It’s that time of year again.
The most coveted individual medal in the AFL is up for grabs next Monday night.
Fremantle superstar Nat Fyfe is still the hot favourite, despite missing several games with injury.
And our mates at CrownBet will be hoping he does get home, considering they paid out on him as winner after round eight, given his blistering start to the season.
Reigning Brownlow Medallist Matt Priddis is the second favourite, the Eagles star putting together a statistically better season than last year.
Will he or won’t he leave Adelaide star Patrick Dangerfield is the only other player in single figures in most markets.
Our AFL heads Dominic Ciconte and Mike Randall usually get together for a parma and a pot and talk turkey about the Brownlow.
Although Dom is on hiatus in Spain, the joys of the internet will allow us to bestow their Brownlow Medal ramblings.
See if they can’t tip a winner through it all.
Michael Randall: Maaaaaate, another year, another Brownlow. But it’s over right? I mean Crownbet already paid out on Fremantle’s Nat Fyfe… in May.
Dominic Ciconte: Hey, beautiful. Six weeks ago I would have told you the count was going to be a flop, BUT, I think 2015 may have a surprise in store.
MR: Beautiful? I think you might be mistaking me for a certain Spanish filly you’ve been romancing on your sojourn… Anyway, I don’t think the CrownBet boys were counting on Fyfe missing those late games when they forked out. But they’re talking him up as best on ground in what, eight of the first 10 games?
DC: hahaha. I can certainly recommend Barcelona during a cold Melbourne winter. I would say that of the eight ‘certainties’, I reckon he will poll three votes in at least six of them, and minors in the others. He’s still the absolute moral of the night, but his last month of football has given a few others a sniff. Have you got Fyfe by the length of Flemington straight? Or are you tipping a close one?
MR: Being realistic, Fyfe should have been suspended and the $2 with CrownBet.com.au is way too short for my liking. And you know me, I’m always on the underdog. You will recall my tip from last year???
DC: Hahaha. Didn’t think it would take you long to bring that up – well done on tipping the West Coast Eagles’ Matt Priddis last year. A few would have cleaned up on him at long odds.
MR: Well, considering I’ve mentioned it to you each fortnight since Brownlow night last year, you could hardly forget.
DC: Yeah, yeah, stop living in the past, Mike. Back to this year and I think Fyfe’s Brownlow hype almost certainly made the tribunal look at his three separate cases differently in my opinion.
MR: I agree. They were worried about suspending the favourite – but it would have blown the race wide open.
DC: Just like poor old Gold Coast Suns gun Gary Ablett Jr last year. Could this be the second consecutive year the bookmakers pay out on a loser?
If not Freo’s Nathan Fyfe, than who?
DC: So, who’s your number one tip in the market without Fyfe then?
MR: Look, you’re gonna bag me on this one, but I really can’t go past Sam Mitchell at the $12 with WilliamHill.com.au. He’s come close a few times, but I don’t think he’s had a better season than this AAAAAAND he’s managed to get through it without being suspended – despite the rumbling about corking-gate. I mean, just look at those numbers – 12 games over 30 touches, only three under 25. He’s right under the umpires nose, his use with both feet is as good as anyone’s and he is a hard ball specialist. Loves a chirp, but he has form as far as the umpires are concerned.
DC: Sigh… Everything in me wants to argue the Sam Mitchell call, but it makes too much sense. Mitchell always polls well, but seems to have battled injury or suspension whenever he could have been a serious contender. He’s arguably just as important now to the Hawks as ever before. I don’t think he’ll win, but he makes a really good place bet at $2.80 with CrownBet.com.au.
MR: Mate, that $2.80 looks better than bank interest.
DC: My man is Danger. Patrick Dangerfield.
MR: Danger will have no one taking votes off him.
DC: This will be the summer of Danger. The Adelaide icon that is about to break the heart of a whole state. He’s great value in a market without Fyfe at $4.75 and $7 with Fyfe in.
MR: His numbers don’t stack up for mine, Dom.
DC: Im calling this the holy trinity of Adelaide heartbreak:
– Danger wins their best and fairest.
– Danger wins Brownlow
– Danger leaves Adelaide
MR: … For Hawthorn.
DC: We all know he’s going to Geelong.
MR: Dom, he hasn’t cracked 30 disposals since Round 17.
