The following are betting tips for the 2023 AFL Grand Final. This fixture sees Collingwood take on Brisbane at the MCG on Saturday, September 30.
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Collingwood (1) vs. (2) Brisbane
How Collingwood got here
Collingwood finished first on the ladder with an 18-5 record and a 127.0 percentage. After dominating for most of the campaign, the Magpies picked up some injuries and limped into the playoffs with a 2-3 run at the end of the regular season. Both fixtures in the playoffs were close, low-scoring affairs:
Qualifying final: Collingwood (9.6) 60-53 (7.11) Melbourne
Preliminary final: Collingwood (8.10) 58-57 8.9 GWS
In both finals the Magpies jumped out to first quarter leads before their opponents worked their away into the game. Collingwood never relinquished the lead against Melbourne but had to come back from a 10-point halftime deficit to see off the Giants.
How Brisbane got here
After overcoming a 1-2 start to the campaign, Brisbane finished second on the ladder with a 17-6 record and a 123.1 percentage. They went undefeated at home this season and they entered the playoffs on a four-game winning streak. After a relatively straight forward win over Port Adelaide in the qualifying final, Brisbane had to rally from a heavy first quarter deficit to see off Carlton in the preliminary final.
Brisbane (19.11) 125-77 (11.11) Port Adelaide
Brisbane (11.13) 79-63 (9.9) Carlton
Since 2022, no team has a better win percentage than Collingwood at the MCG (26-6, 81%). Collingwood went 13-3 in the head-to-head and 9-7 at the line at the ‘G this season. Their average total match score was 158.4, which is below the stadium’s 2023 average of 164.1.
In contrast, Brisbane have a terrible record at this venue. Since 2014, the Lions have gone 2-16 in the head-to-head and 6-12 at the line at the ‘G. They did get the monkey of their back by beating Melbourne at the MCG in their semi-final last year, however the win was followed by a 71-point mauling at the hands of Geelong at this venue a week later. Since 2014, no team has a worse record than Brisbane at the MCG. In 2023, Brisbane went 0-2 in both the head-to-head and the line at this venue. In a further contrast to Collingwood, the Lions’ average total match score at the MCG in 2023 was a whopping 190.0. Brisbane’s defeats at this venue were to Hawthorn (98-73) in Round 13 and to Melbourne (105-104) in Round 18.
This will feel like a home game for Collingwood and the Magpies have gone 12-2 at home this season and 12-1 as the home favourite. They are currently on a six-game losing streak against Brisbane, however, and the Magpies have lost their last two home games against the Lions, most recently by a 100-124 margin at Marvel Stadium in Round 23 this year. Their 2021 home defeat to the Lions was also at Marvel Stadium.
Collingwood have made a habit of winning by close margins this season. Eleven of their twenty wins were by 1-24 margins and eight were by 1-12 margins. Added to this is Collingwood’s history of close finals matches. Seven of their last nine finals were decided by 16 points or less.
This year Collingwood have had the league’s 5th best offensive average (90.4) and the 2nd best defensive average (71.9).
Brisbane reached this stage primarily due to their perfect home form. Away from home the Lions went 5-6 this season, but to their credit, they did win the one away fixture for which they were installed as the underdog. Brisbane have covered the line in four of their last five away games against Collingwood, however many of those games were at Marvel Stadium, not the dreaded MCG.
This year Brisbane have had the league’s best offensive average (95.3) and the 5th best defensive average (76.4).
Right off the bat, one outcome I will bet around is Brisbane 40+, primarily because I’m treating this as a home game for the Pies. Collingwood have yet to lose by 25+ at home this season, while all five of Brisbane’s away wins were by 1-39 margins.
Both sides have shown during the playoffs that they are beatable. My lean is towards Collingwood for two reasons. First, they have the better defensive record. In the majority of sports the defensive record correlates better with the championship win probability than offence. Second, this game will be played at the MCG – a venue that Collingwood loves and Brisbane hates. It speaks volumes that Brisbane lost to the 16th placed Hawthorn at the ‘G this season. Given that Brisbane have had the edge over Collingwood in recent seasons, I will add some insurance with the Brisbane 1-24 selection.
I would place the following wagers:
0.6 units on Collingwood 1-39 at 2.35 (Dabble)
0.4 units on Brisbane 1-24 at 3.60 (Dabble, Unibet)