Sportsbet Blog

2017 AFL Season Betting Preview


Premiership: $9.00

To make Top 8: $1.45

Wooden Spoon: $101

Over/Under wins: 14.5

Did the Crows overachieve last season? Yes. Was it a fluke? Probably not when you look at their list, particularly their potent forward line.

Adelaide notched 16 wins in 2016 so the over 14.5 looks tasty this time around. In fact, punters have put five times as many dollars on the overs.

Adelaide Oval should continue to be a fortress which assures them of making the eight ($1.45) however the Crows are only the tenth best backed team to win the flag. They do look under the odds at $9.00.

As per usual, everything will revolve around their superstar Rory Sloane, who’s a $10 chance.

Projected finish: 6th



Premiership: $501

To make Top 8: $15

Wooden Spoon: $2.50

Over/Under wins: 4.5

You’d think the only way is up for the Lions but punters reckon they haven’t even bottomed out yet, making them the best backed for the wooden spoon at $2.50.

New coach Chris Fagan will bring a breath of fresh air to the club, but he’ll be relying on a much better run of injuries than the horror stretch last season.

You’ve gotta chuckle at the 500+ punters who’ve taken the $501 for a Brisbane flag, especially the two that had $200 each on the battlers.

Over or under 4.5 wins? Well I reckon our boys have got that number spot on although their victory over the Bulldogs on the JLT Community Series will help their confidence no end!

Projected finish: 17th



Premiership: $101

To make Top 8: $7.00

Wooden Spoon: $4.50

Over/Under wins: 6.5

If anyone can challenge Brisbane for the spoon it’s Carlton, who are right in the market at $4.50 for Least Wins.

Brendan Bolton did a fantastic job in 2016 and improved the Blues out of sight, but without any real targets inside their forward 50, scoring is going to be difficult.

The Blues midfield is the best thing they’ve got going for them and Patrick Cripps will presumably take another giant step forward with more games under his belt.

Projected finish: 18th



Premiership: $34

To make Top 8: $2.50

Wooden Spoon: $21

Over/Under wins: 9.5

There’s a little bit of a buzz around Collingwood thanks to the recruiting of Daniel Wells and Chris Mayne, but will it be enough to turn things around?

The Pies are worse than an even chance of making the eight again ($2.50) and rightly so after another eleventh place finish last season.

I suspect there’ll be enough improvement to challenge for September action, but we’ve seen as much money on the Magpies to win the spoon at $21 as we have for them to either win the flag or even play finals footy.

And that’s bad news for both Eddie and Bucks!

Projected finish: 12th



Premiership: $23

To make Top 8: $2.50

Wooden Spoon: $21

Over/Under wins: 11.5

Clearly the hardest side to get a read on, so let’s follow the money and you’ll see that only GWS and Fremantle have had more individual bets placed on them than the Bombers have – incredible!

The biggest bet is $1,000 at $23 and Essendon have been backed in from $26 to $23 over the off-season.

Still, 11.5 wins might be a tall order for a group of players who’ve missed twelve months of football. We’ve seen twice the investment on the unders in that particular market.

Over to you, Andrew McGrath as you shoulder the load of an entire club. Best of luck!

Projected finish: 15th



Premiership: $18

To make Top 8: $2.50

Wooden Spoon: $21

Over/Under wins: 11.5

The Sportsbet traders are obviously expecting a sharp improvement from Fremantle’s six wins in 2016 because we’ve set the line for over or under wins at 11.5.

The Dockers have been the best-backed side to win the flag as strange as that sounds. One customer is so bullish about their chances, they’ve staked $20,000 on them at $21 for a potential collect of $210,000.

The big question mark is how will Fremantle go without their club legend, Matthew Pavlich? They’ve also lost Mayne, Barlow, Pearce and Mzungu amongst others.

Projected finish: 10th



Premiership: $11

To make Top 8: $1.45

Wooden Spoon: $251

Over/Under wins: 13.5

When Geelong was posted at $6.00 to win the flag, punters didn’t want a bar of them. Since then, they’ve drifted all the way out to $11 and now they’re queueing up to get on.

If you can forget about last year’s Preliminary Final debacle against Sydney, you’d have the Cats as definite contenders in 2017.

Patrick Dangerfield will do well to match his efforts of 2016, and is a $5.00 favourite to make it back-to-back Brownlow Medals.

Top 8 certainties if they can continue to make Skilled Stadium such a tough place for opposing teams to visit.

Projected finish: 7th


Gold Coast

Premiership: $41

To make Top 8: $4

Wooden Spoon: $6

Over/Under wins: 8.5

Gold Coast 2.0 is here thanks to a rebuild of their list, and things don’t look too bad. For starters, punters are more interested in Brisbane and Carlton to win the wooden spoon than the Suns.

Having said that, there are fewer individual wagers on Gold Coast to win the competition than any other team, so the $41 on offer might as well be 41 million for all punters care.

We’ve set the bar pretty low for over/under wins at 8.5 and two-thirds of the money has been placed on the overs, so the glass is half full when it comes to that market.

A top eight spot would appear unlikely.

Projected finish: 16th



Premiership: $4.50 (favs)

To make Top 8: $1.16

Wooden Spoon: $501

Over/Under wins: 15.5

Two words – It’s time!

GWS are the most popular team with punters in every single way. They’re the best-backed dollar-wise to win the flag, and there are 25% more individual bets on the Giants than the next most popular side.

The best young list in the AFL is now a year older and has finals experience under its belt.

The $1.16 to make the Top 8 is better than bank interest, but the money is literally split 50/50 on whether they can come up with over or under 15.5 wins so expect them to be around that mark by the end of the regular season.

With even luck they should be winning.

