AFL.com.au's LIVE coverage of the 2015 NAB AFL Rising Star award ceremony begins from 12pm AEST
FANS and bookmakers believe this year's NAB AFL Rising Star race will be another thriller, with Patrick Cripps the narrow favourite to take home the Ron Evans Medal on Wednesday.
Experts, supporters and gambling agencies are struggling to split Carlton's midfield bull Cripps and Melbourne key forward Jesse Hogan.
The pair of 20-year-old West Australians are neck-and-neck in AFL.com.au's poll, with the brilliant Blue leading with 46 per cent of votes.
Hogan trails by only four per cent, while other players have attracted just 12 per cent of the vote from more than 22,000 fans polled.
The League's official wagering partner, Crownbet, and other betting agencies have been required by the AFL to suspend betting on the Rising Star ahead of the announcement at Crown Palladium.
Crownbet rated Cripps as short-priced $1.50 favourite ahead of Hogan at $2.50 last Friday.
West Coast midfielder Dom Sheed was a $17 chance on the third line of betting, ahead of Gold Coast running defender Adam Saad ($26).
Hawthorn speedster Billy Hartung and Suns onballer Touk Miller were paying $41.
Last year's Rising Star count saw the closest finish in the award's history when Brisbane Lions' forward Lewy Taylor pipped Western Bulldogs midfielder Marcus Bontempelli by a solitary vote.
Another close call is on the cards, with the first tie in the award's 23-year history a possibility after the League confirmed a countback would not be held if two players finished on equal votes.
All members of the All Australian selection committee were able to vote on the award, along with the League's talent guru Kevin Sheehan.
Judges' voting envelopes were only opened on Tuesday after betting was suspended on the Rising Star.