AFL Grand Final 2022 Tips – Norm Smith Medal Predictions

The Norm Smith Medal is given to the player judged best on ground in the Grand Final and is always a hotly debated award, as well as providing plenty of opportunity from a punting perspective. Here are our picks for the Norm Smith Medal in the 2022 AFL Grand Final.

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Norm Smith Medal History

Punters can absolutely get a leg up on the bookies with a quick look at how the Norm Smith Medal has been awarded previously.

1. Back the mids

Like every other major AFL award, the midfielders have dominated the Norm Smith Medal, particularly in recent years. The last five awards have gone to mids – including three to Richmond star Dustin Martin – as well as 15 of the 23 this century.

2. Experience counts

Since 2000, only 4 of the 23 Norm Smith Medalists had played fewer than 100 games prior to winning the award – Chris Judd (2004), Steve Johnson (2007), Scott Pendlebury (2010) and Jason Johannisen (2016). Judd was also the youngest winner this century at 21 years old.

3. Avoid the talls at all costs

The Norm Smith Medal has been awarded in every Grand Final since 1979. Remarkably, just two award winners have been taller than 192cm in that time – Brian Lake in 2015 and Simon Madden all the way back in 1985.

4. Hit the scoreboard

A player’s Norm Smith Medal chances increase if they are able to jag a goal in the Grand Final. The last five winners have all kicked a snag and since 2000, just 6 of 23 have not kicked a goal.

5. Winners get medals

Obviously the winning team is much more likely to produce the best player on the ground, so if you are leaning toward one team to win, it’s probably where your should be putting your hard-earned for the Norm. Only four players since 1979 have won the award in a losing team.

Norm Smith Medal Tips

With a goal-kicking experienced midfielder from the winning team the profile for a Norm Smith Medalist, let’s look at a few tips for this year’s award.


Patrick Dangerfield
Norm Smith Medal

The deserved favourite, Dangerfield looks ready to explode in this Grand Final. Coming off a best on ground performance last weekend where he had 28 touches and kicked 2.2, the 302-game veteran is the standout play for the Cats. If the decision is close for the judges, you can be sure he will get the lean given his off-field standing in the game.

Cam Guthrie
Norm Smith Medal

If Danger has a down game, Guthrie is the clear next pick for Geelong. The 229-gamer kicks a goal in around half of his matches and is a very well-rounded player. Expect him to win his fair share of clearances, lay plenty of tackles and set up a lot of goals with his great kicking. If he can jag a goal, he’ll be right in contention.

Gary Rohan
Norm Smith Medal

We are absolutely breaking with the Norm Smith profile here but as explained in our Same Game Multi tips, we’re backing Gary Rohan for a big Grand Final. He’s $51 for a reason, but he enters in excellent form and is worth a nibble at the price. He’ll also benefit from a great narrative if he can produce a big game, having been a well-publicised underachiever in finals early in his career.


Luke Parker
Norm Smith Medal

Midfielder – check. Goal-kicker – check. Experienced – check. Luke Parker ticks all the boxes for a Norm Smith Medalist and is the best play for the Bloods. The Sydney co-captain has kicked a goal in each final this year and is clearly the top clearance-winner for the Swans in 2022. If Sydney cause the upset, you can be sure Parker will be amongst the best.

Chad Warner
Norm Smith Medal

Chad Warner is a rising star of the competition and while he would be the most inexperienced Norm Smith Medal winner ever, he averages the most goals of any Sydney midfielder, as well as the most metres gained and score involvements of any player on their list. Warner is a real eye-catcher and a great bet for the medal.

Tom Papley
Norm Smith Medal

Papley is enjoying arguably his best career season and is a reliable goal-kicker who increasingly has spent stints in the midfield this year. The 26-year-old is Sydney’s fire-starter and is guaranteed to play with his typical passion and ferocity on Saturday. He’s kicked 9 goals in his last four finals.

Previous AFL Norm Smith Medal Winners

2021Christian PetraccaMelbourne
2020Dustin MartinRichmond
2019Dustin Martin Richmond
2018Luke ShueyWest Coast
2017Dustin MartinRichmond
2016Jason JohannisenWestern Bulldogs
2015Cyril RioliHawthorn
2014Luke Hodge Hawthorn
2013Brian LakeHawthorn
2012Ryan O’KeefeSydney
2011Jimmy BartelGeelong
2010Scott PendleburyCollingwood
2010Lenny HayesSt Kilda
2009Paul ChapmanGeelong
2008Luke HodgeHawthorn
2007Steve JohnsonGeelong
2006Andrew EmbleyWest Coast
2005Chris JuddWest Coast
2004Byron PickettPort Adelaide
2003Simon BlackBrisbane Lions
2002Nathan BuckleyCollingwood
2001Shaun HartBrisbane Lions
2000James HirdEssendon
1999Shannon GrantNorth Melbourne
1998Andrew McLeod Adelaide
1997Andrew McLeodAdelaide
1996Glenn ArcherNorth Melbourne
1995Greg WilliamsCarlton
1994Dean KempWest Coast
1993Michael LongEssendon
1992Peter MateraWest Coast
1991Paul DearHawthorn
1990Tony ShawCollingwood
1989Gary Ablett Sr.Geelong
1988Gary Ayres Hawthorn
1987David Rhys-JonesCarlton
1986Gary AyresHawthorn
1985Simon MaddenEssendon
1984Billy DuckworthEssendon
1983Colin RobertsonHawthorn
1982Maurice RioliRichmond
1981Bruce DoullCarlton
1980Kevin BartlettRichmond
1979Wayne HarmesCarlton
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Joel has worked for more than six years at Sportsbet and BetEasy in the content and tipping space, specialising in AFL, cricket, NBA and UFC.