BOTH Sydney teams line up as heavy favourites in this weekend’s AFL Semi Finals, with Sydney and GWS taking on Geelong and West Coast respectively for a place in the Preliminary Finals.
The Swans are on a high after crushing Essendon last Saturday and take on a Cats side still licking their wounds following a 51-point loss to Richmond. Geelong are at home, but Sydney is the team to beat.
Meanwhile GWS hosts West Coast in the second Semi Final on Friday. Consecutive losses have seen the Giants’ premiership odds blow out, but it will take a special Eagles effort to keep them out of the Prelims.
Here’s how our sports traders see both fixtures. You can get set on the AFL Semi Finals at TopBetta.
Geelong $3.23 v Sydney $1.35
Rarely does any top eight side start over $3.00 at home, let alone in a Semi Final. But that’s exactly where things are at for the Cats who, after roaring into the finals with a 44 point drubbing of GWS, were blown off the park by Richmond last week. Now they face the competition’s form side for a place in the Prelims.
The story of the Swans in 2017 has been truly remarkable. After losing their first six, they’ve won 15 of their next 17, losing twice to finals absentees Hawthorn. Their last four fixtures have proven they’re the real deal – 104 and 81-point drubbings of Fremantle and Carlton, separated by a tough three-point victory over the Crows in Adelaide, before trouncing Essendon in a knockout final last week. They’re doing it at both ends and doing it well.
Sydney is a better side and the competition’s form outfit, but crucially they are also better suited to the MCG. Geelong simply couldn’t get away from Richmond last week and now face the competition’s best defence – it smells of a straight sets exit for the Cats.
Betting tip: Sydney -17.5 @ $1.85
Greater Western Sydney $1.41 v West Coast $2.93
One of the more unlikely week two finals match ups sees West Coast travel to Spotless to take on a vulnerable Giants outfit for a chance to face Richmond in the Prelims.
The Eagles barely scraped into the finals on percentage and left it until late to put Port Adelaide away last week courtesy of an extra time goal after the siren from Luke Shuey. In a match of two teams with the unwanted ‘flat track bully’ tags, it was the visiting West Coast outfit which came out on top. That win on the back of four quarters of maximum effort will have them on a high, but just how much gas is left in the tank?
Things aren’t all plain sailing for the Giants – after all, they’ve suffered consecutive 44 and 36-point losses to Geelong and Adelaide respectively. Losing to the competition ladder’s top two sides is nothing to be ashamed of but the manner in which they have will be of concern to Leon Cameron. Adding to his woes will be the absence of Jeremy Cameron and Shame Mumford, two sizeable key figures in the lineup.
But if the Giants and their young, slick midfield turn up on song, they should have too much class for the ageing Eagles. They were a kick away from a Grand Final last year and will be desperate to atone for that, starting with Saturday’s Semi Final.
Betting tip: Greater Western Sydney -16.5 @ $1.94