Rd 22 AFL Preview & Betting Tips
Some big fixtures this weekend that will help shape the finals.
Richmond v Essendon
Friday 7:50 pm
Richmond will be looking to maintain their perfect record at the MCG this season, while the Bombers must cause the upset if they’re a chance at returning to the finals this year.
The Bombers have been terrific in the second half of the season and if they can beat Richmond, they would certainly rate their chances of toppling Port Adelaide next week. They are now $26* to make the finals at Ladbrokes.
While it’s easy to be swept up in the romance of Essendon, betting against the reigning premiers is a quick way to the poor house.
Jack Riewoldt was $19 to win the Coleman Medal a week ago but has come roaring into contention after kicking 10 goals against Gold Coast. If you anticipate he can win the Coleman for a third time, you can still secure $2.10* at TAB.
Looking longer term, Richmond is still $2.50 to win the flag at Sportsbet. It’s worth snapping that price up as they will make the Grand Final and start a commanding favourite on the day.
In this fixture, the Tigers look a good bet to start multi bets and take them winning by under 39.5 points.
Best Bet: Richmond under 39.5 points
Value Bet: Jack Riewoldt most goals
Collingwood v Port Adelaide
A massive game for both sides, the winner will take a big step towards a vital top two finish, while the loser will be teetering on missing the finals.
Collingwood has been stoic overcoming injuries this season and enters the weekend in fifth spot, with Port Adelaide sliding to 8th after a disappointing month.
The MCG will hold no fear for the Power who have won four of their past four games at the ground and they have an excellent recent record against the Magpies.
Port has won four straight matches and six of their past seven against Collingwood and can revive their season if they can cause the upset on the road.
Despite some disappointing losses in the last month, the Power does have a strong midfield and are worth sticking with to win and cover the line where they are given a generous 16.5-point start.
Looking longer term, Port still has the capacity to go deep into September if they can win this clash. And if they beat Essendon at home next Friday night, then they can still go deep in September.
Port is now at $34* with Ladbrokes and that is worth a small bet, especially for punters who are building a book.
Best Bet: Port Adelaide at the line
Value Bet: Robbie Gray most goals
Geelong v Fremantle
On talent, it is impossible to believe that Geelong is not inside the top eight with just two weeks to go.
Geelong has arguably the most star-studded line-up in the competition, but a long tail and weaknesses in the coaching department has seen them slip outside the top eight.
Geelong though has the easiest draw imaginable over the final two weeks of the AFL season. They should beat Fremantle and Gold Coast by default and, as a result, are backable at $1.20* to make the finals.
The young Dockers have been competitive at home this season but have struggled away from home. As a result, Geelong should have little trouble covering the line where they are allocated a 52.5-point start.
As per usual, much of the grunt work will fall onto the key Geelong players in this fixture. Last week in the disappointing loss to Hawthorn, Gary Ablett led the way kicking a game-high three goals, while Patrick Dangerfield had a game-high 40 disposals.
The double on Ablett kicking two or more goals and Ablett having 30 disposals or more looks a safe play.
Geelong should keep their season alive with a comprehensive win and they look a good anchor for multi bets.
Best Bet: Geelong over 39.5 points
Value Bet: Patrick Dangerfield most disposals Group A
GWS v Sydney
Saturday 4:35 pm
GWS is charging into September and is a legitimate Premiership contender.
They’ve won five straight games and are now rated as the main danger to Richmond in Premiership markets.
After bombing out in the preliminary final the previous two years, the Giants look to be primed to feature in the big dance this year.
Lachie Whitfield continued his tremendous form last week in the win over Adelaide and the other exciting prospect for the Giants is that their forward line is starting to click.
Last week they managed to boot 15 goals against Adelaide but not one single player kicked three goals or more - therefore it’s worth looking for some value in the top goalscorer market.
Harry Himmelberg was one of many Giants players to kick two goals last week and is worth a bet at big odds to kick the most at nice odds.
Sydney kept their season alive with an upset win over Melbourne at the MCG last Sunday, but are starting to look like their glory days are behind them. It’s hard to see them challenging here.
Looking longer term, the Giants are still as much as $7.50* which looks over the odds.
Best Bet: GWS the win
Value Bet: Harry Himmelberg most goals
Gold Coast v Brisbane
The 17th placed Gold Coast Suns host the 16th placed Brisbane Lions in the ‘Q-clash’.
The sides may be side-by-side on the ladder, but the excitement levels regarding their futures couldn’t be more contrasting.
Brisbane has been a big improver this season. They have a nice blend of youth and experience and can continue their late season push with a comprehensive win over Gold Coast. They lead the head-to-head match-up with nine wins to six, with an even three-three split at Metricon Stadium.
The Suns have been non-competitive at times this season and were bordering on embarrassing in the 125-51 loss to Richmond last Saturday afternoon.
