- Richmond Tigers emerge as narrow favorites in AFL Grand Final clash with Geelong Cats
- Tigers have raised the Premiership flag in two of the past three years, and have suffered just one postseason loss to Geelong since 1931
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and trends ahead of Saturday morning’s matchup at the Gabba
The 2020 Aussie Rules Football season wraps up on Saturday morning, as the Richmond Tigers take on the Geelong Cats as narrow 2.5-point favorites. Plenty of rain and warm temperatures are forecast for game time at the Gabba in Brisbane, as the Tigers seek to claim their third AFL Premiership title in four years. The highest-scoring club during the regular season, the Cats return to the Grand Final for the first time since 2011 on the strength of a pair of convincing victories in AFL Finals Series action.
Here’s a look at all the odds and trends ahead of this year’s AFL Grand Final matchup.
Aussie Rules Grand Final Odds
|Richmond Tigers||-2.5 (-110)||-126||O 116.5 (-112)|
|Geelong Cats||+2.5 (-110)||+104||U 116.5 (-112)|
Odds taken at FanDuel Sportsbook Oct 21
Experienced Tigers Peaking at the Right Time
Pegged as strong +350 favorites to successfully defending their title entering the current campaign, the Tigers endured a slow start, going winless in their first three outings in the AFL’s return to play following a three-month shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the club’s June struggles cost them a shot at finishing atop the AFL ladder, the Tigers picked up the pace in the second half of the season, closing out their schedule on an 8-1-0 win-loss-draw run, with seven of those victories coming by margins of at least 21 points.
— Daniel Coyle (@thepopgun) March 18, 2020
Despite enjoying a dominating stretch run that lifted them to short +195 chalk in the Premiership odds entering the postseason, Richmond found themselves on the long run back to the Grand Final after suffering a stunning 69-54 loss to the Brisbane Lions in qualifying round action. Leveraging their ample Finals Series experience, the Tigers quickly rebounded with a crushing 80-49 win over the upstart St. Kilda Saints in semifinal action before clinching a return trip to the Grand Final with a narrow 46-40 preliminary final win in a seesaw battle the top-seeded Port Adelaide Power last weekend.
Cats Ride Red-Hot Offense to Grand Finals Berth
With wins in seven of their final eight regular season outings, the Cats closed out their schedule just two points back of Richmond on the AFL ladder. And while Geelong was outclassed by the Power in a 58-42 loss to the Power in qualifying round action, they have since enjoyed a favorable run through the Finals Series.
The club simply demolished the Collingwood Magpies in a 100-32 victory in the semi-finals and followed up with a stunning 82-42 upset win over heavily favored Brisbane last weekend.
Now poised to claim their first AFL Premiership flag since 2011, the Cats should have no shortage of motivation when they hit the oval at the Gabba as +104 underdogs, well ahead of the +1000 odds they sported on opening day.
Can Geelong Reverse Losing Track Record vs Richmond?
Geelong have plenty of work to do to reverse a lengthy track record of futility when facing Richmond in Finals Series action, posting just one victory in seven meetings since 1931, including losses during each of the Tigers’ past two marches to glory. Those struggles extend to recent regular season clashes between these two Victorian rivals, with the Cats coming up short in three of their past four, capped by a 57-31 loss while designated as the home club in a Round 17 matchup on the Gold Coast.
Richmond v Geelong
1931 Grand Final, MCG pic.twitter.com/JmF4TZskue
— Rhett Bartlett (@rhettrospective) October 18, 2020
While Geelong has run up the score in each of their past two outings, they are likely to face stiffer opposition from a battle-hardened Tigers squad that has limited opponents to an average of just 41.8 points over their past six contests. Indeed, the Cats offense endured its most frustrating performance of the season in last month’s date with Richmond, mustering just one goal and 11 total points through the first three quarters.
The threat of inclement weather is unlikely to provide the Cats with any additional benefit against a balanced Tigers attack that is well-positioned to grind out yet another title victory while rewarding loyal sports bettors
The Picks: Tigers -2.5 (+126); UNDER 116.5 (-112)
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