In what has been one of the most competitive seasons in recent memory, the finals are here and in full flight.
Here are each of the 2019 finals teams chances of making it to the Grand Final:
Brisbane had a fantastic 2019 season, finishing second on the ladder and equal top along with Geelong and Richmond and finished the season winning 10 of their last 11 games, earning the right to a home qualifying final. According to Stats Insider, Brisbane is a 43.2% chance to make the AFL grand final, and a 21.3% chance to win the grand final. Those are some decent percentages for a team that is competing in their first finals campaign in 10 years. Brisbane’s success and ability to make the grand final lays in their first qualifying final against Richmond. Should they win that game, the Lions will get a home preliminary final and that will surely go a long way to making the grand final. Should they lose, the task gets that little bit harder despite a home semi-final.
After a tough year for the most part riddled with injuries, Collingwood finished off the season strongly and even with a depleted line-up, managed to finish in the top four, finishing fourth on the ladder and earning a second chance. According to Stats Insider, Collingwood is a 37.3% chance to make the grand final, and an 18.2% chance to win the grand final. Given the Pies’ struggles, they come into the finals with a fairly healthy line-up and will be looking to knock off Geelong in their qualifying final to earn their spot in a home preliminary final. Should the Pies defeat Geelong, a grand final berth looks very much on the cards. Should they lose, a potential knockout in straight sets wouldn’t be off the cards as they would face the reigning premiers in a semi-final.
Essendon was a mere 7% chance to make the grand final and a 3.1% chance to win the grand final, but those percentages drop back to 0% after being defeated and eliminated by the West Coast Eagles in their elimination final.
The minor premiers of the 2019 season, Geelong will be looking to bounce back after last year’s disappointing finals campaign which saw them eliminated in the first week by Melbourne. According to Stats Insider, Geelong is a 40.2% chance to make the grand final, while being a 20.7% chance to win the grand final. Geelong face-off against Collingwood in their qualifying final, and should they defeat the Pies, the Cats will be in pole position to make their first grand final since 2011. With a loss, those percentages will dramatically drop with a tough semi-final against the reigning premiers, the West Coast Eagles.
The Giants come into the finals a bit underdone despite a dominating victory against Gold Coast in the last round of the season. The Giants finished sixth on the ladder and will need a big performance to defeat a hot and thriving Western Bulldogs outfit. Lucky for the Giants, their elimination final will be played in Sydney, where they will look to seek revenge for their preliminary final loss to the Bulldogs in 2016. According to Stats Insider, GWS is a 10.1% chance to make the grand final and are a mere 5.3% chance to win it all. It’s do or die from here on out for the Giants, and they will be looking for big performances from their big guns to push them all the way.
Richmond is the current in-form team of the competition after winning nine games in a row and defeating the second on the ladder Lions in the last game of the home and away season, exactly who they will face off in their first final, this time with the game being in Brisbane. The Tigers are a strong chance to make the grand final, with a 40% chance to make it and a 20.5% chance to win it all, according to Stats Insider. Should the Tigers defeat the Lions in their qualifying final, you would almost bank on Richmond making another grand final with a home preliminary final at a ground where they have been so strong at over the last three years.
Can history repeat itself for the Doggies? In 2016 the Dogs finished seventh on the ladder and went all the way through to win the grand final. And here we are in 2019 with the Dogs finishing seventh again and embarking on another quest to do the unthinkable and win it all from that position on the ladder. The Dogs had a strong finish to the season, winning seven of their last nine games, and are at 11.2% and 6% odds to make and win the grand final respectively. Every game from here on out is elimination for the Dogs and they will need big performances all-round, but with the finish to their season and the form and blistering football they produced, it would be unwise to count them out as a serious threat despite the tasks that lay ahead of them.
West Coast Eagles
*Percentages taken before Thursday night’s finals win
The Eagles finished fifth on the ladder in 2019 despite a very strong finish to the season. West Coast sits at an 11% chance to make the grand final and a 4.8% chance to win the grand final according to Stats Insider, but don’t count out this team as no matter what obstacles lay ahead, this team just knows how to get it done. The reigning premiers have already completed their first task by winning their elimination final against Essendon, and will face off against the loser of the Geelong and Collingwood game. No matter what happens, the Eagles will go into each game with supreme confidence knowing they have been there and done it all before and know what it takes to win on the biggest stage. Discount them at your own discretion.