West Coast Eagles v Essendon Bombers
John Worsfold, the Eagles premiership winning captain and coach, returns to Subi this Thursday night but in different colours. Woosha will lead the struggling Bombers to Perth, and it could be a long night for his team. Both clubs are coming off a bye so should be fresh. West Coast's forward line will cause problems for the Bombers - the Eagles are ranked third for goals kicked in 2016 and Josh Kennedy (46 goals), Jack Darling (29) and Mark LeCras (23) have taken sides apart this year. Back West Coast to win by at least 80 points ($2.25 with Luxbet) and the first scoring play to be an Eagles goal, which is paying about $2.55 with most corporates.
Port Adelaide Power v Richmond Tigers
Both these teams are locked at 6-7 on the ladder – two wins outside the top eight – and the loser of Friday night’s clash at Adelaide Oval can put their cue back in the rack for 2016. The Tigers have won four of their past five and should head to the City of Churches full of confidence. Richmond will regain Ben Lennon (concussion/shoulder) from a lengthy stint on the sidelines and utility Ben Griffiths (illness), who was a late withdrawal last week. But the Power will get back key-position players Jay Schulz (back) and Jack Hombsch (hamstring). Our money is on a Port/Port half-time/full-time double ($1.80 with Sportsbet) and Charlie Dixon to slot the first goal ($8 with Sportsbet).
Gold Coast Suns v St Kilda Saints
The Saints sprung one of the upsets of the season when they toppled flag fancies Geelong in round 14, while the Suns turned in a promising performance against Hawthorn in Tassie, but went down. The Suns, who have lost their past 10 games, will be boosted by the return of defender Kade Kolodjashnij (concussion), Callum Ah Chee (calf) and Jack Martin (back) for Saturday arvo’s clash on the Glitter Strip. But that’s not going to be enough to topple the hot Saints, who showed plenty against the Cats last week. We’re going for a Saints/Saints half-time/full-time double, paying $2.75 with bet365, but Suns star Gary Ablett to have at least 35 touches ($3.40 with Sportsbet). He had 40 against the Hawks last week.
Sydney Swans v Western Bulldogs
Just one win separates these two clubs on the ladder, and there will be plenty to play for when the second-placed Swans host the Bullies, who are ninth, on Saturday arvo. The visitors will be bolstered by the return of captain Easton Wood and defender Jason Johannisen from hamstring injuries but they’ll need all the help they can get against the star-studded Swans. Both of these teams are coming off the bye, and should be well rested and, although the Dogs have played some exciting footy this season, their last result – a 57-point thumping by the Cats, was cause for concern. Back the Swans to score first and win ($2.35 with Unibet) and both teams to score 70 points, which is paying $1.74 with William Hill.
Carlton Blues v Collingwood Magpies
These two old rivals will square off in a blockbuster at the home of footy on Saturday night and it should be a tight contest. A comfortable victory over Freo in round 14 means Collingwood are favourites for this one. After a mid-season resurgence, the Blues have been cut down with back-to-back losses but should like their chances against the Pies, who they beat by 15 points at the same venue in round seven. We’re backing Carlton to get the job done again, which is paying $2.05 with most bookies. Blue’s onballer Bryce Gibbs had 30 touches when these two teams last met, and we’re jumping on the $2.40 Sportsbet are offering for him to have at least 30 possessions this weekend.
Melbourne Demons v Adelaide Crows
Adelaide head to the G in the only Sunday game of round 15 and, while Melbourne have had a week off, the Crows will also be fresh. That’s because a fixturing quirk had Adelaide’s round-14 clash on a Thursday night, meaning a lengthy 10-day break before this one. The Crows are on a five-match winning streak and their last outing, a 33-point thumping of North Melbourne in which they dominated the scoring shots 40-17, was pretty ominous. We reckon they’ll be too good against an improving, but still inconsistent, Dees outfit. We’re on Adelaide to win by at least four goals, which is paying $2.05 with Luxbet, and Eddie Betts to slot the first snagger ($8 with Sportsbet).