With the 2024 AFL season just days away, it's time to whip out the ladder predictor.

This year's prediction has thrown up some big surprises, with the top eight seeing just the one change to last year as the reigning premiers fall from the top four.

Percentage was all that separates the top two, while there's a four-win gap between eighth and ninth to suggest we could see a sizeable cut-off to reach September.

The bottom half of the table is tight, with one win separating 11th and 15th - a crop that is sure to have a few fans unhappy with how the predictor sees their club's season unfolding.

So, without further ado, here's what our ladder predictor (via Squigglehas landed on for 2024...

1. Brisbane 

Predicted Record: 20-3
Estimated Percentage: 122.1%
Last Year: 2nd

Our predictor is tipping the Lions to claim their first-ever minor premiership, doing so with just three defeats to their record. The Queenslanders also find themselves at the summit separated from second by percentage - just 0.5% to be exact.

Having turned the Gabba into a fortress in recent seasons - going undefeated at home for the entirety of last year - Brisbane now have one of the strongest home-ground advantages in the competition, a factor that will place them in good stead in their premiership tilt.

Questions will remain as to whether they can get the job done at the MCG, with a pair of meetings to come at the venue against Melbourne (Round 5) and Collingwood (Round 23), the latter potentially deciding whether they start finals as the top contender.

2. Carlton

Predicted Record: 20-3
Estimated Percentage: 121.6%
Last Year: 5th

The Blues haven't finished in the top two since 2000, with the club's rise under Michael Voss potentially leading to another deep finals run this year.

After a dramatic run last September, Carlton fans will be thankful for a second chance match to start their finals campaign, potentially playing every post-season match at the MCG.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 08: Jack Martin of the Blues celebrates a goal during the 2023 AFL First Elimination Final match between the Carlton Blues and the Sydney Swans at Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 08, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Double-ups against Collingwood, GWS and Port Adelaide are likely to play a major part in shaping where the Blues end up at the cessation of the 2024 season.

3. Melbourne

Predicted Record: 18-5
Estimated Percentage: 116.7
Last Year: 4th

Will the Demons' distractive off-season have much of an impact on their home and away campaign? We're predicting not. If anything, Melbourne could improve on their 2023 win-loss tally with a pair of extra victories this year.

They'd still be left with an away qualifying final however, and it would see them face Carlton again in the post-season in what would be a rematch of last year's thrilling semi-final loss.

They'll face Brisbane and Collingwood on two occasions this year in what will be significant tests of their flag credentials, while further double-ups come against potential premiership threats Port Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs.

4. GWS

Predicted Record: 18-5
Estimated Percentage: 112.0%
Last Year: 7th

Another deep finals run can be expected of GWS, who fell one point shy of a grand final return in 2023.

Percentage is all that separates the Giants and Demons in our ladder predictor, with the New South Wales side at least booking themselves a second chance come September.

On top of their annual pair of tests against Swans, Adam Kinglsey's men also meet Brisbane and Carlton on two occasions each this year - the two clubs we see finishing at the top of the ladder.

5. Collingwood

Predicted Record: 17-6
Estimated Percentage: 113.0%
Last Year: 1st

Could last year's premiers fall out of the top four by the end of the year?

A drop in four rungs is equal-biggest in our preditor, with the fall coming despite the Magpies only losing one more game than they did in 2023.

It goes to show how even it could be at the top of the competition this season, with Collingwood set to have a tough fixture that could sway both ways.

6. Sydney

Predicted Record: 16-7
Estimated Percentage: 109.4%
Last Year: 8th

Sydney's off-season of recruitment and emerging midfield and forward ranks is sure to excite Bloods fans for the year to come.

After working their way back into the finals frame last year, John Longmire's side won't be keen on another slow start and should be planting their push for a premiership in the opening half of the season.

Tom Papley in action. (Photo: Joshua Davis)

Two games against Collingwood this year shape as a potential chance for the Swans to show their value, while further double-ups against GWS and Adelaide are also set to test their premiership credentials.

7. Port Adelaide

Predicted Record: 16-7
Estimated Percentage: 109.1%
Last Year: 3rd

Seventh spot won't be kind reading for Port Adelaide fans, but our predictor only has the Power two wins away from third on the ladder - sitting on the last rung of a tight top seven.

They are afforded a two-win margin over eighth, likely meaning their finals spot is secured weeks out from September.

A pair of Showdown wins will go a long way in making this a reality, while further double-ups against Carlton, Melbourne and St Kilda will have a big influence on how Ken Hinkley's men fare this year.

8. Adelaide

Predicted Record: 14-9
Estimated Percentage: 106.8%
Last Year: 10th

Having improved their ladder position every year since Matthew Nicks' maiden campaign, we can see the Crows climbing again in 2024.

Having been controversially knocked out of the finals race late last year, another season of development for Adelaide's young stocks should have them in good stead going into this year.

They face two of last year's top four twice this year, with two Showdown matches against the Power and another two against our predicted minor premiers Brisbane to come over the course of 2024.

9. St Kilda

Predicted Record: 10-13
Estimated Percentage: 96.4%
Last Year: 6th

There's been plenty of pre-season hype for the Saints as they enter year two of Ross Lyon's second stint at Linton Street.

They proved doubters wrong last year to book themselves a home elimination final, but in our predictor for this year we're tipping the Saints to be the only 2023 finalist to miss the top eight in 2024.

