2015 AFL Finals Week 2 Preview
The opening weekend of the 2015 AFL Finals Series could hardly have been more intriguing and we are in for two cracking semi-finals this weekend.
Fans of Richmond and the Western Bulldogs will rue opportunities that got away from them in their respective meetings last weekend, while Adelaide and North Melbourne will take confidence from the fact that both elimination finals winners went on to win their semi-finals last season.
We have closely analysed both semi-finals and come up with the best betting plays for both encounters.
Hawthorn Hawks vs Adelaide Crows
Friday, September 18 – 7:50pm AEST – MCG
Hawthorn were extremely well-backed in the lead-up to their qualifying final against West Coast last weekend following the withdrawal of Matt Priddis, but produced what was overall an extremely disappointing performance and they now face a tough assignment to win their third straight flag. The Adelaide Crows continued their fairly-tale season with a memorable victory over the Western Bulldogs in an absolute thriller last weekend and the Crows will be confident that they can beat anybody with their attractive, high-scoring brand of football. The Crows have scored more than 100 points in four of their last five games and the Hawks have averaged 109 points per game this season, so this game is set to be an absolute thriller. The Crows have shown that they are capable of mixing it with the very best teams in the AFL, but the Hawks simply do not lose two games in a row and they have not finished in the top four and been eliminated in straight sets since 1977. The Hawks are a fairly safe bet at their current quote of $1.32 and should be able to beat the line of 21.5 points.
Sydney Swans vs North Melbourne Kangaroos
Saturday, September 19 – 7:20pm AEST – ANZ Stadium
The Sydney Swans would be enjoying a week off if they had been able to kick straight against Fremantle last weekend, but they now face a very tough assignment against North Melbourne on Saturday. The Swans produced a very tough display of football without a number of their stars last weekend, but their poor kicking in front of goal cost them and such a brutal game may have taken plenty out of them. The defence of the Richmond Tigers was rated one of the best in the AFL all season, but North Melbourne were able to score points at will against them last weekend and will be confident they can replicate that performance this weekend. Unlike the Swans, the Kangaroos will take almost a fully sit side into this game and they look an outstanding chance to cause an upset on Saturday and set up a preliminary final with West Coast. The Kangaroos are a great bet at their current quote of $2.50 and I am also happy to take them with a start of 11.5 points.