DC: He kicks goals, he polls in games when you would never expect him to and the media and footy world salivated over his every possession in 2015. The whole world was watching and he had his best season yet. He’ll come late at Fyfe – I think it will come down to the last round.
MR: I love him, but I’m still not seeing it, I reckon he’s too short. I’d want double figures. I’m more bullish on Swan Daniel Hannebery at $10 with Williamhill.com.au. What a monster season he’s had. And he’s only got Josh Kennedy and the odd decent game from Lance Franklin nicking votes.
MR: He had 13 games over 30 including a 39, 40 and 42. There’s nine votes there. He’s had a massive season, yet we’ve heard nothing about him. I don’t like that. Too much focus on Buddy and Adam Goodes up there. Do you reckon Kennedy would be a superstar if he played in Melbourne?
DC: You’re right, you’ve just bloody scared me about Hannebery. Don’t forget he won the coach’s MVP award too. Tucked away secretly getting best on grounds in games only 14 people were watching.
DC: Goldstein is the interesting one in the market.
MR: He had, what, eight million hitouts this year?
DC: Any educated football pundit will tell you that Goldy has put together one of the best seasons from a ruck man we’ve seen in the last couple of decades. But will the umpires notice? Ruck man haven’t polled well in the Brownlow for a very long time – it wasn’t long ago when they were winning it all the time. If the umpires caught on to the Goldstein hype early, he is every chance and very good value.
Can Priddis go back-to-back?
MR: What about our man Priddis from last year? We haven’t mentioned him, but he’s $5.25 second fave with Williamhill.com.au
DC: West Coast won more games this year, but had more contributors – he’ll still poll well, but I think Andrew Gaff and a few others will steal votes off him – and that’s the reason the Eagles could be playing in an unlikely Grand Final next Saturday. They’re so much more even this season.
DC: I feel like he was the beneficiary of the perfect storm last year. Ablett getting injured, no one taking votes off him, his luscious locks standing out to the umpires. This year, Luke Shuey has had a monster, Nic Naitanui ($201 with WilliamHill.com.au) has probably been the second or third best ruck man of the season and even the Coleman Medalist Josh Kennedy ($1001 with Sportsbet.com.a) will steal some votes from all the goals he booted.
Secret Brownlow smokeys
DC: Who’s your secret smokey? The bet you’re not telling anyone about? (until they read this).
MR: Ok, if I tell you this I have to kill you, but my other smokey is the bloke with the tatts at Richmond. He’s put together a huge year, averages 26 disposals, a tick over a goal and nearly five marks, Is in every thing Richmond does. Has more impact than captain Trent Cotchin ($67 with CrownBet.com.au) and has been more consistent than Brett Deledio, who was suspended. But at $51 with WilliamHill.com.au, if you love an outsider, you could do far worse than Dustin Martin.
DC: Sigh… Dusty! I love him – wish he was a Pie. He kicks goals and is deadly by himself. A good bet would be to back him to poll more than Cotchin.
MR: I reckon he will poll the most votes at Richmond.
DC: He’ll poll well this year in a Tigers team that relies HEAVILY on their three good players
Final Brownlow bets for 2015
DC: Right, so who are we backing?
MR: Well I’m going with a head and heart pick, my man Sammy Mitchell. I’m ashamed to say it, but I used to be a massive critic of Sam’s disposal. I reckon he butchered it. Now he’s as good as any one and his ball use is probably our single most important individual weapon. I think he’s had a massive year and, because the Hawks midfield is so even, he’s the only real constant under the umpires nose. If he doesn’t win, he will go very close. How about you mate? Gonna to your dough and stick with Danger?
DC: Do my dough? Please. Yep, Danger’s my man. He doesn’t have to have a lot of possessions to win Brownlow votes. He’s a cut above anyone at Adelaide. I think he’ll poll a lot of best on grounds in Crows wins and often stands out in their losses. AND, it further adds to the drama of trade week.
DC: The beach is calling me, I’m off!
MR: Oi, hang on, what about your flag tip?
