Medal favourites, contenders, polling, games to poll, analysis, prediction, odds, Lachie Neale, Clayton Oliver, Patrick Cripps, Andrew Brayshaw

Who will take out the AFL’s most prestigious award the Brownlow Medal in 2022?

Brisbane’s Lachie Neale remains favorite to claim his second ‘Charlie’, there’s a big pack chasing, including Melbourne duo Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca as Carlton’s Patrick Cripps also looms large.

Fox Footy takes a look at the six favorites for this year’s title, including games expected to poll, the mystery games and what it all means for the final result. (All odds via points bet.)

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MORE BROWNLOW MEDAL COVERAGE

ULTIMATE GUIDE: How to follow live, history, stats and everything else

CLUB-BY-CLUB: Who’ll poll the most votes on your team?

ROUND-BY-ROUND: When the favorites will make their moves

SIX BIG CHANCES: Why and how each of the main contenders can win it

COMPUTER’S PICK: 10,000 simulations to tip the Brownlow as wild scenario looms

Lachie Neale (Brisbane Lions)

Odds: $3.10

Lachie Neale remains the Brownlow Medal favorite. Picture: Dylan BurnsSource: Getty Images

Bank the three

-Round 1 W v Port Adelaide (31 disposals, 7 marks, 6 tackles)

-Round 2 W v Essendon (41 disposals, 2 goals, 12 clearances)

-Round 7 W v Sydney Swans (37 disposals, 9 tackles, 11 clearances)

-Round 11 W v GWS (39 disposals, 2 goals, 9 clearances)

-Round 19 W v Gold Coast (32 disposals, 7 inside 50s, 10 clearances)

-Round 21 W v Carlton (32 disposals, 1 goal, 9 clearances)

Games that could go either way

-Round 5 W v Collingwood (33 disposals, 5 tackles, 1 goal)

-Round 8 W v West Coast (29 disposals, 10 clearances, 6 tackles)

-Round 9 W v Adelaide (36 disposals, 1 goal, 7 clearances)

-Round 13 W v St Kilda (37 disposals, 6 marks, 7 clearances)

-Round 16 W v Western Bulldogs (33 disposals, 1 goal, 7 tackles)

verdict

Neale goes into Sunday night’s count as the slight favorite after a brilliant bounce back season after his 2021 was hampered by injury. Although he didn’t kick as many goals as his 2020 Brownlow-winning campaign, the Lions star produced arguably his most impactful season yet with his ability top get involved in scoring chains, important passages and damage in the forward half. Neale started the season red hot and should poll prominently in the first half of the season. He was at times victim to a day later in the year though and Hugh McCluggage could steal some votes after the winger-turned-on-baller’s career-best season. But all signs point to Neale finishing on the podium and potentially claiming his second ‘Charlie’.

Clayton Oliver (Melbourne)

Odds: $3.60

Clayton Oliver had a big year for Melbourne. Picture: Michael WillsonSource: Getty Images

Bank the three

-Round 3 W v Essendon (38 disposals, 15 inside 50s, 8 clearances)

-Round 6 W v Richmond (41 disposals, 9 inside 50s, 13 clearances)

-Round 10 W v North Melbourne (45 disposals, 13 inside 50s, 13 clearances)

-Round 13 L v Collingwood (43 disposals, 1 goal, 8 inside 50s)

-Round 23 W v Brisbane (30 disposals, 5 tackles, 13 clearances)

Games that could go either way

-Round 2 W v Gold Coast (34 disposals, 1 goal, 13 clearances)

-Round 5 W v GWS (31 disposals, 6 tackles, 8 clearances)

-Round 7 W v Hawthorn (33 disposals, 7 marks, 8 inside 50s)

-Round 8 W v St Kilda (38 disposals, 4 tackles, 8 clearances)

-Round 11 L v Fremantle (36 disposals, 6 inside 50s, 5 clearances)

