Rd 7 AFL Preview & Betting Tips
A Friday night classic kicks off a big round of AFL action.
Geelong v Greater Western Sydney
The difference between the Giants winning and losing this match is pretty simple - stop Patrick Dangerfield.
Easier said than done, of course, but the 2016 Brownlow Medallist has been the difference between the two sides the last three times they have played with Dangerfield accumulating 33, 45 and 32 disposals.
With that said, Dangerfield does appear to be carrying an injury niggle at the moment with his seven kicks on the weekend his lowest total since Round 14, 2014.
We’re backing that with Dangerfield still hampered, the Giants will knock off the Cats, who if it wasn’t for a Max Gawn miss in Round One, would have two wins from six games.
The Giants would have been watching closely at how successful the Swans’ mosquito fleet forward line was in Round Six against the Cats so don’t be surprised to see GWS employ a similar tactic on Friday.
This could mean more time playing deep forward for Ryan Griffin and Tim Taranto, who will both be generous odds to kick the most goals and should be considered.
Best Bet: GWS (Win) @ $2.45*
Value Bet: Geelong / GWS (half-full double) @ $9*
Western Bulldogs v Gold Coast
The Suns will be making the trip to Ballarat for the first time in their history.
This is really a game the Bulldogs should win and win well. They have won the last four matches against the Gold Coast, all played in Cairns.
Jack Macrae has been the star in those four victories, amassing 43, 33, 29 and 25 disposals, so expect Touk Miller – the man who blanketed Dayne Zorko in Round Five - to get the tagging job and that could mean Lachie Hunter should get off the chain and he will be good value in Most Disposals markets.
After a promising start to the season, Gold Coast has come back to where most had tipped them pre-season and a trip to Ballarat, albeit a much warmer version than usual with 18 degrees forecast, could really get ugly.
The Bulldogs have kicked more behinds than goals five out of six times this year. If they could tidy that up, a 10-goal win is on the cards.
Best Bet: Western Bulldogs 40+ (Margin) @ $2.80*
Value Bet: Bulldogs to win by 60+ points @ $5.50*
Essendon v Hawthorn
One of the more intriguing matches of the round with the blowtorch firming on Essendon this week after two abysmal losses in a row to Collingwood and Melbourne.
The Bombers have made a habit of winning the matches they aren’t expected to over the past year and they will take confidence in knowing that they have won two out of the last three matches against the Hawks at the home of football.
Zach Merrett has been a key playmaker in those last three fixtures with 37, 31 and 26 disposals and the smooth Bomber midfielder regained some form last week after a slow start to the season due to a concussion in their Round One win against Adelaide. Merrett is certainly one to consider for value in Most Disposals markets but Tom Mitchell looms large with Essendon not possessing a great tagger.
The Hawks got the win in Round Six against St Kilda without impressing and Essendon should come out breathing fire after copping it in the media all week. We think this one could go down to the wire.
Best Bet: Essendon +8.5 (Line) @ $1.91*
Value Bet: Essendon to win by 1-24 points @ $3.75*
West Coast v Port Adelaide
Undoubtedly the match of the round out west as the 5-1 Eagles take on the highly-fancied Power in a rematch of last year’s Elimination Final that was decided by the last kick in extra time.
West Coast has surprised a lot of people so far this year with $3.50 and better on offer for them to make the eight at the start of the season. The Eagles’ turnaround in fortune has been all done to one man – Nicholas Naitanui.
The athletic Eagles big man could have a field day against a Port Adelaide side still missing Paddy Ryder and that means silver service to the Eagles midfield.
It appears that West Coast might have finally remembered that Jack Redden is a great inside midfielder and having put him there against the Dockers in Round Six, Redden collected 34 touches. Given his awful start to the season, Redden could be great value in the most disposals markets so keep an eye on that as the game approaches.
Despite Port Adelaide’s pretty solid record in Perth, we think that Naitanui will have too much influence in the middle and that will get the Eagles home in a close one.
Best Bet: West Coast -3.5 (Line) @ $1.91*
Value Bet: West Coast to win by 10-19 points @ $7*
Sydney v North Melbourne
North Melbourne has only defeated Sydney once at the SCG since 2004.
The small nature of the ground doesn’t usually suit stay at home key forwards like Ben Brown and Jarrad Waite so it could be a tough night for the Kangaroos. In their last match at the SCG in 2016, the Roo twin towers only kicked one goal between them.
