The 8 Biggest AFL Upsets of the Last Decade

AFL biggest upsets

The bookies tend to get most AFL betting markets right, with 70% of favourites winning over the last decade, but every so often they (and us!) miss wildly and a massive underdog comes from the blue to record a stunning victory.

Here are the biggest AFL betting upsets of the last decade. Apologies to Adelaide, Essendon, Carlton and Sydney fans in particular.

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8. Hawthorn ($8.00) def. Adelaide by 14 pts (R14, 2017)

Despite claiming the minor premiership, the Crows dropped some very winnable games in 2017, including this one to then 17th-placed Hawthorn at home.

Entering the contest as $8.00 underdogs after losing three of their last four games, the Hawks proved too tough in a tight battle, kicking the final two goals to record a stunning win.


7. Brisbane Lions ($11) def. Essendon by 10 pts (R8, 2013)

The Bombers started 2013 in red-hot form, winning six of their first seven games despite the ongoing distraction caused by the supplements saga.

The Lions were given little hope at Docklands given their 2-6 record, but were triumphant in a see-sawing contest.

Brent Staker proved the hero for the visitors, kicking the sealer in his first game in more than two years after dual knee reconstructions.


6. GWS Giants ($11) def. Adelaide by 16 pts (R11, 2018)

Coming off a Grand Final berth, season 2018 just never got going for Adelaide with injuries to key players, the departures of Jake Lever and Charlie Cameron and the now infamous pre-season camp sinking their year.

GWS had never beaten the Crows in Adelaide prior to this game and entered off a four-game losing streak, but a massive final quarter from Jeremy Cameron sealed a famous victory for the expansion club.


5. Melbourne ($11) def. Essendon by 6 pts (R10, 2012)

There were few highlights during the Mark Neeld era at Melbourne but this narrow victory over the 8-1 Bombers in 2012 was surely the biggest.

The Dees won a low-scoring scrap 58 to 52 in the much-maligned coach’s first victory from ten games.

Essendon were left to rue a horribly inaccurate night in front of the sticks, kicking 6.16.


4. Port Adelaide ($13) def. Hawthorn by 22 pts (R21, 2015) 

This was an odd season for Port. Coming off a stunning 2014 where they were just three points from a Grand Final, the Power were well out of the finals race in the closing weeks of the year.

Despite this and the absence of key defenders Alipate Carlile and Jackson Trengove, Ken Hinkley’s team went on to score their second win of the season against the reigning and eventual premiers.

Chad Wingard was the star scoring four goals after crudely having his head bumped into the point post earlier by Luke Hodge.


3. Gold Coast Suns ($15) def. Carlton by 12 pts (R22, 2012)

The Suns recorded a massive upset as $15 outsiders in the penultimate round of 2012, ending the Blues’ finals chances in the process.

Carlton were blown away in the first half, trailing by six goals at the main break. They fought back in the third quarter to close the gap to two kicks but the young Suns just kept responding to each challenge.

The loss effectively ended Brett Ratten’s tenure as coach and marked the beginning of another miserable era at Carlton under Mick Malthouse, Brendon Bolton and David Teague.


2. St Kilda ($16) def. Fremantle by 58 pts (R18, 2014)

Perhaps the most astonishing result on this list belongs to the then last-placed Saints as $16 outsiders.

Freo were 12-4 entering the game and looking for a percentage booster to sure up a top two position. Instead they were humiliated to the tune of ten goals.

The Dockers would eventually finish a game and percentage from a home final in fourth before being bundled out in straight sets in the finals. In hindsight, this was a very, very costly defeat.


1. Gold Coast Suns ($17) def. Sydney by 24 pts (R18, 2018)

The biggest boilover of the last decade belongs to the Gold Coast Suns who stunned the Swans at the SCG back in 2018.

Closing at $17 and coming off 11 straight losses, things went according to script early with Sydney leading by 29 points at the first break.

Then everything changed.

The home side went goalless for two quarters and Gold Coast piled on 11 goals to record their first ever win over Sydney and the AFL’s biggest upset of the last decade.

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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.