In the loss to Collingwood, Dayne Beams had 33 disposals - the equal most of any player on the field and he again looks a good bet to win Group A for the most disposals.
From a betting perspective in this game, the Lions look one of the best bets for the weekend. Back them head-to-head with confidence and they should comfortably cover the line of 25.5 points.
The end of the season cannot come quickly enough who started the year so excitingly, but since that point in time it has been a disaster.
Best Bet: Brisbane Lions -28.5 points
Value Bet: Dayne Beams most disposals Group A
St Kilda v Hawthorn
Hawthorn keeps on winning and they should take another big step towards a vital top-four finish with a win over St Kilda.
The Hawks enter the round in fourth spot and next week they finish the season with an away trip to the SCG to take on the Swans - a task much less daunting now than in recent years.
Season’s end cannot come quickly enough for St Kilda. They were disappointing in last week’s loss to Essendon, despite the fact the Bombers played most of the game four players short.
Looking longer term, the Hawks are now $13* at Beteazy to win the Premiership, or if you want to multi them into Tom Mitchell for the Brownlow Medal, they are $18.85*.
Luke Bruest has had a tremendous season and chimed in with two goals in the win over Geelong last week and three against Essendon the week before.
Have something on him to kick three or more.
One positive for St Kilda was the return to form of 2017 star Seb Ross, who racked up a game-high 43 disposals. While it’s a challenge to get more touches than Tom Mitchell, he could be worth a bet at big odds.
Best Bet: Hawthorn over 39.5 points
Value Bet: Luke Bruest most goals
Carlton v Western Bulldogs
Carlton is having one of the worst seasons in the history of VFL/AFL football and is set to claim the wooden spoon.
The Blues have won just two games all season and they look set for a big loss here against a Western Bulldogs side who has discovered their mojo towards the end of the season.
The Bulldogs have dominated the Blues recently, winning seven of their last nine meetings and in a round with several short-priced favourites, the 2016 Premiers look one of the safest anchor bets.
The Bulldogs midfield ran riot against North Melbourne last week and that is where they will dominate the Blues.
Lachie Hunter had a game-high 44 disposals, Caleb Daniel and Jackson McRae both having 40.
Marcus Bontempelli has recaptured the form that has seen him labelled arguably the best player in the competition. He had 35 touches last week and every time he got the ball something good happened for the Bulldogs.
Despite the fact the game is indoors at Etihad Stadium, we do anticipate that scoring may be at a premium. So the Bulldogs winning under 39.5 points or the Bulldogs winning into under 180.5 points being scored are two of our preferred betting options.
Best Bet: Western Bulldogs under 39.5 points
Value Bet: Jackson McRae most disposals Group A
West Coast v Melbourne
Sunday 3:20 pm
The wait is nearly over for Melbourne and their long-suffering supporters with a return to the finals imminent.
Despite a disappointing loss to Sydney last Sunday and the fact that they’re yet to beat a side inside the top eight, Melbourne must only beat West Coast here or GWS next Sunday to return to the finals.
The Eagles secured a top two spot last Saturday by defeating Port Adelaide and therefore have nothing to play for. This has seen them make a string of changes, including resting multiple champion goalkicker, Josh Kennedy.
The Demons should win this game and we’re surprised to see that they’re a betting outsider.
Looking longer term, the Demons are still as much as $1.30* to make the finals and if you anticipate they can go all the way, you can snap up $15 on them winning the Premiership with Ladbrokes.
If you anticipate that they will stumble again, they are $9* with TAB to lead at three-quarter time and lose.
There is every chance the Demons may have a Brownlow medallist in 2018 with both Max Gawn and Clayton Oliver having tremendous seasons.
Ruckman Max Gawn is now a $21* chance with Ladbrokes with Clayton Oliver $16* at 365.
Best Bet: Melbourne win
Value Bet: Clayton Oliver most disposals
Adelaide v North Melbourne
Many experts expected North Melbourne to finish on the bottom of the ladder this season, so it’s a credit to the club that with two rounds remaining, they’re still a chance to play in the finals.
Adelaide, on the other hand, has underachieved after starting a hot favourite in the Grand Final last season and won’t even make the finals this time around.
For all the contrast in form and expectation this year, it is the Crows who look a good bet to win this game and officially end the brave Kangaroos campaign.
The Crows have never lost to the Kangaroos at Adelaide Oval, while the Kangaroos have lost their past seven games in Adelaide and haven't won a single game in South Australia since 2011.
The Crows are only giving up a 19.5-point start at the line and it looks a lovely bet to round out what will hopefully be a winning weekend for punters.
If you anticipate that the Kangaroos can cause the upset and then beat St Kilda next weekend, they are $11* to make the finals. Although at the same odds, we suggest a Richmond and GWS Grand Final quinella would be a smarter play.
Best Bet: Adelaide the win
Value Bet: Matt Crouch most disposals