Projected finish: 1st



Premiership: $13

To make Top 8: $1.55

Wooden Spoon: $51

Over/Under wins: 12.5

The Hawks have begun their rebuild, but it’s not really a rebuild if you look at their list. Sure they’ve lost Lewis and Mitchell, but O’Meara and Tom Mitchell are more than ready-made replacements.

Add the inspirational story of Jarryd Roughead returning, and $13 isn’t a bad price for yet another flag.

Surely over 12.5 wins is a good bet, and 75% of the money is on the overs too.

Hawthorn have been the best backed side to make the top 8 which should come as no surprise.

They really do look like a Top 4 team.

Projected finish: 5th



Premiership: $23

To make Top 8: $2.20

Wooden Spoon: $41

Over/Under wins: 11.5

Simon Goodwin has inherited Melbourne just at the right time.

Punters have identified the Demons as the big improvers in 2017 and their price has been trimmed up from $33 to $23 on the back of plenty of money.

Maybe it’s asking too much for the Dees to win the flag, but Melbourne has been the fourth most popular team to make the 8 at $2.20.

The Demons have improved their finishing position every year for the past three, so it makes sense to back them to be amongst the September action.

Projected finish: 8th


North Melbourne

Premiership: $67

To make Top 8: $3.00

Wooden Spoon: $9.00

Over/Under wins: 8.5

We always seem to underestimate North Melbourne before they surprise us, but this year punters have literally given up on them doing anything meaningful.

Only Gold Coast have received less support for the flag and the biggest bet we’ve taken is only $100 at odds of $67.

Can they make the eight? Probably not according to the money – you can get $3.00 if you think they can.

The loss of Harvey, Petrie, Dal Santo, Ray and Firrito suggest a massive rebuilding period.

Projected finish: 14th


Port Adelaide

Premiership: $34

To make Top 8: $2.40

Wooden Spoon: $41

Over/Under wins: 10.5

Can we stop assuming this Port Adelaide side will automatically return to the blistering form we saw in 2014? That was a while back now.

With four draft picks in the top 33 arriving at Alberton, it’s going to take some time, which is why the Power are $34 chances of winning the flag.

They were as short as $19 but there were no takers. They’ve been on the drift ever since.

Their best chance of winning something looks to be reigning three-time best-and-fairest Robbie Gray winning the Brownlow at $21.

Can’t see Port making the 8.

Projected finish: 13th



Premiership: $51

To make Top 8: $3.75

Wooden Spoon: $11

Over/Under wins: 9.5

We don’t have a market for Richmond to make the top nine, but they’re $3.75 for the top eight, although we haven’t seen much money for it at all.

Jack Riewoldt and Alex Rance are class but that’s about it for key position players as far as the Tigers are concerned.

A few punters have even nibbled away at the $11 for a wooden spoon and the under 9.5 wins has had twice as much interest as the overs.

Tough times ahead at Tigerland.

Projected finish: 11th


St Kilda

Premiership: $26

To make Top 8: $2.40

Wooden Spoon: $15

Over/Under wins: 10.5

Everyone will tell you the Saints had an easy draw last season, so their finishing position flattered them.

Punters certainly don’t think they can possibly win that long awaited flag, but they’ve been really well supported to make the finals at odds of $2.40.

Alan Richardson looks like he’s building to something special at St Kilda, but as we all know…  special takes time.

Nick Riewoldt will be a key on the wing rather than inside 50, and the crop of young midfielders around him are only going to benefit.

You can judge St Kilda’s progression by the fact that they’re much shorter to make the eight than winning the spoon, so anything’s possible in 2017.

Projected finish: 9th


Sydney Swans

Premiership: $7.00

To make Top 8: $1.22

Wooden Spoon: $501

Over/Under wins: 14.5

Anyone who says the Swans will go backwards in 2017 should probably think again according to the money Sportsbet has taken on them to win the flag.

Only GWS has had more support dollar-wise and, in particular, the punter who’s had $5000 at $7.00 is very keen on their chances.

The Swans are morals to make the top eight so if you’re looking for something better than bank interest, the $1.22 on offer is great value.

The money for over or under 14.5 wins is split almost 50/50, so our traders have obviously got that one right according to the punters out there.

Sydney are sure to be there when the whips are cracking.

Projected finish: 2nd


West Coast

Premiership: $9.00

To make Top 8: $1.40

Wooden Spoon: $101

Over/Under wins: 13.5

West Coast have been the big movers in the off-season, having firmed from as much as $15. Signing Sam Mitchell is bound to do that I suppose.

That’s offset somewhat by the loss of Nic Naitinui, so Scott Lycett may well be the most important player for the Eagles this season.

If he measures up, West Coast are deservedly flag contenders, if not you might just want to take the $1.40 for them to make the eight.

One thing the Eagles could well win is the Coleman Medal, with Josh Kennedy a deserved $3.25 favourite in a field that certainly has plenty of depth in 2017.

Projected finish: 4th


Western Bulldogs

Premiership: $5.50

To make Top 8: $1.20

Wooden Spoon: $251

Over/Under wins: 14.5

The Bulldogs were the bookies’ friend last year when they came from nowhere to win the flag, but we’re prepared for them this time round at $5.50.

Punters are preferring other sides for the premiership but they’re probably still in shock from 2016.

With such a young and improving list, the Doggies should be able to push into the top four this year, but the $1.20 to make the Top eight is a given.

Travis Cloke is an interesting recruit. You’ll no doubt get rocks or diamonds but he’s been backed in from $67 to $26 to win the Coleman Medal.

Hawthorn has proven you can go back to back so the Doggies are a definite flag contender in 2017.

Projected finish: 3rd


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