Fri, Sep 28, 1:32pm by Staff Writer
The last Saturday in September means the conclusion of the 2018 AFL season with Collingwood playing West Coast.
The Pies are $1.68 favourites to win the match, with the Eagles priced at $2.25.
Collingwood won through to the Grand Final after stunning the premiership favourites Richmond by 39 points in the preliminary final.
The Eagles dominated Melbourne at Optus Stadium winning by 11 goals.
The home side kicked 10 goals to nil in the first half to effectively win the match, as the Demons failed to live up to expectations.
West Coast and Collingwood have met twice in 2018, including once at the MCG.
That match was in round 17 with the Eagles prevailing by 35 points.
Collingwood led at quarter time by 10 points but were left to rue a number of missed chances, as the Eagles kicked five goals to two in the second quarter to lead by four points at half time.
Jordan de Goey kicked four goals for the Pies, while the Eagles’ forward combination of Jack Darling and Josh Kennedy delivered as it has so often done this season, chiming in with three goals respectively.
The qualifying final the two sides played three weeks ago took place at Optus Stadium as the fast finishing Eagles won by 16 points.
Collingwood conceded the first three goals of the game, but battled back admirably, kicking six goals to three in the second quarter, before going into the three-quarter time huddle with a 10 point lead.
West Coast booted five goals to one in the final term to run on top of the Pies and book their spot in the preliminary finals.
The match featured a host of multiple goal kickers, with six players in total kicking two goals each.
The Norm Smith Medal is given out to the player judged best on ground in the AFL Grand Final.
The award has a rich history and is seldom given to a player on the losing team.
That trend explains why three Collingwood players lead the market, with Steele Sidebottom favoured at $8.
Sidebottom finished second in Brownlow Medal voting earlier this week and is playing career-best football this season.
He is averaging 30 disposals per game and has kicked 12 goals in 2018. If the Pies win, he is a great chance of claiming his highest individual accolade.
All- Australian ruckman Brodie Grundy has been one of the league’s most improved players in 2018 and is priced at $10 to win the Norm Smith. He is sure to be close to the ball wherever it is on the field, with his aerobic capacity setting him apart from his adversaries.
For the Eagles its Elliot Yeo ($11) and Josh Kennedy ($12) who are the market leaders. Yeo is a possession magnet averaging 25 disposals this season, with Kennedy kicking 40 goals from only 13 games in 2018.
Josh Kennedy leads the first goal scorer market at $8.50, while Pies sharp shooter Jordan de Goey is at $9.
This market is always a wildly unpredictable one with Collingwood’s Tyson Goldsack famously kicking the first goal in the 2010 Grand Final against St Kilda.
He is not personally listed in any markets but can be found as ‘any other player’ at $16 if you think the defender will swing forward again and history repeats itself.
The Pies are 7.5-point favourites on the handicap at $1.92, while margin betting is favouring a 1-39 result.
The Pies to win 1-39 is paying $2.20, while the Eagles to win by the same margin is $2.80.
A 40+ point win to either side appears unlikely, with the Eagles 40+ priced at $11 and the Pies 40+ at $5.50.
Collingwood knocked off the flag favourites last week and have the advantage of playing at their home ground for the Grand Final.
They have plenty of weapons in the midfield, but it will be whether or not their defence can hold up against West Coast’s multi-dimensional attack of tall and small forwards.
Cold and wet conditions are forecast, which make the Pies an even better proposition.
Best bet- Collingwood 1-39 at $2.20.
AFL Grand Final Odds
West Coast $2.25 v Collingwood $1.68
Handicap: Collingwood -7.5 ($1.92)
Margin: West Coast 1-39 $2.80, 40+ $11
Collingwood 1-39 $2.20, 40+ $5.50
Total match points: over/under 161.5 ($1.90)
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