There are about 30 days remaining before the 2018 AFL season. However, many teams have made their big move in the trade period which has steamed up the expectations of the viewers who wait with abated breaths.
The AFL grand final futures betting have already begun for the top eight teams for the upcoming season. The experience tells us that every year at least two of the predicted teams fall out of the final places. However, based on the events of the exchange period, this is how the fight for top eight finalists looks like.
The Teams That Are Most Likely to Stay
There are three favourite teams so far in most of the betting markets for the upcoming 2018 premiership. The Adelaide Crows that ranked first in the 2017 home and away season, Sydney Swans that ranked sixth and GWS Giants that ranked fourth are the most talked about teams that are being predicted in the same order to win the flag.
Teams That Are at Risk
The money is being betted against some of the best players of all time. Geelong Cats that came in second position last home and away season, and Richmond that ranked third are being predicted to miss the finals this season.
Geelong Cats not being able to make it to the finals makes sense because the team lost its defensive duo of Andrew Mackie and Tom Lonergan to retirement. And this will surely hurt their chances. Gary Ablett’s history of injuries and age factor has started to catch up with him. Thus, Geelong in fact seems to have taken a step back.
Who Will Be the Big Movers
Essendon and Port Adelaide are the two teams which played the finals last season. Thus, it won’t be a surprise if they jump into the top eight slots this season as well. Also, both these teams do not have a record of injuries or their top players getting retired. So it seems both these teams will be performing even better this season. The forward line of the Dons (Essendon) looks impressive and quite imposing. Even though there are weak spots in their team after the retirements of James Kelly and Jobe Watson, but the team still has a strong line up of players. Same can be said about Port Adelaide. It looks deadly. Tom Rockliff has been added to the midfield and that’s quiet enticing, and Jack Watts and Steven Motlop have shown they can play extremely well when in full form.
The Bottom Line
It’s really difficult to pick any one team for the finals. However, one thing people are betting on very seriously is the presence of the Sydney Swans in the top eight. Port Adelaide made it to the finals last season and then went on to add some great brand players in the trade period. However, the experience tells that not all the predicted teams make it to the finals.
On the other hand, there isn’t much improvement in any team that ranked out of the top eight last season. And the teams below them are even a bigger question mark. However, an early speculation of the top eight teams seems to be like this:
- Sydney Swans
- Adelaide Crows
- GWS Giants
- Port Adelaide
- Geelong Cats