Every club sets out on the same mission at the start of each AFL season: to win the premiership cup. In order to do that, however, they must first qualify for the finals.
Only eight of the 18 teams will reach the 2021 AFL Finals Series, and only half of those will finish in the top four and earn a double chance in the postseason.
This will be the first year in a long time that most teams will start the season with genuine finals aspirations, as the league is in a very balanced state when it comes to squad strength.
We will now take a look at both the top eight and top four markets on Sportsbet.com.au, where there are plenty of futures odds for the upcoming 2021 AFL Premiership season.
AFL 2021 top eight betting
Sitting at the top of this market are last year’s four preliminary finalists, and it could be argued that all of them look stronger this season.
Geelong picked up Jeremy Cameron, the Brisbane Lions acquired Joe Daniher, and Port Adelaide signed Orazio Fantasia and Aliir Aliir. Richmond is the only one of those sides that did not make any trades, yet the Tigers top the market as they go hunting for their fourth flag in five seasons.
From here you can get decent value for the West Coast Eagles at $1.33 with AFL betting sites, but then the market really breaks open. The Western Bulldogs – and especially their midfield – looked fantastic in their preseason victory over Melbourne as a very fit Marcus Bontempelli kicked three goals.
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Both Collingwood and St Kilda made the finals in 2020, but their spots are not guaranteed this year. The Pies have turned their list over and brought in a bunch of younger players, while the Saints arguably have the hardest fixture in the competition.
The next three teams in the market are all genuine chances. The GWS Giants will always be stacked with talent, Carlton picked up some A-grade players in the trade period, and Melbourne boasts a very strong midfield led by Christian Petracca, Clayton Oliver and Jack Viney.
From here there is only one other team we think can bust into the top bracket, and that’s the Gold Coast Suns. With Matt Rowell returning to the squad and several young stars improving over the preseason, there is a chance the young Suns can cause some upsets during the year and push into finals contention.
|Team||To make the top eight|
|Richmond||-1000||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Geelong||-833.33||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Brisbane Lions||-500||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Port Adelaide||-357.14||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|West Coast||-303.03||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Western Bulldogs||-138.89||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Collingwood||-109.89||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|St Kilda||-109.89||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Greater Western Sydney||+100||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Carlton||+137||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Melbourne||+150||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Fremantle||+275||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Hawthorn||+320||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Essendon||+400||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Gold Coast||+400||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Sydney Swans||+400||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Adelaide||+500||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|North Melbourne||+750||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
AFL 2021 top four betting
The 2020 AFL Grand Final combatants head the market for the top four this year, and we think Geelong deserves to be on top after the improvements that have been made to its list.
If the Tigers’ chaotic brand does not produce the same results as previous years, we could finally see a drop off from the reigning premiers.
With their significant home-state advantages, Brisbane, Port Adelaide and West Coast are all great selections, and we think the Power are the strongest of the lot after finishing as minor premiers in 2020.
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Apart from those five teams, the Western Bulldogs and St Kilda are the only other options we would consider.
If the stacked Bulldogs midfield of Bontempelli, Jack Macrae, Josh Dunkley, Adam Treloar, Tom Liberatore and Bailey Smith actually works, they can accomplish anything this year.
St Kilda finished sixth in 2020 and could improve again this year after picking up Jack Higgins and Brad Crouch. If they can pinch a few upsets against the stronger teams, the Saints could sneak into the top four and do some damage in September.
|Team||To make the top eight|
|Geelong||-161.29||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Richmond||-161.29||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Brisbane Lions||+100||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Port Adelaide||+120||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|West Coast||+150||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Western Bulldogs||+275||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Collingwood||+320||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Greater Western Sydney||+400||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|St Kilda||+400||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Carlton||+550||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Melbourne||+550||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Hawthorn||+750||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Fremantle||+900||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Gold Coast||+900||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Essendon||+1200||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Sydney Swans||+1200||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Adelaide||+1400||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|North Melbourne||+1900||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
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