AFLW 2023 Finals Week Three – Betting tips & Predictions

James Salmon
AFL Betting Tips
AFLW 2023 Finals Week Three

Semi-final week yielded two vastly different games in the AFLW, the first a demolition job by the Crows and the second a thriller which saw the Demons eliminated in straight sets by the Cats. Just three games now remain in the season, with the Crows and Cats joining the Kangaroos and Lions in the Preliminary Finals for a spot in the Grand Final. The action kicks off this evening with the Lions hosting the Cats before the Kangas and Crows go toe to toe the next day, and below we’ll take an in-depth look at how both of those games are shaping up.

AFLW Preliminary Finals Fixtures

FixturesInfo (AEST)Home OddsAway Odds
Lions vs CatsSaturday, 25th of November at 7.45pm$1.40$3.00
Kangaroos vs CrowsSunday, 26th of November at 3.05pm$1.97$1.85

Brisbane Lions vs Geelong Cats

It’s been a good couple of weeks for the Lions. After losing their penultimate game of the regular season to the Saints to put their spot in the top four in jeopardy, they promptly knocked off perhaps the most capable team in the business – though recent results may suggest otherwise – in the Demons to secure fourth spot, before heading to Adelaide and beating the Crows to lock up a home Preliminary Final. Now, they’re in the box seat to secure a spot in the Grand Final, taking on a Cats side that finished only sixth in the home and away season.

That ladder position, however, does a disservice to the Cats’ ability, particularly based on recent results. Outside of the obvious top four, Geelong has been the best team throughout the course of the season, something to which their percentage of 141.2% points – no other side outside the top four had a percentage of more than 118.5%. The Cats also happen to be in their best form of the year at exactly the right time. After winning three of their last four games by big margins, they were far too good for the Bombers in the first week of the finals, and the same applied against Melbourne – at least in the first three quarters. As they did the week prior, Geelong jumped out to a significant early lead and were five goals up at three quarter time, before again flailing late in the game. This time around it very nearly cost them, but they hung on despite that late surge to win by five points. Disappointing though that last quarter was, that they were up 43-13 at three-quarter time after being up 51-13 at the same stage the week prior is testament to the high ceiling this team boasts.

And against the Lions, they will have no choice but to play to that ceiling – and not just for three quarters. In their last four games the Lions have now beaten the Crows twice and the Demons once, form that stacks up as well as any in the league. Until last week, those were the type of teams Geelong hadn’t proven themselves against this year – their only two matches against the top four prior to the Semi-Finals saw them lose by nine points to the Kangaroos and then 49 to the Demons.

But that was much earlier in the season, and the Cats are a different proposition right now. It’s very difficult to tip against the Lions at this point in time given their recent run of results, but it’s worth bearing in mind that two of those three impressive wins of late were by only three points and could very easily have gone the other way. In contrast, the Cats’ opponents have been flattered by the final scoreboard in the last couple of weeks, both games that they could have easily won by six or seven goals. Brisbane deserves favouritism here; they’ve been the better team throughout the year, have knocked off a couple of the league’s best in recent weeks and get to remain in their home state for the game. But there is something scary about the way the Cats are playing of late, even if they’ve fluffed their last couple of final quarters. This should be a tight, quality game of footy, but against the odds, the Cats can earn themselves an unexpected berth in the Grand Final

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Cats to win$3.00
Cats 1-24$3.75
Cats +13.5$1.87

Predicted Squads

Brisbane LionsBrisbane 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

Geelong CatsGeelong 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: S. Scott 15 A. Moloney 45 FOLL: E. Hoare 46 Am. McDonald 3 J. Crockett-Grills 6 I/C: D. Moloney 4 Z. Friswell 20 K. Darby 8 G. Featherston 32 R. Kearns 22

North Melbourne Kangaroos vs Adelaide Crows

The Kangaroos and the Crows have appeared destined to go deep into the finals all season long, and lo and behold here we are. But while the Crows failed to capitalise on their top two finish and subsequent home Qualifying Final, the Kangaroos knocked off the higher placed Demons that week to give themselves a home Prelim, something which may have a significant impact on this result. The Crows would have loved to be playing this game in Adelaide, where they didn’t lose a game all season until their first final against the Lions, which they lost by just three points. The Kangaroos, meanwhile, are 2-2 outside of Victoria this season, compared to 6-1 inside it.

North Melbourne also enters this game off a couple of dominant victories. After losing two games in a row – the first comfortably to the Demons and the second by just three points against their opponents this week – they easily accounted for the Dogs 55-9 to secure their spot in the top four, before shocking the football world with a scintillating performance against the Demons which saw them win 50-9. That was as good a game as any team has played all season, and if they can replicate it they will be incredibly hard to beat, no matter their opponent. 

The Crows, meanwhile, after winning their first seven games of the year, have lost two of their past five – both by just three points, both to the Lions. No other team has managed to tame them just yet, and they will take confidence from the fact that they beat the Kangaroos just a few short weeks ago. 

But that victory was by just three points – seemingly their preferred margin – and significantly, took place in Adelaide. Were this game being played west of the border the Crows would likely be a solid favourite, but as it is this is pegged as virtually a 50/50 game by the bookmakers. To me, that yields some value for the Kangaroos. Those odds are largely a product of the fact that the Crows have been higher on the ladder for the entire season than the Roos, but the reality is that the Kangaroos have been just as good but have just lost a couple of games, and they have switched a flick when they’ve needed to over the past couple of weeks. These two teams are on a relatively level playing field and if they played ten games, it would be no great surprise to seem them split them 5-5, which means that the Kangaroos’ home ground advantage in this should have them at closer to $1.70 or $1.80. Instead, they’re the slight underdog at $1.97, and that looks like good value for them to grind their way into the Grand Final in a tight, contested game.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Kangaroos to win$1.97
Kangaroos 1-24$2.65
Kangaroos +1.5$1.83

Predicted Squads

North Melbourne KangaroosNorth 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

Adelaide CrowsAdelaide Crows: B: C. Randall – C 26 Z. Prowse 4 HB: C. Biddell 12 S. Allan 39 S. Goodwin 11 C: S. Thompson 14 A. Hatchard 33 N. Kelly 23 HF: E. Jones 2 D. Ponter 15 Y. Bonner 31 F: C. Gould 1 R. Martin 5 FOLL: J. Allan 32 E. Marinoff 10 T. Charlton 25 I/C: K. Mueller 13 M. McKinnon 21 M. Newman 17 J. Waterhouse 19 H. Munyard 20

  • The Cats have all but sealed their two finals by three-quarter time – notwithstanding the Demons’ thrilling comeback last weekend – with an aggregate score of 94-26 in the first three quarters of those two games.
  • The Kangaroos have only lost three games this year, and two were by three points or less – despite that, they’re slight underdogs on their own home turf after beating the Demons by 41 points in their first final.

Multi of the Week

Cats to win$3.00
Kangaroos 1-24$2.65
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