Geelong Cats vs Hawthorn Hawks Final
Betting Odds & Tips
Another chapter of the premiere AFL rivalry of the 21st century will be written on Friday night as the Cats take on the Hawks in the first qualifying final. Hawthorn have had some shaky form of late, dropping games to the West Coast Eagles and Melbourne, while barely scraping by Collingwood in round 23, barely holding onto their spot in the top four. Meanwhile, Geelong are on a seven game winning streak, but haven’t been tested by a good side in quite a while. It’s hard to imagine a team as experienced as Geelong coming into finals underprepared, but their easy draw might leave them caught off guard by the intensity on Friday night.
The Cats finishing second means this is their home game, but since it’s taking place at the MCG, it might as well be advantage Hawthorn. The Hawks have a 15-2 record in finals at the MCG since 2008 and their last loss was in 2012. They are virtually unbeatable there in September. However, if any team can do it, it’s Geelong as they handed Hawthorn one of those two defeats in a qualifying final five years ago. This is actually the third time these teams have met in a qualifying final with Hawthorn winning in 2014 to even the ledger at one win each.
As for the teams, the Cats are likely to get Scott Selwood back from injury, but whether he is in their best 22 after playing so little footy this year will be the question. Coach Chris Scott says Lachie Henderson is a chance to play, but he’s keeping his cards pretty close to his chest at this stage. Nakia Cockatoo played in the VFL during the bye week and Shane Kersten has been in good reserves form. It’s hard to see them making too many unforced changes from the team that beat Melbourne by 111 points, but Jed Bews and Jake Kolodjashnij may be the two to make way for Selwood and Henderson. Josh Cowan is another possible omission, but performed well against the Dees.
As for the Hawks, defender Ben Stratton comes back into the side after a pectoral injury and late withdrawal Ben McEvoy is also a likely inclusion. Will Langford was once a finals breakout player and would be the most likely player of the reserves to come into the side. Marc Pittonet will probably make way for McEvoy, while Stratton replaces Shoenmakers, who didn’t show much against the Pies.
Geelong’s winning streak over Hawthorn since the 2008 Grand Final has been well documented, but since the ‘Kennett Curse’ was broken, the Hawks have won four of the last five against the Cats. One thing is for sure, this game is going to be very even. Geelong come in favourites with the bookmakers on recent form, but you can NEVER dismiss this Hawthorn side.
- Australian Betting Organization Estimations
- Hawthorn likelihood to win: 45%
- Geelong likelihood to win 55%
Best Australian Bookmaker Odds:
Geelong to win: $1.64 at Sportsbet
Hawthorn to win: $2.38 at William Hill
Hawthorn to win by 1-19 points: $4.20 Sportsbet
Geelong to win by 1-19 points: $4 Sportsbet
Final Analysis & Betting Tip
Our analysis has Geelong coming into this game as slight favourites based on recent form and their firepower up forward, but Hawthorn know how to win in finals and you expect this to be a close game. For that reason, the smart money is on Hawthorn or Geelong by 1-19 points with sportsbet.com.au. As for who you tip, a flip of the coin would be as accurate as any prediction.
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Writer at the Australian Betting Organization
Nic studied at Monash University and is currently working as a sports journalist. You’ll often find Nic at the pub enjoying time with friends while watching UFC and WWE.
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