AFL Semi-finals Look to be Tight Victorian Clubs Holding Mild Sway

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Looking at the AFL semi-finals, the affair could be strictly all Victorian clubs and one Western Australian side, unless the Greater Western Sydney Giants can get past the Collingwood Magpies.

A win by the Pies is not a foregone conclusion; however, as the betting line being offered by some of the bookies shows that the Giants are just 9.5-point underdogs. In Australian Rules football, that is practically a coin flip.

The Giants sent the Swans home, which was the generally predicted outcome, but the Magpies have to feel they have a better chance in the coming final than they did in the first final and they have to be feeling fortunate that a top-four finish provided them the luxury of playing the West Coast Eagles without the spectre of elimination hanging over them.

Playing GWS might almost seem like a trial game, but the one certain thing is that Nathan Buckley, best and fairest Steel Sidebottom and the rest of the list will abandon all semblance of nonchalance when getting ready for their MCG hosting duties on September 15.

The other semi is the day prior, September 14 and it is purely a Victorian affair. The Hawthorn Hawks, after having finished high enough on the Toyota 2018 AFL Premiership ladder, could also think they have a breather after dealing with the Richmond Tigers in the first qualifying final last week.

This one looks like another one of those punter traps in which we so frequently find ourselves.

The Dees are favoured by 13.5 points, but a couple of goals and a behind or two could erase that margin in quick fashion.

The Hawks are not all that far removed from three consecutive and almost a fourth premiership and while by their standards they were spotty during the season, dropping two games to the Brisbane Lions, for gosh sakes, they beat finals clubs along the way, so ruling them out prematurely would seem pennywise but pound foolish.