Melbourne v Western Bulldogs tips, prediction & odds; AFL Grand Final Preview 2021
Welcome to our AFL Grand final betting preview, which includes Melbourne v Western Bulldogs tips, predictions and odds analysis for their decider at Optus Stadium on Saturday night.
In what is largely a disaster for the AFL, the grand final will be played in Perth, with the MCG ruled out weeks ago because of the Victorian government’s softly softly approach against covid-19.
With Victorians unable to attend the game because of border restrictions in Western Australia, the 2021 AFL grand final will be somewhat of anti-climax given these two clubs tortured history.
Melbourne, seeking their first flag since 1964, will enter the clash as the bookies favourite, priced at $1.64 to defeat the Bulldogs ($2.26), with the $1.90 line set at 7.5 with Unibet Australia.
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The Bulldogs, who famously won the 2016 premiership after their own inglorious drought, are seeking their second flag in six years under Luke Beveridge, remarkably a feat they are in line to do for a second time from outside the top four.
Last time the clubs met was in round 19, with the Bulldogs winning by 20 points, with Jack Macrae dominant with 38 possessions, although his direct opponent Clayton Oliver also wracked up a huge possession count.
The Bulldogs will also have the important Stefan Martin in their team this time out, to curb the influence of preliminary final hero Max Gawn, who was a dominant force in the ruck and managed to also boot five goals.
We don’t envisage Melbourne making wholesales changes to their winning preliminary final team, but Jayden Hunt and James Jordan will be disappointed at their non-selection, although the latter is almost certainly the medical sub.
The Bulldogs are expected to include livewire forward Cody Weightman after a concussion kept him out of the preliminary final, while key defender Alex Keath will also be give a reprieve after a hamstring strain. The unlucky pair are Laitham Vandermeer and Ryan Gardner.
Continue reading for our free Melbourne v Western Bulldogs tips and winner prediction for the AFL grand final on Saturday night.
|Start:||7:15pm AEST, September 25|
|Venue:||Optus Stadium, Perth|
|Head-to-head odds:||Melbourne ($1.64) v Western Bulldogs ($2.26)|
|Line betting:||Melbourne -7.5 ($1.90) v Western Bulldogs +7.5 ($1.90)|
|First goal betting:||Bayley Fristch, Ben Brown, Aaron Naughton $10; Cody Weightman $13; Tom McDonald $14; Marcus Bontempell, Christian Petracca, Ky Pickett $15; Bailey Smith $18|
Melbourne v Western Bulldogs tips
The AFL grand final promises to beauty and the good news is our expert has examined the markets and found some value Melbourne v Western Bulldogs tips:
Most possessions in Group 1 betting
While possessions betting groups can be slightly different among the top online bookmakers, generally group 1 will have the really strong ball-winners in it. This includes Clayton Oliver, Jack Macrae, Christian Petracca and Adam Treloar, who is our top smokie in this market. Oliver and Macrae are your clear standouts, with both having an equal-high 38 touches last time the teams met. Will one of these two try and curb the other team’s prime ballwinner? If they do, we think it will be Melbourne, with Oliver less damaging than Macrae by foot. While both are short, at around the $3.50 mark, they deserve the favouritism in this market. Collingwood recruit Adam Treloar has been out of sorts for the Dogs, but has the ability to win huge possession counts on his day. Will Bevo swing a surprise and start him in the midfield after a week off?
Josh Schache to kick 2+ goals
Western Bulldogs Josh Schache was only on the fringes of the team until Josh Bruce went down, but now he has has an opportunity to have his Tom Boyd moment. Schache has strong hands and kicks straight, which means he needs minimal chances. With the Demons undoubtedly keen for Jake Lever to take intercept marks, the Bulldogs will try and counteract this by playing through Schache. He is paying $4.50 to kick 2+ goals.
Over/Unders betting tip
Five of the last six grand finals have been unders and we think it might be the case again here, with both teams having stacked midfields, that could lead to a congested and hard-fought game. While the match being played in Perth changes the dynamics, this can be a nice leg in your same game multis, particularly if the weather breaks.
Melbourne v Western Bulldogs prediction
Melbourne has had the easier path into the grand final, after winning their qualifying final easily against Brisbane, before hammering Geelong in the preliminary final. The Bulldogs, in echoes of their 2016 triumph, are coming from fifth place and appear to be running into form. They spanked Essendon, narrowly got home against Brisbane and easily eclipsed Port Adelaide to advance in the grand final. For us, this game really is a 50-50 contest, with the Demons odds shorter because of the media-drive narrative that its time their drought ends, which may have tipped neutrals hands. For us though, the Dogs possess better ball users and will have cooler heads under the pressure test of an AFL grand final. Our final Melbourne v Western Bulldogs prediction? Bulldogs by 11 points.
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