-Round 15 W v Brisbane (35 disposals, 3 marks, 12 clearances)

-Round 16 W v Adelaide (36 disposals, 13 tackles, 6 clearances)

-Round 21 L v Collingwood (42 disposals, 8 tackles, 14 clearances)

-Round 22 W v Carlton (29 disposals, 9 tackles, 8 inside 50s)

verdict

Although he’ll clearly share votes with Christian Petracca, Oliver ascended past his star midfield partner in 2022 to put together a remarkable season, and probably his best yet. Oliver rarely played a bad game and was dominant in nearly all of the Demons’ wins including their 10-game streak to start the season. While he should be notable vote-getter during this stretch, there’s otherwise not a particularly strong patch from Oliver, but simply a campaign of absolute consistency with some monster performances throughout. It puts him in a really strong position to take out the top gong.

Patrick CrippsCarlton

Odds: $5.50

Carlton captain Patrick Cripps. Picture: Jerad WilliamsSource: News Corp Australia

Bank the three

-Round 1 W v Richmond (30 disposals, 11 inside 50s, three goals)

-Round 2 W v Western Bulldogs (35 disposals, 11 clearances, two goals)

-Round 7 W v North Melbourne (35 disposals, 10 clearances, goal)

-Round 8 W v Adelaide (35 disposals, 10 clearances, two goals)

-Round 19 W v GWS (34 disposals, 6 inside 50s, goal)

-Round 20 L v Adelaide (41 disposals, 12 clearances, 6 inside 50s)

-Round 23 L v Collingwood (35 disposals, 12 clearances, 5 tackles)

Games that could go either way

-Round 3 W v Hawthorn (31 disposals, 11 tackles, goal)

-Round 6 L v Fremantle (32 disposals, 8 clearances, three goals)

-Round 14 L v Richmond (34 disposals, 5 tackles, 4 clearances)

verdict

Cripps absolutely exploded out of the gates to start the season to produce the best form of his career with dominant performance after dominant performance. Fox Footy’s Leigh Montagna even noted he could have as much as 18 votes after the opening eight rounds as Cripps looked on track to break the magical 40-vote milestone — a feat never recorded under the 3-2-1 system. He’ll likely be leading the count for most of the first half of the count, but did drop away from those early-season mammoth heights where his rivals will look to chase him down. Despite this, he’ll still be amongst the leaders on the home stretch.

Andrew Brayshaw (Fremantle)

Odds: $8

Andrew Brayshaw led Freo’s midfield in 2022. Picture: Daniel CarsonSource: Getty Images

Bank the three:

-Round 8 W v North Melbourne (34 disposals, 10 inside 50s, seven tackles)

-Round 12 W v Brisbane (39 disposals – 16 contested, nine clearances)

-Round 13 W v Hawthorn (37 disposals, seven tackles, goal)

-Round 17 W v St Kilda (36 disposals, 10 tackles, goal)

Games that could go either way:

-Round 1 W v Adelaide (28 disposals, 9 inside 50s)

-Round 2 L v St Kilda (40 disposals, eight tackles, 1.2)

-Round 3 W v West Coast (26 disposals, 6 inside 50s, five tackles)

-Round 5 W v Essendon (34 disposals, five clearances, goal)

-Round 6 W v Carlton (27 disposals, eight tackles, seven clearances)

Verdict:

When Dockers skipper Nat Fyfe was ruled out of the first half of the season, Andy Brayshaw not only stepped up, he showed remarkable leadership ability to lift Fremantle to a brilliant start. Impressive games in the opening six rounds could set up Brayshaw’s Brownlow run – depending on how the umpires see his efforts. He was brilliant in the loss to St Kilda and could poll, while he led his side’s young midfield to the top four midway through the season. Massive games against Brisbane, Hawthorn and St Kilda could see Brayshaw up the top of the leaderboard – but Freo’s late season form drop off could prove costly for Brayshaw’s chances as rivals are set to bolt home.