DC: I hate this, but I think it’s the Hawks at $2.60 with Sportsbet.com.au. They were the best team entering the finals and momentum has swung their way again after thumping Adelaide. Freo ($4.75 with Sportsbet.com.au) will be tougher, but, even in Perth, they’re not unbeatable and their form really hasn’t really been great. The Swans nearly knocked them over in the qualifier with half a side – and then they went and lost to North in Sydney. The only other worry is West Coast at $2.50 with Sportsbet.com.au. I’m loathe to ask this, but who do you think will win, Mike?
MR: You really think I’m tipping anyone but my Hawks? What, we’ve beaten Freo in seven of the past eight, They’ll kick 70, we’ll kick 100. And then who is gonna beat us on the MCG. I’m allowed to be confident, we’ve gone back to back. The three peat is our destiny.
2015 AFL Brownlow market
Nathan Fyfe ($2)
Matt Priddis ($4.50)
Patrick Dangerfield ($8)
Daniel Hannebery ($10)
Sam Mitchell ($11)
Todd Goldstein ($14)
Josh P. Kennedy ($21)
Andrew Gaff ($21)
Dustin Martin ($51)
Scott Pendlebury ($51)
David Mundy ($51)
2015 AFL Premiership market
West Coast Eagles ($2.50)
North Melbourne ($12)
FREMANTLE superstar Nat Fyfe isn’t the only man thanking the heavens for the AFL Match Review Panel’s lenience.
Punters across Australia who have smashed the gun midfielder into red hot favouritism for the Brownlow Medal are also breathing a sigh of relief.
The volatile Fyfe was cited for a third time this season, but the Match Review Panel decided he had no case to answer as his high hit on North Melbourne’s Ben Jacobs was deemed to be “a legitimate attempt to win the loose ball, and that he contested the ball with his arms reaching out in front of his body.”
The MRP said he made “incidental” high contact to Jacobs’ face with his arm and a free kick was paid.
Although Fyfe’s body then followed through and hit Jacobs’ chest, the panel said there was insufficient forceful high contact to see him receive a third fine.
On receiving the news Fyfe would be cleared to play, our friends at Sportsbet.com.au wound the Docker’s price back in from $2.25 to the $1.75.
West Coast’s curly haired mid Matt Priddis is Fyfe’s nearest challenger at $4.50 as he seeks to win back to back Brownlows, while gun North Melbourne ruck man Todd Goldstein is next at $7 and red hot Adelaide Crow Patrick Dangerfield is $8, but both those men have drifted after Fyfe was given the all clear.
“It’s high fyfes all round for those punters who are on the Dockers star,” the bookie’s Christian Jantzen said.
“He lives to fight another day.”
At CrownBet.com.au, the AFL’s official wagering partner, Fyfe actually drifted out.
“It’s all very much alive in the Brownlow, Fyfe has drifted – again – to $1.75, out from $1.65, while Matt Priddis has shortened in to $4, from $6.50,” the bookie’s Rob Cumbrae-Stewart said.
Had Fyfe copped even a financial sanction, it would have been his third such incident of the year and that would have meant an automatic one match suspension and you know what that means – disqualification from the Brownlow race.
The match review did not come without some further controversy, after panel member Nathan Burke made some comments on radio about the incident.
“It is likely front-on contact, it will be rough conduct,” Burke said.
“We’ll look if he was contesting the ball — there are alternative ways to contest the ball.
“We’ll look at the level of impact. I’m pretty sure intentional (conduct) is off the table.
“I don’t want to talk too soon, but it would be (regarded as) accidental.”
In the wake of his comments, AFL operations manager Mark Evans asked him to step aside from the panel reviewing.
He did so and the remaining three panelists, Michael Christian, Luke Ball and Brad Sewell, were left to rule on the incident.
“I did ask him (Burke) to step aside from the Fyfe case – it was a more prudent course of action – and Nathan agreed to that,” Evans said.
Fyfe has had a stellar season that entered a slight lull in recent weeks, but if he wins this year’s Brownlow, he will become the first Docker to do so in the club’s history.
He had just 21 touches as the Dockers lowered their colours to North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on the weekend, 14.10 (94) to 12.11 (83).
Despite the loss, Fremantle is a steady $4.25 third favourite to West Coast and main fancies Hawthorn, which lost to Port Adelaide on Friday night, 16.12 (108) to 13.8 (86), and was subsequently wound out from $2.10 to $2.70 at CrownBet.com.au.
