Betting Blog: Best bets for AFL finals, Week 1

Here are TAB.com.au's best betting options for the first round of AFL finals.

Best bets

The Western Bulldogs to defeat St Kilda at $1.74

The Western Bulldogs enjoyed a terrific end to the 2020 home-and-away season and they will be hoping to evoke memories of their 2016 premiership run from seventh on the ladder when they face St Kilda in their elimination final at the Gabba on Saturday night.

The Bulldogs secured their finals berth with a 30-point victory over Fremantle at Cazaly's Stadium in Cairns in the second-last game of Round 18, which was their third-straight win and fifth in their past six clashes.

Since falling to Carlton in Round 6, the Bulldogs have won seven of 11 games and the four losses were all against teams contesting the qualifying finals. The return of Lachie Hunter since Round 12 has benefitted a Bulldogs midfield already containing noted ball-winners Marcus Bontempelli, Tom Liberatore and Jackson Macrae.

The Saints eventually secured a finals spot for the first time in nine years with a 52-point thrashing of Greater Western Sydney at the Gabba in the final round. One concern for St Kilda is that they have lost their last three encounters against this season's finalists (Geelong in Round 11, Brisbane Lions in Round 13 and West Coast in Round 17).

Due to their recent form, the Western Bulldogs might have the edge over St Kilda.

West Coast to beat Collingwood at $1.42

West Coast will enjoy the comforts of Optus Stadium for the first time since Round 13 when they face Collingwood in their elimination final on Saturday night.

After struggling in their Queensland hub when the 2020 home-and-away season resumed, the Eagles fared better the second time around winning three of their five games.

The best victory in that period was their 15-point triumph over St Kilda at the Gabba in Round 17 when they were severely undermanned due to injury.

The ability to host a final at Optus Stadium should provide a great tonic for the Eagles as they won all six games in the middle of this season after returning from Queensland. One of those victories was a 66-point annihilation of Collingwood in Round 8 despite trailing by 14 points at quarter-time.

The Magpies did not finish the season strongly, having lost two of their last three games and the win was a 22-point struggle over Gold Coast at the Gabba in Round 17.

Collingwood's last five wins were all against non-finalists and they did lose their previous three clashes against teams contesting the finals.

Aided by a boisterous home crowd, West Coast appear too strong for Collingwood.

Value bet

Brisbane or Richmond to win by less than 16 points in normal time at $2.10

It has been 11 years since Brisbane defeated Richmond and 16 years since the Lions beat the Tigers at the Gabba, but they have an undeniable chance to end those droughts in Friday night's qualifying final.

The Lions enter this clash on a seven-game winning streak and have won 10 of their past 11 encounters while the Tigers have won six-straight and eight of their past nine.

The only loss the Lions have suffered in their past 11 games was to Richmond by 41 points at Metricon Stadium in Round 10. Poor kicking cruelled the Lions' chances in Round 10 (four goals and 17 behinds) and that was the case in last year's 47-point qualifying final loss (eight goals and 17 behinds).

Brisbane welcome back key defender Harris Andrews while Tom Lynch is unavailable for Richmond, which provides the Lions with a terrific opportunity to topple the Tigers.

A close contest appears on the cards with the Lions backing themselves against an understrength Richmond, although it is hard to ignore the Tigers' unbelievable form over the Lions.

Best Multi

Brisbane or Richmond to win by less than 16 points in normal time at $2.10

The Western Bulldogs to defeat St Kilda at $1.74

West Coast to beat Collingwood at $1.42

Multi Price is $5.18