West Coast Eagles v Hawthorn Hawks
How about those Eagles? Nic Naitanui's last-gasp goal against GWS last week breathed new life into West Coast's top-four hopes. They passed the test against a finals rival, but their flag credentials are set for another searching examination on Friday night when they host the Hawks at Subi. The Weagles will be without the suspended Simon Tunbridge, while James Sicily comes back into Hawthorn's 22 after serving a one-week ban. At the same venue in round 19 last year, Hawthorn shaded the Eagles by 14 points and we are predicting a similar result this time. We are on a Hawthorn/Hawthorn half-time/full-time double ($2.60 with bet365) and the total points scored in the match to be less than 150. The Eagles average only 64 against top-four teams this year.
North Melbourne Kangaroos v Sydney Swans
North's tough end to the season continues on Saturday arvo when they host Sydney in Hobart and on form, this one should be pretty one sided. Key forward Kurt Tippett (hamstring) has been sidelined since June but will return to the field in a major boost for the Bloods. Sydney were ultra-impressive in a 70-point dismantling of the Saints last round and look to be peaking at the right time of year. The Swans have played at Bellerive Oval only once before - a comfortable 39-point win in 2013, and we reckon the final margin could be similar this time. Back the Swans to win by at least 40 points ($3.35 with Luxbet) and superstar Lance Franklin to slot the first snagger.
Richmond Tigers v St Kilda Saints
Both of these clubs were disappointing in round 21, but for different reasons. With their slim finals hopes on the line, St Kilda didn't fire a shot in a home smashing by the Swans, while Richmond led Geelong by 35 points at three-quarter time but somehow managed to lose. Saturday afternoon's clash at the home of footy is about saving face. At least the Tiges played well against a top-four team for three quarters, which is more than the Saints can say. We're backing the boys from Punt Road to get home by at least two goals ($2.40 with Luxbet) and Bachar Houli to continue his good form and get at least 30 touches ($2.88 with Sportsbet). He had 33 last week.
Greater Western Sydney Giants v Fremantle Dockers
This season really can't end quickly enough for the Dockers. Last week, the club was rocked by reports fan favourites Nat Fyfe and Hayden Ballantyne could be on the move, while their president stepped down on Sunday and to top it all off, they lost to Adelaide by 72 points. They're on the road this weekend to face the Giants and will be without veteran forward Matthew Pavlich, who will be rested. GWS will be smarting from their loss to West Coast last week, when they were beaten after a goal from the last kick of the game. We reckon things could get ugly on Saturday and are backing the Giants to win by at least 80 points ($3.50 with Luxbet) and Fremantle to score less than 56 points ($2 with bet365).
Port Adelaide Power v Adelaide Crows
Port were outclassed by Melbourne last week, and are no chance against cross-town rivals Adelaide this Saturday night. They're finishing the season with a form flop and will be without one of their best players in Chad Wingard, who injured his hamstring against the Dees. The Crows will welcome back ruckman Sam Jacobs, who should be able to capitalise on Port's deficiency in that position. Last week they lost the hit-outs 53-26 and the clearances 43-32. Our money is on Adelaide to win the showdown by at least 10 goals ($3.60 with Sportsbet) and the first score of the game to be a Crows goal ($2.95 with Unibet, Hills and Centrebet).
Collingwood Magpies v Gold Coast Suns
Just when the Suns were starting to look good, they lost to Essendon. It's hard to take them seriously against the Magpies at The Dome this Saturday night considering that is their most recent effort. The Pies will miss injured duo Ben Reid (knee) and Taylor Adams (ankle) but will still have too much for Gold Coast, who are on the road again after playing at Docklands last week. It's hard to make a case for the Suns in this one - Collingwood aren't great, but the Suns have won only one game away from home this year. And that was against Fremantle. We're on the Magpies to lead at the end of every quarter ($2 with Sportsbet) but big Suns forward Tom Lynch to kick the first goal of the game.
Carlton Blues v Melbourne Demons
Melbourne are among the form teams of the competition, having won their past three games and we reckon something has clicked. Their win over the Hawks in round 20 was very impressive, and the way they took the Power apart away from home at the weekend was the perfect sequel. Carlton have lost their past nine, and a victory this Sunday arvo at the 'G looks beyond them, especially after they lost to lowly Brisbane last round. Melbourne need to win to keep their slim finals hopes alive, and we reckon they will get the job done by at least six goals ($2.50 with Luxbet). We're also backing the red and blue cannonball Jack Viney to bounce back from a quiet game and have at least 30 touches ($2.50 with Sportsbet).
Brisbane Lions v Geelong Cats
The Lions released untold amounts of pressure on coach Justin Leppitsch with a surprise victory over Carlton last weekend. They took their chance against a vulnerable opponent, and that's good, because they won't win this Sunday when Geelong head up to Brisvegas. The Cats only needed to play one good quarter of footy to beat Richmond last week, and should regain Daniel Menzel (groin), Nakia Cockatoo (knee) and Andrew Mackie (managed) this weekend. When these two teams met in round three, the damage was 69 points. So this weekend we're on the Cats to get the job done by at least 73 points ($2.55 with bet365) and Geelong to score 150 or more points ($5 with Sportsbet).
Essendon Bombers v Western Bulldogs
Essendon got their first win since round two last weekend when they shocked Gold Coast but expect things to go back to business as usual this Sunday at Docklands. A committed performance against the Dogs won't be good enough - the boys from the west have too much class. First-year midfielder Darcy Parish will return for the Dons, after he was rested against Gold Coast. The Bulldogs play their home ground well, and we are expecting them to tune up for September with a comfortable win. Back the Doggies to win by at least 10 goals ($2.30 with Luxbet) and score at least 121 points ($2.70 with Sportsbet).