The Eagles were jammed in from $5.50 to $3.75 after they smoked the Western Bulldogs by 77 points, 25.12 (162) to 13.7 (85).
And no wonder Priddis is the man punters believe most likely to challenge Fyfe for the Brownlow, after he had a monstrous 37 disposals and seven tackles in the rout.
But he might have competition for the three votes from gun forward Josh Kennedy, who booted seven goals, had 21 disposals and plucked 14 marks in a superb tour de force.
With a lead of 17 goals, CrownBet has declared Kennedy the winner of the 2015 Coleman Medal and have paid out all single bets on him.
In other markets, Sydney has closed in on the double chance, they are in to $1.21, from $1.24, to finish in the top four, while the Dogs’ chance is all but gone after they drifted from $3.50 to $12, following their monstrous hiding at the hands of the Eagles.
It’s race in two for the final position in the top eight, with the Crows holding all the aces at $1.26, wound in from $1.30. Geelong’s draw with St Kilda has almost killed off its finals chances, drifting to $3.75 from $2.75.
And in the battle of the future legends, Carlton’s Patrick Cripps is back into favouritism at $1.80, in from $2.20, going back ahead of Melbourne key forward Jesse Hogan, who was wound out from $1.65 into $2, Cumbrae-Stewart remarking that the market had done a complete “180”.
On a less serious AFL betting note, the Sportsbet crew has released a market on exactly what deposed Essendon coach James Hird will do next, after he was dumped as the club’s mentor last week.
“James Hird just about has more university degrees than the Bombers have wins in season 2015, so he shouldn’t have any trouble getting a new gig,” Jantzen said.
“We’ve created a fictional market on what one of football’s brightest people will do next and it’s no surprise to see a return to being director at sports marketing company Gemba as the $1.66 favourite, given he helped create the business.
“Offers to be a commentator ($3) will no doubt come flooding in, and Hird is already a proven hit “On The Couch” ($16).
“Those scenarios are much more likely than Hirdy using his Bombers’ experience to become a pharmaceutical rep ($41), or become an AFL coach at a different club, which is priced at $101.
“Although he’d get a walk-up start at Essendon at the moment, Hird is $501 to return to the playing field at the age of 42.
“James Hird is far too intelligent to stay in the football world and it’s probably cost him millions by not moving into the corporate world sooner.”
Brownlow Medal Winner
Matt Priddis ($4.50, steady)
Todd Goldstein ($7, out from $6)
Patrick Dangerfield ($8, out from $7)
Daniel Hannebery ($14, out from $11)
Sam Mitchell ($14, out from $11)
Andrew Gaff ($16, out from $15)
Scott Pendlebury ($21, out from $16)
David Mundy ($26, out from $21)
Hawthorn Hawks ($2.70, out from $2.10)
West Coast Eagles ($3.75, in from $5.50)
Fremantle Dockers ($4.25, steady)
Sydney Swans ($10, steady)
Richmond Tigers ($15, in from $17)
Western Bulldogs ($31, out from $26)
North Melbourne ($31, in from $31)
Adelaide Crows ($51, in from $67)
Geelong Cats ($151, out from $126)
Top four finish
Sydney Swans ($1.21, in from $1.24)
Richmond Tigers ($6.50, in from $9)
Western Bulldogs ($12, out from $3.50)
North Melbourne Kangaroos ($26, out from $12)
Adelaide Crows ($81, in from $101)
To make the top eight
Hawthorn Hawks, West Coast Eagles, Fremantle Dockers, Sydney Swans, Richmond Tigers, North Melbourne Kangaroos and Western Bulldogs all sealed –
Adelaide Crows ($1.26, in from $1.30)
Geelong Cats ($3.75, out from $2.75)
Patrick Cripps (Carlton Blues, nominated in round four)($1.80, in from $2.20)
Jesse Hogan (Melbourne Demons, nominated in round nine ($2, out from $1.65)
Dom Sheed (West Coast Eagles, nominated in round 15) ($17, steady)
What will James Hird do next?
