Matt Rowell? Nope. Dylan Shiel? Not anymore. Josh Kennedy? Forget about it. What do these gun players have in common? Through the first seven (interrupted) rounds of the AFL season, all of them made a case as a long shot for this year’s Brownlow. 10 games are still left for each side and a handful of players have put their hands up as potential fancies for the AFL’s best and fairest player for 2020. You won’t find Lachie Neale’s name here, but here are some dark horses for this year’s Brownlow Medal.
All odds provided by ladbrokes.com.au 2020 Brownlow Medal Info Page
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Current Odds – $67
FOR the past three weeks Lachie Whitfield has been amongst GWS’ best players, returning to form after a trio of lacklustre performances. Running into Aaron Naughton’s shoulder seems to have shocked Whitfield back to life, with the run-and-gun Giant possessing the perfect outside game to compliment in and under talents like Josh Kelly and Stephen Coniglio. Both of his GWS teammates own shorter odds than Whitfield as it stands right now, however, with two straight years polling double-digit votes, the former No. 1 overall pick is primed for a run at the Charlie.
Image from sportingnews.com
Current Odds – $17
WITH every week that passes, Christian Petracca’s odds continue to get shorter and shorter. The bullocking Demon has taken his game to another level in 2020 averaging a career-best 24.5 disposals a game and thriving in Melbourne’s midfield rotation. The only thing holding Petracca back from polling enough votes to truly contend for the Brownlow is the Dees’ record but after back-to-back wins the club and their star player are trending in the right direction.
Current Odds – $101
IT’S hard for ruckmen to earn serious recognition for the Brownlow each year, but the narrative is starting to shift. Colossal big men Brodie Grundy and Max Gawn have both managed to poll successfully in recent counts and there’s no reason why Todd Goldstein can’t follow in their footsteps in 2020. Goldy ranks second in the league for hitouts (230), hitouts to advantage (63) and first amongst all ruckmen for metres gained (1688). Listen, there’s a reason the Roos big man is still $101 to take home the medal, but if he can maintain his top-tier level of play and North can string a few W’s together, stranger things have happened.
Current Odds – $41
TWO breathtaking seasons at Geelong saw Tim Kelly become a fan favourite around the league – forcing the Eagles to pay a hefty price to land the WA-born superstar in last year’s trade period. Since arriving at West Coast, Kelly has hardly put a foot wrong and looks to be leading the WCE vote count after sevens weeks of footy. There are a lot of mouths to feed in West Coast’s midfield, but that shouldn’t slow Kelly who managed to finish 4th in last year’s count despite sharing a midfield with dominant peers like Patrick Dangerfield, Mitch Duncan and Joel Selwood.
Current Odds – $34
DON’T forget, less than two seasons ago Tom Mitchell was on the podium accepting the prestigious medal from Dusty following his record-breaking season. Mitchell hasn’t been gathering possessions for fun like he did back in 2018, but he continues to get better with every game he plays following a nasty broken leg that saw the star Hawk miss all of last season. He has some tough competition to beat out for the AFL’s highest individual honour, but you can never sleep on a guy who once gathered 54 touches in a single match.
Current Odds – $67
SEEING Sam Docherty back on the park is one of this year’s feel-good stories in footy and the Carlton defender hasn’t shown any signs of rust this season. Through the first seven games, Doc has re-instilled himself as an integral cog in the Blues backline, with his presence making a huge difference for Carlton – solidifying his position an intriguing long shot to keep an eye on ahead of his 100th game this weekend. Defenders don’t usually attract a ton of Brownlow attention, but then again, most defenders don’t possess the same skillset as Docherty.
Current Odds – $21
THERE’S no denying Adam Treloar’s individual brilliance and through his first few games of the season, the gun Magpie can not be stopped. Averaging 33.0 touches a contest (the highest in the league right now) has seen Treloar shoot to the forefront of bettors minds, even while he shares the load with Scott Pendlebury and Taylor Adams. The return of Steele Sidebottom in Round 9 could eat into his per-game numbers, but expect Treloar to poll a ton of votes if he keeps up this torrid form.
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