Giant surge sees GWS as Richmond’s main challengers
After a recent run of strong form, the Giants now loom as Richmond’s main challengers for the 2018 AFL premiership.
Following wins over the Tigers, Port Adelaide in Adelaide and St Kilda, GWS have shot up the table and now occupy 5th position, despite sitting 10th just three weeks ago.
Given their surge over the past month and the sheer amount of star players on the Giants’ books, Leon Cameron’s men have moved onto the second line of betting, equal with the West Coast Eagles at $8.
Both sides however are well behind last season’s reigning premiers, with Richmond clearly out in front with a $2.50 price to their name, according to betting agencies around the country.
Richmond’s record at the MCG is one of the main reasons why they’re considered the team to beat in 2018, given they haven’t lost a game in Victoria all season long.
The Tigers are 14-0 in Melbourne and have won 18 straight games at the MCG, dating back to their Round 14 win over Carlton last season.
Richmond do have troubles on the road and are currently 4-0 outside of their home state, although given their dominance in Victoria and the fact they’ll likely finish in top spot, they won’t need to worry about travelling in September.
Conversely, West Coast have struggled in Melbourne in recent years, but are looking like a different side at the MCG this season, having recorded wins over Carlton and Collingwood at the ‘G in 2018, as well as impressive wins over the Western Bulldogs and Hawthorn at Etihad Stadium.
If the Eagles can lock in a top two spot it’ll certainly help them in their quest for their second grand final appearance in four years.
Providing they finish behind Richmond in second, West Coast will host all of their finals at Optus Stadium in September, giving them the best possible chance to feature on that final Saturday of the season.
Collingwood are looking to emulate the Tigers of 2017 with a historic rise up the table, and are fourth favourites for the flag at $9.
Like Richmond did the year before their grand final triumph, the Pies finished 13th in 2017, and have shot up the table to become genuine premiership contenders in 2018.
Injuries have threatened to derail their campaign, although Nathan Buckley’s men have continued fighting, and will likely set themselves up for the double chance in September.
Melbourne ($11), Geelong ($12) and Port Adelaide ($14) round out the premiership hopefuls, with Hawthorn and Sydney currently battling just for a spot in the eight.