Mon, Sep 18, 1:06pm by Head Editor
Semi final weekend in the 2017 AFL Finals produced two lopsided games, with Geelong and Greater Western Sydney victorious.
Geelong surprised most on Friday night in front of over 55,000 spectators when they defeated an exhausted looking Sydney Swans outfit by 59 points.
Led by Patrick Dangerfield, who kicked four goals and three behinds, the Cats were unstoppable after quarter-time.
A six goal to one second quarter set up their victory, with Sydney looking out on their feet for much of the contest.
It was an admirable season from the Swans, who rocketed into finals contention after an 0-6 start, but they were exposed in this match, with superstar Buddy Franklin less than 100% and their midfield was totally outplayed.
Priced at $16 to win the premiership before their match with the Swans, the Cats have firmed into $6, but remain the biggest outsider of the four remaining teams to win the flag this season.
The Cats victory has set up a preliminary final at Adelaide Oval against the Crows on Friday night. They have enjoyed success over Adelaide in recent years, winning four out of the last five clashes between the two sides.
The Crows’ only victory in that sequence came against Geelong in Round 16 this season, where they won by 21 points.
A week’s rest and home-field advantage has Adelaide priced at $1.43 at Sportsbet, with Geelong $2.85 outsiders.
On Saturday night, Greater Western Sydney bounced back from their worst performance of the season to defeat a ragged West Coast Eagles by 67 points at Spotless Stadium.
The Giants were ruthless from the outset, outpacing West Coast in all areas of the ground. Their run from half-back was lethal, cutting up the Eagles through the centre of the park.
Despite last weekend’s heroics where they were victorious after the siren, there was no fairytale ending for the Eagles in this match. Giants forward pocket Steve Johnson wrecked havoc in the second half, kicking six goals and energising the GWS forward line.
Richmond will host the Giants next weekend in the second preliminary final on Saturday afternoon.
The teams shared the spoils when they met twice this season, with GWS coming from behind in Sydney to record a three point win in Round 9. At the MCG in Round 18, after a slow start, the Tigers were winners by 19 points.
Momentum is certainly with the Tigers, but the Giants have the ability to run freely, take risks and execute skills under high pressure. At $1.55, Richmond are favourites, although punters will be wary, given their horrendous finals record prior to last weekend. The Giants are $2.45 to win, and make their first Grand Final in club history.
In the Premiership market, the Crows are the favourites to win it all at $2.50, with Richmond next best at $3.00. The Giants are at $4.50 and the Cats at $6 are the outsiders.
Finals Week 2
Adelaide $1.43 Geelong $2.85 Line: 16.5
Richmond $1.55 Greater Western Sydney $2.45 Line: 9.5
Greater Western Sydney $4.50
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