It’s that time of the year, the last Saturday in September. Every team in the competition wants to be playing in this game but only 2 teams can make it. This year it’s the Sydney Swans versus the Hawthorn Hawks, they played against each other in the 2012 grand final in which Sydney took home the silverware. When these two teams played on the same day a couple of years ago, Hawthorn were the outright favourites, but Sydney caused an upset to win by 10 points in a thrilling game of Aussie Rules football. This year, the Swans are the favourites and many people are saying that the Hawks will struggle to stop their forwards kicking a winning score. Ironically, the same thing was said a couple of years ago – except they were talking about Sydney being unable to stop the Hawthorn forward line. Since then, the Swans have added Kurt Tippett and Lance Franklin, while the hawks have picked up Brian Lake and Ben McEvoy. Will these 4 players make a big difference? I think each and every one has the ability to but we’ll have to wait and see.
The talk of the town is not unusual. The first season Buddy Franklin has played for the Swans he’s made it to a grand final, I think most fans will be less critical of the remarkable contract that he was given – for the time being at least. One man doesn’t make a team, but thankfully the Swans don’t rely on any single player, they have match winners all over the ground, as do the Hawks. But Buddy was playing for the Hawks in 2012, and while he didn’t play a terrible game, he didn’t have the impact that a lot of people expected him to, Ted Richards played a great game of football that day and never gave up trying. That’s the kind of attitude that will win in a grand final, never give up. If nothing else it will be interesting to see how he fares playing against his old team on the big stage, the last game of the year (unless of course the game finishes in a draw, *knocks on wood*) in which the winner is dubbed the best team of the season and goes away with the 2014 AFL Premiership Cup.
My Tips for the 2014 Grand Final
This is hard because I’m a Hawthorn supporter and I will not say that you should bet on Sydney to win, but I think it will be a close game and if the Hawks are to win, I doubt it will be by more than a couple of goals. I think they’ve got to kick over 100 points if they’re a realistic chance of winning which will be hard to do against the Swan because their entire team’s defense is as good as their offense, which is saying something because their forward line is one of the most formidable in the competition and can easily kick a big score if they get the ball inside 50 quickly.
I won’t tip either team to win outright, we all know that anything can happen in a Grand Final, but I’ll be having a few exotic bets myself. It’s hard to go past Buddy for the Norm Smith if Sydney end up winning, I can see him tearing the game apart in the middle and up forward, which is difficult for me to admit. On the other side of the coin, if Hawthorn win, we have some standout players who I think could be the difference. Obviously, Luke Hodge won the medal in 2008 and he could be instrumental again, but young Will Langford was one of the reasons we beat Port Adelaide last week in the preliminary final, I think he’s a good roughie to throw into the mix if you’re looking for value. Finally Jarryd Roughead, a star player and again, without his massive effort last week I don’t think we’d be playing in the grand final. He plays forward, midfield and in defense, if he has another game like last week, and Hawthorn win, I’d pencil him in.
Best AFL Grand Final Winner Betting Odds
The best odds for each team from each online bookmaker are listed in bold text.
These odds were correct at the time of posting and are subject to change.
Good Luck, Happy Punting and ‘carn the Hawks!