Return to Director of Gemba ($1.66)
Writer for Herald Sun ($4)
Writer for The Age ($12)
Join On The Couch ($16)
Gap Year ($26)
University Lecturer ($34)
Player Manager ($34)
Pharmaceutical Company Rep ($41)
Director of Football at any AFL club ($41)
Board member of any AFL club ($51)
Assistant Coach ($67)
AFL Coach ($101)
CEO of AFL club ($151)
Return to playing ($501)
ROUND 17 looms as the most important week of football for the 2015 season to date, with many pivotal clashes taking place which will help shape the finals.
The Eagles and the Swans are facing off in a match that should dictate who finishes top two, GWS and Geelong are playing for their finals lives, while the loser of the Dogs and Pies game can just about kiss season 2015 goodbye.
Blues vs. Hawks
Friday, July 24th, 7:50pm, Etihad Stadium
Carlton – $1.92 (+66.5)
Hawthorn – $1.92 (-66.5)
Round 17 kicks off at Etihad Stadium with the Blues hosting the Hawks in what will be the easiest game of the round to pick.
The Hawks have been in red-hot form, dispatching two of their closest rivals for the flag on the march towards the finals and look in ominous form.
Carlton were gallant in the west against Fremantle, but were ultimately overpowered by a much stronger team.
On paper this looks to be an absolute walkover, and even with an 11 goal head start on the line betting, the Hawks should comfortably cover that on their way to another four premiership points.
Tip: Hawthorn to win – line bet -66.5 $1.92 via Sportsbet
Exotic: Most disposals group 1 Jordan Lewis – $4.50 via Sportsbet
David Parkin Medal: Jordan Lewis – $6 via Sportsbet
Giants vs. Cats
Saturday, July 25th, 1:45pm, Startrack Oval (Canberra)
GWS – $1.91 (-2.5)
Geelong – $1.91 (+2.5)
Saturday afternoon in the nation’s capital sees the Giants hosting the Cats in a do-or-die clash for both teams.
The Giants fought out a gutsy win against the Suns last week on the Gold Coast, with on-baller Devon Smith stepping up to fill the void left by injured superstar Dylan Sheil, booting four goals.
The Cats held off a fast finishing Western Bulldogs outfit to keep their September hopes alive, and will travel to Canberra full of confidence that their run can continue.
Geelong welcome back captain Joel Selwood who missed last week’s clash through suspension.
Joel Patfull finds his way back into the Giants side after missing over a month of football.
This one is a true toss of the coin, but the return of Selwood, as well as the overall experience factor plays in the Cats’ favour, who should prove too strong for the Giants.
Tip: GWS to win $2.00 via Crownbet
Exotic: Joel Selwood to get 30 or more disposals – $4.40 via Sportsbet
Crows vs. Suns
Saturday, July 25th, 2:10pm, Adelaide Oval
Adelaide – $1.91 (-28.5)
Gold Coast – $1.91 (+28.5)
The first Saturday game of the round sees the Crows hosting the Suns over in the South of Australia.
The Crows are flying high after a spirited victory over cross-town rivals Port Adelaide last week, and look to be playing inspired football as the reality of a potential finals campaign kicks in.
The Gold Coast Suns were better last week but seemed to lack the polish to get over the Giants at home, despite a huge effort from captain Gary Ablett.
The Crows have been able to welcome back injury-hit star Rory Sloane, who has missed significant chunks of the season with a cheekbone injury.
The Suns have lifted Harley Bennell’s club imposed exile, while dominant forward Charlie Dixon has shaken off his ankle injury.
Despite the handy ins for the Suns, the Crows should be too strong at home, plus they have too much to play for.
Tip: Adelaide to win $1.67 via William Hill
Exotic: Taylor Walker to score the most goals $3.75 via Sportsbet
Tigers vs. Dockers
Saturday, July 25th, 4:35pm, Melbourne Cricket Ground
Richmond – $1.92 (-3.5)
Fremantle – $1.92 (+3.5)
The Melbourne Cricket Ground plays host to the game of the round, with Richmond facing off against the top-of-the-table Dockers.
The Tigers held off a fast finishing St Kilda last week to keep their momentum rolling on towards a potential top four finish in 2015.
The Dockers did what they had to against the Blues to keep one game clear atop the AFL ladder.
A big question lingers over the fitness of Fremantle superstar on-baller Nat Fyfe, who has struggled with a corked thigh which he sustained in the devastating loss to Hawthorn in Tasmania.
