Have Sydney Overtaken Adelaide as the Favourites to Win the Grand Final?

Written by Motts on September 6 2017

Source: Sydney Swans via Facebook.

From early on in the season, the Adelaide Crows established themselves as major competitors and one of the favourites to win the flag. As the year continued on, it seemed as though they already had one foot in the Grand Final and the rest of the competition were playing for that second spot. They maintained their position on top of the ladder for the entire season except after rounds fourteen and fifteen when they slipped back to second for a brief period.

At first it seemed as though the GWS Giants were going to be the team to pose the biggest threat to the Crows winning their third Premiership. However, due to their recent style of play, the red and white half of Sydney have now taken that title and are looking unstoppable after a devastating run of form.

Who would’ve thought that the Swans would be in this position after their horrible start to the season? The Swans lost their first six games straight and had their worst start in twenty-four years, with most people writing them off and deciding that they would have no influence in this year’s AFL premiership. How wrong they were!

That’s when Sydney resolved to change their fortune, and won fourteen of their next sixteen games in an absolutely remarkable turnaround to finish sixth in the league and book themselves a place in the finals.

If there was ever a time to get behind a team, it would have to be right now with the way these sensational group of players have come together over the course of the season. Anyone who saw this coming might have made a small fortune backing the Swans early on, but for the ones who missed out, they may look to some Australian free bets to add some more value and maximize their profit. If you want to be involved in the Grand Final, the Swans are definitely one of the horses to get behind.

The bookmakers indicate that any team that hopes to overcome this attacking side will have to be playing at their absolute best and firing on all cylinders. This squad is one extremely dangerous side when they are on, and they haven’t been off for a while!

Source: Sydney Swans via Facebook.

What has further highlighted the Swans scare factor is that Sydney 13.5 (83) defeated the Crows 11.14 (80) only recently back in round 22. Adelaide were favourites going into the game and had the home ground advantage as well as a packed stadium of cheering supporters. It was an arm-wrestle of a match with the Crows missing several chancesย but, in the end, it was the pure grittiness displayed from the away team that got them the four points.

Don Pyke’s team won’t have forgotten how their 2016 season ended either. Sydney shattered the Crows finals dream after defeating them in the semi-finals in what was a brutal game at the MCG. The Swans came out charged and ready, bashing and tackling their way to a comfortable thirty-six point win. Adelaide fans didn’t get their chance for revenge when they played them in the normal seasonย and, if these two do meet up in this year’s finals, it is going to be an explosive affair.


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8 thoughts on “Have Sydney Overtaken Adelaide as the Favourites to Win the Grand Final?”

  1. There are some boys in red and black who will have a steely glint in their eyes this weekend, and a hunger for some payback after that miracle escape by the Swans in Round 14. This match result is by no means a foregone conclusion.


  2. I can’t see anyone winning 18 out of 20 games in this competition. The train has to run out of steam at some stage.

    I’m on Geelong to win it. GWS still too inexperienced in finals (but closing fast), Adelaide vulnerable away from home, Richmond lack poise, Sydney too much to do, the rest can’t win it. Danger gets a flag to compensate for the Brownlow, although I’m not sure he would have won it anyway….


  3. Some interesting stats:

    Since 2006, the team that has conceded the fewest points in the home and away season has made the grand final every single year. This year, that team is Sydney. Whilst this trend will surely be disrupted at some point, the fact remains that recent history is on the Swans’ side.

    In that same time period, the minor premier has made it every year except 2015. Again, this trend will surely not last forever, but history says we’re heading for a Crows/Swans grand final.

    So, who wins? Well, another pertinent stat is that until the Bulldogs won it last year, no premiership team since Sydney in 2005 had averaged less than 100 points per game. Sydney’s average of 95 would appear to advantage the Crows here, but if you ignore the first 6 rounds, the Swans averaged 102.

    Another interesting stat is that since 2006 (a lot of interesting stats seem to start in 2006… I have no idea why), the premiers have always been in the top 3 for quarters won. Usually, the runners-up have, too. This year, the top 3 is Adelaide, Port Adelaide, and Sydney. And before you ask, you already know who wins this stat if you ignore the first 6 rounds…

    In years since 2006 that Hawthorn hasn’t won the flag, the team with the highest contested possession average has won the flag every year except 2011 and 2016 (and the teams that won those years were still in the top 4 for this stat). This year, that is Adelaide. Sydney is 5th, and, interestingly, removing the first 6 rounds doesn’t change much. About the same percentage of their disposals are contested, however (39.25 % for Adelaide, 39.3 % for Sydney).

    Along similar lines as the last stat, since 2006, the grand finalist with the higher contested mark average has gone on to win, except for 2014-15 (when Hawthorn was playing keepings-off) and 2016 (the Bulldogs have a habit of messing these stats up…). This year, Adelaide averaged 12.8, compared to the Swans’ 12.2. But ignoring the first 6 rounds does make a big difference here: Adelaide’s average goes down to 11.85, while Sydney’s goes up to 13.63.

    Since 2001 (possibly longer โ€“ I don’t have pre-2001 data handy), the premier has been in the top 3 for average marks inside 50 every year except 2006, 2012, and 2016. This year, the top 3 are Adelaide (15), Richmond (14), and Port Adelaide (13.5). The Swans are equal-5th at 13. However, if we once again remove the first 6 rounds, Sydney’s average goes up to 14, while Adelaide’s goes down to 13.75. In any case, the Swans played in every grand final where this stat didn’t apply, so make of that what you will!

    Since 2002, the grand finalist with better average disposal efficiency has won every year except 2005, 2010, and 2012 (Sydney won two of those). The Crows are slightly ahead of the Swans on this stat.

    Again since 2002, the grand finalist who has enjoyed greater accuracy in front of goal throughout the season has only lost four times: 2016, 2010, 2008, and 2006. The Crows are also ahead on this stat.

    DISCLAIMER: This is general advice only. If you place bets based on these stats and still lose, it’s not my fault ๐Ÿ˜›


    1. UPDATE: With the draw being set up the way it is, the Crows’ win tonight means that the Sydney vs Adelaide Grand Final can’t happen.


  4. It’s going to be a pretty good finals series and you would have to expect the complete unexpected from this season.

    I’m hoping the Cats can get up, but it’s just as likely to be West Coast. Who tf knows?



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