2018 AFL Finals Week 2 Predictions and Betting Preview

Hawthorn Hawks v Melbourne Demons

Friday, September 14 7:50pm, MCG

The first Semi-final kicks off on Friday night with the Hawks hosting the Demons at the MCG. The winner moves onto to play the Eagles in Perth and it’s season over for the losing side. Last week, Hawthorn were really no match for the Tigers as they went down 95-64. Tom Mitchell was around the ball as usual with 38 disposals. However, the major problem was they just couldn’t get past the Tigers wall of defence for most of the game. Luke Breust was kept to a single goal and 11 possessions. Gunston was held goalless and didn’t have a major impact. There’s doubt over Ben Stratton for this game as well after a hamstring injury, which will further sour the night for the Hawks. Having not played a finals game since 2006, the Demons were desperate to give their long suffering fans a finals victory and it showed against the Cats. The tackling pressure was immense and they always seemed to be quicker to the ball. James Harmes is really underrated around the AFL (probably not anymore) and he was a standout in the 29 point victory over the Cats. Max Gawn continued his All-Australian season with another great display in the ruck. Jack Viney returned from injury and didn’t miss a step with an inspirational performance. As a result, the team at BlueBet are backing in the Demons with comfortable favourite odds of $1.48. I think they’re a massive threat to the Premiership and I don’t see them slowing down against the Hawks. They’re coming off 3 straight wins and they’ve all been against top 8 sides. Having beaten the Giants and Eagles before the finals, playing against top opposition has worked a treat for their confidence. In the end, I still think this will be close as it’s a final and the Hawks have one of the best coaches in the AFL. They also love playing the Demons with an 11-1 record since 2010 and they smashed them by 67 points in Round 4. But history is there to be broken and the Demons are the form side at the moment. The Hawks are a pretty similar side to the Cats and Melbourne will likely employ the same tactics around the ground. So I’m taking on the Dees at the line of 13.5 points.

Stadium Record

The Hawks are 7-3 at the MCG in season 2018 but lost their finals matchup here last week. Melbourne holds a 6-6 record at the ‘G in 2018.

Head to Head Record

Hawthorn won the only matchup in 2018, 115-48 at this venue back in Round 4.

Best Bet

Demons -13.5 $1.91

Collingwood Magpies v GWS Giants

Saturday, September 15 7:25pm, MCG

The AFL action continues at the MCG on Saturday night with the Magpies playing the Giants. Collingwood are coming off a tough battle in Perth as they lost 86-70 against the Eagles. But they can take a few positives out of the loss. Adam Treloar and Tyson Goldsack both successfully returned from injury after long layoffs. Treloar also should be up for this contest against his former side. The same can be said for former Giants: Taylor Adams and Hoskin-Elliot. Adams was outstanding in the loss, collecting 26 disposals and laying 7 tackles. Grundy had 48 hitouts and he should enjoy this matchup against Rory Lobb. While for the away side, GWS will head to Melbourne full of confidence as the underdog. They absoluted smashed the Swans at the SCG last week in a 49 point win. The pleasing sign was their defence as they conceded just the 4 goals for the entire game. Phil Davis kept Lance Franklin in check and that was the major concern for the Giants coming into this matchup. The other stories of the game was the return of dashing defender Zach Williams and the injury to Josh Kelly. Having not played a game this season, Williams collected 23 disposals off half-back and setup a number of attacking plays. Kelly suffered a knee injury early on in the game and will be in massive doubt for this clash. The Giants rarely risk players (eg. Devon Smith last year) so it will be interesting to see if he plays. So far in the history between the two sides, the Magpies dominated the Giants when they were building this side. But in the last 2 clashes, the Giants have got the points. In Round 2 at this venue, they beat them by 16 points in a close affair. In this final, I can see another close one. The Magpies will be coming off a tough away final in Perth and they should be fired up in front of what should be a highly bias crowd. So I’m looking at either side to take this game by under 24.5 points. This bet has saluted in the last 2 meetings and has also got up in the Magpies last 2 overall games. The Giants defence should be able to keep the Pies in check. Phil Davis can shutdown Mason Cox. Then, they’ll look to keep Rising Star Jaiden Stephenson away from goal. The return of Tyson Goldsack means the Magpies should improve defensively and Treloar should be better for the run after last week to keep their midfield clearances firing under Grundy.

Stadium Record

The Giants are 1-1 at the MCG this season. Collingwood hold an 8-6 record but it’s 1-6 when they face a top 8 side.

Head to Head Record

The Giants have won the last 2 encounters and beat them by 1-39 in Round 2 at this venue.

Best Bet

Triple Margin II – Any Other Result $1.80

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