Fyfe is without a doubt the most important player in the game today, and if he is unavailable it is hard to see the Dockers mounting a challenge away from home against the Tigers.
Even if Fyfe is able to take to the field against Richmond, it will be difficult to holt the Tigers, who are full of confidence and look ready to take another big scalp.
Tip: Richmond to win line bet – -3.5 $1.92 via William Hill
Exotic: Most possesions/most goals – Trent Cotchin/Jack Riewoldt $15 via Sportsbet
Bombers vs. Power
Saturday, July 25th, 7:20pm, Etihad Stadium
Essendon – $1.91 (+17.5)
Port Adelaide – $1.91 (-17.5)
The Bombers and the Power are set to battle at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night in a match that looked so much better on paper prior to the start of the season.
This will be Paddy Ryder’s first game in Port Adelaide colours, and he should experience a hostile reception from the Bomber faithful.
The Bombers were terrific for a half last week, but fell away sharply against North Melbourne. However, they did show signs that all the pieces are still there.
Port Adelaide looked set to steamroll their cross-town rivals in the final quarter of the Showdown last week, but feel just short of pulling off the miracle.
The Power welcome back speedster Matt White after he recovered from a hamstring injury that has kept him out of the game for just under a month.
The Bombers have experienced a great run against the Power, winning their last five matches, and this trend should continue with the visitors now acutely aware their finals chances are now gone.
Tip: Essendon to win $3.15 via Crownbet
Exotic: Most disposals – Dyson Heppell $7.00 via Sportsbet
Lions vs. Kangaroos
Saturday, July 25th, 7.20pm, GABBA
Brisbane – $1.92 (+21.5)
North Melbourne – $1.92 (-21.5)
Saturday night in Brisbane sees the luckless Lions hosting the resurgent Kangaroos in what promises to be an entertaining contest.
North Melbourne premiership superstar Brent Harvey plays his 400th AFL game for the club, becoming only the fourth living player in the history of the game to achieve the milestone.
The Kangaroos did what they had to in last week’s win over the Bombers, overturning a half time deficit to record a 25 point win.
The Lions were woeful against Melbourne, in what many dubbed to be the worst game of the season.
It is hard to see how the Lions can mount a challenge in this one, despite North’s spasmodic form on the road.
The Kangaroos have too much to play for, with their milestone man’s big game, as well as a finals berth beckoning.
Tip: North Melbourne to win by 40+ $3.10 via Sportsbet
Exotic: Jarrad Waite to score the most goals – $6 via Sportsbet
Bulldogs vs. Magpies
Sunday, July 26th, 1:10pm, Etihad Stadium
Western Bulldogs – $1.91 (+4.5)
Collingwood – $1.91 (-4.5)
The first Sunday game of the weekend kicks off at Etihad Stadium with the Bulldogs hosting the Magpies.
Both sides are looking to secure a place in the finals with the Dogs and the Pies both firmly entrenched in the four team battle for the final two spots in the eight.
The Dogs were gallant down in Geelong but fell short after trailing for most of the match, but will take confidence that their young boys withstood a lot of pressure from seasoned pros.
The Pies were disappointing last week against the Eagles, never really looking like they were in the contest after losing Travis Cloke in the opening minutes.
The loss of Cloke is vitally important to the Pies, as he has been their sole focal point up front, with Jamie Elliot and Jesse White struggling to make an impact on the scoreboard.
The Dogs look ready to take another scalp here, and with the loss of Cloke the Pies forward line looks bereft of goal kicking firepower.
Tip: Western Bulldogs to win $2.10 via William Hill
Exotic: First goal scorer – Tory Dickson $10 via Sportsbet
Sutton/Rose Medal: Mitch Wallis – $26 via Sportsbet
Melbourne vs. Saints
Sunday, July 26th, 3:20pm, Melbourne Cricket Ground
Melbourne – $1.92 (-3.5)
St Kilda – $1.92 (+3.5)
A battle of the bottom looms at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday with the Demons hosting the Saints.
The Demons got back on the winners list last week, but did not do it with any great style, winning against the Lions at home.
The Saints surged home against the Tigers at Etihad last Sunday but just fell short.
The Saints have played exciting football at times this year, with their midfield of Armitage and Leigh Montagna amongst the best pairings in the AFL.
