AFL Finals Week One: Saturday Match Previews & Betting Tips

Just 3 weeks after these teams met here, GWS hosts the Bulldogs hoping for a vastly different result as both look to stay alive in 2019. Meanwhile, the red hot premiership favs travel to Brisbane seeking their 14th straight win over the Lions but this year’s fairytale story will have other ideas. 

Ryan Lepore
 | 
Thu, 5 Sep, 12:00 AM

GWS v Western Bulldogs - Giants Stadium - 3:20pm

A rematch of the epic 2016 preliminary final takes centre stage on Saturday afternoon as the Giants and Bulldogs square off at GIANTS Stadium in a bid to keep their respective seasons alive.

The two sides finished the home and away season in significantly different fashion with the Bulldogs winning their final three outings in dominant style by an average margin of 66.3 points and scored 128 per match. The second of those wins came against the Giants at this venue by a 126-65 scoreline, during which they kicked 12 unanswered goals and held the hosts to just five behinds in the second half.

GWS has since defeated Gold Coast by 72-points in Round 23, however, it remains to be seen how much bearing that result will have against the rampaging Dogs. This will mark just the seventh time since the start of 2016 that the Giants play a home match classed as underdogs. An impressive 5-1 record throughout that stretch, which included a 47-point victory against Collingwood this season, should give the hosts belief they can turn things around on Saturday and be far more competitive at the very least.

 

Key Stat: The Western Bulldogs have failed to cover the line in 10 of their last 12 matches as away favourites.

 

Tip: Western Bulldogs

Best bet: Western Bulldogs 1-39

Value bet: Western Bulldogs -3.5/Over 162.5

Brisbane v Richmond - Gabba - 7:25pm

You could be forgiven for getting a sense of dejavu when these teams meet in a qualifying final on Saturday night at the Gabba after having just played each other in the final round of the home and away season. That meeting at the MCG went the way of the Tigers by 27-points, which broke a nine-game winning streak for the Lions who have had a fairytale run to September this season, earning their first finals berth for a decade with 16 wins, just one less than they earned through the four prior seasons (2015-2018) combined.

The Tigers have now won 13 straight against the Lions, including their last six at the Gabba by an average margin of 45.3 points. Star recruit Lachie Neale had a career-high 51 disposals in that contest, while Dayne Zorko’s 27-disposal, two-goal performance was arguably even more influential. With that being said, Richmond’s outstanding team defence was not broken down during that encounter and the Lions may need to re-evaluate their plans if they are to become just the second team in 10 matches to post more than 70 points against the Tigers and snap Richmond’s nine-game winning streak.

 

Key Stat: Richmond has won 13 straight matches against the Brisbane Lions

 

Tip: Richmond

Best bet: Richmond 1-39

Value bet: Either team under 15.5

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