Wed, Sep 13, 10:55am by Head Editor
The first week of the 2017 AFL Finals produced four gripping finals games, with Adelaide, Richmond, Sydney and West Coast proving too strong for their opponents.
In the second week of the finals, Geelong host Sydney on Friday night at the MCG, with the winner to battle Adelaide next Friday night.
On Saturday night, GWS take on West Coast at Spotless Stadium for the chance to face Richmond at the MCG next Saturday afternoon.
Here are our best bets for the two semi-finals in the AFL this weekend.
Geelong Cats versus Sydney Swans, Friday 15 September, 7:50pm, MCG
Geelong faces a stern test on Friday night, when they battle the all-conquering Sydney Swans. After starting the season 0-6, the Swans have bounced back miraculously, winning 15 of their last 17 matches.
Last weekend against Richmond, the Cats midfield was handsomely beaten, their forward line failed to fire and their tackle pressure inside 50 was non-existent, with Richmond laying four times as many tackles inside 50 compared to the Cats.
These two sides met five weeks ago in Geelong, where the Swans crushed a Cats side missing Patrick Dangerfield through suspension by 46 points. Recent history is not on Geelong’s side in this fixture, with the Swans downing the Cats by 37 points in the 2016 preliminary final at the MCG.
Sydney has dominated four of the past five meetings with Geelong, winning by over five goals on each occasion. At $1.36, the Swans are overwhelming favourites, with Geelong friendless at $3.20.
The line for this match, which opened at 17.5, has now moved to 18.5, with punters keen to back the Swans at the $1.92 handicap given their recent success against the Cats.
The Swans will be able to hold their own in contested ball and possess a lethal forward line. They represent money at the current line and should easily progress through to another preliminary final.
Suggested bet: Sydney (-18.5) at 1.92
Greater Western Sydney Giants versus West Coast Eagles, Saturday 16 September, 7:25pm, Spotless Stadium
After an up-and-down season, the West Coast Eagles find themselves in the second week of the AFL Finals after a last-gasp extra time win over Port Adelaide on Saturday night.
The Eagles started the game on fire, leading by as many as 31 points midway through the second quarter. Goals were hard to come by for both sides in the second half, with scores locked after four quarters. A 13-point deficit in extra time failed to deter the never-say-die Eagles, who clawed back to win after the final siren by two points.
The Giants were disappointing on Thursday night, completely dominated by Adelaide for over three quarters. The Giants midfield was erratic and soundly beaten. A hamstring injury to Jeremy Cameron made matters worse for GWS, with their forward line failing to fire.
In Round 22 this season, the Giants accounted for the Eagles by 21 points, after a strong final quarter. A visit to Domain Stadium in Round 10 also saw GWS defeat the West Coast by eight points.
GWS are $1.40 favourites to progress to a second ever preliminary final on Saturday night, with the Eagles priced at $3.00 with Sportsbet.
The line is currently 17.5. The margin markets provide the most value in this fixture, with GWS 1-39 at $2.10 looking the pick of the bunch. The Eagles 1-39 at $3.60 offers more value than the head-to-head market for those keen on another Eagles upset.
The Eagles will still be riding high from their miraculous comeback on Saturday night, with the Giants keen to atone for a disappointing performance. Despite the Eagles possessing more finals experience, the Giants should have too much quality in their midfield, which won’t be outplayed in consecutive weeks.
Suggested bet: GWS 1-39 at $2.10
MULTI OF THE WEEK: Combine the following two bets for $3.72 at Sportsbet
Sydney to lead at the end every quarter (wire-to-wire) $2.00
GWS last quarter line (-4.5) $1.86
AFL Finals Week 2 Odds:
Geelong $3.20, Sydney $1.36, Line 18.5
Greater Western Sydney $1.40, West Coast $3.00, Line 17.5
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