THE AFL Grand Final combatants are settled and the battle lines are drawn.
It’s Richmond, yes Richmond, that is playing off in its first premiership decider in 35 years. The Tigers will meet the Crows, who themselves have broken a mini-grand final drought, playing in their first grand final since 1998.
All the money in the early betting markets has been for Adelaide, and Crownbet.com.au has the minor premiers as the $1.70 favourites to win their third-ever premiership.
The Tigers are the slight outsiders in the market at the $2.20 quote.
Rather than anaylsing this match from top-to-bottom, we are instead looking at the Norm Smith Medal market.
We have taken a look at the best bets for each team, as well as our favourite long-shot in the market.
Norm Smith Medal best bets
Richmond Tigers – Dustin Martin
Who else but Dusty?
The expected Brownlow Medallist has been a star throughout the finals series, and even when his teammates’ output is more prolific than his, Martin gets the accolades in the press.
Still, Martin is arguably the best player in the competition and a genuine, eye-catching match turner who’s in the best form of his life.
Could Dusty add a Norm Smith Medal to his already stacked 2017 trophy case? We think he’s the best option on Saturday.
Dustin Martin is the $4.75 favourite at Sportsbet.com.au to win the Norm Smith Medal on Saturday.
Adelaide Crows – Rory Sloane
The inside bull Rory Sloane is Adelaide’s best option for the Norm Smith, and the man brings great form against the opposition into the match.
When the teams met earlier in the year Sloane gathered 33-possessions, laid eight tackles and kicked three goals in his side’s 76-point thrashing way back in round 6.
After missing the qualifying final following appendix surgery, Sloane returned in inauspicious style, amassing just 20 touches, but we think he will be much better for the run.
If the Crows get up Sloane will need to play a big part, and we think the $8 available at Sportsbet.com.au is a steal considering how good the on-ballers form is against the Tigers.
You’ve seen the best, now how about the rest?
Everyone loves a long shot right?
Everyone always expects the flashy on-baller or the high flying forward to win the medal – and the market usually reflects this – but more often than not someone comes from the clouds to take home Norm.
For instance, who would have picked Brian Lake to win best on ground honours in the 2013 grand final? Speedy half back flanker Jason Johannisen also shocked the footy world last year when his 33-possesion game that earnt him the medal.
We took a look at the best value in the market for the AFL Grand Final and where your cash should be going if you are looking outside the top elects.
Richmond Tigers – Daniel Rioli
It is Rioli family tradition to perform on the biggest sporting stage in Australia.
A name synonymous with success in the AFL, Maurice and Cyril Rioli have both won Norm Smith Medals for their respective clubs, and Daniel is every chance to join them after a stellar preliminary final.
After booting four goals in an arguably best afield performance on the weekend, Daniel Rioli remains at huge odds to take home the best on ground honours on Saturday, but if his form holds true he is every chance to do just that.
Adelaide Crows – Mitch McGovern
The conjecture about whether or not the versatile swingman Mitch McGovern will play in Saturday’s decider has seen his odds balloon out to triple figures, but the rhetoric coming out of the club this week is that he will more than likely take his place.
We expect those odds to be slashed considerably if he gets named, and if he doesn’t you get your cash back irrespective. Low risk, high reward.
Having said that, if McGovern is named, his aerial prowess, goal-kicking ability and raw, natural talent could help propel his side to victory.
The $101 on offer at Sportsbet.com.au for McGovern to win the Norm Smith is outrageous given the talent he possesses and we think he presents as the best roughie bet for the entire AFL Grand Final.
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