As AFL fans and punters alike get ready for the 2024 season, taking a closer look at team performance, key player movements and the effects of the fixture schedule can provide insight into what we can expect next year. 

Why analyse teams? 

If you're hoping to make winning bets during the 2024 season, it's important you don't go in blind. It's always a good idea to analyse team performance and standings from the past season to inform your betting strategy. That way, you'll be well placed to make solid bets on teams with good odds of performing well. Also, be sure to only place your bets at reputable, secure betting sites. Aussie bet has plenty of recommendations for Australia's top-rated sports betting sites. 

Collingwood Magpies

As the reigning AFL champions of 2023, Collingwood Magpies, priced at $6, have emerged as one of the leading contenders for the 2024 title. Their remarkable performance in the previous season makes them a strong contender to claim back-to-back victories

Collingwood is expected to get even stronger with the inclusion of Lachie Schultz, a much sturdier player than his predecessor Jack Ginnivan at half-forward. Nick Daicos suffered injuries that impacted his performance this season, but luckily he's back in 2024 and set to be better than ever. Dan McStay will also be returning, completing a strong lineup for the Magpies. 

Brisbane Lions

The Brisbane Lions may have lost to Collingwood in the 2023 Grand Final but they have strengthened their squad and are expected to make another solid run for the title​​. Over and above putting on a fierce performance this season, they've added some key players to the team, including Tom Doedee and Will Ashcroft. Jack Payne was out in the last few matches due to injuries but is also set to come back in 2024. The Lions are currently priced at $5.50 with very strong odds to swoop in and reclaim the title. 

Melbourne Demons

2023 marked the second year in a row that the Melbourne Demons exited the finals, and they've received plenty of criticism for their perceived club culture. The fate of key players also hangs in the balance. Clayton Oliver has been put on notice for behavioural issues and Joel Smith is suspended for failing a random drug test. Despite the challenges they've faced in 2023, they are still a formidable team and could be a dark horse, especially with the return of Harrison Petty and the inclusion of Shane McAdam. 

Port Adelaide

Port Adelaide invested heavily in trades this season, so they face a crucial season with heightened expectations for success​​. The team renewed coach Ken Hinkley's contract for an additional two years, adding to the sense of urgency that there is limited time left to deliver the premiership under his tenure. 

Carlton

Carlton finished strong in 2023 and is tipped to aim for a top-four finish and push further in the finals. They battled through six consecutive losses before things started looking up, only to be knocked out of the prelims. They've gained a reputation for having an aggressive playing style, but if they can build on the groundwork that was laid out at the end of the 2023 season, there's a good chance they'll perform well next year. 

Sydney Swans

The Sydney Swans are expected to rebound strongly in 2024, adding high-profile recruits including Brodie Grundy and Taylor Adams to their team. Grundy joins as a ruckman and Adams as a midfielder. 

Fixture analysis

When looking at AFL teams from a betting perspective, it's important to analyse fixtures in addition to players and performances. The match schedule can give punters insight into the potential challenges and opportunities teams might face, which could impact their performance and thus betting odds. For example, playing against top teams or playing multiple away games can be jarring for players, both physically and mentally. 

There are only 18 teams in the AFL but they play 23 matches, meaning teams always have a chance of playing the same side twice in a season. Taking a look at the 2024 draft, it's clear that the Gold Coast Suns will have the easiest AFL schedule, giving them a solid chance to head into the finals for the very first time. 

The Brisbane Lions face a challenging schedule in 2024, with double-ups against the Magpies, Demons and St Kilda, as well as several away games. 

Conclusion

We can speculate all we want but the reality is that the 2024 season is anyone's for the taking. With all the factors of player acquisitions, injuries, fixtures and even weather impacting performance, we're excited to watch the season unfold.