AFL 2024 Least Wins Wooden Spoon Betting – Odds, Tips & Predictions

By: James Salmon
AFL Betting Tips
AFL Wooden Spoons 2024
AFL 2024 Least Wins Wooden Spoon Betting

For the most part, the AFL is as equal as it has ever been, with a huge number of teams legitimately in the Premiership hunt and the vast majority capable of playing finals. But things aren’t quite so equal at the bottom end of the ladder. Just a handful of teams remain as realistic chances to win the Wooden Spoon, and with the Eagles finally showing some signs of improvement, the Kangaroos have jumped out to clear favouritism in the least wins market early in the season. On this page, we’ll take a look at their chances of finishing on the bottom, as well as those for the other teams who still have a chance of earning the most unwanted award in the AFL. 

Updated: 26 April 2024

 

AFL 2024 Wooden Spoon Odds

AFL 2024 Wooden Spoon Favourites

North Melbourne Kangaroos

The Kangaroos have not won more than four games in a season since 2019, and based on what they have shown in the early stages of this year, that won’t be changing any time soon. After winning their last game of last season to take their record to 3-20 and missing out on Harley Reid in the process, there was an expectation that they would show some, even if minor, improvement this season. They are beginning to develop some decent young players, with the likes of George Wardlaw, Nick Larkey and Luke Davies-Uniacke – the latter admittedly not quite so young – trying to drag this team off the bottom of the ladder. But their start to the year could hardly have been worse. They were reasonably competitive in their first two games against decent opposition, losing by 39 points to the Giants and then 26 to the Dockers, but things got progressively worse from there. Four consecutive losses by at least 55 points followed, and while the first three of those were during a tough stretch of games which saw them take on the Blues, Lions and Cats, the last of them was a 113-68 defeat at the hands of a Hawthorn side which had also not won a game at that point. They were never going to be a good team this year, but they would have been hoping to be a lot more competitive than they were over the first six weeks of the year, and with the Eagles displaying marked progression after a slow start during the first couple of weeks, the Roos are now an almost unbackable favourite to finish on the bottom of the ladder. At such short odds it’s hard to justify betting on them in this market, but they are short odds for a reason and at this stage, it’s hard to see them tearing themselves off bottom spot on the ladder. 

  • What brings them here? Years and years of mediocrity both on and off the field have seen the Kangaroos mired to the bottom of the ladder for years, and though they have some talent at their disposal that doesn’t look likely to change just yet.  
  • What has changed? The Kangaroos lost a couple of club stalwarts in Jack Ziebell and Ben Cunnington to retirement at the end of last year, while Todd Goldstein and Ben McKay headed to Essendon via free agency. Zac Fisher and Dylan Stephens were traded in from Carlton and Sydney respectively, while Zane Duursma and Colby McKercher were a couple of high draft picks who they snared. 
  • Injury update: Callum Coleman-Jones and Josh Goater are both out for the season with Achilles injuries, while Griffin Logue will be out until June with his knee injury.  

Bet on North Melbourne Kangaroos to win the Wooden Spoon at $1.25 with PlayUp

Richmond Tigers

It’s been a relatively rapid fall from grace for the Tigers, who entered last year as one of the Premiership favourites but now find themselves second in the betting to finish on the bottom of the ladder this year. It became clear relatively rapidly last year that any Premiership expectations that may have been placed on them heading into the season were not realistic ones, and they ended up in 13th place with ten wins. This year marked the beginning of the Adem Yze era and with a reasonable amount of talent at their disposal, there was still some hope they could avoid completely bottoming out. Unfortunately, they have been completely ravaged by injury. Realistically any team suffering the injuries that they have – both in terms of quantity and the quality of players who have suffered them – would struggle, but particularly for a transitioning team trying to remain competitive as they turn over their list the losses have been too significant to overcome. They fought valiantly early in the season, very nearly beating the Blues and Saints and knocking off the Swans, but a couple of heftier losses followed, the first of which was at the hands of the West Coast Eagles. Under Yze they are much improved in contested ball even with a number of their best inside players injured, and that’s helping them to remain competitive even against teams who they are clearly outpointed against from a talent perspective. But what is proving difficult is maintaining that for four quarters. With their team in its current state it’s likely that the Tigers will continue to cause a few headaches for most teams without actually winning all that much, and that could see them right in the mix to finish on the bottom of the ladder. But as the season goes on, a number of their injured stars will begin to find their way back onto the park. With the likes of Tom Lynch, Tim Taranto, Dion Prestia and Noah Balta playing this is not a Wooden Spoon side, and though most of them are out for at least the medium term, they should be able to lead the Tiges to enough wins in the back half of the year to avoid bottom spot. If injuries persist, however, this season will be a very long one for this young Richmond side. 

  • What brings them here? After decades of mediocrity, the Tigers formed a dynasty over the latter stages of last decade. But all good things must come to an end, and compounded by a shocking injury list, the Tigers have tumbled quickly down the ladder. 
     
