AFL 2022 Season Preview: The best players, biggest games and betting tips
AFL 2022 Season Preview: The best players, biggest games and betting tips

The 2022 AFL season kicks off March 16, here's all the info you need before betting.

Author: Matthew Keogh
Matthew Keogh
Communications Manager
28th Feb, 22·☕️ 6 min read

The 2022 AFL season is here!

23 rounds. 4 weeks of finals. And lots of action awaits.

When it comes to flag favourites, Melbourne is aiming to go back-to-back, while the Bulldogs are out for revenge after last year’s 74-point Grand Final loss.

Other strong contenders for this year’s AFL premiership are Brisbane, Sydney and GWS.

AFL 2022 Season Info

Round 1-23: March 16 - August 21

Finals: September 2 - 17

Grand Final: September 24

2021 Premier: Melbourne Demons

2021 Brownlow Medallist: Oli Wines (PA)

How to watch: Channel 7, Fox Footy or Kayo

Picklebet AFL 2022 Season Predictions

Premier: Western Bulldogs

Wooden spoon: Adelaide

Brownlow Medallist: Christian Petracca (MEL)

Coleman Medallist: Harry McKay (CARL)

Rising Star winner: Sam Darcy (WB)

Most likely to get suspended: Toby Greene (GWS)

First coach to get sacked: Stuart Dew (GC)

Headline we would love to see: Essendon win their first final since 2004

Top 8: Western Bulldogs, Melbourne, Brisbane, Port Adelaide, GWS, Sydney, Essendon and St Kilda.

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Last Year’s AFL Final 8 (regular season)

2Port Adelaide1750
5Western Bulldogs1570

AFL Players to Watch in 2022

Christian Petracca (Melbourne)

The mercurial Melbourne midfielder won last year’s Norm Smith Medal for best afield in the Grand Final.

The 26-year old also finished 9th in the Brownlow, while many AFL pundits consider him the best player in the league due to his ball-winning, goal-kicking and match-winning abilities that few possess.

Dustin Martin (Richmond)

At age 30, Dusty has achieved nearly everything in the game, including 3 premierships, 3 Norm Smith Medals and a Brownlow Medal.

However, Martin will be looking for another Brownlow medal and Premiership while he’s still in his prime.

Bailey Smith (Western Bulldogs)

Known for his blonde mullet and eye-catching play, Smith is also a big deal off the field with 354,000 instagram followers.

Smith was a big reason why the Bulldogs made the Grand Final last year. The question is… can he take them one step further in 2022?

Sam Walsh (Carlton)

After finishing 4th in the Brownlow medal last year, Walsh is a certified AFL star.

Unfortunately, he’ll miss the first month of the season with an ankle syndesmosis injury. But, we’re still predicting big things for this man in 2022.

Matthew Rowell (Gold Coast)

The Gold Coast Sun will be hoping for an injury-free season after his first 2 years have been marred by shoulder and knee injuries.

According to Suns sources, Rowell hasn’t missed a session all preseason, which points towards a big year for the 2019 number one draft pick.

AFL Season 2022: The Biggest Games

Grand Final rematch (Melbourne v Western Bulldogs)

Round 1, Wednesday March 16.

The Demons and Bulldogs are the best teams in the competition, and both teams are loaded with star players.

For the demons, Oliver, Gawn, Petracca and Viney are all in their primes. While the Bulldogs have Naughton, Bontempelli, Macrea and Smith firing.

The Battle of the Bridge (GWS v Sydney)

Round 1, Saturday March 19.

This is quickly becoming a fierce rivalry even though GWS only entered the competition in 2011.

The Giants are at their best when they’re fired up and this game brings out that fire. We’re talking Toby Greene, Phil Davis and Tim Taranto.

The Showdown (Adelaide v Port Adelaide)

Round 3, Friday April 1.

A cross-town rivalry that’s real - make no mistake, these 2 teams really don’t like each other.

In fact, no matter where they are on the ladder it’s always fireworks. Unfortunately for Adelaide, Port Adelaide have won the last 4 Showdown matches.

Anzac Day (Essendon v Collingwood)

Round 6, Monday April 25.

Often coined as the biggest game behind the Grand Final, the annual Anzac Day game is always played between Essendon and Collingwood at the MCG.

No matter where these teams are on the ladder, their 100 year rivalry makes this game a must-see every season.

Dreamtime at the G (Essendon v Richmond)


Dreamtime at the G is the branichild of Essendon legend, Kevin Sheedy and was first played in 2005. The game aims to celebrate all Indigious players in the AFL.

Richmond won last year’s game by 39 points.

The Dogs/Giants rivalry (GWS v Western Bulldogs)


It all started in 2016, when the Bulldogs defeated the Giants in the preliminary final.

Since then, Toby Greene kicked Luke Dalhaus in the face, the Bont bumped Haynes, the Giants won a 2019 elimination final, and Greene gauged Bont’s face, but escaped suspension.

Niggle, sledging and fights are guaranteed every time these teams play.

The Last 10 AFL premiers

2021Melbourne def. Western Bulldogs
2020Richmond def. Geelong
2019Richmond def. Greater Western Sydney
2018West Coast def. Collingwood
2017Richmond def. Adelaide
2016Western Bulldogs def. Sydney
2015Hawthorn def. West Coast
2014Hawthorn def. Sydney
2013Hawthorn def. Fremantle
2012Sydney def. Hawthorn

How to Bet on the AFL 2022 Season

If you haven’t already, create a Picklebet account. As long as you’re 18+, you’ll get access to the latest and greatest AFL odds and promotions!

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