Touk Miller (Gold Coast Suns)

Odds: $9

Touk Miller was Gold Coast’s best. Picture: Graham DenholmSource: Getty Images

Bank the three:

-Round 9 W v Fremantle (34 disposals, 10 clearances, eight tackles)

-Round 12 W v North Melbourne (32 disposals, 13 clearances, eight tackles)

-Round 20 W v West Coast (31 disposals, 15 clearances, 10 tackles)

Games that could go either way:

-Round 1 W v West Coast (29 disposals, eight clearances, goal)

-Round 2 L v Melbourne (38 disposals, nine clearances, seven tackles)

-Round 3 W v Carlton (32 disposals – 21 contested, eight clearances)

-Round 5 L v St Kilda (32 disposals, 7 inside 50s, six clearances)

-Round 7 L v Collingwood (36 disposals, 10 clearances, two goals)

-Round 15 L v Port Adelaide (30 disposals, 10 tackles, 9 clearances)

-Round 16 L v Collingwood (31 disposals, 10 clearances, 10 tackles)

-Round 17 W v Richmond (27 disposals, 13 clearances, goal)

-Round 19 L v Brisbane (34 disposals, 7 tackles, 6 inside 50s) * Marcus Ashcroft Medalist

-Round 22 L v Geelong (36 disposals, 7 inside 50s, 5 clearances)

Verdict:

Touk Miller enjoyed a fantastic 2022 season, as his Gold Coast Suns finished with a season-high number of wins. But working against Miller’s Brownlow hopes is the fact he performed brilliantly in a host of Suns’ losses – and he’ll need umpires to overlook the result. Miller was arguably best on ground in losses to Collingwood, Melbourne and Geelong – but those clubs are stacked full of talent who could poll ahead of him. Miller was so great in the loss to Melbourne, he equalized club history in Round 2, with 17 disposals in the opening term. Miller will poll late – but his run may be too late.

Christian Petracca (Melbourne)

Odds: $10

Christian Petracca remains in the Brownlow Medal race. Picture: Quinn RooneySource: Getty Images

Bank the three:

-Round 1 W v Western Bulldogs (38 disposals, nine clearances, two goals)

-Round 2 W v Gold Coast (41 disposals, 14 inside 50s, six clearances)

-Round 9 W v West Coast (28 disposals, eight tackles, two goals)

-Round 16 W v Adelaide (33 disposals, six inside 50s, three goals)

Games that could go either way:

-Round 5 W v GWS (30 disposals, seven clearances, two goals)

-Round 7 W v Hawthorn (31 disposals, 640m gained, goal)

-Round 8 W v St Kilda (36 disposals, eight inside 50s, 0.2)

-Round 10 W v North Melbourne (30 disposals, 11 inside 50s, five tackles)

-Round 13 L v Collingwood (32 disposals, 9 inside 50s, 8 clearances)

-Round 15 W v Brisbane (31 disposals, 9 inside 50s, 8 clearances)

-Round 18 W v Port Adelaide (30 disposals, 10 clearances, 7 inside 50s)

-Round 20 W v Fremantle (30 disposals, 7 inside 50s, 6 clearances)

-Round 21 L v Collingwood (36 disposals, 8 inside 50s, goal)

Verdict:

Christian Petracca started 2022 with a bang, simply picking up where he left off with his 2021 Norm Smith Medal. Two best on-ground performances ensured his Brownlow campaign was off to a fast start. But teammate Clayton Oliver is going to stifle Petracca’s charge, as the duo essentially take votes from each other in the early rounds as the Dees’ mounted a remarkable 10-game winning run. But unlike Oliver, Petracca was the man teams opted to tag. An injury scare in the Round 11 loss to Fremantle stalled Petracca’s polling as his side lost three games straight. A massive game against the Crows shot the midfielder back into medal calculations, but he’ll need some favorable votes late in the season to get on the podium.

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