The 2021 Brownlow Medal was awarded to Ollie Wines with 36 votes on a night where records tumbled.
The Port Adelaide star won his first ‘Charlie’ off the back of an incredible run of votes in the second half of the season, polling in 11 of his last 12 matches.
Marcus Bontempelli led the count with 33 votes after round 19, but he failed to poll in the last four matches of the season and ultimately had to settle for second place in a tight finish.
Clayton Oliver was next on the podium with a career-best total of 31 votes, while Sam Walsh rounded out the top four with 30 votes in just his third season of AFL footy.
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Walsh was one of the surprise packets of the night, outpolling the likes of Darcy Parish (26), Jack Steele (26), Tom Mitchell (25) and Travis Boak (25) despite Carlton enduring a difficult season.
At the other end of the spectrum, several of the game’s top names fell well short of expectations, including a few players who set league records this year.
Let’s take a look at the biggest winners and losers from Brownlow night, as well as the latest outright odds at Sportsbet for next year’s award.
2021 Brownlow Medal bolters
Considering the Blues only managed eight wins this season, it is absolutely amazing that Sam Walsh polled 30 votes. That effort ties the Carlton record for most votes in a season, putting the 21-year-old alongside footy royalty in Chris Judd and Greg Williams. With so much of his career still ahead of him, we can expect to see Walsh figure prominently in many more Brownlow Medal counts.
There was so much to love about David Mundy this year, and the veteran Docker polled an outstanding 20 votes to finish 11th overall in the count. Mundy broke the record for most votes ever by a 36-year-old, which was a testament to his endeavour this season. The umpires clearly enjoyed the Fremantle legend’s work this year, as did the savvy punters who backed him in to poll well.
One of the great surprises on the night was the rise of Jacob Hopper, who polled in nine matches and finished with 15 votes. That saw Hopper finish inside the top 20 overall and tie with Tim Taranto to lead GWS’s count, both of which were at long odds. Hopper’s big presence around stoppages saw him outshine his high-profile teammate Josh Kelly, who finished with 11 votes.
2021 Brownlow Medal snubs
It appears simply racking up disposals was not enough for Jack Macrae this season. Despite averaging over 34 touches per game, the Western Bulldogs star ended the night with a total of 14 votes – his lowest tally since 2018, when he also polled 14. There were five matches in which Macrae had over 35 disposals and did not poll, including a real eyebrow-raiser in round six where he had 40 touches and a goal against the Giants.
Touk Miller broke the AFL record for most consecutive 30-disposal matches, but he polled in only seven matches this season and finished his night on 17 votes. Miller received the three votes in five of Gold Coast’s seven wins, but he could not break through in their losses. Miller’s biggest snub might have been his performance against the Dockers in round 13, when he had 31 disposals, eight clearances, six tackles and a goal. Although 17 is a commendable total, many pundits expected more from the hard-working Sun.
This young Docker was completely outshined by his veteran teammate on the night, as Andrew Brayshaw only managed 10 votes this season. Brayshaw averaged over 28 disposals per game, yet he polled in only four matches. The young star went voteless in five games with over 30 disposals, while some other prominent performances were also missed by the umpires. We expect Brayshaw to dominate next season as Fremantle’s best emerging midfielder upon the departure of Adam Cerra.
2022 Brownlow Medal betting odds
Ollie Wines opens as a $6 favourite in the 2022 Brownlow Medal betting market, with Marcus Bontempelli and Sam Walsh sharing the second line at $7 apiece. Clayton Oliver and Darcy Parish are not far behind at $10 each. Walsh is the intriguing pick of the lot, as his stocks will rise even higher if the Blues can win more matches. Wines started the 2021 season at $81, so it is worth exploring the market for a potential hidden gem.
|Player||2022 Brownlow Medal odds|
|Ollie Wines||+500||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Marcus Bontempelli||+600||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Sam Walsh||+600||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Clayton Oliver||+900||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Darcy Parish||+900||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Christian Petracca||+1000||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Jack Steele||+1000||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Lachie Neale||+1200||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Nat Fyfe||+1400||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Dustin Martin||+1400||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Patrick Dangerfield||+1700||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Tom Mitchell||+1700||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Touk Miller||+2200||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Callum Mills||+2200||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Jack Macrae||+2500||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Zach Merrett||+3300||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
|Patrick Cripps||+5000||Best Odds @ Sportsbet|
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