2018 AFL Round 23 Betting Preview: Odds, Game Trends, Week Analysis

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2018

GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 18:  Cameron Guthrie of the Cats gathers the ball during the round 22 AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the Fremantle Dockers at GMHBA Stadium on August 18, 2018 in Geelong, Australia.  (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

The final round of the AFL season is upon us, and while the top eight looks set, the all-important finishing places are still up for grabs. Several clubs have the chance to lock in not only a home final, but also the double chance.

A win from the Collingwood Magpies against the Fremantle Dockers in Perth on Saturday will see them move up to second place on the ladder, which gives them a home qualifying final and a double chance should the Eagles slip up on Sunday.

Nathan Buckley's charges are at the short odds of $1.15 AUD to get that win, with the Dockers, who were belted by 133 points at Geelong last week, way out at $5.50, according to AustralianGambling.

If the Magpies do notch their 15th win of the season, then all the pressure will go onto the West Coast Eagles, who head to the Gabba to take on the much-improved Brisbane Lions on Sunday.

Brisbane defeated their in-state rivals, the Gold Coast Suns, by four points in a thriller last Saturday, but having won only two of 10 at home this season, they're out at $2.45.

Adam Simpson's charges came up short against the Melbourne Demons at home last Sunday, which leaves them in a battle to hold on to their top-two spot, but they are favoured to get the job done here, at $1.56.

The battle for the much-coveted top-four finish and the double chance moves into overdrive on Saturday night, when the fifth-place Sydney Swans host the fourth-place Hawthorn Hawks at the SCG.

With both clubs sitting on 14 wins, and five of the last seven games between these sides decided by less than 10 points, this one could go either way.

After losing two in a row, John Longmire's men have turned their season around, winning three crucial games in a row, and they're $1.55 favourites to move into the top four here, while the Hawks are out at $2.45.

After losing to the Swans last week, the other Sydney club, the Greater Western Sydney Giants, now face the Demons at the MCG on Sunday, where the winners can book themselves a home Elimination Final.

Melbourne are coming off their best win of the season, and with a place in the finals already secured, many believe that they can now make a huge charge towards September glory.

The first step in achieving that is a win over fellow finalists the Giants, which is priced at $1.45, while the injury-ravaged visitors are out at $2.78.

The only team that can be displaced from the top eight is the Geelong Cats, who sit in eighth position but are heavily favoured ($1.01) to lock in their 11th finals campaign in 12 years with a win over the Gold Coast Suns ($21) on Saturday.

Port Adelaide sit just one spot behind the Cats in ninth place and are $1.60 favourites to put some pressure on Geelong with a win over the Essendon Bombers ($2.35), whose season came to an end last week with an eight-point loss to the Richmond Tigers.

Speaking of the Premiers, the Tigers have already won the minor Premiership and can tune up for the finals with a win over the Western Bulldogs ($6.70) that's priced at $1.11 on Saturday at the MCG.

The Adelaide Crows ($1.10) and the North Melbourne Kangaroos ($1.29) are expected to be too strong for the Carlton Blues ($7) and the St Kilda Saints ($3.66), respectively.