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Which teams are good bets for the 2018 AFL premiership?

From Brian Ashfield
October 2017

Source: Richmond FC via Facebook

Last season was an absolutely sensational year of Aussie Rules footy that kept footy fans on the edge their seats from start to finish. We saw the Richmond Tigers claim their first premiership in 37 years, and star playmaker Dustin Martin take the competition's first ever treble of a Brownlow Medal, a Premiership Flag and a Norm Smith Medal for being the best and fairest player in the grand final.

Since then we've come through an AFL trade period which saw some very exciting moves, and now there's a much clearer look at how teams will be lining up on the field in 2018. It's always hard to pick who will lift the trophy pre-season, with the AFL being such an incredibly competitive league nowadays.

Let's take a look at which teams are looking like the smart bets for next seasons campaign.

Adelaide Crows

After last season's dominating display which saw them stay at the top of the ladder all year except for two rounds when the relinquished their lead to the GWS Giants, it's hard see how they won't be competitive once again next term. They are currently second favourites, and the signing of Bryce Gibbs from the Carlton Blues will give them a bit more attacking quality from the midfield. According to Footy Wire, the Crows were ranked first in points, hitouts and opponent marks per game in 2017, and will hope to drive home this dominance by claiming the flag this season.

Geelong Cats

There's been a lot of talk about Geelong after they managed to secure their prodigal son, Gary Ablett, from the Gold Coast Suns during the AFL trade period. Last season the midfield partnership of Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood was already running like a well-oiled machine, and adding Ablett to that mix is going to make an extremely attacking trio through the middle of the park. They may have enough now to make that extra push for the big dance, after going out in the preliminary finals for the previous two years. Currently they are the fifth favourites to claim the flag.

Greater Western Sydney Giants

The young club is still searching for their maiden premiership and 2018 may very well be their year, currently sitting as the favourites according to Champion Bets. They started last season with so much promise, and until the final quarter of the year, they looked like Adelaide's biggest threat. They enter their next campaign as the front-runners to win the title, and it will be interesting to see how the squad can deal with the expectations of that label.

Richmond Tigers

After a Cinderella story last term, it's going to be intriguing to see how the Tigers back it up. They arguably have the best player in the competition in Dustin Martin, as well as the 2017 All-Australian captain Alex Rance. They have managed to keep that Premiership-winning side together which will dramatically increase their chances for consecutive flags, and right now they can be found at a reasonable price to make it back-to-back Premierships.

Sydney Swans

The team that started last season with six straight losses, ended up finishing sixth, and even became some peoples pick to win the competition. Last year was a season of extremes for the Swans but if they can start their next campaign the way they played the second half of the season last year, they will be very tough to beat. Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker work fantastically together in the midfield, and Lance Franklin is in some devastatingly good form in front of goal.

It's always challenging to pick the winner pre-season, but it's hard not to see one of these teams lifting the trophy in September.




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