Melbourne Demons vs. Western Bulldogs – 2021 AFL Grand Final (Saturday, September 25)
It’s that time of year, folks!
The 2021 AFL Grand Final takes place this Saturday, September 25, with the Western Bulldogs facing Melbourne at Perth’s Optus Stadium.
For the Demons, this is their first Grand Final since 2000. The newly-crowned minor premiers last clinched the flag back in 1964, but they are in a strong position to break the 57-year hoodoo on Saturday.
The Bulldogs, on the other hand, beat Sydney in the 2016 Grand Final. Although they endured a difficult end to the regular season, they have flexed their muscles during the finals series and thoroughly deserve their spot in the showpiece.
In this 2021 AFL Grand Final betting preview, I discuss the odds, analyze the teams, and share my Melbourne vs. Western Bulldogs prediction and pick.
2021 AFL Grand Final Odds
All the top-rated Aussie rules betting sites view Melbourne (1.62) as the favorite to triumph on Saturday, leaving the Western Bulldogs (2.25) as outsiders.
Let’s not forget that first-place Melbourne finished ten points clear of the fifth-place Dogs on the ladder, although Luke Beveridge’s side boasted a slightly superior percentage.
It is also worth considering the point-based markets if you’re betting on the 2021 AFL Grand Final. With so much at stake, there is bound to be plenty of drama right from the bounce down.
Assessing Melbourne’s Chances of Clinching the Flag
Since securing their first minor premiership since 1964, the Demons have produced not one but two outstanding performances to punch their ticket to the main event.
Of course, the 33-point victory over Brisbane in the qualifying finals was impressive. But if that win was impressive, then the colossal 83-point demolition of Geelong in the preliminary finals was nothing short of extraordinary.
Captain Max Gawn kicked a career-best five goals in the rout, including four goals in six minutes during the third quarter. Kysaiah Pickett booted three goals, while Bailey Fritsch and Ben Brown both chipped in with a couple.
The manner with which Melbourne dispatched the Cats was relentless – kicking eight unanswered goals in the third term. If Simon Goodwin’s men notch a similar scoring streak on Saturday, they will give themselves an excellent chance of winning.
The Dees beat the Dogs by 28 points in their first meeting this season before the Dogs claimed a 20-point victory in the reverse fixture back in July. These results indicate there is very little between the two sides this year.
Western Bulldogs Team News and Analysis
The Bulldogs led the way for much of the campaign, only to lose their final three regular-season matches and slip to fifth on the ladder. However, they have since chalked up three straight wins to reach the Grand Final.
After beating Essendon by 49 points in the elimination finals, Beveridge’s men edged out Brisbane by just a single point in the semi-finals. It’s safe to say that their prelim-final victory over Port Adelaide was far more convincing, though.
The Doggies racked up 116 points in a massive 71-point thrashing of the Power last time out, with Bailey Smith kicking four goals. Mitch Hannan contributed three goals, too, while Marcus Bontempelli scored twice.
It was difficult to predict how the Dogs would fare without the injured Josh Bruce – their leading goalkicker. Following the mammoth prelim-final final win over Port, however, they have proved they can cope without Bruce.
Although the Dogs can take confidence from their recent head-to-head record in this fixture, the Demons are a totally different animal this year. Sure, the Bulldogs have won four of their previous five meetings. But that won’t matter on Saturday.
My 2021 AFL Grand Final Prediction and Pick
Melbourne to Win By 1-39 Points2.10
Naturally, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the 2021 AFL Grand Final. That said, one thing’s for sure: this will be an epic battle between two highly skilled sides.
Although I’m sure the Bulldogs will put up a strong fight, I expect Melbourne to come out on top in Perth. It will almost certainly be a tight match, though, so Melbourne to win by 1-39 points is my AFL Grand Final pick for 2021.
At the end of the day, the Dees have been the best all-around team across the course of the entire campaign. With standout stars such as Fritsch, Pickett, Petracca, Brown, and Gawn leading the way, I’m confident the Demons will end their 57-year wait for the flag.