The shortened 2020 AFL Premiership season has levelled the playing field somewhat, as each team will play each other once with no double-up games.
These six teams won’t be your top choices to win the flag, but you can be confident some of them will be good enough to scrape into the top eight.
We have also highlighted some other AFL betting markets that could pique your interest if you fancy a flutter on popular futures markets such as the Rising Star and the Brownlow Medal.
It will be a rough start for Hawthorn, but if the team can survive the early onslaught, maybe this could be another brilliant Alastair Clarkson season.
The recruitment of Jonathon Patton will be massive for the forward structure, as the Hawks have struggled for a key position star in recent years.
Chad Wingard had an unusual first season at Waverley Park, but he looks more settled in the mix this time around.
Tom Mitchell makes his return from a broken leg that sidelined him for all of 2019, but the biggest question will be whether he can recapture his 2018 Brownlow Medal form.
As we have said since the Hawks’ three-peat, you can never count them out of the season, and this year is no different.
Tom Mitchell to win the Brownlow Medal
With Marcus Bontempelli, Jack Macrae and Josh Dunkley running rampant in the midfield, the Western Bulldogs are extremely difficult to stop.
Tim English may be an inexperienced ruckman who was exposed in round one against Brodie Grundy, but he is developing well and could be a force to reckon with by season’s end.
Luke Beveridge coached the Doggies to a premiership in 2016 when they were overlooked heavily by outsiders, and 2020 looms as another unpredictable year.
Pinching Josh Bruce and Alex Keath in the trade period filled voids up forward and down back, potentially fixing the structural issues the Dogs have had for years.
The Bulldogs will be one of the dark horses of the competition, whilst Bontempelli is shaping as a big chance to win the Brownlow Medal after polling 22 votes last year.
Marcus Bontempelli to win the Brownlow Medal
Port Adelaide Power
Currently sitting atop the AFL ladder after a big victory over the Gold Coast, the Port Adelaide faithful have high hopes for the 2020 season.
Ken Hinkley will almost certainly be out the door if he cannot get the Power to the finals this season, but is that enough incentive to fuel the players?
Bringing in talented youngsters over the past two drafts has been crucial, and you can already see that Connor Rozee and Xavier Duursma are going to be stars of the game.
The future of Ollie Wines has been questioned recently in the media, but he is the type of player to put the speculation behind him and get on with the job.
We can see the Power pinching a spot in the finals this season if they can survive their hub situation on the Gold Coast.
Port Adelaide to finish top eight
Essendon fans have suffered more than most in the past decade, but this year could be different.
Knowing that John Worsfold will give up the head coach position to Ben Rutten next season looked confusing at first, but the lockdown has given the playing group time to come to terms with the transition without worrying about results from week to week.
Joe Daniher needs to sort out his future sooner rather than later, as the Bombers will want to know whether to put more time into their key forward stocks.
Dylan Shiel has looked in pristine nick coming back from the long break and will want to want to make a big impact after drawing mixed reviews in his first season at Tullamarine.
We have always rated Andrew McGrath very highly, but this is the perfect time for the former no.1 draft pick to explode onto the Essendon midfield.
The first four rounds will be telling for the Bombers, as they face Sydney away before playing Melbourne, Carlton and Collingwood all at the MCG.
Essendon to finish top eight
If the Melbourne Demons can fall from a preliminary final exit to second-last in a year, can they climb all the way back up again?
The Dees are one of the least predictable teams in the competition right now, as you don’t know whether you will get their 2018 or 2019 form.
The recruitment of Adam Tomlinson and Ed Langdon should help out tremendously on the wings, meaning players such as Nathan Jones and James Harmes can spend more time in the middle or forward of the ball.
Max Gawn is still one of the top two ruckmen in the league, so the likes of Angus Brayshaw, Clayton Oliver and Jack Viney cannot complain about a lack of first-ball opportunities in the middle.
If Christian Petracca can fulfil his obvious potential, the Demons will have a powerful, classy forward that can win games off his own boot – something they sorely lacked last season.
Melbourne to finish top eight
St Kilda Saints
Rounding out the middle bracket are the St Kilda Saints, but we do not see them as a genuine finals threat this season.
Bringing five new players into their side for round one did not work out so well, as they somehow managed to blow a 30-point lead against North Melbourne.
We like the inclusion of Zak Jones and Brad Hill, but it would have been foolish to expect everything to work straight away.
The Saints will improve over the course of the season, but they have a difficult first month back and haven’t had the chance to blood their new players on the field.
The most exciting young prospect on the list at Moorabbin is Max King, who looks a great chance for the AFL Rising Star award after missing the 2019 season with an ACL injury.
Max King to win the Rising Star
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