The first week of the AFL finals saw a couple of thrilling games take place, with Thursday and Friday night’s games playing out in very similar fashions and ending with seven and six-point margins respectively. Unfortunately that trend didn’t continue on Saturday, with a comfortable loss for St Kilda and comfortable win for Brisbane meaning the Power will now host the Giants next Saturday. But that game will play second fiddle to the main act of semi-final weekend – a huge Friday night clash between the Demons and Blues in front of what will likely be a 90,000+ crowd. With a Preliminary Final spot up for grabs these games will be played at a high intensity, and we’ve previewed both of them below.
AFL 2023 Finals Week Two – Betting tips & Predictions
Melbourne Demons vs Carlton Blues
The first couple of games of the 2023 AFL Finals followed a very similar pattern, but the end result was a Demons loss to the Magpies and a Blues win over the Swans which means the two will now face off in a cut-throat semi-final on Friday night. For the Demons, it was a night of what ifs. After being jumped early by Collingwood, Melbourne wrestled their way back into the contest and in the second half had more than their fair share of opportunities. But where they repeatedly bombed it high inside 50, the Magpies sling-shotted it from half back with consummate precision, and the result was a seven-point Demons loss despite winning the inside 50 count 69-37. There was plenty of good to take out of the loss, namely how they dominated field position for a large portion of the game, but considering how many chances they had, it was a wasted opportunity to lock away a home prelim.
The Blues were on the other end of a close game in which they jumped out of the blocks, only to be reeled back in. They looked far too good in the first half, opening up a 47-18 lead at the main break, but a couple of late goals in the third quarter to the Swans got the margin back to 15 heading into the final quarter. A last quarter slog saw just three goals scored, but when the Swans kicked the third of them with just over a minute to go the margin was just six points and a draw was very much on the cards. The Blues, however, managed to hang on, making it nine wins from ten games heading into their semi against the Demons.
These two sides met at the MCG just a few short weeks ago, and that game was a memorable prelude to this one. The Blues hung on to win that one by four points after a controversial score review which saw a Christian Petracca long-range bomb called a touched behind, much to the chagrin of many. This time around, there is every chance we’ll be treated to a sequel which is every bit equal to the original. The Demons could very easily already have locked up a home Preliminary Final and with a few tweaks to the way they played last week, will be very tough to beat. The same, however, can be said for the Blues. Over their current stretch of form they’ve beaten the Demons, the Magpies and the Power, so they should have no fears facing off against a top four team. This one is very tough to split, but the Demons have the finals experience which their opponent is lacking, and with Petracca, Oliver and Gawn looking lethal last weekend, can sneak over the line against a talented Blues opposition.
|Under 155.5 total match points||$1.91|
|Demons to win||$1.65|
Melbourne Demons: FB: M Hibberd, S May, T Rivers HB: J McVee, J Lever, C Salem C: L Hunter, J Viney, E Langdon HF: J Jordon, T McDonald, A Neal-Bullen FF: B Fritsch, J Smith, K Pickett FOLL: M Gawn, C Oliver, C Petracca I/C: J Bowey, B Grundy, T Sparrow, K Chandler
Carlton Blues: FB: M McGovern, J Weitering, N Newman HB: S Docherty, B Kemp, A Saad C: B Acres, G Hewett, M Cottrell HF: L Fogarty, S De Koning, D Cuningham FF: J Motlop, C Curnow, M Owies FOLL: M Pittonet, P Cripps, S Walsh I/C: C Marchbank, A Cerra, J Silvagni, A Cincotta
Port Adelaide Power vs GWS Giants
After sitting in second place for such a large portion of 2023, a straight sets exit would be a super disappointing way for the Power’s season to end, but they’re far from guaranteed a path through to the prelim against the Giants this weekend. Port Adelaide were beaten all ends up in their Qualifying Final against the Lions, going down by eight goals after having been ahead late in the second quarter. They were made to look pedestrian in the second half by a very good Brisbane team, and though they will be significantly benefitted by their return to Adelaide Oval this weekend, they’ll still have to play a lot better than they did in that half against the Giants.
The Giants entered the finals on the back of nine wins in 11 games, and quickly proved that they were more than capable of carrying that form through to the postseason. They jumped out to a six-goal lead by halfway through the second quarter, and though the Saints made a couple of mini fightbacks the margin never got under three goals and the Giants ultimately ran out 24-point winners. What’s more, they did it without former captain Stephen Coniglio, who will likely return from the eye injury he suffered at training last week and which kept him out of the Saints clash.
The Giants are firing on all cylinders and certainly can’t be taken lightly, but the Power will nonetheless head in as favourites, and there’s good reason for that. Impressive as GWS have been, only one of the aforementioned nine wins in 11 games in the lead-up to the finals came against a top eight team, and perhaps more notably, they played the Power in Adelaide in Round 21. The result? A 51-point win by the Power. The Giants have their tails up for good reason and have plenty of talent littered across the park, but they aren’t as good a side as Port Adelaide, particularly at the Adelaide Oval. Expect some support for the Orange Tsunami this week, but the Power should simply be too good.
|Power to win||$1.60|
Port Adelaide Power: FB: K Farrell, A Aliir, L Jones HB: R Burton, M Bergman, D Houston C: T Boak, Z Butters, X Duursma HF: J McEntee, O Lord, S Powell-Pepper FF: J Rioli, T Marshall, C Dixon FOLL: S Lycett, J Horne-Francis, C Rozee I/C: J Finlayson, O Wines, W Drew, D Byrne-Jones
GWS Giants: FB: J Buckley, S Taylor, C Idun HB: L Ash, H Himmelberg, L Whitfield C: J Kelly, T Green, H Perryman HF: T Bedford, J Riccardi, C Daniels FF: D Lloyd, J Hogan, T Greene FOLL: K Briggs, C Ward, F Callaghan I/C: S Coniglio, I Cumming, C Brown, N Haynes
- Neither of these two sides’ games last weekend saw more than 142 points scored, and last time they met there were just 116 total points.
- Just a little over a month ago, the Power dismantled the Giants to the tune of 51 points at the Adelaide Oval.
Multi of the Week
|Blues vs Demons under 155.5 total match points||$1.90|
|Bet $10 for $51.13 with PlayUp|
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