The Wolf’s Brownlow Medal Preview
We’ve never seen a Brownlow favourite as short as what Patrick Dangerfield is right now, and with the potential for 13-14 three vote games in his season, he will clear 30 votes comfortably and may even threaten 40. Dane Swan’s 34 votes to win in 2011 is the highest tally recorded, and 14 games is the most a player has polled in (Robert Harvey 1998, Swan 2011, Jobe Watson 2012). Dangerfield will give both a shake.
Best Bet: Patrick Dangerfield ($1.20)
Winner (favourite out) / Place Markets
With Dangerfield removed from the market or playing around him and betting the place, we are a bit more spoilt for choice. Just like Winx in the racing game, we love seeing a champion dominate, but it’s not much fun to bet on when the opposition has no hope.
It’s not unheard of for the same team to provide the Brownlow quinella, but rare enough that Joel Selwood can be risked here. He’ll chip away and end up with 20+ votes, but it won’t be enough to run second.
Rory Sloane may only be on a handful of votes a third of the way through the count, and never really caught fire to rack up the three vote games. It’s a surprise to see him so high in the markets. That Brownlow perennial Sam Mitchell might be a top five play, but he had more quiet games this year than he has in the past.
Dustin Martin has been a consistent poller in the past, and put up some big possession games in Richmond wins this season. He’ll really heat up in the last two thirds of the season, and will likely poll in all seven Richmond wins in that time.
Marcus Bontempelli is a big moment player that is never out of the game and sure to stick in the minds of umpires. It’s hard to shake the feeling that the likes of Luke Parker, Josh Kennedy, Dan Hannebery and Lance Franklin will cannibalize votes from each other at the Swans.
If looking at the real bolters, Adam Treloar and Max Gawn might be worth a tickle.
Votes By Team
Adelaide (W/O Sloane)
Rory Sloane is expected to dominate this market, but is he a good thing given how the Crows relied on even contributions throughout the year, and Sloane has only polled 14 votes in the last two seasons? If looking to speculate, you could do worse than Eddie Betts, with six games of five goals or more, and those adoring Adelaide Oval crowds ensuring he never escapes the umps attention. He could sneak up to 12-14 votes, and it’s worth noting he polled more votes than Sloane last year…
Best Bet: Eddie Betts ($1.45)
Tom Rockliff and Dayne Zorko will wax the 3 and 2 between them in the Lions win over Carlton in Round 21 and will both be in the reckoning in their Round 18 win over Essendon too. Rockliff does appear to have the edge overall, but Zorko polled in four losing games for Brisbane last year, while Rockliff polled in only one. Zorko is worth a small valuebet.
Best Bet: Dayne Zorko ($3.00)
The Blues had a run of winning six out of seven matches in the middle of the year, which is where most of their votes are going to come from. Given Carlton’s votes are a two horse race between Bryce Gibbs and Patrick Cripps, we must look to this run of form to identify who is more likely to poll. Cripps missed one of those wins, while Gibbs has a more impressive set of disposal and goal numbers, which should ultimately give him the edge.
Best Bet: Bryce Gibbs ($1.90)
Adam Treloar had the most disposals, tackles, clearances, inside 50’s, bounces and goal assists for the Pies this year, which puts him in the prime position to take this one out, and makes his current price an attractive proposition for anchoring multi’s. But Scott Pendlebury, coming off another fine and consistent season, hasn’t polled less than 15 votes in any of the last six years, while Treloar has only polled 12 votes in his entire career. Can the young buck upstage the veteran?
Best Bet: Scott Pendlebury ($2.45)
Zach Merrett had a tremendous year, ranking number one at the Bombers for kicks, handballs, tackles, clearances, inside 50’s, contested possessions, uncontested possessions, goal assists, and also kicked the most goals of any midfielder. The $1.05 is free money in that regard. Joe Daniher is next best if there’s a market without Merrett, given he’s some chance to poll 3 votes in two of Essendon’s wins, against Melbourne and Carlton. He might even be worth a fiver to topple Merrett at big odds.
Best Bet: Zachary Merrett ($1.05)
Fremantle W/O Neale
Lachie Neale had the most disposals in the competition, topping 40 five times, and he is rightly unbackable to poll the most votes for the Dockers. Outside of him, it’s a tough race for second given how few wins Freo had, and how many other players struggled and missed games throughout the year. It’s doubtful the next best Docker will poll more than five votes at best. Michael Barlow will get best on ground in the Freo win over Brisbane, and might crib another vote or two elsewhere. It might be enough.
