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Best AFL Futures Bets to Target for the 2022 Season – Richmond to Finish in the Top Four and More

| February 8, 2022 8:25 am PDT

The 2022 AFL season is set to kick off on March 16. With just over a month until the footy returns, it’s time to start thinking about the best AFL futures bets to target for 2022.

Prior to the start of the previous campaign, Richmond (4.00) and Geelong (5.50) were the bookmakers’ favorites win the premiership. Meanwhile, Melbourne was priced at 26.00 to clinch the flag. We all know what happened, don’t we?

The Tigers missed the top eight altogether, the Cats failed to make it past the qualifying finals, while the Demons were crowned both minor premiers and premiers. Needless to say, there is always value to be found in the bookies’ pre-season AFL odds.

Of course, I will be sharing my 2022 AFL premiership predictions today. But I will also cover a range of other AFL bets. I will provide my Rising Star and Brownlow predictions, along with some ladder projections.

Having scoured the top AFL betting sites, here are my best AFL bets for the 2022 season.

Western Bulldogs to Win the Premiership (6.50)

There was a time when it looked as though the Western Bulldogs would clinch the 2021 minor premiership. After kicking off the previous campaign with six straight victories, they enjoyed multiple winning streaks throughout season.

Following a dominant win over Adelaide in Round 20, the Bulldogs were sitting pretty at the top of the ladder. However, they lost their final three regular-season games and ended up sliding from first to fifth.

Luke Beveridge’s men rose to the occasion of the finals series, though, dispatching Essendon, Brisbane, and Port Adelaide en route to the 2021 AFL grand final. Although they fell to Melbourne in the showpiece, they showed everyone what they are capable of.

The Dogs have become one of the strongest – and most consistent – teams in the AFL over the past few years. They secured the flag in 2016, meaning they have reached two of the last six finals. Better still, they haven’t finished lower than seventh in each of the previous three seasons.

Captained by the masterful Marcus Bontempelli, the Dogs’ squad is stacked with talented players. Josh Bruce will be back in 2022, alongside Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (more on him later). They also have father-son prodigy Sam Darcy in their ranks.

Naturally, defending champion Melbourne (4.33) is the 2022 AFL premiership betting favorite. Yet, in my eyes, the Dogs offer far better value at 6.50. It will be extremely difficult for the Demons to go back-to-back this year, so I’m backing the Dogs to return to the top.

You can check out my 2022 AFL premiership betting preview below. In that post, I break down the bookmakers’ odds for the AFL premiership and take a closer look at all the top contenders.

Early Odds and Contender Analysis for the 2022 AFL Premiership Winner

The 2021 AFL season may have only just finished, but did you know that you can already bet on the 2022 AFL premiership winner? Almost immediately after Melbourne’s Grand Final victory over the Western Bulldogs, the bookmakers released their odds for the...

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Richmond to Finish in the Top Four (2.75)

It is no secret that Richmond endured a season to forget last year. Having claimed the flag in 2020, the Tigers were expected to dominate again in 2021. As it turned out, they ended up finishing twelfth after winning just nine of their 22 games.

But let’s not forget that many of Richmond’s star performers spent time on the sidelines last season. Three-time Norm Smith Medalist Dustin Martin missed a large portion of the campaign due to injury, with other important players struggling to stay healthy.

That said, a quick glance at the table below tells you everything you need to know about Richmond’s recent achievements.

Year Premiers Runner-Ups
2021 Melbourne Western Bulldogs
2020 Richmond Geelong
2019 Richmond Greater Western Sydney
2018 West Coast Collingwood
2017 Richmond Adelaide

Not only did the Tigers win three of the four premierships between 2017 and 2020, but they also secured four straight top-three finishes during that period. It goes without saying that 2021 was a blip for the club.

I’m confident that Damien Hardwick’s men will get back to where they belong this year. I mean, the Tigers have too many star players to fall short for the second season running.

Melbourne (1.60), Western Bulldogs (1.71), Brisbane (1.80), and Port Adelaide (2.10) are favored to finish in the top four this year, with Geelong (2.50) and Richmond (2.75) just outside.

Given that you can almost triple your money, backing the Tigers to seal a top-four berth feels like a no-brainer.

Sam Walsh to Win the Brownlow Medal (7.00)

It is no surprise that Ollie Wines (6.00) is the 2022 Brownlow Medal betting favorite. After all, the Port Adelaide midfielder polled a record-equaling 36 votes in the 2021 count.

It also makes sense that Marcus Bontempelli (7.00) is among the favorites to scoop the prestigious prize in 2022. The star Bulldog led the way for much of last season’s Brownlow count, receiving a whopping 33 votes in the end.

Sam Walsh (7.00), who finished fourth in the 2021 Brownlow standings, is expected to mount a serious challenge for the award this year. In truth, it could be argued that he is the best Brownlow bet for 2022.


