2021 AFL Finals Series – Semi-Final Predictions and Best Bets (September 3-4)
We have reached the semi-final stage of the 2021 AFL Finals Series. Four teams will compete across Friday and Saturday for a chance to join Melbourne and Port Adelaide in the preliminary finals.
Before we get to my 2021 AFL semi-final predictions and picks, let’s take a look at the fixture list.
- Geelong Cats vs. GWS Giants – Friday, September 3
- Brisbane Lions vs. Western Bulldogs – Saturday, September 4
The Giants booked their spot in the semi-finals with a memorable one-point victory over Sydney last time out. They take to the field on Friday against the Cats, who lost to Port in the previous round.
The Lions lost to Melbourne in the first qualifying final, meaning they come up against the Western Bulldogs on Saturday. The Dogs thrashed Essendon to reach the last six.
Right, it’s time for my predictions for this weekend’s AFL semi-finals. I also cover the best AFL bets for the semi-finals below.
Geelong Cats to Beat GWS Giants
It wouldn’t be unfair to say that Geelong was completely outclassed by the Power in the second qualifying final. As a result, Port booked their place in the prelims, leaving Geelong to battle it out in the semi-finals.
The Cats have now lost three of their previous four matches, so they will need to up their game on Friday. That said, they did finish a whopping 18 points clear of Greater Western Sydney in the standings.
The Giants, on the other hand, come out on the right side of a Sydney Derby thriller last weekend. They edged out the Swans by just a single point in the second elimination final, despite kicking just two goals and five behinds in the second half.
GWS heads into the semi-finals on a four-match winning streak, having beaten Geelong towards to end of the regular season. However, it will be very difficult for the Giants to secure back-to-back wins over the Cats.
Although GWS has played some top-quality footy in recent weeks, I’m backing Patrick Dangerfield and co. to get the job done on Friday.
Brisbane Lions to Beat Western Bulldogs
It was always going to be difficult for the Lions to get the better of Melbourne in the first qualifying final. I mean, the newly-crowned minor premiers finished the regular season on a high – and they ended up beating Brisbane by 33 points.
Still, the Lions can take confidence from the way in which they finished the regular season. The Queenslanders claimed three straight victories to secure fourth place on the ladder, with 2020 Brownlow medalist Lachie Neale returning from injury in eye-catching form.
As for the Bulldogs, they ended the campaign in a disappointing fashion. Not only did they lose each of their final three regular-season matches, but they also slipped out of the top four as a result.
They were able to pick themselves up in the first elimination final, though, dispatching Essendon with ease. The Dogs limited the Bombers to just 36 points last weekend, underlining their defensive solidity.
The Dogs may boast defensive solidity, but the Lions have the most prolific forward line in the comp. Having racked up the most points this year, I expect Brisbane’s deadly attack to exploit the Dogs’ backline.
My Top AFL Semi-Final Picks
You can find my best bets for the 2021 AFL semi-finals below. If you’re betting on the AFL semi-finals, remember to only use the top-rated Aussie rules sportsbooks.
Geelong Cats vs. GWS Giants
Geelong (1.40) is the bookmakers’ clear favorite to win this one, while Greater Western Sydney (2.88) is the obvious underdog. In order to get better value, I recommend backing Geelong to win by 1-39 points.
Although I’m confident the Cats will overcome GWS, they haven’t been at their free-flowing best in recent weeks. I expect Geelong to win on Friday, but I don’t think it will be a high-scoring victory.
- Pick: Geelong Cats to Win By 1-39 Points (2.00)
Brisbane Lions vs. Western Bulldogs
The bookies view Brisbane (1.62) as the frontrunner here, leaving the Dogs (2.25) as outsiders. This is a tough matchup to call, though, so I suggest steering clear of the moneyline market for this game.
Instead, taking advantage of the over 164.5 total game points market could prove to be very profitable. The Lions and the Dogs are the two highest-scoring sides in the comp this year, meaning we are likely to see plenty of goals on Saturday.
- Pick: Over 164.5 Total Game Points (1.90)