Willem Drew provide a more contested edge to an already very capable midfield group. The Power won four of their first five games of the season, with the only loss coming by just seven points in a very high quality game against the Demons, and look well-placed to contend for a top four spot once again in 2024. If they get there, and particularly if they manage to find their way into the top two, they are right in the Premiership hunt. 

  • What brings them here? The Power have been a top four side for much of the past four years, and with the continued development of their young midfield and a couple of savvy acquisitions in the off-season, they might be even better this year.
  • What has changed? As mentioned, the Power brought in Esava Ratugolea and Brandon Zerk-Thatcher in the offseason, while Ivan Soldo has stepped in as their number one ruck early in the year after coming across from Richmond. Tom Jonas and Scott Lycett both retired at the end of 2023, while Xavier Duursma was a big loss as he headed to Essendon in a trade.
  • Injury update: Quinton Narkle will miss an extended period with a navicular injury, while Ollie Lord is due back around mid-May from a leg injury. Overall, however, the Power are pretty healthy.

Bet on the Power to win the AFL Premiership @ $9.00 with GetSetBet 

Collingwood Magpies

It’s hard to believe that the Magpies are seventh in this market, but such is the closeness at the top of the AFL. The reigning Premiers and favourites to do it again coming into the season, three consecutive losses to start the year have put them on the back foot from the outset and see them overtaken by a host of teams for Premiership favouritism. But they appear to be righting the ship. An excellent win over the team they beat in last year’s Grand Final, the Lions, got them their first points of the season, and though they were far from convincing the following week they backed it up with a second in a row against the Hawks. With three losses already to their name they can’t afford to drop all that many more in the near future if they want to earn themselves the double chance, but while they have undoubtedly made it harder for themselves they are still more than good enough to get there. It’s always interesting to see how teams respond to winning the flag and those responses can vary quite dramatically, but the Magpies have been as clinical a team as any since Craig McRae took over as coach at the beginning of 2022. There is still a strong case that this is the best team in the league, and though they have not started like it, those losses have only served to extend their Premiership odds. They now look like one of the better value bets to win the flag at this point in the season.

  • What brings them here? Since Craig McRae took over, the Magpies have improved dramatically, and as the reigning Premiers are clearly in the mix again this year.
  • What has changed? Collingwood traded both Taylor Adams and Jack Ginnivan at the end of last year, though the acquisition of Lachie Schultz’ should help to offset the loss of the latter of them.
  • Injury update: Dan McStay will be unavailable until late in the season – if he is available at all – as he recovers from an ACL injury. Other than that, the Magpies don’t have too many major injuries to best 22 players.

Bet on the Magpies to win the AFL Premiership @ $10.00 with GetSetBet 

Geelong Cats

Geelong Cats AFL

Speaking of teams responding differently to winning flags, the Cats followed up their 2022 Premiership with a 12th-place finish last year, winning just ten games throughout the course of the year. With the advanced age of their list, that invariably led to many expecting their incredible reign in the upper echelon of the AFL ladder to be over, but as they have so many times before, they appear set to instead continue to defy the raft of equalisation measures in place across the AFL and continue to contend. They started the year with wins in their first five games, and though it certainly wasn’t the toughest draw of all time they did beat a number of teams that will be potentially competing for a spot in the finals. Through the end of April and early stages of May, however, things get a whole lot more difficult, and in a few weeks time we will likely have a much clearer picture of just how competitive this team can be in the Premiership race. Many of their former stars are well past their primes, but the likes of Patrick Dangerfield and Tom Hawkins are still excellent players, while they have arguably the best forward and the best defender in the game in Jeremy Cameron and Tom Stewart at each end of the field. Their midfield looks, on paper, like a clear weakness, but names like Max Holmes and Tanner Bruhn have continued to develop and are helping to disprove a lot of concerns about that part of the ground. As mentioned, the Cats are yet to play a legitimate contender at the time of writing and it won’t be until they have played a few that we have a true sense of whether they can again put themselves in the mix. But five wins in five games is a pretty good way to start the season, and has set them up nicely for a tilt at the top four this year. 

  • What brings them here? The Cats live in this conversation. They have been the most consistently competitive team in the AFL for well over a decade, making Preliminary Finals like they’re shelling peas in what is generally a very difficult league to remain at the top in.
  • What has changed? The Cats lost Norm Smith Medalist Isaac Smith to retirement while Jonathan Ceglar also hung up the boots, and Esava Ratugolea was traded to the Power. They didn’t acquire any major names, with their ins all via the drafts. 
  • Injury update: The Cats have a good looking injury list early in the season. Cam Guthrie is really the only best 22 player on it, and he is due back around the end of April/start of May.

Bet on the Cats to win the AFL Premiership @ $10.00 with GetSetBet 

Our Prediction

A clear top eight has established itself early in the season, and all eight of them have a good case as to why they can win the Premiership. A couple of those, however, stand out as the best value. The Demons look to me like a team that will likely shorten as the season wears on, but that’s even more true for the Magpies. Their start to the season has not been ideal, but the fact remains that they are the reigning Premiers and just a few short weeks ago were a relatively short-priced favourite to go back to back. A couple of bad weeks does not make a season, and though they have made it harder for themselves to finish top four, they’re still very capable of doing it and winning a second flag in as many years. 

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.

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