North Melbourne Kangaroos v Hawthorn Hawks
The Roos have been given a mid-season reality check in the past three weeks after losing to two premiership rivals. They face another massive test on Friday night at Docklands when they clash against reigning premiers, Hawthorn. North have injury headaches, too, with Andrew Swallow (concussion), Ben Cunnington (corked thigh), Shaun Atley (right ankle), Robin Nahas (fingered fracture) and Nick Dal Santo (adductor) all hurt in their loss to Geelong. We think the Hawks will extend their pain in round 13 and are backing them to win by at least 15 points, which is paying about $1.60 with most bookies. We like Sportsbet's quote of $4.20 for Hawthorn to score between 76-90 points - they average 88 against top-eight sides.
Brisbane Lions v West Coast Eagles
Saturday's clash against hapless Brisbane at the Gabba gives West Coast a perfect opportunity to bounce back from their flat loss to the Crows in round 12. The Weagles have struggled away from home this season and will be without star ruckman Nic Naitanui (Achilles), but even they could not drop this one. West Coast were held scoreless in the last quarter against Adelaide in round 12 and we are expecting them to come out with a bang this weekend. Back the Eagles to win by at least 48 points (1.92 with Sportsbet) and score at least 121 points ($2.10 with Sportsbet). Brisbane have conceded an average of 126 this season, while West Coast booted 166 against the Lions in their round-one win.
Fremantle Dockers v Port Adelaide Power
The Dockers have breathed new life into their season with back-to-back wins, but those victories have come against the bottom two teams, and how Freo fare against Port this weekend is a different proposition. The Power were close, but not close enough in a three-point loss to the Doggies in round 12, and we think they'll bounce back at Subi on Saturday afternoon. Losing would likely see them slip two games adrift of the top eight. Go for Port to lead at the end of every quarter ($2.75 with Sportsbet) but Dockers ball magnet Lachie Neale to get at least 35 possessions ($2.35 with Sportsbet). He leads the AFL for disposals this season and averages more than 32.
Western Bulldogs v Geelong Cats
This is the match of the round and, after escaping from Adelaide with a narrow victory last round, the Bulldogs will be happy to get back under the lid at Docklands this Saturday night. The Doggies are 'due' for a loss. They beat the Power by three points in round 12, scraped home against the Eagles in round 11 by eight points and trailed at three-quarter time before defeating an injury-hit Collingwood by 21 points in round 10. Geelong are flying, so back them in a half-time/full-time double, which is paying $2.25 with most corporates. Returning from a one-week suspension, we like the look of Sportsbet's $8 for big Cat Tom Hawkins to boot the first snagger.
Sydney Swans v Melbourne Demons
Round 12's Sydney derby was a nightmare for the Swans. Not only did they get rolled by 42 points, but ruckman Kurt Tippett tore a hamstring tendon and will miss Sunday's clash against the Demons, who head to the SCG full of confidence after their comfortable Queens Birthday win over Collingwood. Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn will dine out against the Swans. He had 27 touches, 31 hit-outs and booted three goals agains the Pies, but it's not going to be enough. Back Sydney to score first and win ($1.93 with Unibet) and both teams to score 70 points ($3.55 with Hills). The Swans and Demons are averaging about 100 points per game this year.
Essendon Bombers v Greater Western Sydney Giants
The Giants are coming to Docklands and this could get ugly. Essendon are looking tired and got a 108-point pull-through from Hawthorn in round 12. GWS, on the other hand, are up and about and took a massive step forward with a big win over Sydney last round. The round-14 bye cannot come quickly enough for the Dons, but there's time for one more flogging before they get a break. Back the Giants to win by at least 100 points, which is paying $6.05 with Luxbet, while Hills and Centrebet are offering $3.25 if one side fails to reach 50 points. The Bombers have fallen short of that benchmark for the past two weeks and we reckon that's good value!