Mon, May 26, 2:00pm by Dominic Ciconte
GARY Ablett Jr is free to play next week and remains the un-backable favourite for his third Brownlow Medal after the AFL’s Match Review Panel dismissed an elbowing charge.
The MRP stated that “the force of the contact made to Western Bulldog player, Liam Picken’s body was below that required for a report.”
Following the news, online bookmakers quickly re-installed Brownlow markets, which had been suspended, pending the outcome of the MRP findings.
Punters around the country will be breathing a huge sigh of relief. Ablett, who started the season as the $7 favourite, is the shortest-priced Brownlow favourite in the history of the medal. After just 10 rounds of football, he is paying $1.90 with Sportsbet.com.au.
A MOMENT of frustration has thrown the market for the 2014 Brownlow Medal into absolute turmoil.
Gary Ablett Jr, one of the shortest-priced favourites in the award’s history, is facing a suspension for elbowing Bulldog tagger Liam Picken, possibly ruling him ineligible for the game’s highest individual honour.
Brownlow markets around the country have frozen as the AFL’s Match Review Panel deliberate on Ablett’s blow. Whether or not Ablett will have to face the tribunal will be announced tonight.
Opinions are split on the matter. There is conjecture as to whether there was enough force in the hit to warrant a suspension.
An offence that draws a base penalty of more than 100 points makes that player ineligible for the Brownlow. If Ablett is cited and is deemed to have been reckless and made high contact, it would trigger a 125-point penalty.
Ablett was the $1.90 favourite at Sportsbet.com.au coming into last week. The next closest player in the Brownlow market is Josh Kennedy at $8.
Bookmakers around the country will be praying for bad news for Ablett. The ‘little master’ is the shortest-priced favourite in medal history and even the most conservative estimates have him already leading the count by as much as eight votes after just 10 games. He started the season as a $7 favourite.
Ablett already has two Brownlow Medals to his name – one at Geelong on 2008 and last year for the Suns. He has a chance to become the fifth player to win three times.
Sportsbet.com.au have been quick to open up a market without Ablett, should the champ get rubbed out.
Josh Kennedy – $4
Scott Pendlebury – $4.50
Patrick Dangerfield – $4.50
Joel Selwood – $5.50
Trent Cotchin – $10
Jobe Watson – $10
Nathan Fyfe – $12
Dayne Beams – $16
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