  • What has changed? Adem Yze has come in as coach, while Sam Naismith was brought across as a free agent from the Swans, Jacob Koschitzke traded from the Hawks, and Mykelti Lefau picked up as an SSP. Premiership heroes Trent Cotchin and Jack Riewoldt hung up the boots after illustrious careers as did Robbie Tarrant, while Ivan Soldo was traded to the Power.
  • Injury update: Where to start? Josh Gibcus and Judson Clarke are both out for the season with ACL tears, while Tom Lynch, Jack Ross and Tim Taranto are somewhere in the vicinity of two months away with their injuries. Each of Noah Balta, Dion Prestia and Jayden Short are inching closer to a return and should be back in early May, as should young forward Jacob Bauer. Jacob Hopper injured a hamstring in his first game back from another injury against Melbourne, though the severity is yet to be confirmed at the time of writing.

Bet on Richmond Tigers to win the Wooden Spoon at $7.00 with PlayUp

Hawthorn Hawks

The Hawks have won eight games of less in each of their past four seasons and last year’s seven-win total was one less than the year prior, but there was still plenty of scope for optimism entering 2024. They improved significantly over the course of last year, losing eight of their first nine games before going a much more respectable 6-8 over the remainder, with wins over both eventual Grand Finalists in the Lions and Magpies during that time particularly impressive. They have a lot of talented young players at their disposal, their backline particularly capable when everyone is fit and well, Mitch Lewis a potential star up forward and a number of quality midfielders, but the early signs in 2024 is that the hype surrounding them following a couple of those wins late last year is a little premature. They lost each of their first five games in varying fashion; a couple were super disappointing, such as their nine-goal losses to both the Demons and the Suns, but they were reasonably good against the Bombers in Round 1 and showed plenty when coming back to lose by just five points against the Pies in Round 4. They also finally got their first win of the season in Round 6 when they annihilated the Kangaroos to the tune of 55 points, and that game was probably a good indication of the fact that even if they have struggled early this year, they are a hell of a lot better than the Wooden Spoon favourites. Given that fact they should be expecting to stay well away from the bottom of the ladder this season, at least from a wins perspective. It would be no surprise to see the Hawks do something similar to what they did last year and beat a couple of good teams unexpectedly, and that alone would likely be enough to keep them at least ahead of the Kangaroos. They may not surpass that eight-win number which has proven such a barrier for them over the past four years, but they should be good enough to avoid the Wooden Spoon. 

  • What brings them here? The Hawks have been struggling to work their way back up the ladder for a number of years now, and still appear to be a little way off getting back into finals contention. 
  • What has changed? The Hawks traded a few fringe players in the off-season, with Tyler Brockman, Jacob Koschitzke and Brandon Ryan all finding new homes. Massimo D’Ambrosio, Mabior Chol, Jack Ginnivan and Premiership star Jack Gunston were all traded in. 
  • Injury update: The Hawks have had a few significant injuries to deal with early in the year which haven’t helped their cause. Chad Wingard is nearing a return from the Achilles injury he suffered late last year, while Changkuoth Jiath, Denver Grainger-Barass and Luke Breust are also getting close. James Blanck is out for the season with an ACL tear, while Mitch Lewis has missed a few games due to a knee injury.

Bet on Hawthorn Hawks to win the Wooden Spoon at $10.00 with PlayUp

West Coast Eagles

Who would have thought the Eagles would have managed to climb their way out to $10 odds to finish on the bottom of the ladder by this stage in the year? Over the last two years, they have been quite literally one of the worst teams in the history of the league, with a pretty poor list made substantially worse by a terrible injury list, and the result was a season which yielded just three wins and a ridiculous percentage of 53.03 following on from a two-win, 59.82% season in 2022. That also yielded them Harley Reid, last year’s much-hyped number one pick who looks every bit as good as advertised and then some, and he, alongside the renewed form of a couple of their older players and the development of a few younger ones, have apparently finally made them a competitive team. It didn’t look that way early in the year, with three consecutive 50+ defeats – and getting progressively heavier each week – to start the season, but a competitive effort against the Swans in Gather Round seems to have been a turning point. They followed that up with a really comfortable win against the injury-ravaged Tigers in which Elliot Yeo and Harley Reid dominated, before they backed that up with an even performance the week after in the Western Derby, beating the Dockers by 37 points. How long that stretch of form will last is anyone’s guess, and given that just three weeks prior to writing they were still widely viewed as a disaster means it’s hard to trust that they are going to maintain this improvement for all that long. But the signs are there that the tide is finally turning, and what’s more, those two wins may well mean that they only need one or two more over the rest of the season in order to avoid finishing on the bottom of the ladder. If you’re looking for a longer odds bet in this market the Eagles may well be the best way to go given how poor they’ve been over the past couple of years, but based on their past few weeks of form, the Eagles look to be finally ready to tear themselves off the bottom of the ladder. 

