West Coast Eagles v Western Bulldogs
How much difference can 11 days make? The Bulldogs will be hoping a lot, because based on their last trip to Perth – a complete disaster against the Dockers on August 28 – they are no chance in Thursday night’s elimination final. There was a bit of emotion at play in that last clash, as Freo legend Matthew Pavlich was hanging up the boots. The return of Easton Wood, Tom Liberatore and Jack Macrae will inject a bit of X-factor into the visitors’ line-up, but it’s not going to be enough and we’re tipping a comfortable Eagles win at Subi. Back West Coast to get up by at least six goals ($2.25 with Sportsbet) and Josh Kennedy to slot the first goal ($7 with Hills and Centrebet).
Geelong Cats v Hawthorn Hawks
Friday night’s clash at the ‘G will be the latest instalment of what has become one of the great modern rivalries and we think the Hawks will have their work cut out. Cats duo Patrick Dangerfield and Tom Hawkins were in white-hot touch against the Demons in their last outing and the week off will mean they are fresh for the qualifying final. Hawkins booted six goals, while Dangerfield had 32 touches, including 10 clearances and an incredible 16 inside 50s. Despite the Hawks’ finals experience, we’re going for Geelong in a half-time/full-time double ($2.10 with bet365) and Dangerfield to have at least 35 touches ($2.80 with Sportsbet).
Sydney Swans v Greater Western Sydney Giants
Even though it’s a Swans home game, this qualifying final will be played all the way out west at Stadium Australia. They haven’t played there this year, and have lost their past two matches at the venue so it’s far from ideal. But the bigger issue in Saturday arvo’s clash will be how the Giants handle the September spotlight. Callum Mills, who was crowned the AFL’s rising star on Tuesday, slots back into the Bloods line-up after missing their round-23 win with a calf injury. We think the Swans will have too much for their cross-town rivals and are on them to score first and win ($2.43 with Unibet) and their final score to be between 76-90 points ($3.50 with Sportsbet). They have averaged 85.5 in their past nine matches at the venue.
Adelaide Crows v North Melbourne
The Crows’ defeat to the Eagles in the last round of the home-and-away season sent them tumbling from second to fifth meaning they missed the double chance. The end result will be an elimination final against North Melbourne at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night. It’s going to be a tough one for the out-of-sorts Kangaroos, who have lost nine of their past 11 games. When these two teams last met at the same venue in round 14, the Crows got the job done by 33 points. Our cash is on them to win by at least 40 points ($2.20 with bet365, Hills and Centrebet) and the first score of the game to be a Crows’ goal ($2.95 with Hills and Centrebet).