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It’s all about timing in AFL race as four points separate top five

The 2021 race to be crowned AFL champions is shaping up to be one of the best in recent years. Currently, only one point separates the top five teams in the standings, and the lack of ebb and flow in terms of form suggests that the gap will remain as close during the remainder of the season. Indeed, we’ve yet to see a team take the title race by the scruff of the neck, although it hasn’t been for the want of trying. 

With that being said, the Western Bulldogs are probably the team that has shown the most consistency with their position at the top of the table attesting to that. The Dogs seemed to be floundering a bit over the month of June but have crucially steadied the ship as we head into the trying winter months. Crucially, their latest win this season over North Melbourne was the first time that the Bulldogs have managed to secure back-to-back wins since late May. 

This surge in form has prompted the latest Aussie Rules betting markets to once again change and price the Bulldogs as favourites to win the Grand Final at odds of 7/2. Luke Beveridge’s men are however tied on points with Melbourne who will also feel like they are in with a strong chance to claim the biggest prize in the AFL.

The Demons have shown that they have the required title credentials by beating fellow table-toppers the Bulldogs on the 28th of May but they have subsequently lost two of their following four games. One of those defeats was to Collingwood who are locked in a battle amongst those at the foot of the table desperate to avoid getting the wooden spoon at the end of the season. Indeed, the manner of the recent defeats and the strength of the opposition suggesst that the Bulldogs may have a chance to begin pulling away from the Demons. The challenge now for Melbourne is to find a way to paper over the cracks in a bid to find the rhythm they need to come out of the colder months without too much damage being done to their Grand Final hopes.

As for positions three to five, Brisbane, Port Adelaide, and Geelong are all locked on 44 points and within touching distance of first place. In fact, Brisbane does have the look of a team that could gatecrash the top two given that they have won ten out of their last 11 fixtures.

It goes without saying then that the general feeling is that Brisbane are the form team of the AFL so the next few weeks will be telling in their campaign. Naturally, the Grand Final is not won in the winter but it can certainly be lost, just ask back-to-back champions Richmond. 

Indeed, teams will be wanting to hit their straps when spring begins to spring in Australia which means that the timing of any charge to silverware will have to be expertly done. All eyes will be on the bottleneck at the top of the table to see if anyone can break free.