In a compelling final round of action, the AFLW home and away season went right down to the wire, with the last spot in the top eight not being decided until the final game of the season. A Swans victory saw them steal the coveted eighth spot from the Saints, while elsewhere the Lions secured their spot in the top four with a terrific win over the Dees. Unlike in the men’s competition, there will be no break between the home and away season and the finals, meaning the Qualifying Finals and Elimination Finals will kick off this weekend. Let’s jump in and take a look at how they’re shaping up.
AFLW 2023 Finals Week One – Betting tips & Predictions
AFLW Finals Week One Fixtures
|Fixtures||Info (AEST)||Home Odds||Away Odds|
|Crows vs Lions||Saturday, 11th of November at 3.05pm||$1.52||$2.48|
|Suns vs Swans||Saturday, 11th of November at 7.15pm||$1.45||$2.71|
|Cats vs Bombers||Sunday, 12th of November at 1.05pm||$1.56||$2.40|
|Demons vs Kangaroos||Sunday, 12th of November at 3.05pm||$1.43||$2.78|
Adelaide Crows vs Brisbane Lions
The AFLW Finals Series kicks off with a Qualifying Final clash at Norwood Oval between a Crows team that snatched top spot on the ladder off the Demons at the final hurdle, courtesy of a win by the team they’ll play this weekend in the Lions. That victory by Brisbane was hugely impressive; the Demons had previously lost just one game all season (incidentally to the Crows) and boasted a percentage well over 200%. But Brisbane systematically dismantled them to win by 25 points, meaning in the past three weeks they’ve now beaten both the Demons and the Crows. That three-point win over the Crows will give them some confidence heading into this game, but it is worth noting that it was the only game that Adelaide has lost all season long. Immediately after that they went ahead and knocked off the Kangaroos (who finished third), while a couple of weeks earlier they also took care of Melbourne, so they have certainly demonstrated that the dominant form they have displayed throughout the year is something they are capable of reproducing regardless of their opposition. They’re also undefeated at home, with that loss to Brisbane having come on the road. The Lions are a really worthy competitor in this game and head into it with some fantastic form behind them, so the Crows certainly can’t afford to take them lightly. But they finished on the top of the ladder, and with the home ground advantage to boot they can advance straight through to the Preliminary Finals with a tight win in a hotly contested game of footy.
|Crows to win||$1.51|
Adelaide Crows: B: Z. Prowse 4 C. Biddell 12 HB: N. Allen 8 S. Allan 39 J. Allan 32 C: S. Thompson 14 A. Hatchard 33 N. Kelly 23 HF: Y. Bonner 31 D. Ponter 15 C. Randall - C 26 F: C. Gould 1 R. Martin 5 FOLL: M. McKinnon 21 E. Marinoff 10 E. Jones 2 I/C: T. Charlton 25 M. Newman 17 H. Munyard 20 K. Mueller 13 S. Goodwin 11 E: JD. Varnhagen 9 J. Waterhouse 19 B. Tonon 28
Brisbane Lions: B: P. Boltz 15 S. Campbell 20 HB: B. Koenen - C 3 N. Grider 10 P. Monahan 11 C: O. O’Dwyer 9 I. Dawes 17 J. Ellenger 5 HF: L. Postlethwaite 6 D. Davidson 14 S. Conway 12 F: T. Smith 31 C. Hodder 21 FOLL: T. Hickie 2 C. Svarc 25 A. Anderson 18 I/C: C. Mullins 28 E. Hampson 7 R. Svarc 29 J. Dunne 8 M. Pauga 27 E: A. McKee 33 C. Wendland 4 B. Smith 16
Gold Coast Suns vs Sydney Swans
While one of the Crows and the Lions will make it through to the Preliminary Final on Saturday afternoon, the other will be forced to go the long way round in their pursuit of Premiership glory, and the team they will play in their Semi Final will be the winner of Saturday night’s matchup between the Suns and the Swans. Both of these teams come in with some strong form behind them; Gold Coast won their last two prior to the finals while the Swans won their past three to sneak into the top eight just in the nick of time. For the Suns, that turnaround in form came just in time, because prior to those last two wins they were beaten comprehensively by the Lions and then drew with the bottom four Power to put their spot in the finals in jeopardy. Fortunately they responded when they needed to, taking care first of the Giants and then beating the Bombers last weekend to assure themselves of a home Elimination Final. The Swans, meanwhile, didn’t look like a finals team just a few short weeks ago, and after a disappointing loss to the Hawks boasted a 3-4 record. As it turned out, they needed to win each of their final three games to play finals, and that is exactly what they did. With one of those coming against the Bulldogs and another the Dockers it wasn’t the toughest draw in the world, but they also beat the Magpies – who were also fighting for a finals spot – and perhaps more impressive than the wins was the manner in which they came. Given they finished eighth on percentage alone, that those wins were each by solid margins turned out to be pivotal. They enter this game in sparkling form and are more than capable of knocking off their superior opponents – superior, at least, from a ladder perspective – but the Suns have been terrific at home all season, losing just one game from the five they’ve played there. In a close game, that may well prove to be the difference.
