As you’ll already be aware, the 2016 AFL season has now kicked off, and just as many AFL fans and bookmakers are interested in the AFL betting for the teams that will finish at the top of the league, there is also some interest in those that are more likely to win the much less coveted wooden spoon. Let's take a brief look at the reasons why a few teams are betting favourites to have very few wins this year, and why we think they’ll be in with a shout to finish bottom.
Essendon and the CAS Verdict
Unfortunately, at the moment it seems Essendon has become the clear-cut favourite to win the 2016 wooden spoon. This follows the decision of the Australian Court of Arbitration for Sports, which found 34 old and current players guilty of consuming a banned performance enhancement substance called Thymosin Beta-4. After the announcement was made in January that 12 current players will be banned for a whole season, many football pundits declared that Essendon would struggle to build a decent team this season. Although their new team manager, John Worsford has successfully added at least 10 new players to the squad, this move will not offset the terrible losses of some of Essendon’s best players.
Is There Hope For The Bombers?
Ordinarily, the big blow dealt to the Bombers by the CAS ruling would make the season a very challenging one because Essendon is not really a top-flight club to begin with. Although key mid-fielders like Dyson Heppell and Jobe Watson as well as defenders like Cale Hooker and Michael Hurley will have to stay on the sidelines, all hope is not lost. The CEO of the club, Xavier Campbell believes that with the passion, strong commitment and loyalty of club members plus the dedication of the players and coaching crew, the team will prove bookmakers wrong this season.
Carlton Is Still A Hot Favourite In 2016
Some have predicted that Carlton may finish at the bottom of the AFL table in September 2016. Their predictions were largely based on the abysmal performance of the Blues during the 2015 season. In 2015, Carlton won the despised wooden spoon for the 4th time in fourteen years, despite their status as a foundation member of the original VFL. The poor performance eventually led to the sacking of Mick Malthouse, one of the longest serving coaches in the AFL. During the pre-season, the Blues signed on Brendon Bolton who was the former assistant coach at Hawthorn.
Can Carlton Prove Bookmakers Wrong This Season?
The Blues management, staff and players will expect their new coach to bring in fresh ideas, strategies and renewed energy to the club during his first season as head coach. They have signed on four ex-Giants: Liam Summer, Lachie Plowman, Jed Lamb and Andrew Phillips in addition to an array of younger and less experienced players. However, the Blues have lost Troy Menzel, Tom Bell and Lachie Henderson – again, a major blow. It’s a huge task ahead for Brendon Bolton, who will have to build a strong and confident team while he gets used to working with new players. It’s clear the Blues will need a lot of motivation and grit to pull themselves clear this season. With the tough situation Essendon have found themselves in, they will most likely languish near to, if not at the bottom of the league come September, but if the Bombers can overcome the challenges and avoid a very bad start in the season; Carlton may retain their much-maligned wooden spoon.