The Australian Football League is a professional sports league in Australia which is competed under Australian football rules. It was used to be known as the Victorian Football League as it was founded under that name in 1897. During the 1990 season, the league changed its name to Australian Football League after expanding throughout the other states during the 1980’s.

Currently, the league is composed of 18 teams which come from five of Australia’s six states with Tasmania as the exception. Although there are no teams based outside Australia, the matches have been played not just in mainland Australia and in its different states but also in New Zealand and even China to help bring the sport to the world.

An AFL season begins with the JLT Community Series which is considered as the league’s preseason. It is followed by a 23-round regular season played in home and away games which takes place during the Australian winter months of March to September. The team with the best record after the regular season is awarded the “minor premiership” The Top 9 teams in the standings then compete in a four-round playoffs that culminate in the AFL Grand Final which will take place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground every season. The Grand Final winners are awarded the Premier Cup and are then coined as the “premiers”.

Last season, the West Coast Eagles were the premiers after they defeated the Collingwood Magpies by five points to win their fourth premiership cup. This year is the 123rd season of the Australian Football League and the regular season began last March 21, 2019 and will culminate with the Grand Final on September 28, 2019.

As of May 19, 2019, the teams have played through Round 22 of AFL action. Here is the latest AFL standings:

Team Wins Losses Points
Geelong 16 6 64
Brisbane 16 6 64
Richmond 16 6 64
Collingwood 15 7 60
West Coast 15 7 60
GWS 13 9 52
Western Bulldogs 12 10 48
Essendon 12 10 48
Hawthorn 11 11 44
Port Adelaide 11 11 44

Only 8 teams make the 2019 AFL finals series which begins on September 5, 2019. The system used is the Final Eight system where the top four teams receive a “double chance”  when playing the week 1 finals. In this system, if a top-four team loses in the first week, it is not yet eliminated. Instead, they play in the next week against a winner of an elimination final. The bottom four teams play in a knockout game where only the winners advance to play the losing Top 4 teams for the right to face the winning Top 4 teams in the preliminary finals in week 3. The winners then play for the final in week 4.

This is the first week matchups:

  • September 5 Elimination Finals: West Coast vs Essendon
  • September 5 Qualifying Finals: Geelong vs Collingwood
  • September 7 Elimination Finals: Greater Western Sydney vs Western Bulldogs
  • September 7 Qualifying Finals: Brisbane Lions vs Richmond

Here are the latest odds to win the 2019 AFL Grand Final. Odds was taken from as of 9/3/19:

Team Odds
Richmond 3.1
Geelong 4.5
Collingwood 5
Brisbane 6.5
West Coast 9.5
Western Bulldogs 15
Greater Western Sydney 31
Essendon 67

Who Are The Favorites?

Richmond finished the regular season in third place with a 16-6 record. They enter the Finals in terrific form, winning their last five matches including a 27-point win over Brisbane, who they will face on September 7th. They also are 5-0 in their last five matches at the Gabba and own a 52-point victory over Brisbane there in 2017.

While stoppages remain their weakness at -5.1 clearance differential per match, Richmond’s Shane Edwards is fine form in the month of September, raising his ranking points from 78.0 to 104.3 in the final month of the season.

Geelong topped the standings at the end of the regular season and they finished at 3-2 with losses to Brisbane and Fremantle. They are 4-1 in their last five matches at the MCG and their midfield is their strength. Geelong ranks 1st in the AFL in contested possessions differential and post-clearance contested possession differential.

Collingwood finished 4th during the regular season and finished with a 4-1 SU record, losing only to Richmond in their last five games played. They are 3-2 in their last five games at the MCG, losing to Richmond and Hawthorn. The Magpies had the best defense in the last four weeks of the season and if only they can solve their offensive problems, they will be a good contender in the finals series.

Brisbane finished second during the regular season and closed out with a 4-1 record, with their only loss in their final five contests coming at the hands of Richmond. The Lions are 5-0 in their last five matches at the Gabba and with a rebuilt forward line in 2019, they are a strong contender in the final.

Who Wins?

Richmond was the best team in the last two years and it was just that they had a poor outing in their preliminary final against Collingwood. They have the best starting 22 in the league, one of the most powerful midfield and have added Tom Lynch. Geelong had a strong regular season but I think Richmond is humming and their turnover game is elite. Richmond has the ability to force their opponents to cough up the ball at crucial stages of the game and they rank #1 in the AFL in converting turnovers to points. I like Richmond to go all the way here. Prediction: Richmond

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