After a long and at times unpredictable season we have finally reached the 2014 AFL Finals Series and there are four exciting games set to take place this weekend.
There are clear favourites in all four finals this weekend, but finals football can be extremely unpredictable and that means there is plenty of value on offer in each game.
Our sports betting experts have analysed every single game and have come up with the best betting plays for all four matches in the opening week of the 2014 AFL Finals Series.
Friday –Hawthorn Hawks vs Geelong Cats
The rivalry between Hawthorn and Geelong has developed into one of the best in the AFL and the two Premiership contenders renew acquaintances at the MCG tonight.
Hawthorn finally ended their lengthy losing streak against Geelong in last year’s preliminary final and they won the last meeting between these sides, but the Cats were too good in their blockbuster clash on Easter Monday.
There should be nothing between these two sides again and at their current quote the Cats represent great value to book a spot in the 2014 AFL Preliminary Final with an upset win over their fierce rivals.
The Tip: Geelong by 12
The Bet: Geelong to win ($2.80 at Ladbrokes.com.au)
Saturday – Sydney Swans vs Fremantle Dockers
The Sydney Swans were upset by the Richmond Tigers last weekend, but they regain star forward Lance Franklin for this clash, while Fremantle survived a scare to beat Port Adelaide last weekend.
Fremantle have been far from impressive leading into the AFL Finals, but they regain midfielder Nathan Fyfe for this clash and they should be advantaged by both the wet weather in Sydney and the lackluster ANZ Stadium surface.
The Dockers stamped themselves as Premiership contenders when they recorded an upset win away from home against Geelong at this stage last season and they are great value to score another upset win on Saturday.
The Tip: Fremantle by 11
The Bet: Fremantle to win ($2.95 at Ladbrokes.com.au)
Saturday – North Melbourne Kangaroos vs Essendon Bombers
Both North Melbourne and Essendon have been plagued by inconsistency this season and the winner of this game could be decided by who handles the big occasion better.
Essendon have not been particularly impressive in recent weeks, but they have managed to ground out some decent results, while North Melbourne have won four games on the trot.
The Kangaroos may not have faced the best competition during this winning streak, but the fact that they have been able to string together consecutive wins is a promising sign and they should be too good for Essendon on Saturday night.
The Tip: North Melbourne by 23
The Bet: North Melbourne to beat the line (-6.5 at Ladbrokes.com.au)
Sunday – Port Adelaide Power vs Richmond Tigers
The Richmond Tigers made history by qualifying for the finals with a nail-biting win over the Sydney Swans last weekend and they will be taking plenty of confidence into this intriguing clash with Port Adelaide.
The Tigers knocked off Port Adelaide in round 17, but it is fair to say that Port Adelaide have found their best form in recent weeks and they go into this match as clear favourites.
However, what the Tigers have achieved in this amazing charge to the finals should not be understated and it certainly would not surprise if their remarkable winning streak continued on Sunday afternoon.
The Tip: Richmond by 13
The Bet: Richmond to win ($2.95 at Ladbrokes.com.au)
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