  • What brings them here? Since winning the flag in 2018 the Eagles have gradually slumped down the ladder, and a poorly balanced list with a bunch of aging veterans past their prime and a whole lot of youngsters was exposed through lots of injuries in the past couple of years.  
  • What has changed? Nic Naitanui retired, though he was injured last year anyway, as did Luke Shuey and Shannon Hurn. Tyler Brockman was traded across from the Hawks, but the biggest acquisition for the Eagles was number one draft pick Harley Reid. 
  • Injury update: For once the Eagles’ injury list doesn’t look too bad, though there are a couple of very important names on it. Captain Oscar Allen is out until June with a knee injury, while Rhett Bazzo, Matt Flynn and Callum Jamieson are due back a little earlier. Elijah Hewett is expected to be ready to go following a foot injury after the bye. 

Bet on West Coast Eagles to win the Wooden Spoon at $10.00 with PlayUp

Adelaide Crows

Adelaide Crows AFL

The Crows would have been hoping to be nowhere near this conversation in season 2024, with significant improvement in 2023 which very nearly yielded a finals appearance suggesting that this year they might finally crack the top eight for the first time under Matthew Nicks. They still may well do that, but a slow start to the season means that they are one of few teams that are remotely in the mix to finish below all of the above teams, even if it is very unlikely. They lost their first four games of the season, though three of them were by 20 points or less and a couple against genuine Premiership contenders, so they weren’t completely disgraced during that month. In Round 5 they appeared destined for a fifth consecutive loss, but an incredible comeback saw them snatch a two-point victory against the Blues, their first of the season. Unfortunately they were on the other end of a close game the next week when they went down by three points to the Bombers, though they were comprehensively outplayed in that game and should probably have lost by more. The Crows are in an interesting phase of their development, but they are hardly the first team for whom progress has not been linear, and a slow start to this year doesn’t negate the fact that there is plenty to like about the team that Nicks has assembled over his tenure. The signs are that they will likely miss the finals this year given their start, and that will be a major disappointment after last year. But it would be a huge, huge surprise for this team to continue to lose as regularly as they have in the first six weeks of the season throughout the course of the year, and with a few winnable games to come in the next six they should be able to remove themselves from this conversation relatively quickly. 

  • What brings them here? A slow start to the year. The Crows weren’t in Wooden Spoon discussions prior to the year and realistically still shouldn’t be, but having lost the bulk of their first few games they do find themselves down the bottom of the ladder early in the season. 
  • What has changed? The Crows lost a couple of good servants in Shane McAdam and, most notably, Tom Doedee, while the only acquisition they made aside from draft picks was picking up Chris Burgess from the Gold Coast. 
  • Injury update: Wayne Milera and Patrick Parnell are both out for the season with a knee and shoulder injury respectively, while Riley Thilthorpe will miss two to three months with a knee injury of his own. Nick Murray will be out till close to June also with a knee injury, while Rory Sloane remains on an indefinite timeline from an unusual eye injury which has delayed his start to the season. Brode Smith, Nick Murray, Sam Berry and Jordon Butts have all had injuries to deal with but are close to returning at the time of writing. 

Bet on the Adelaide Crows to win the Wooden Spoon at $101.00 with PlayUp

Our Prediction

This isn’t a great betting market at the moment, with the Eagles’ seeming improvement leaving the Kangaroos all alone as the outright favourite to finish on the bottom of the ladder. And they probably will, too. At $1.25 it’s really hard to justify betting on them, but it’s also hard to imagine them finding their way past the other teams on this list, each of whom has reason to believe they can snatch a few wins this season. In terms of the longer odds chances, the Eagles are the one who there is probably the least trust in, and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see their strong patch of form from Rounds 4-6 fail to continue. But having secured a couple of wins and with a lot of players playing much better footy than they have been in the past, they should be able to win enough to avoid another Wooden Spoon. The Kangaroos, despite their short odds, look like the only option here.

Statistics

Wooden Spoon teams that failed to win a match

  • Thirteen wooden spoon teams failed to win a match during a VFL/AFL season, the most recent being Fitzroy in 1964.

Most Wooden Spoons Won

  • 27 – St Kilda Saints, most recently in 2014.

Least Wooden Spoons Won

  • Only the Port Adelaide Power have never won the Wooden Spoon. Ironically, the 21st century’s least successful club, the Carlton Blues, has won all 5 of their Wooden Spoons since 2002.

Most ‘successful’ Wooden Spoon team

  • The 1976 Collingwood Magpies hold the record for the most wins by a wooden spoon team in a season with six wins.

AFL/AFLW Wooden Spoon ‘Double’

  • Carlton are the only team to have both men’s and women’s teams win the wooden spoon in the same season, occurring in 2018.

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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