|Suns to win||$1.44|
Gold Coast Suns: B: W. Randell 15 V. Saad 39 HB: M. Girvan 25 L. Ahrens 7 T. Meyer 34 C: A. Drennan 33 C. Whitfort 4 E. Keaney 30 HF: D. D’Arcy 20 J. Stanton 17 N. McLaughlin 11 F: J. Dupuy 27 T. Bohanna - C 12 FOLL: L. Bella 2 L. Single 13 M. Brancatisano 5 I/C: D. Davies 3 E. Barwick 6 E. Maurer 10 G. Biedenweg-Webster 16 G. Clayden 18 E: J. Smith 1 C. McCrossan 14 G. Davies 22
Sydney Swans: B: B. Tarrant 20 J. O’Sullivan 24 HB: E. Vale 23 A. Mitchell 8 E. Heads 12 C: L. Steane 21 T. Kennedy 29 L. McEvoy - C 9 HF: C. Hamilton 10 R. Privitelli 19 B. Lochland 1 F: M. Ham 18 S. Hurley 25 FOLL: B. Smith 11 L. Gardiner 31 C. Molloy 5 I/C: A. Whelan 22 P. McCarthy 15 A. Hamilton 30 A. Woodward 13 A. Newman 16 E: B. Kennedy 2 P. Sheppard 4 S. Ford 3
Geelong Cats vs Essendon Bombers
Considering their ability, the Cats took a long time to secure their spot in the finals, ultimately only making it on percentage after winning their last two games. But while they were one of four teams to finish with a 6-4 record in a logjam of teams stretching from sixth to ninth, their percentage of 141.2% was significantly better than each of those teams and is realistically more representative of the damage they’re capable of doing. Compare that to the Bombers, who finished one spot below them with the same record after losing two of their last three games, and who had a percentage of just 107.1%. The Bombers were higher on the ladder for much of the season, but those two losses saw them tumble to seventh and lose their grip on a home Elimination Final when a couple of weeks ago – and even heading into last week – top four remained a possibility, albeit a remote one. As it stands, however, they enter the finals in some pretty average form, with those two losses coming last week to the Suns, and three weeks ago against, of all teams, the Eagles. The Cats, meanwhile, enter the postseason firing on all cylinders. They won their last two games by hefty margins, and though they were both against teams who won’t feature in the finals, a 38-point win over the Tigers and a 40-point win over the Hawks is still a good form line for them heading into the pointy end of the season. Incidentally, they have lost two of their five games at the Cattery this season, but they came against the Demons and Kangaroos, and in the other three they’ve won by large margins. Despite their matching records, the Cats are the better team here and with the home ground advantage to boot, they can win relatively comfortably to book a spot in the Semi Finals.
