The first week of the AFLW Finals delivered in spades, beginning with an enthralling Qualifying Final between the Crows and Lions which went down to the wire and saw the fourth placed Lions upset their more fancied opposition. That set the tone for a weekend of surprises which saw just one favourite get up, that being the Cats over the Bombers, while elsewhere both the Demons and the Suns went down to the Kangaroos and Swans respectively. That goes to show that the 2023 Premiership is there for the taking, so let’s take a look at who will join the Lions and Kangaroos in the Preliminary Finals following what looms as an enthralling weekend of Semi Final action.
AFLW 2023 Finals Week Two – Betting tips & Predictions
Adelaide Crows vs Sydney Swans
Neither of these teams were really expected to be playing this week, but much to the Crows chagrin and the Swans pleasure, here we are. The first placed Crows conceded a two goal lead in the third quarter against the Lions to go down by two points, failing to score a goal after the third minute mark of the third quarter and conceding the last three. The Swans, meanwhile, established a lead of their own on the road against the Suns, getting a 20-point jump on their opposition, but unlike the Crows they were able to maintain that lead throughout the course of the game to ultimately win by 18 points.
That continued what is clearly the best patch of form of the year for the Swans. They’d won three games in a row heading into the finals, all of them comfortable, but given they were all against teams not in the top eight there were some question marks surrounding whether or not they could do it against their fellow finalists. Turns out, they could. They looked really good in that Elimination Final, with Chloe Molloy particularly impressive up forward with three goals and Sofia Hurley proving to be an absolute weapon with a huge 16 tackles.
For the Crows, there was a sense of déjà vu in the three-point loss to Brisbane; they can still claim that they haven’t lost a single game all season that wasn’t by three points to the Lions, but unfortunately that solitary result has yielded two losses. It was less than a month ago that Brisbane handed them their first defeat of the season, and though they had their chances late they were unable to swing that result on its head when it mattered most. Fortunately, their excellent season means that they were always set for a double chance; now they have to make the most of it.
Based on how these two teams have played throughout the course of the season, the Crows should be the clear favourites; they lost just a single game all home and away season, as mentioned, while the Swans were 3-4 just a few weeks ago. But Sydney is now playing football good enough to compete with most sides in the league, and as a result the Crows will need to play at something near their best to beat them. It might be first vs eighth on paper, but in reality this game could be a lot closer than that. But for all of Sydney’s good form, the fact remains that the Crows have been nearly impossible to beat all season, and have generally been even better in Adelaide – last weekend notwithstanding. The Swans can hang around with them and create a competitive contest, but by the final siren the top team in the league should be ahead.
|Chloe Molloy to kick 2+ goals
|Crows to win
Adelaide 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 2 I/C: K. Mueller 13 M. McKinnon 21 M. Newman 17 J. Waterhouse 19 H. Munyard 20 E: N. Allen 8 D. Varnhagen 9 B. Tonon 28
Sydney Swans: B: B. Tarrant 20 J. O’Sullivan 24 HB: E. Vale 23 A. Mitchell 8 E. Heads 12 C: L. McEvoy – C 9 T. Kennedy 29 L. Steane 21 HF: C. Hamilton 10 P. McCarthy 15 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 M. Beruldsen 37A. Hamilton 30 A. Woodward 13 A. Newman 16 E: S. Ford 3 J. Anthony 44 P. Sheppard 4
Melbourne Demons vs Geelong Cats
The Demons were never going to have it all their own way against the Kangaroos in their Qualifying Final, but they certainly wouldn’t have expected to be on the wrong end of the shellacking which resulted. They struggled to generate offensive opportunities all day long and at half time had mustered up just a solitary point, but they had, at least, conceded just a couple of goals and were still in the game. That quickly changed in the third quarter, when they conceded three quick goals to go down 36-2. They managed to finally get on the board with a major in the final quarter, but it was to no avail as they ultimately went down 50-9 – this being a team which ended the home and away season with a percentage of 222.9%.
But while it wasn’t a great week for the Demons, the Cats had a lot more success. Three goals in the first eight minutes set the tone for the rest of the game, giving them a 21-point quarter-time lead which they wouldn’t relinquish. By half-time they’d extended that lead to six goals, and three late goals to the Bombers meant that the 51-33 end result flattered them.
That means that while Melbourne has been the better team all season, these sides enter this Semi Final coming off vastly different performances, and it’s the underdog that heads in with their collective tail wagging. The Cats, too, were probably the best team outside the top four, something to which their 141.2% could attest. Indeed, of their four losses this season, three were by ten points or less, although the one exception to that came against, you guessed it, the Demons.
That result occurred back in Round 5, and saw the Dees obliterate the Cats to the tune of 49 points – 11.8.74 to 4.1.25. The Cats are playing better footy now than they were then, but nonetheless that result pointed to the capacity of Melbourne to play at a level which would arguably beat every team in the league. If they want to beat the Cats this weekend, they will have to play a hell of a lot better than they did last weekend, but given that was their worst performance of the year, all signs point to them doing just that. This should be an enthralling game of footy which the Cats will give a real shake, but the Demons’ class should be able to prevail in a tight one.
|Demons to win
Melbourne Demons: B: L. Birch 9 T. Gillard 17 HB: S. Goldrick 23 M. Gay 3 S. Heath 30 C: B. Mackin 31 T. Hanks 5 A. Mackin 21 HF: M. Fitzsimon 24 P. Paxman 4 E. Zanker 29 F: K. Hore – C 10 T. Harris 7 FOLL: L. Pearce 15 O. Purcell 2 L. Mithen 14 I/C: M. Chaplin 13 E. West 11 E. McNamara 22
A. Bannan 16 J. Ivey 19
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: 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 A. Kennedy 18 M. Bragg 44 R. Kearns 22
- In her last four games, Chloe Molloy has booted three goals on three occasions and two goals on the other.
- The Crows have only lost one game at home all season (that being last week), but in the past eight weeks, the Swans haven’t lost a game by more than 14 points.
- The Demons haven’t lost a game to a team not in the top four all season, while the Cats have lost just one game by over 10 points all season (admittedly, though, that was to the Demons!)
Multi of the Week
|Chloe Molloy to kick 2+ goals
|Bet $10 for $103.67 with PlayUp
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