With just three weeks left until finals, it’s all up for grabs.
Top four spots, top eight spots – who wants them?
While some sides may have “checked out” (GWS I’m looking at you), others are still a chance.
We’ve put together another 5-leg multi of hindsight in a little blog we like to call – Five Lessons Learned.
(1) You don’t want to play Richmond in September
The Tigers might be ninth at the end of Round 20, and the “ninthmond” jokes might be doing the rounds, but they will be fleeting – the prospect of playing the Tigers in the business end has other clubs worried.
After an eventful roller coaster of a month, the Tigers came back from 42 points down with that classic intense, chaos-pressure style of play that managed to jag three flags in four years.
With Tom Lynch up forward, Dan Rioli at the back and youngster Noah Cumberland kicking five goals from six kicks after playing on the week previous, Richmond started to get its roar back.
Richmond faces Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval, Hawthorn and Essendon at the MCG – all winnable matches in the run home to the finals.
(2) Carlton could miss the finals
A tough run home facing the likes of Brisbane at the Gabba followed by Melbourne and Collingwood means the Blues, who some had dreams of a top-four finish and even a premiership might be knocked out of the eight if they can’t jag a win in the next three weeks.
The Blues are still $1.15 to make the eight in our futures market, but the loss to Adelaide on Saturday night means Vossy and his men are going to have to qualify the hard way if they want to play in September.
With St Kilda, Richmond and the Western Bulldogs all vying for one position, there could be another one available if the Blues falter over the next three weeks.
This Sunday’s game against Brisbane at the Gabba is massive.
(3) Top Four Pies
Just the usual for Collingwood – another win by less than two kicks and another Jack Ginnivan free kick scandal.
The Pies have won 10 in a row, with eight of those decided by less than two kicks, backing the Magpies in the tri-bet option is quickly becoming the most reliable bet in footy.
Some may think that Collingwood is due for a loss with this run of luck, but if the Pies can chalk up two more wins, they can consider themselves a top four lock and be genuine contenders.
Currently third on the ladder, the Magpies are $2.30 for a top-four finish in our futures market.
(4) Saturday’s Dogs-Dockers game will be HUGE
The Western Bulldogs must win to keep their season alive and Fremantle need to get into the top four if Flagmantle is really going to happen.
Three ordinary weeks from Freo, and the Dogs being hit and miss, it’s going to be a bloody hard game for tipsters and punters alike.
Both coming off disappointing losses (against the top teams respectively) the Bulldogs retro clash along with the retirement of veteran Docker David Mundy, mixed with top eight/top four hopes means we’re in for a treat.
Bevo’s Bulldogs go into the game as $1.52 favourites, with Freo the $2.55 underdog and doesn’t the old Robodog jumper look a treat?
(5) Lions can’t find their (MC)G spot
Much will be said about the Brisbane Lions poor record at the MCG, having not won at the venue since 2014, and a 50-point turnaround resulting in a 7-point loss to the Tigers won’t help their cause, however, it’s still a minor thing.
Brisbane has played a total of six games since being a top four side from 2019 at the home of football, and average around 1-2 games at the ground per season if they are lucky.
While an ability to win at the MCG is an important trait to have, especially on the last Saturday in September, things do need to be put in perspective about it being a hoodoo or not.
All the Lions can do from here is ignore the noise about the MCG and get on with winning games of footy to put themselves in a position to play at the ground again.