The final eight has been decided but teams will have the weekend off with the AFL retaining the bye weekend before the start of the Finals series.
I don’t mind this set-up and I think it means we have the best chance of seeing the best games as the players are fresh and ready to go.
Joining the minor premiers Richmond, the remaining finals combatants include West Coast, Collingwood, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Sydney, GWS and Geelong.
The thing I like most about the teams in the finals is it’s so even.
Besides Richmond, who are probably four goals better than the next best team, it’s hard to split the rest.
Next week’s qualifying finals feature Richmond v Hawthorn and Collingwood v West Coast while the elimination finals are Melbourne v Geelong and Sydney v GWS.
I’m looking forward to Geelong and Melbourne as both sides play a very attractive brand of footy.
The loser has the season finished immediately which also adds pressure and tension to this game.
The style of footy we’ll see depends on which teams are playing as they all have their own unique style.
Some games will be higher scoring than others and we’ll see congestion and lots of numbers around the ball.
The great thing about finals is the intensity usually rises at least 10 percent.
Richmond (2.35) head into the finals as the team to beat but outside of the defending premiers Tigers, it’s very even.
I like the set-up of Melbourne as they’re good around the contest and can score heavily.
Of the sides in the bottom half of the eight, Melbourne are the best hope of causing an upset.
So, who can be the star of the finals?
Both Patrick Dangerfield and Dustin Martin are built for finals and despite not being at their best this year, they have both hit really good form recently.
I expect them to go to another level in September.
Winner (AFL 2018)
Unibet Odds: Richmond (2.35), West Coast (7.00), Collingwood (8.00), Hawthorn (8.50), Melbourne (9.00), Geelong (13.00), Sydney (19.00), GWS (21.00).