2021 AFL Finals Week 1 Tips & Preview

What a season it’s been!

What a finals series we have ahead of us.

Eight teams, eight dreams, one cup.

The phrase anyone, anywhere, anytime has never meant so much heading into the 2021 AFL Finals series and we’ll see games in Adelaide and Launceston this weekend.

Everyone’s a chance this weekend and if the Saturday of Round 23 was anything to go by – we’re set for an EPIC weekend of footy.

Can we start the finals with a profit?

Read on in our preview.

Port Adelaide to win by 1-39 @ $2.20

For the second year running, Geelong will travel to Adelaide to play the Power in week one of the finals.

The Cats are coming off a shock loss to Melbourne, after being 44-points up and kicking nine consecutive goals, they ended up missing out on the minor premiership and a “home” (well, neutral ground) final after a post-siren goal by the Dees.

While Geelong are frequent flyers at the business end of the season, Saturday’s loss for the Cats should be the trigger for panic stations on a team that’s gone all-in on winning a flag after so many missed attempts.

It’s a case of choose your own adventure for Geelong, they’ve ended up with the hard road but they have shown this season they most certainly have the talent to grab a flag.

As does Port Adelaide, who have timed their run brilliantly into the finals and have ended up playing in front of a small but mostly vocal, loyal and passionate home crowd and have won their past six games.

While they have built a reputation for not being able to beat sides in the top four, the Power can book themselves into a Preliminary Final by overcoming a Geelong side that’s looked hardly convincing in the past three weeks, losing two out of their past three at GMHBA Stadium, and their most recent win over the Saints in Round 22 was hardly convincing.

Geelong did beat the Power by 21-points at Adelaide Oval when these two sides met back in June and if the Cats can get back into the form we saw in that match, they’ll be a chance but top teams don’t blow 44-point leads at home in top of the table clashes on the eve of the finals.

It’s fair to say, I’m off Geelong, at least for this weekend.

Port have been the far better team heading into the business end of season, are playing at home and should beat the Cats in Week 1, just like they did last year.

Either team to win by less than 15.5 points @ $2.55

The Sydney Derby in Launceston in an Elimination Final.

A true sign of the times.

To be honest, I haven’t got a clue just who to back in this one.

Both GWS and Sydney have had extraordinary years both on and off the field for reasons beyond their control.

Sydney has had one of the great rises up the ladder, with a healthy mix of youth combined with Buddy kicking bags of goals, they have provided many highlights this season.

The Swans have won seven of their last eight matches, which is brilliant form heading into the finals and it would be a shame to see them sent packing in the first week after their memorable run.

GWS’s run to the finals has been gallant if not staggering at times with epic wins over the Cats, Tigers and getting the job done against Carlton last week.

Many suspect Leon Cameron’s men to be a dark horse heading into the finals and rightly so.

This is a team one can never, ever write off.

Launceston is in for an absolute treat of footy this weekend, and the Sydney Derby being the first cab off the ranks for a feast of finals in the heartland is set to be a beauty.

This tip is going one way and one way only – I’m going to back either side to win by 15.5 or less in what will hopefully be a memorable final in what is already a serious cross-town rivalry.

Brisbane Lions to win by 1-39 @ $2.60

Both the Demons and the mighty Brisbane Lions (proudly sponsored by Neds) are coming off EPIC wins last week and meet this Saturday night

How’s the ticker after the Lions gave the live ladder a workout last Saturday?

Brisbane managed to get into the top four by the miniscule margin of 0.5 percent, knocking off the Western Bulldogs into fifth and ensuring the double-chance.

It was Lincoln McCarthy’s behind (it was a behind, I saw it with my own eyes at the ground) in the dying seconds that did it, turning it into the most epic 31 point lead in the last 30 seconds of a match you will ever see.

Our boys look well placed and are in good form leading up to the business end of the season.

The likes of Joe Daniher booting four goals, Lachie Neale in the middle and getting Daniel Rich up back all played a vital role in ensuring that the Lions have a double chance and can make a real impact heading into September.

Then there is the Dees efforts last week, coming back from 44-points down at Geelong with big Maxy Gawn kicking a goal after the siren to ensure the minor premiership.

It was truly one of the all-time great finishes to a home and away season finishes of all-time and arguably one of the greatest Melbourne Football Club wins in the past 60-years.

Can they back it up against a rampant and hungry Brisbane Lions (Proudly sponsored by Neds) outfit in Adelaide this Saturday night?

They’ll give it a good old shake, but the Lions should be able to get the job done and book themselves a spot in the Preliminary Final at the Gabba.

It should be a beauty.

Essendon (+10.5) @ $2

Will Sunday’s Elimination Final between the Western Bulldogs and Essendon be the drought breaker?

Is it set to be a Donut day for Essendon?

Everyone knows that it’s been over 6100 days since the Bombers last won a final.

In fact, Essendon has made the finals six times in the last 16 years only to bundle out in week one every single time.

Are these young exciting Baby Bombers set to be the team that ends this dreaded (for Essendon) streak?

There’s been a lot to like about them this season and they are worthy of playing finals football and having played in Launceston a few weeks back in front many local fans.

It might be a Dogs “home” final but many suspect the majority in the stands at UTAS Stadium will be in red and black.

The Western Bulldogs almost had a top-four spot sewn up last Friday night, but allowed Port to kick three goals to snatch a two-point win, only to have that gut punch followed 24 hours later with Brisbane taking the fourth spot and the double chance.

It resulted in the Dogs third-straight defeat and a poor run into finals football along with some significant injuries.

Factoring in the underdogs have covered the line in nine of the Western Bulldogs’ last 10 matches, I think this COULD be the game that breaks the drought for Essendon.

Or, at least, gets them close.

The Dogs open as favourites in the head to head betting, but you simply can’t go past Essendon at the +10.5 at offer on the line.