For a few reasons I forgot all about submitting tips for the first week of the AFL finals last week, so instead of providing tips on a week-by-week basis, what I am going to do is analyse what remains of the finals by giving you my thoughts on the remaining teams and who I think is likely to wind up as the grand final winner of the 2013 AFL Premiership Season.
Geelong have surprised me throughout the year with some very good performances. I have not really thought their form was good enough to win as many matches as they did, and I was expecting them to fall apart late in the season, but they did not. They have been quite consistent and I shouldn’t underestimate them.
Geelong lost to Fremantle in the first week of the finals. I was surprised by this and put it down to a couple factors:
1. Geelong were playing their first ever home final. The moment got the better of them and they weren’t as focussed as usual.
2. Fremantle have been playing very well of late and reached the finals with a head full of steam. They simply had too much momentum for Geelong to match in the first week of the finals.
Geelong will play Port Adelaide on Friday night. Port have not played a Friday night match this year and have been in poor form for the last few weeks, and in my view only won on the weekend because Collingwood played terribly. As much as Port Adelaide have been a decent team this year, Geelong are a better side and will win, but won’t be able to overcome Hawthorn in the following week.
Port Adelaide are a very improved side this year, but they should not have won last week. In my view they only did so because Collingwood had a shocker. Port deserve to be in the finals, but will not win this week against Geelong.
Sydney have been consistent again this year in the main, but haven’t been quite as good as last year. They played poorly against Hawthorn last week, but that was partially because Hawthorn are simply a better side by a very big margin.
This week Sydney verse Carlton and, despite the fact that last week’s form (and even Sydney’s form in the last few weeks of the regular season) might indicate otherwise, I expect Sydney to rebound this week and to defeat Carlton. It won’t be a big victory, but they should win. After that Sydney will verse Fremantle for a spot in the Grand Final. Fremantle are in better form in my view and, with a combination of fresh legs from a week off for Fremantle and a tiring victory over Carlton for Sydney, Fremantle should knock Sydney out of the finals in the third week.
Carlton should not have reached the finals. They only got in because Essendon were prevented from being in the finals by a fairly peculiar decision, and Carlton had to make up the numbers in the top eight.
Carlton played well last week, but sometimes it feels like a team plays their “grand final effort” in a round of the finals and has nothing left the following week, and I think they did that last week. Carlton will be competitive against Sydney this week as Sydney are out-of-form in my view, but they won’t be able to beat Sydney.
Hawthorn have been impressive all year except for one very uncharacteristic loss to Richmond and an inability to beat Geelong. This should make for an interesting likely showdown between Hawthorn and Geelong in the third week of the finals.
I expect Hawthorn to finally defeat Geelong in week three of the finals as I’m not sure Geelong can be consistent enough to carry good form through that far, and Hawthorn will be freshly rested as should be too good for Geelong.
After this I expect Hawthorn to come up against Fremantle in the grand final. Hawthorn are a better side than Fremantle (or any other team in the competition for that matter) and I think Hawthorn will beat them (or anyone else).
Fremantle are, to me at least, the real surprise packet of the season. Port Adelaide have also been surprisingly good, but Fremantle have beaten them for consistency, and I have to give a lot of credit to coach Ross Lyon for this.
I expect Fremantle to meet Sydney in the third week of the finals. It is my view that Fremantle will be able to continue their great form in to this match, and Sydney will have used up too much effort in overcoming Carlton, so Fremantle will win this match and make their way through to the grand final.
I expect Fremantle to meet Hawthorn in the grand final. I believe Hawthorn are a class above Fremantle and should defeat Freo comfortably, but I would also have to admit that if anyone could challenge Hawthorn, it is Fremantle.
Hawthorn should defeat Fremantle, but if something goes awry before then and Fremantle verse someone else in the grand final, then Fremantle could win.
The grand final should be a contest between Hawthorn and Fremantle. Hawthorn should win this and I am tipping Hawthorn to be the winner of the 2013 grand final, however Fremantle should beat anyone else if Hawthorn don’t make the grand final for whatever reason.
That said, Hawthorn are my tip as 2013 AFL premiers.
If you’re considering betting on any of the AFL finals or on the premier, then make sure you check out TAB’s AFL Finals betting page . I see that at the moment they agree with me that Hawthorn and Fremantle are the most likely to win the grand final, offering $2.25 and $3.75 respectively.