For the second season in a row, the AFL grand final will be moved from its traditional Melbourne home to Perth due to coronavirus issues in the state of Victoria. The final takes place on the 25th of September and sees Melbourne take on the Western Bulldogs.
Interest in the final has been immense, and some reports suggest that the venue, the Optus Stadium, could have been filled four times over.
It’s the biggest event on the Aussie sports calendar; if you take away the Ashes, and it’s one that would usually take place in Melbourne, but that city and the state of Victoria as a whole, are in extended lockdown, as is similarly populous New South Wales.
There is a great deal of betting interest in the grand final, and online betting sites in the region have been hotting up as the Aussie Rules football season comes to its exciting conclusion.
This is Melbourne’s chance of a first AFL title since the mid-1960s, whilst the Western Bulldogs have a little bit more success in the competition, having won it in 2016 (albeit it was only their second title triumph ever).
Melbourne is the favorite with most bookies, and that’s not surprising as they completed the regular season at the top of the table, securing 17 wins from their 22 games, two more than their final rivals.
Both finalists secured crushing Preliminary finals wins, with Melbourne trouncing Geelong 125-42, whilst the Western Bulldogs dealt Port Adelaide a 116-45 drubbing, bringing us two sides who are in a rich vein of form as they take to the field in Perth.
Currently, you can get around $1.65 on Melbourne and an enticing $2.25 on the Western Bulldogs. The Melbourne Demons had been at $26 at the season’s start, and their odds have shortened significantly since they blew away Geelong on the road to the AFL Grand Final.
When it comes to betting on the Norm Smith Medal, there are equal favorites in Melbourne pair Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver, and the highest-ranked Western Bulldog star in the betting comes in the form of Marcus Bontempelli.
It’s the first time the Demons have been in the Grand Final since 2000, and the Dogs want their second crown in six seasons, and it’s sure to be a hard-fought tussle between the two sides.
The final, which could be best described as Australia’s Super Bowl, will feature an array of musical acts in the pre-match show, including Men at Work lead singer Colin Hay and John Butler, among others.
Interest in the final is as high as ever, but it’s fair to say that Australian sport has suffered during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ashes are already in doubt that the Australian Formula One Grand Prix had to be canceled for the second straight year, having already been rescheduled from March to November.
The National Rugby League competition was forced to move the final rounds of their season to Queensland though it’s believed that the Australian tennis Open in January will still be staged in Melbourne.