The Demons forward line has been dysfunctional at times, but Paul Roos would have to be happy with the progress of young forward Jesse Hogan, who booted four goals last week against the Lions.
A true toss of the coin match this one, but the edge has to go to St Kilda, with the more polished midfield and the exciting duo of Nick Reiwoldt and Josh Bruce up forward.
Tip: Port Adelaide to win $1.93 via William Hill
Exotic: First goal scorer – Josh Bruce $7 via Sportsbet
Eagles vs. Swans
Sunday, July 26th, 4:40pm, Domain Stadium
West Coast – $1.91 (-17.5)
Sydney – $1.92 (+17.5)
The final game of round 17 sees the Eagles hosting the Swans in a match that could determine who finishes inside the top four with a double chance.
The Swans were woeful last week against the Hawks, getting exposed in all areas of the ground and were made to look especially slow through the midfield.
The Eagles were brilliant against the Pies, and if not for some wayward goal kicking could have put their opponents away much earlier in the match.
The Swans will be without two important key posts in Kurt Tippett – who misses with a broken hand – and Ted Richards, who copped a one week suspension.
The Eagles lost intercept marking king Jeremy McGovern to a hamstring injury.
The home side are in red-hot form at the moment, and the Swans look in free fall.
It is hard to see how the Swans can mount a challenge in the west, with too many key players out and the Eagles in blistering form.
Tip: West Coast to win 40+ $3.40 via Sportsbet
Exotic: First goal scorer – Jack Darling $10 via Sportsbet
HMAS medallist: Luke Schuey – $15 via Sportsbet
THE race for the 2015 Brownlow Medal is already over.
At least that’s what CrownBet.com.au thinks.
CrownBet, the AFL’s official wagering partner, today paid out all bets on Fremantle superstar and Brownlow favourite Nat Fyfe to win the competition’s most prestigious individual award in September.
For those playing at home, that is four months and 15 games before they have to.
CrownBet has coughed up a six-figure sum to it’s customers that were clever enough to bet on the player many are calling the best in the land.
The pay-out applies to all single bets placed on Fyfe to win the 2015 Brownlow prior to midnight on Tuesday, May 26, 2015.
CrownBet CEO Matthew Tripp said that Fyfe’s Brownlow win was all but a formality and was comfortable rewarding punters early.
“We believe Fyfe is a long way in front of the pack, and given the form he’s in will continue to poll votes,” CrownBet’s CEO Matt Tripp said.
“He’s had an unbelievable start to the season and it seems a formality that we’d be paying out on him in September anyway, so punters might as well enjoy their cash now.”
“Punters can reinvest on Fyfe if they wish, or can take their money. It’s completely up to them. The cash is in their accounts.”
CrownBet’s Brownlow market remains open, which sees Fyfe a clear $2.25 favourite from last year’s winner Matthew Priddis at $11 and Scott Pendlebury at $13.
While bookmakers have been known to pay out early on results before, no bookmaker has ever been brave enough to pay out on a Brownlow Medal this early in a season.
Sportsbet.com.au last year paid out on Gold Coast captain Gary Ablett Jr. to win the Brownlow Medal in Round 13, only to watch the raging favourite injure his shoulder in round 16, miss the remainder of the season and narrowly get pipped on the AFL’s night of nights, where Eagle Matthew Priddis took home ‘Charlie’.
Fyfe, who has polled 68 out of a possible 80 votes in the AFL coaches Association Player of the Year Award, leads every media award around the country and is widely recognised to either be a clear best on ground or at least in the votes for every one of Fremantle’s eight games thus far.
Fyfe polled 25 Brownlow votes last season, one shy of winner Priddis on 26, but was ineligable to win after receiving a two-game suspension earlier in the season.
While many believe Fyfe’s first Brownlow Medal is a mere formality, the Docker will have to make it through 14 more games of football without suspension and also avoid the injury curse that robbed Ablett last season.
Are you a believer in the Fyfe hype?
Do you think he already has the Brownlow wrapped up?
- Fyfe is paying $2.50 to score more Brownlow votes this season than every Carlton player combined
- He is also paying $2.50 to score more votes this season than Dane Swan’s modern-day record of 34 in 2011
- $3.25 is on offer for Fyfe to record more three-vote matches this season than Greg Williams’ modern-day record of nine in 1994