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AFL Finals Week 1: Saturday Specials

Wed, Sep 5, 10:49am by Staff Writer

The 2018 AFL finals continue on Saturday with a Sydney derby between the Swans and the Giants and a qualifying final between West Coast and Collingwood in Perth.

Sydney Swans versus GWS Giants

Saturday, 8 September 2018 at 4:20pm AEST at the SCG

The Sydney Swans take on their near neighbours the Greater Western Sydney Giants in an elimination final on Saturday afternoon.

The Swans are $1.74 favourites to win the match, with the Giants $2.10 outsiders.

This is the second time these two sides will meet in the finals. The first was in 2016, when they met at ANZ Stadium in a qualifying final.

On that afternoon, the Giants were 36-point winners in an upset result. They went on to lose a preliminary final to the Western Bulldogs. The Swans made the Grand Final that year after defeating North Melbourne and Geelong.

The Swans finals hopes were in tatters with four weeks to go in the home and away season. They managed to win important matches against Collingwood and Melbourne to secure their place in the top eight. They finished the season in sixth position on the ladder with 14 wins.

The Giants looked in the box seat for a top four berth as they finished the season with a flourish after a slow start. Injuries curtailed their top four aspirations and they finished in seventh spot with 13 wins.

The Swans won both regular season match ups between the two teams.

The first was a 16-point win in round three at the SCG. Sydney led at every change as the Giants’ inaccurate kicking let them down. GWS had more scoring shots (27-23) but fell short.

Jeremy Cameron kicked three goals for the visitors, while Lance Franklin was one of six players to boot multiple goals for the Sydney.

The Giants were hampered by injuries when the two teams met in round 22 this season. They led by two goals at three-quarter time, but a six goal to one final quarter by the Swans meant they blew the game open and won by 20 points.

Lance Franklin was an unstoppable force, booting five goals and four behinds to lead the way for Sydney.

The Swans to win by a margin of 1-39 points is paying $2.20, while the same result for the Giants is priced at $2.70.

The Swans will start the game as 5.5-point favourites at $1.92, with the total match points set at over/under 156.5 at $1.90.

Playing this final at the SCG will be a huge boost to the Swans, despite their poor record at the ground this season. They will be able to leave Franklin one-out in the forward line and let the big man do his best work.

Sydney should win this one fairly comfortably given their excellent September pedigree.

Best bet- Sydney to cover 5.5-point handicap at $1.92

West Coast Eagles versus Collingwood Magpies

Saturday, 8 September 2018 at 8:10pm AEST at Optus Stadium

The West Coast Eagles capped a terrific regular season with a top-two finish and hosts Collingwood in a qualifying final at Optus Stadium on Saturday night.

The Eagles start as $1.60 favourites to win the match at Sportsbet, with the Pies $2.35 outsiders.

West Coast finished the home and away season with 16 wins and were a game clear in second spot and two games behind minor premiers Richmond.

The Pies managed to stave off the Hawks by just 0.3 per cent to finish in third and set up this clash against the Eagles. They won 15 matches this season after missing the final last year.

These two sides met in round 17 this season at the MCG, where the Eagles were 35-point winners.

Josh Kennedy returned after missing game time with injury and helped to give structure to the Eagles forward line.

He kicked three goals, as did his team mates Jack Darling and William Rioli.

Jordan De Goey was the Pies’ best booting four, with Taylor Adams notching 28 disposals.

Collingwood played its only match at Optus Stadium in its final home and away game of the season in round 23 against Fremantle.

They defeated the Dockers by nine points on that afternoon and having played at the ground recently, it is sure to aid them in familiarising themselves with the larger field and expected atmosphere.

The Eagles to win by a margin of 1-39 points is paying $2.20, while the Pies to win by the same margin is $2.88.

West Coast start the match as 9.5-point favourites at $1.92, with the total match points set at over/under 165.5 at $1.90.

The Eagles have been a difficult team to beat at home, with Premiership favourites Richmond even losing to the Eagles at their home ground.

Collingwood will get another chance next weekend and if this match were at the MCG, the result would be different. The Eagles should win comfortably.

Best bet- West Coast to cover 9.5-point handicap at $1.90

AFL Finals Week 1 Odds – Sportsbet

Richmond $1.37 v Hawthorn $3.10

Melbourne $1.74 v Geelong $2.10

Sydney $1.74 v GWS $2.10

West Coast $1.60 v Collingwood $2.35

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