Geelong Cats v Sydney Swans
This is an eight-point game between two sides in a log-jam for places in the top four, but neither club will head into Friday night's stoush at Kardinia Park in great form. Geelong are coming off the bye, but their last outing was a forgettable three-point defeat to St Kilda in round 14. Sydney, meanwhile, have dropped two of their past three games including Saturday night's last-gasp loss to the Bullies at home. The midfield battle is critical in this one with star Swans Luke Parker, Dan Hannebery and Josh Kennedy up against Geelong big names like Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield. The Cats are hard to beat at home, so we're going for them to win by at least two goals ($1.79 with Luxbet) and Tom Hawkins to slot the first major.
Greater Western Sydney Giants v Collingwood Magpies
The white-hot Giants have a chance to score a symbolic victory over the AFL's glamour club this Saturday arvo when Collingwood head to western Sydney or as Eddie McGuire calls it, the "Land of the Falafel". There's no love lost between the competition's newest franchise and the Pies, whose president has potted GWS this season for their successful academy and draft concessions. It will also be the first time Adam Treloar has taken on his old club since crossing to Collingwood in the off season. We reckon GWS, fresh from a week off, will do it easy. Back the Giants to win by at least 50 points, which is paying $2.05 with Luxbet, but Treloar to gather 30 touches on his return to the Sydney Showgrounds.
Gold Coast Suns v Brisbane Lions
When Brisbane claimed an upset triumph in the Q-Clash in round four, it changed the entire complexion of Gold Coast's season. The Suns had been unbeaten to that point, but their shock defeat sparked a spiral of 10 consecutive losses that they have only just managed to snap out of. The 12th instalment of this rivalry is set to be a fiery one - the last time these two sides met, big Sun Steven May copped a five-week ban for his bone-crunching bump on Stef Martin. We like Gold Coast in this one - they're at home, and lightning doesn't strike twice. We're on the Suns to win by at least five goals ($2.50 with Luxbet) and one team to fall short of the 80-point benchmark ($1.90 with bet365).
Melbourne Demons v Fremantle Dockers
Fremantle have the competition’s longest injury list and we reckon they could get exposed in this one. Melbourne gave a pretty good account of themselves last Sunday against the Crows and should get back on the winners’ list in the Top End this Saturday night. The Dees have a pretty average record at Marrara Stadium having won only two of their six clashes at the Darwin venue. They have not tasted victory there since 2011. We think they’ll bounce back against the struggling Dockers this weekend and are backing them to lead at the end of every quarter ($2.10 with Sportsbet) and the Dees to win by between 1-39 points ($2 with bet365).
Western Bulldogs v Richmond Tigers
Round 15 was a nightmare for tipsters, and it was teams like the Bulldogs that were to blame. The Doggies’ last-gasp win over Sydney in Sydney was great to watch, but not so good for your wallet. The Dogs are back under their lid at Docklands this Saturday night and should account for the Tigers, despite the absence of injured defender Marcus Adams (foot). After his side’s loss to Port in round 15, Richmond coach Damien Hardwick declared the Tigers "could not make the finals" – thereby confirming what everyone else with half a clue knew months ago. Our money is on the Bulldogs to win by at least five goals, paying $1.92 with Luxbet, and the Tigers to score between 61-75 points ($2.88 with Sportsbet). The Bulldogs have the AFL’s second-most miserly defence.
Carlton Blues v Adelaide Crows
After beating Melbourne at the ‘G on Sunday, the Crows return to the home of footy in round 16 for a bout against Carlton. The Blues are off the boil at the moment, and are on a three-match losing streak. Adelaide, on the other hand, have won their past six, and should further push their top-four claims with a comfortable victory this Sunday arvo. The Blues will be without Ciaran Byrne, who ruined his knee in last week’s loss to Collingwood and needs a reco. Back the Crows to win by at least 35 points ($2.05 with Luxbet) and the first scoring play to be an Adelaide goal, which is paying $2.88 with bet365.
West Coast Eagles v North Melbourne Kangaroos
This is a tough game to tip because North are desperately out of form, but the Eagles have not beaten a top-eight side this season. The Roos have lost four of their past five games and have slid from first to seventh on the ladder. The Kangaroos have struggled in the middle of the ground during their slump – and are ranked 17th in the competition for contested possessions and clearances during the past five weeks. Because of that, we’re going for the Eagles to win by at least 20 points ($2.05 with Luxbet) and West Coast to be the first team to score at Subi this Sunday arvo, which is paying around $1.75 with most corporates.
Essendon Bombers v St Kilda Saints
As if the Bombers were not undermanned enough this season, star midfielder David Zaharakis and ruckman Mark Jamar were suspended by the match review panel and will miss Sunday arvo’s clash against the Saints at Docklands. St Kilda had a forgettable trip to the Gold Coast in round 15, but we know they don't travel well, and they’re back on their home patch this weekend. We’re on Luxbet’s offer of $2.05 if the Saints win by at least 45 points and Hills’ $2.55 for one team to score less than 60 points. The Bombers average 59 this season.