Best Bet: Michale Barlow ($2.75)
Geelong W/O Dangerfield & Selwood
For reasons explained above, Patrick Dangerfield is the obvious winner here, and Joel Selwood is a mathematical certainty to finish second to him in this market. These two should poll 55+ between them. Taking out both, and Steven Motlop looks next best given five games of 20+ disposals and 3+ goals. Cam Guthrie might be the value, given he started to get some umpire attention late last year, and is coming off a consistent and high quality season.
Best Bet: Cameron Guthrie ($5.50)
Aaron Hall looks great value in this market, given he might be on nine votes after three games when he opened the season with 36 touches and a goal, 32 disposals, and 40 touches and two goals – all in matches the Suns won. Later in the year he had 27 disposals and two goals when Gold Coast defeated St Kilda, and 29 touches, seven clearances and six tackles in their win over Brisbane. Strong performances five Suns wins will carry him a long way. Tom Lynch was outstanding all year, and also played well in Gold Coast wins. He’s short enough, but this one will be closer than the odds suggest.
Best Bet: Aaron Hall ($4.50)
Greater Western Sydney
One of the most open markets in this year’s Brownlow count, given the depth in the GWS midfield, and the overall consistency and quality of most individuals within it. Tom Scully had a year of some big numbers, and will have caught the eye running his wing, hitting the scoreboard with frequency, often multiple times in a game. Steven Coniglio had the most disposals for the Giants, topping 30 on 11 occasions, and had high clearance and tackle numbers. The umpires will have noticed his inside and outside work. Callan Ward has been an umpires favourite at GWS, polling 34 votes in 2014-15, and while he didn’t have quite the year of previous, he should be good for at least a dozen.
Best Bet: Steven Coniglio ($2.25)
Sam Mitchell has polled 204 Brownlow votes in his career, topping 25 three times. Whether he’ll poll quite that many this time is up for debate. Last year he had 30 or more disposals ten times in Hawthorn wins, polling on eight of those occasions. This year he did it eight times, so should be good for votes in six or seven of those. Jordan Lewis was solid all season, but has never been a note-worthy eye-catcher of the vote-givers.
Best Bet: Sam Mitchell ($1.04)
Max Gawn looks a special here at a backable price, or at least a lock for multi bets. He polled three votes last year in a breakout game against Geelong when he had 44 hit outs, 19 disposals, 6 contested marks and kicked a goal. This season he had half a dozen games as good as that one, where he was the dominant presence on the ground and will have to have been noticed by the umps. Jack Viney was a beast around the ball and will attract votes. Nathan Jones has always had the respect of the umps in losing sides, and his all-round game will benefit from more wins than he has ever played in before.
Best Bet: Max Gawn ($1.45)
Todd Goldstein heads the betting here after polling 18 votes last year in his All-Australian season, but didn’t quite have the impact this season after carrying an injury through the second half of the year. He was at his best when North were winning early though, which will carry him a long way. Jack Ziebell had some games of note, but doesn’t get the big possession numbers hitting 30 disposals only once. Daniel Wells was the North eye-catcher when at his best through the year, but had bigger numbers when the Roos were losing, which will deny him votes.
Best Bet: Todd Goldstein ($2.10)
Port Adelaide W/O Gray
Robbie Gray can be expected to poll similar votes to 2014 and 2015 when he finished with 14 and 13 respectively. In the eight Port wins he played in this year, he averaged 29 disposals and two goals a game, which makes him hard to back against. Some players tend to poll better than their numbers suggest, and Travis Boak has always been one of those. He polled 21 and 16 over the last two years, beating Gray both times, and although he had a slightly lesser year this time around, he is capable of springing a surprise at big odds, and worth backing in favourite out or handicap markets. Ollie Wines is yet to be a big poller, and was very consistent this season, but a lot of his best work was in losing sides.
