Richmond Tigers v Hawthorn Hawks
The Tigers’ season will reach a new low on Friday night when they lose their sixth game in a row. So much was expected at Punt Road this year but, once again, Richmond have been a massive disappointment. They will get pumped by Hawthorn at the ‘G. The Hawks will be without skipper Luke Hodge, who tore his meniscus at the weekend. Even though we now know the Hawks are human after they were thumped by the Giants in round six, the Tigers present a perfect opportunity for the three-time reigning premiers to get back on the list of winners. Go for Hawthorn to lead at the end of every quarter ($1.53 with Sportsbet) and Cyril Rioli to boot the first goal ($9 with Sportsbet).
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Collingwood Magpies v Carlton Blues
Incredibly, Carlton have the chance to claim a third straight victory when they clash with traditional rivals Collingwood at the home of footy on Saturday afternoon. Both of these teams are 2-4. Despite going down by 62 points against the Eagles, Collingwood showed a bit at the weekend. They won the second and third quarters and we think they will account for the Blues. We like the look of a Collingwood/Collingwood half-time/full-time double with Sportsbet paying $1.63 and Carlton, who have scored 72 points each of their past two games, to boot between 10-11 goals. That’s paying about $3.60 with most corporates.
Geelong Cats v West Coast Eagles
The Eagles’ home form has been terrific. Their away form has been diabolical. The bad news for West Coast fans is their side are on the road again this week and they run into a white-hot Geelong outfit at the Cattery. The ground has been a graveyard for West Coast, who have not won at Kardinia Park since 2006 and lost their past four clashses by an average of 64 points. Geelong are coming off a 120-point thrashing of Gold Coast and we reckon they will be too good this weekend. Back the Cats in a half-time/full-time double with Sportsbet, paying $1.89 and Eagle Matt Priddis to have 30 disposals or more ($2.20 with Sportsbet).
Sydney Swans v Essendon Bombers
Saturday arvo’s trip to the SCG looms as a really tough assignment for the Bombers, who will be minus top-up forward Mathew Stokes (hamstring) for the next three weeks. Despite just scraping past Brisbane in round six, the Swans have tended to put bad sides away this year. They beat Collingwood by 80 points in round one, and Carlton by 60 in round two. They even saw off West Coast in round five by 39 points. So, with that in mind, back the Bloods to win by more than 62.5 points with Luxbet, paying $1.60, and midfielder Dan Hannebery, who is averaging 30 disposals per game this season, to get at least 35 against the lowly Bombers ($3.80 with Sportsbet).
Gold Coast Suns v Melbourne Demons
The Suns are on a three-match losing streak and alarm bells should be ringing on the Gold Coast after their embarrassing 20-goal thumping by Geelong at the weekend. Meanwhile, Melbourne were at their underwhelming best in a meek 39-point loss to St Kilda in round six. Because the Suns are at home this week, it’s hard to bet against them. However, do not expect Saturday night’s clash to be a walk over. We are going for the Suns to win, which is paying around $1.90 with most corporates, and Tom Lynch to score the first sausage ($7 with Sportsbet). The Demons have struggled to match-up on tall forwards this season.
Western Bulldogs v Adelaide Crows
The Bullies versus Adelaide clash is probably the match of the round and is very hard to pick. The Bulldogs have been awesome this year, but Friday night’s dour loss to North Melbourne was predictable. Meanwhile, Adelaide will make their way to Docklands full of confidence after proving their doubters wrong in a 4-2 start to the season. The Crows will miss midfielder Rory Laird, who has averaged more than 25 touches a game this season, due to a fractured toe. But we are still on the Crows to win with bet365, paying $2, and Adelaide to win the race to five goals ($1.82 with Centrebet).
Fremantle Dockers v Greater Western Sydney Giants
GWS will be absolutely flying after their crushing 75-point triumph over Hawthorn. The Giants have a chance to add an exclamation point to that rout when they attempt to claim their first victory in Perth on Saturday night. Despite losing all six of their games so far this season, the Dockers have been more competitive in the past two weeks. However, we think they will go down again. GWS have averaged 111 points this season, while Fremantle are struggling to find avenues to goal with an average of only 71. Go for the Giants to win by at least 20.5 points ($1.92 with Luxbet) and one team to score less than 75 points ($1.95 with bet365).
St Kilda Saints v North Melbourne Kangaroos
St Kilda had a great win over Melbourne last Saturday but Sunday's stoush against the unbeaten Kanagaroos will be a tough examination of their list. North will be without experienced goalsneak Lindsay Thomas, who was suspended for his high tackle on Bulldog Lachie Hunter in round six. Roos’ forward Drew Petrie said in midweek that Thomas would not have been suspended had the media not focused on the issue so much. Anyway, we like the look of a Kangaroos-Kangaroos half-time/full-time double, with Sportsbet paying $1.66, and North to be the first team to score a goal ($1.70 with Unibet). The match will be Petrie’s 300th.
Port Adelaide Power v Brisbane Lions
Port released the pressure valve, momentarily at least, with their victory over Richmond and Sunday’s clash against the Lions looks like a good opportunity for them to get back-to-back triumphs. But Brisbane have fought out their recent matches pretty well, including a great victory over the Suns in round five, and a narrow loss to Sydney in round six. We are going for Brisbane with a 31.5-point head start ($1.43 with Luxbet) and one of these teams to fall short of 70 points, which is paying $2.75 with Hills and Centrebet. In the past four weeks, the Power and Lions have both failed to reach that benchmark on a couple of occasions.