• This is typically the day we acknowledge and admit our flaws when it comes to AFL fantasy tipping. We cannot do that today, as the lazy AFL took the week to let the lists get fit and the league to do a little self-promotion.

    Guessing the outcomes of home-and-away games was simple by comparison to what we see ahead for the first week of finals.

    When we had a look, we can report that the good news is that there are almost 800 markets for the four games on tap. This might also be the bad news, as there are not enough of us to come close to examining 800 markets.

    Fortunately, we have focused all season on the simple head-to-head market, although we missed enough tips in the home-and-away season to make it hard to use simple in connection with AFL games, but we will continue that same course for finals and have the immediate sensation of relief of cutting the number of markets down to four.

    The only game of the first four that has a clear favourite is West Coast versus Essendon at Optus Stadium. We used Ladbrokes for the numbers, but we do not intend this as an endorsement.

    Laddies have the Eagles quoted at $1.22 to $4.33 for the Bombers.

    West Coast are favoured by 28.5-points, but even if we punted lines, we would never take the Eagles to win by that large a margin. Still, we have to back the reigning premiers for a potential dividend of $122 on our imaginary $100 punt.

    Geelong and Collingwood at The G is much tougher. The Cats are favoured by 4.5, with a $1.74 quote to the Pies’ $2.10. Since this is a Qualifying final, we will back the Pies and hope to be $210 richer come Saturday.

    GWS are the unders to Western Bulldogs by 3.5 in Sydney. We have to take the Giants for a potential $205.

    Richmond are in Brisbane, favoured over the Lions by 5.5. The two clubs met in Round 23, with Richmond prevailing by 27 points at MCG. Both clubs are fit and on form and we should take the Tigers, but we are tipping the Lions for $220.