One of Australia’s best bookmakers spills the beans on who is best placed to win one of footy’s most prestigious awards at the AFL grand final
There is only one prize bigger than the AFL premiership on grand final day – the Norm Smith Medal awarded to the best on site.
Named after Norm Smith, a legendary player and coach at Fitzroy, Melbourne and South Melbourne from 1935 to 1972, the medal is decided by a panel of experts who vote during the final match of the AFL season.
Daily Mail Australia and Bet Right have joined forces to give you the inside rail on where players are most likely to win the prize and their path to victory.
Currently, Collingwood champion Nick Daicos is the runaway favorite to take home the Norm Smith Medal, followed by teammate Jordan De Goey and Brisbane Lions Brownlow Medal winner Lachie Neale.
Collingwood superstar Nick Daicos is the leading contender for the Norm Smith Medal in just his second season of AFL footy
Magpies teammate Jordan De Goey is the next favorite and is expected to be heavily involved in the decider against the Lions
Brownlow Medal winner Lachie Neale is expected to be key for Brisbane and if the Lions win he could also earn the Norm Smith Medal
Bet Right CEO Anthony Waller explains how the Magpies and Lions reached the big dance in 2023.
“Our 2023 Grand Finalists have a long and storied rivalry in the AFL, dating back to 1993 when a young Nathan Buckley left the Bears after just one season to join Collingwood,” he said.
‘Buckley went on to win a Brownlow, six club best and fairest, seven All-Australians show jumpers and a Norm Smith medal.
“But ironically it was the Brisbane Lions who defeated Buckley’s Magpies in not one, but two grand finals, in 2002 and 2003.
‘Twenty years later, these two proud clubs will face each other for the third time on the last day of September, having been the top two favorites for most of the 2023 season.
‘By securing a place in the top 2, the Lions gave themselves every opportunity to play their final at their Gabba fortress and easily accounted for Port Adelaide, only to see off a five-goal start from Carlton in the preliminary win the final.
‘Collingwood fans have had a much more stressful period in this match – a narrow seven-point win over Melbourne looked a comfortable margin compared to Friday night’s nail-biting one-point thriller against GWS.
‘But on the other hand, the Pies have been defined by their ability to win from close range over the past 24 months. They will start as $1.75 favorites with a cutoff of -4.5.”
Newly minted two-time Brownlow medalist Lachie Neale will be hoping not to emulate Buckley’s efforts from two decades ago, with Buckley winning a Norm Smith and a Brownlow while losing two major finals in the same period.
“Bet Right is offering odds of $7.50 for Neale to win the Norm Smith Medal, behind Nick Daicos ($4.50) and Jordan De Goey ($6),” Waller said.
It’s hard to believe that Daicos is only 20 years old and in his second season at AFL level, but he’s risen to every opportunity presented to him so far and, like Neale, doesn’t want to follow in his footsteps steps from club great Nathan Buckley by losing today.
Meanwhile, the AFL has announced the Norm Smith Medal voting panel for the upcoming grand final.
The panel, chaired by former Western Bulldogs player Luke Darcy, includes three-time All-Australian Eddie Betts, ex-Swan Jude Bolton, AFL journalist Sarah Olle and 2018 Norm Smith winner Luke Shuey.
The panel ranks the best players on the pitch during the final minutes of the match, with Darcy’s votes breaking all ties.
The panel is prohibited from consulting others regarding voting or mobile phone use during the match, in accordance with AFL integrity rules.