Multiple matches against wooden spoon fancies West Coast will certainly help their cause, however a pair of matches against Brisbane and Port Adelaide won't be easy.

Our ladder predictor suggests a major drop-off from the top eight, with the Saints potentially 16 points short from making the cut.

10. Geelong

Predicted Record: 9-14
Estimated Percentage: 95.4%
Last Year: 12th

Arguably the toughest team to read heading into 2024, Geelong could find themselves back toward the top or going without successive finals campaigns for the first time in over two decades.

Unfortunately for Cats fans, our predictor is suggesting the latter.

GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 28: Patrick Dangerfield of the Cats celebrates a goal with Tom Hawkins of the Cats (R) during the round six AFL match between the Geelong Cats and Sydney Swans at GMHBA Stadium on April 28, 2018 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Geelong are set to face a host of clubs likely to land in the midriff of the ladder on two occasions this year, with double-ups coming against Adelaide, Hawthorn, St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs that will prove crucial to their finals chances.

11. Western Bulldogs

Predicted Record: 8-15
Estimated Percentage: 96.7%
Last Year: 9th

It starts to get really tight outside of the top ten, with the Western Bulldogs sitting one win ahead of 15th on the ladder.

The Dogs have been dealt double-ups against GWS, Melbourne Sydney and Geelong - four clubs they're tipped to fall below. Should they manage five wins from those eight games, they'll certainly stand a chance for September.

If an 11th-place finish becomes reality, what will that mean for coach Luke Beveridge and his future at the Kennel?

12. Gold Coast

Predicted Record: 8-15
Estimated Percentage: 95.8%
Last Year: 15th

It seems as though Damien Hardwick's arrival might not spur on a maiden finals appearance for the Suns this year.

The triple premiership coach's move north comes at a time when Gold Coast's squad inches closer to a top-eight showing, however they're not alone in being predicted to potentially make the leap this year.

As part of a favourable fixture, the Suns are scheduled to face Richmond, West Coast, North Melbourne and Essendon on two occasions each this year - four clubs whom our predictor sees falling lower than 12th.

13. Richmond

Predicted Record: 7-16
Estimated Percentage: 95.6%
Last Year: 13th

Is 2024 a year of building toward finals for Adem Yze? Or should we be expecting more from the first-year coach and his current list?

The Tigers don't have the hardest draw in the land, but they could be one side that can bank wins on the clubs below them and potentially struggle against those contending for finals.

Our predictor suggests they'll manage the seven wins for the year, a record that has them equal with 14th and 15th - separated by percentage.

14. Hawthorn

Predicted Record: 7-16
Estimated Percentage: 91.5%
Last Year: 16th

The Hawks (very) narrowly edge out rivals Essendon to jump two spots on the ladder compared to last year in what might come as a shock to some.

There's plenty of optimism at Waverley this year, and you'd suspect a strong season from Sam Mitchell's side will come if they can get past their current luckless injury run.

It'll be some effort for the Hawks to claim seven wins given the difficulty of their draw, which sees them face Adelaide rows, Collingwood, Geelong, GWS, North Melbourne and Richmond twice each.

15. Essendon

Predicted Record: 7-16
Estimated Percentage: 91.5%
Last Year: 11th

Stunningly the Bombers are the club who are predicted to fall the most from their position at the end of last season, winning four fewer matches compared to their first year under Brad Scott.

Five of the six clubs they face on two occasions are likely to be favoured over the Bombers, those being: Adelaide, Collingwood, Gold Coast, St Kilda and Sydney.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 19: Kyle Langford of the Bombers kicks during the round one AFL match between Hawthorn Hawks and Essendon Bombers at Melbourne Cricket Ground, on March 19, 2023, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Two games against West Coast should lock in a pair of wins for Essendon, but Dons fans can expect no easy contests elsewhere.

16. Fremantle

Predicted Record: 6-17
Estimated Percentage: 91.8%
Last Year: 14th

A six-win season would likely bring an end to Justin Longmuir's reign at Fremantle, with the off-contract coach potentially needing almost double that figure to remain in his role.

While home to one of the youngest lists in the league, there are expectations that the Dockers should at least return to finals contention.

A pair of matches against rivals West Coast should see them chalk up a pair of wins, but their other double-ups come against Melbourne, Port Adelaide, Richmond, Sydney Swans and the Western Bulldogs.

17. North Melbourne

Predicted Record: 5-18
Estimated Percentage: 82.6%
Last Year: 17th

You'd think the Roos would want to double their wins tally from last year, and they almost reach that mark with five victories across the season in our predictor.

There's perhaps less of a focus on win-less records this year however, with the Kangaroos likely wanting to see better effort and maybe one big upset against a contender.

North Melbourne have one of the more favourable fixtures in the league, and rightfully so, as they face just one finalist from last year twice - with a pair of winnable games coming against West Coast too.

18. West Coast

Predicted Record: 1-22
Estimated Percentage: 69.0%
Last Year: 18th

It seems unlikely, but the Eagles are tipped to secure just one win for the entire season according to our predictor.

That win is most likely to come in Round in Round 13 when they host North Melbourne in Perth - an encounter that led to one of their three wins in 2023.

It seems as though for every other game the Eagles will be the less favoured side, but you'd expect they manage one or two upsets somewhere. Surely.