Just who is the favourite to win the inaugural Women’s AFL premiership?
Well, depending on who you punt with it appears that is a very subjective question.
CrownBet.com.au has the shortest favourite of our recommended online bookmakers, with the Western Bulldogs rated a $4 favourite, ahead of the Fremantle Dockers at $4.25.
But the Dogs are not the favourite over at WilliamHill.com.au, with the bookie offering $5 odds on the Daughters of the West, headed by Melbourne at $4.25.
The Bulldogs do get the gong as favourite with Sportsbet.com.au, but they share the top line of betting with the Dockers, both at $4.50.
But it is CrownBet.com.au that is offering the most competitive markets on the debutante league, which kicks off on Friday, February 3, with the grand final slated for Saturday, March 25.
This is a league packed with the finest female talent in Australia, with marquee stars like Collingwood’s Moana Hope, Melbourne’s Daisy Pearce and the Bulldogs Katie Brennan set to put the competition on the map, along with draft picks like Greater Western Sydney Giants number one selection, running machine Nicola Barr.
Moana holds her surname in her hands, with her prodigious talent and infectious personality set to be a key driver in the competition.
She, Brennan and Pearce will probably be the ones fighting it out for best player in the competition.
Hope is like a female version of Peter Daicos, mercurial, more talented than just about any other player in the competition, and able to snag a goal from just about anywhere on the field.
Pearce, named the AFL’s woman of the year in 2016, is the veteran who has dominated the elite women’s competition in Victoria for years.
Her team won the Victorian Women’s Football League premiership for five straight years from 2006 until 2010, adding four flags in a row in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Brennan might just be the most technically skilled of the lot. She takes a superb mark and can kick it a mile, leaving her as one of the key women in the Western Bulldogs’ charge in 2017.
From Queensland, Brennan, like Pearce, now plays at the Falcons dynasty and, at 23, will probably take the women’s competition by the scruff of the neck in its inaugural season.
To give you an idea of how good she can be, in her first competitive game, she slotted a lazy seven goals – as a fill in against the boys playing for her brother’s junior team.
She is also in familiar territory, having played for the Bulldogs in exhibition games
Ridiculously, she has won premierships in each of the last 11 years, dating back to her junior years. That’s right, she has won 11 in a row, the last three with the Falcons.
We feel sorry for whoever has to man her and it is no surprise she has made the Dogs either the favourite, or in the top three with just about every reputable bookie in Australia.
It seems there is plenty of interest in the new league, with the AFL forced by people power to shift the historic opening match of the new competition between Collingwood and Carlton from the Pies training ground at Olympic Park to the much more crowd friendly Ikon Park.
There is almost no seating at Olympic Park and, with crowds in the vicinity of 2000 turning out for practice matches in Melbourne, Fremantle and Darwin, the AFL has acknowledged it might have underestimated the size of the crowd that could turn out for the competition’s opener.
Ikon can seat 22,000 people, which should be more than enough, given the AFL expects a crowd of about 10,000 people, according to AFL game and market development manager Simon Lethlean.
“We’re expecting above 10,000,” Lethlean said.
“If it’s 15,000 or 20,000, fantastic.
“We’ve had 17,000 there for a NAB Challenge game last year (between Carlton and Essendon).
“We’ve had some pretty strong crowds at practice games so far, including at Ikon Park on the weekend
“It’s a new competition, it’s a flexible competition, we want to get as many people as we can into the game.
“We’ve had Ikon Park as a back-up all along.
“Carlton and Collingwood are both happy with the decision and so are our broadcasters.”
If you’re going to have a punt on the women’s footy, please take it easy. This is a brand new competition and it is simply impossible to tell just how good teams will be until we have seen them in action, at least a couple of times. A couple of small bets for your flutter should be more than enough to hold your interest in what promises to change the face of AFL football as we know it.
Women’s AFL premiership market merry go round
Western Bulldogs best odds: $5 with WilliamHill.com.au
Melbourne Demons best odds: $6 with CrownBet.com.au
Collingwood Magpies best odds: $7 with CrownBet.com.au
Adelaide Crows best odds: $8 with CrownBet.com.au
Carlton Blues best odds: $7 with WilliamHill.com.au
Brisbane Lions best odds: $15 with CrownBet.com.au
Greater Western Sydney Giants best odds: $15 with CrownBet.com.au
AFL Women’s marquee players
Western Bulldogs: Katie Brennan, Ellie Blackburn
Melbourne Demons: Daisy Pearce, Mel Hickey
Greater Western Sydney Giants: Renee Forth, Emma Swanson
Fremantle Dockers: Kara Donnellan, Kiara Bowers
Collingwood Magpies: Moana Hope, Emma King
Carlton Blues: Brianna Davey, Darcy Vescio
Brisbane Lions: Layla Harris, Sabrina Frederick-Traub
Adelaide Crows: Chelsea Randall, Kellie Gibson
AFL Women’s number one draft picks
1: Greater Western Sydney Giants – Nicola Barr
2: Brisbane Lions – Emily Bates
3: Carlton Blues – Bianca Jakobsson
4: Fremantle Dockers – Hayley Miller
5: Western Bulldogs – Jaimee Lambert
6: Collingwood Magpies – Nicola Stevens
7: Adelaide Crows – Ebony Marinoff
8: Melbourne Demons – Elise O’Dea
Similar Sports Betting News
EPL Matchweek 15 betting tips, top odds & predictions
EPL title race heats up after Man City drop more points
Port Adelaide VFL push fuels talk of AFL reserves competition
NFL Week 13 preview, betting tips & best odds
UFC Austin main card preview, betting tips & fight odds
EPL Matchweek 14 betting tips, best odds & predictions
Dariush v Tsarukyan UFC main event preview & betting predictions
A-League Round 6 betting tips, best odds & predictions