The last Saturday in September has arrived with the Lions and Pies meeting in the Grand Final for the third time this century. Check out our preview below for all the tips for the big game.
|Best Bets||Brisbane ($2.10)|
|Total Points||Over 165.5 ($1.90)|
|Value Bet||Brisbane 40+ ($9.25)|
|Player Props / SGMs||Player Prop & Same Game Multi Tips|
|Norm Smith Medal||Norm Smith Medal Tips|
|First Goal||First Goal Tips|
Brisbane come into this game in superior form and look a great bet to upset Collingwood in the 2023 Grand Final.
The weather will play a major factor in the result and it favours Brisbane. The forecast at time of writing is for Melbourne to hit 28 degrees on Saturday, something that the northern side will be accustomed to but a major change for the Pies. Collingwood’s last ten games have been played under lights.
Weather will also affect the game stylistically. Collingwood have ground out their two wins in this finals series through relentless pressure. That pressure has masked other deficiencies in how they are playing, especially their ability to score. This won’t be another final where both teams finish up with fewer than ten goals.
Brisbane have beaten Collingwood the last six times they have played. None of those have been at the MCG, but they have been in perfect conditions at the Gabba or at Marvel Stadium. Saturday afternoon at the MCG in warm weather is a very different prospect to playing at night in front of Collingwood’s massive fan base.
The two games that Brisbane and Collingwood have played this year have been quite similar. The midfield battle has largely broken even, but the Lions efficiency down forward has been decisive. In their Round 23 clash the Lions scored a massive 82 points from turnover, six goals more than they normally average.
Brisbane’s poor record at the MCG is a concern but this is a very different Lions side to that of years past. They have only won one of their last fifteen at the MCG, but the then 18 year old Harris Andrews is the only survivor of the team that began that run of losses.
In previous years, playing at the MCG exposed Brisbane’s lack of leg speed but this has been significantly addressed. Players like Daniel Rich and Mitch Robinson have been replaced by Conor McKenna, Keidean Coleman and Darcy Wilmot, giving the Lions a different profile altogether, one that emphasises run and carry, not just accurate disposal.
The scenario where Collingwood win this game is if, similar to their two finals, they get on top early with their relentless pressure game. The Pies will come out firing. Brisbane need to make sure they contain the damage because when the game opens up as it inevitably will, they have the scoring power to overwhelm the Pies.
The Lions will have half a dozen players with more than 20 goals for the season and any one of them is capable of popping up to kick a bag. Charlie Cameron has been a real problem for the Pies, with bags of four and six in their two meetings. Key forwards Joe Daniher and Eric Hipwood have both found a new level of consistency this year.
The Pies have an excellent defence, but the Lions have had no trouble scoring against them, putting up 124, 116, 98 and 142 in their last four games. Carlton’s defence was outstanding in the second half of the year, but the Lions were able to kick quick goals against them last week to get back into the game.
If it becomes a shootout Collingwood are not well equipped to win. They’ve lost their in-form key forward Dan McStay to injury, while Jamie Elliott and Brody Mihocek have struggled to make an impact in the finals series so far. Mason Cox spending more time forward is not the answer.
Brisbane are far from certainties but the conditions and overall matchup are well and truly in their favour. As such, they are an excellent bet as outsiders in this year’s Grand Final.
The over is an extremely strong play in this game. As detailed above, the conditions will lend themselves to a high scoring contest as pressure drops away.
The last four games between these sides have seen a minimum of 189 points scored, while the last two Grand Finals saw totals of 206 and 185.
If either team gets well on top, the potential for a blowout certainly exists as the loser’s pressure drops right away, as has happened in the last two years.
Large margins are highly common in Grand Finals and the 40+ and looks great value here with our confidence in the Lions.
Six of the last nine deciders have seen a 40+ point margin – and the 2020 decider, with shortened game time, was 31 points.
Once the back of a team is broken in a Grand Final, there’s not much left to play for. The Lions are 17-6 in first halves this year with a percentage of 139.6.
If you disagreed with our assessment of the game and like Collingwood, don’t be afraid to play the Pies at bigger margins either.