  • Ollie Wines, Port Adelaide (36 votes)
  • Marcus Bontempelli, Western Bulldogs (33 votes)
  • Clayton Oliver, Melbourne (31 votes)
  • Sam Walsh, Carlton (30 votes)
  • Darcy Parish, Essendon (26 votes)
  • Jack Steele, St Kilda (26 votes)
  • Tom Mitchell, Hawthorn (25 votes)
  • Travis Boak, Port Adelaide (25 votes)
  • Jarryd Lyons, Brisbane (23 votes)
  • Christian Petracca, Melbourne (23 votes)

Although Walsh is still just 21, he is widely regarded as one of the best players in the AFL. The All-Australian has already claimed the Jon Nicholls Medal, Ron Evans Medal, and Mark of the Year, so he knows what it takes to win silverware.

Not only did he average 29.8 disposals per game last year, but he also averaged 5.8 marks and 4.5 tackles. These kinds of numbers will invariably put you in Brownlow contention.

Given that just six players have won back-to-back Brownlow Medals since 1924, I don’t recommend backing Wines to defend his crown this year. Instead, I suggest taking advantage of Walsh’s generous prices.

Be sure to check out my 2022 AFL Brownlow Medal betting preview for further advice and analysis.

Carlton to Finish in the Top Eight (3.00)

Last month, I shared my bold AFL predictions for 2022. Although the bookies hadn’t released their top eight odds at that stage, I predicted that Carlton would secure a finals spot this year.

However, the odds for a top-eight finish have since been released – and Carlton is priced at 3.00. Granted, 11 clubs are favored to finish ahead of the Blues on the ladder. But backing them to reach the finals feels like smart move.

I think the AFL oddsmakers have underestimated the Blues here. Sure, they haven’t finished in the top eight for the best part of a decade. But they head into the new season with a young, hungry group of players.

Spearheaded by Walsh, Carlton’s squad has the potential to challenge for a finals berth in 2022. They may have ended up 12 points shy of the top eight last season, but they can take plenty of positives from the previous campaign.

Back Carlton to finish in the top eight now, and you could land a very tasty profit when the 2022 finals series comes around in September. If the Blues get off to a good start, their price will only fall as the season goes on.

Jamarra Ugle-Hagan to Win the Rising Star (8.00)

Nick Daicos (4.33) and Jason Horne-Francis (5.00) are the bookmakers’ favorites to win the 2022 AFL Rising Star award. The newcomers are destined to make a big impact on the league when they debut this year.

Of course, Daicos is Collingwood’s latest father-son selection. As for Horne-Francis, he was taken by North Melbourne as the #1 pick in the 2021 AFL Draft.

With Daicos and Horne-Francis priced at 4.33 and 5.00, respectively, I’m not overly keen on the idea of backing one of them to be crowned the 2022 Rising Star. Instead, I really like the look of Jamarra Ugle-Hagan at the hugely generous price of 8.00.

The Bulldogs made Ugle-Hagan the #1 draft pick in 2020 – and he proved to be one of the best young AFL players in 2021. After notching seven disposals and a mark on debut, he burst onto the scene with three goals in his second AFL appearance.

Having already featured in five AFL matches, Ugle-Hagan has a big advantage over Daicos and Horne-Francis. While the newcomers are fresh on the scene, Ugle-Hagan heads into the 2022 season as an established player.

The 19-year-old is bound to be given more game time this year after proving that he can perform at the highest level. That’s why I’m backing him to pick up the Rising Star award.

Follow the link below to discover more advice and tips for betting on the AFL Rising Star award in 2022.

Betting on the AFL Rising Star Award (2022) – Breaking Down the Odds and Top Contenders

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Port Adelaide to Finish in the Top Four (2.10)

Port Adelaide to finish in the top four at 2.10? Yes, please!

In all honesty, I’m struggling to figure out why the Power is priced at 2.10 to clinch a top-four spot. The 2020 minor premiers secured second place in 2021, meaning they haven’t finish outside the top two in the past two seasons.

Two years ago, the South Australians won 14 of their 17 regular-season games en route to picking up the McClelland Trophy. In 2021, they notched 17 wins in 22 outings and ended the home-and-away campaign with the second-best defensive record in the comp.

Top Tip
I recommend jumping on these odds before the bookmakers change their minds. In my opinion, this bet provides you with an excellent opportunity to more than double your stake.

Betting on the AFL in 2022

Hopefully, my AFL bets will point you in the right direction when it comes to wagering on the footy in 2022. Of course, I will be back with regular AFL picks and predictions when the new season gets underway.

In the meantime, though, why not brush up on your skills by going through our complete guide to futures bets?

If you’re looking for more AFL content, be sure to check out the greatest AFL players of all time to get you in the mood for the 2022 campaign.

Greatest AFL Players of All Time – Ablett, Lockett, and Others

Aussie rules has been played since the mid-1800s. Consequently, naming the top ten greatest AFL players of all time is a thankless task. Luckily for you, I decided to compile a list of the best players in AFL history – so you don’t have to! This...

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Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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