|Cats to win||$1.56|
Geelong Cats: B: C. Emonson 16 C. Gunjaca 26 HB: R. Webster 21 M. McDonald - C 11 G. Rankin 10 C: M. Bowen 1 G. Prespakis 41 N. Morrison 9 HF: R. Garing 12 J. Parry 5 K. Surman 7 F: C. Scheer 14 A. Moloney 45 FOLL: E. Hoare 46 Am. McDonald 3 D. Moloney 4 I/C: J. Crockett-Grills 6 Z. Friswell 20 B. Plummer 19 G. Featherston 32 R. Kearns 22 M. Bragg 44 S. Scott 15 Ab. McDonald 39
Essendon Bombers: B: A. Morcom 25 B. Brown 36 HB: K. Jacques 7 E. Gamble 14 M. Busch 28 C: S. Van DeHeuvel 27 J. Vogt 10 A. Radford 22 HF: P. Scott 32 S. Alexander 24 G. Gee 2 F: B. Toogood - C 8 J. Wuetschner 21 FOLL: S. Wales 30 M. Prespakis 4 G. Nanscawen 5 I/C: M. Dyke 16 B. Walker 9 G. Clarke 17 A. Clarke 33 A. Van Loon 26 M. Van Dyke 19 R. Tierney 23 L. Williamson 13
- The Crows haven’t lost a single game at home all season, while the Lions haven’t lost a single game by more than 24 points all season.
- The Cats have won three of their last four games by 24 points or more.
- Though the Suns have been really good at home this season and should beat the Swans, their only victory by more than 40 points came against the lowly Eagles.
Multi of the Week
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Melbourne Demons vs North Melbourne Kangaroos
The last game of the first week of the AFLW Finals may well be the best one, with arguably the two best teams in the business going toe to toe at IKON Park. The Crows might have something to say about that, but though neither of these teams finished on top of the ladder and each has suffered losses in recent weeks, they have been the most clinical teams for large parts of the year, something their respective percentages – both over 220%, comfortably the best in the league – can attest to. The Demons enter the game on the back of a disappointing loss to the Lions, but while that knocked them out of top spot, given they were guaranteed a finish in the top two and with it a home Qualifying Final, it’s safe to suggest that they didn’t necessarily need to put their best foot forward in that game. The Kangaroos, meanwhile, very much needed to last week to secure their top spot, but they handled the Bulldogs with consummate ease – as expected – conceding just nine points en route to a 46-point win. But that win followed two consecutive losses to the two teams that finished above them, and while the loss to the Crows went down to the wire in Adelaide, their recent matchup against the team they will play this weekend did not. It was only three weeks ago that the Demons handed the Roos a relatively hefty loss, beating them 37-14 in a game which ultimately decided who finished second and who finished third. It’s hard to imagine the Roos failing to compete in the same manner in this game, and they should be able to keep it closer than they did a few weeks ago, but – despite their loss last week – the Dees enter the finals in the better form and can jump straight through to the Preliminary Finals with a hard-fought victory on Sunday afternoon.
|Demons to win||$1.42|
Melbourne Demons: B: L. Birch 9 T. Gillard 17 HB: S. Goldrick 23 S. Heath 30 M. Chaplin 13 C: B. Mackin 31 T. Hanks 5 A. Mackin 21 HF: A. Bannan 16 M. Fitzsimon 24 E. Zanker 29 F: T. Harris 7 K. Hore - C 10 FOLL: L. Pearce 15 O. Purcell 2 P. Paxman 4 I/C: M. Gay 3 G. Campbell 1 L. Mithen 14 E. McNamara 22 J. Ivey 19 E. West 11 C. Wilson 20 S. Johnson 25
North Melbourne Kangaroos: B: E. Shannon 11 J. Ferguson 20 HB: E. Kearney - C 9 S. Wright 17 E. O’Shea 14 C: A. Smith 15 M. King 23 T. Gatt 8 HF: B. Eddey 3 K. Shierlaw 33 A. O’Loughlin 6 F: T. Randall 16 E. King 60 FOLL: K. Rennie 26 J. Garner 25 A. Riddell 7 I/C: T. Craven 5 N. Bresnehan 12 J. Bruton 35 N. Martin 28 L. Pullar 24 L. McGrath 1 R. Tripodi 19 L. Burke 29
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