Best Bet: Travis Boak ($4.50)
Richmond W/O Martin & Cotchin
Dustin Martin holds the keys to the castle here, coming off a career-best 21 votes last year, and taking his game to another level this year, including winning his first Richmond best and fairest. Goals have been the key to his vote-getting, given he has polled in 18 games over 2014-15, but only four times when he didn’t kick a major. He didn’t kick as many goals this year as previous, but made up for that with more weight of possession. He had 30 or more possessions 14 times, including 10 of his last 11 matches. Expect him to come home strong. Trent Cotchin has averaged 20 votes a year across the last four seasons, and his strong start to the year will give Martin something to catch. With the two of them out all the money will have to go on Rance.
Best Bet: Alex Rance ($1.30)
St Kilda W/O Steven
Jack Steven is the unbackable favourite in this group, but has never been a huge poller, with 8 and 12 in his two previous best and fairest winning seasons at the Saints (he added a third this year). This year he added a few more goals and more clearances to his game than last season, and St Kilda won more games which will help. Nick Riewoldt can cause the boilover if there is to be one, given he had career high possessions playing further up the ground and still kicked over 40 goals. He played in 11 Saints wins, averaging 21 disposals, 11 marks and almost three goals a game. With Steven out all the chips are in on Riewoldt who is a special for multi’s.
Best Bet: ($1.15)
Plenty of vote-getting history at the Swans, with Josh Kennedy averaging 20 votes per year over the last four seasons, Dan Hannebery coming off 24 votes in 2015, and Luke Parker being favourite coming off an impressive season. The last six times Kennedy polled three, he had 9 or more clearances, something he achieved seven times this year. The last eight times Hannebery polled the maximum he had at least 31 disposals. And let’s not forget Lance Franklin, who has polled 20 or more three times, and is always a chance for votes when kicking four or more goals and having 18+ disposals – something he did eight times this year. He’s a dangerous smoky.
Best Bet: Lance Franklin ($11)
Matt Priddis won the 2014 Brownlow Medal and finished second last year, with 54 votes across the two seasons. We know he can poll and his numbers this time around aren’t dissimilar to what they were in those years, albeit slightly inferior. Luke Shuey has never polled more than 12 votes in a season before, but has posted career high disposals, tackles, clearances and goal assists. Andrew Gaff is the value bet, coming off 17 votes in 2015, and his best form was in the second half of this year when the Eagles won most of their games.
Best Bet: Andrew Gaff ($9.00)
Western Bulldogs W/O Bontempelli
Marcus Bontempelli is heavy favourite given he polled 13 first last year in his second season, and took his game to another level in his third. We can expect him to almost double that number. There is no real statistical key to Bontempelli’s polling in his brief history, given that he is a big quarter and big moment player, which resonates with the umpires. Lachie Hunter gathered the most football for the Dogs, which should see him poll, and Luke Dahlhaus might hit double figures given his influence in the matches he played.
Best Bet: Lachie Hunter ($1.30)
Luke Parker is the favourite to make the running in the early rounds, and he could get off to a flyer – but so could a couple of his teammates. Patrick Dangerfield appeals as value given he looks good for three votes in Rounds 1, 3 and 5, and might poll in Round 4 as well. He should be on 9-10 votes. Jack Viney will make his presence felt, and Aaron Hall might have 9 votes after three rounds.
Best Bet: Patrick Dangerfield ($4.00)
Dangerfield is backable at his current price here, and while he should have a stronger second half of the year, he was still the player of the first half of the season too. A Swan like Dan Hannebery will give himself a chance, and Lance Franklin could be up there if the umpires took a shine to his early season form. Adam Treloar might be a sneaky bolter at huge odds if he can snare a few one’s in the Collingwood losses, to go with a few potential best on grounds.
Best Bet: Patrick Dangerfield ($2.75)
Value Bet: Adam Treloar ($101)
Quinella W/O Dangerfield
No prizes for putting the favoured Dangerfield / Martin combination up the top, but given the latter should poll in almost all of Richmond’s wins, it shapes as a safe bet. You get a little more value in this than if backing Martin in the favourite-out market. Martin / Bontempelli makes appeal at a bit more value.
Best Bet: Martin/Bontempelli ($9)
The three players mentioned above is a good place to start. Joel Selwood must figure in these calculations. Big value might come from putting in Max Gawn or Adam Treloar. One or two of the Swans players like Hannebery or Parker should finish in the top five, which gives them a chance in the trifecta stakes.
Best Bet: Martin/Bontempelli/Selwood ($11)
Other: Hannebery/Martin/Parker ($101)