The Swans are likely to be without Lance Franklin again which means Isaac Heeney will spend more time forward and could be one to pick in the Most Goals markets.
Sydney’s unlikely come-from-behind victory against Geelong last weekend could be the catalyst for the Swans to really get their season humming after a slow start which has them sitting just inside the eight.
Bookies are still expecting big things from Sydney with most having them as second favourite for the flag behind Richmond.
We think a comfortable victory is on the cards for Sydney in this one.
Best Bet: Sydney to win by 25+ @ $1.50*
Value Bet: Sydney to lead at quarter time by 25-32 @ $9*
Adelaide v Carlton
The $13 for a Carlton victory is up there with the longest price the Blues have ever been to win a match.
And that’s with good reason as well after the departure of Bryce Gibbs, who they will face for the first time on Saturday and the injuries to Sam Docherty, Marc Murphy and Matthew Kreuzer, Carlton is without five of their best five players.
The remaining one is Patrick Cripps who has been a shining light for the navy blue this year, ranking first in the AFL for contested possessions and second for clearances.
You would imagine that the Blues will be giving Gibbs a hard time on Saturday and with that, Matt Crouch or Rory Sloane, should he return from injury, could run amok.
Crouch returned from a hamstring strain last round and amassed 30 touches in just 74 percent game time.
There aren’t too many players in the game that can find the footy like Crouch can so back him to chalk up a big tally in a Adelaide demolition after a close first half.
Best Bet: Adelaide to win by 60+ @ $2.05*
Value Bet: Adelaide to be leading by 13-24 at Quarter Time @ $4.33
Richmond v Fremantle
Richmond seems to be getting better every week and unlike last year, it isn’t off the back of Dustin Martin’s dominance.
The premiership favourites play the MCG better than anyone but don’t discount the mastermind that is Ross Lyon.
The Tigers have only beaten Ross Lyon-coached teams in four out of 16 matches. Admittedly, the Tigers did win by a whopping 104 points in their last encounter when the Dockers had given up late last season but Fremantle did defeat Richmond in their clash at the MCG with David Mundy kicking a goal after the siren.
We’ve got a sneaky feeling that Fremantle might surprise a few in this match so take them at the line.
Michael Walters being out with a knee injury hurts the Dockers’ chances, as would the rumour of Aaron Sandilands being rested, but we’re backing ‘Ross the Boss’ to still have a few tricks up his sleeve.
Best Bet: Fremantle +35.5 @ $1.95*
Value Bet: Fremantle/Richmond (Half-Full double) @ $8*
St Kilda v Melbourne
Lets face it. This is the kind of game that Melbourne traditionally loses.
They are the worst team in the competition to tip when they are expected to win and the history is also on St Kilda’s side this week. The last four times that the Saints have been the underdog against the Demons at Etihad Stadium they have won the match.
If that trend is to continue, St Kilda will need to fix up its rubbish kicking for goal, which has seen them kick more behinds than goals in their last five matches.
Even the Saints’ most accurate kick for goal, Tim Membrey, has the yips at the moment but if there is one team he could turn it around against it is the Demons, who he has kicked 12 goals in his last four games against.
We’re sensing that the Saints might cause a boilover in this game and there is also no way we can trust Melbourne yet.
Best Bet: St Kilda (Win) @ $3.30*
Value Bet: St Kilda/St Kilda (Half-Full double) @ $5.50*
Brisbane v Collingwood
Despite Collingwood’s injury concerns to Ben Reid (Achilles), James Aish (Knee) and Brodie Grundy (Shin), we think the $1.38 on offer for a Collingwood victory is very generous.
The Magpies travel very well, on the rare occasions they leave Victoria that is, and Brisbane have shown nothing to suggest that they can win this match. They have been keeping the opposition to lower scores than last year so the Unders is on the cards in this match.
The Pies have won their last four matches at the Gabba, with Scott Pendlebury starring in those games with 33, 28, 25 and 34 disposals. The Collingwood skipper has also been in good form this year, ranked eighth in the league for effective disposals and inside fifties.
He has done that while also playing on the opposition’s best midfielder so expect him to line up on old teammate Dayne Beams.
We’re tipping Collingwood to win a lower scoring scrap by around five goals.
Best Bet: Collingwood -19.5 (Line) @ $1.91*
Value Bet: Collingwood to win by 20-39 points @ $3.75*