Well believe it or not but the Friday night showcase of football is the blockbuster between Sydney and Carlton.
The main interest in this game will be whether Buddy Franklin can outscore Carlton by himself.
That’s what the superstar did when these two teams last met in Round 23 last season when Buddy put through 10 goals on Liam Jones.
Jones is likely to get the job again so we think Buddy will turn it on again and will be a good chance to win the Goodes-O’Loughlin Medal for best on ground – we’ve seen as much as $6 offered so far and that isn’t likely to last long.
If Carlton was able to win this it would be one of the biggest upsets in the history of the game with $12.50 on offer for a Blues victory, though that is similar odds to what was available last week when they arguably should have beaten Geelong.
We think Carlton will stay close to the Swans early before Buddy unleashes in the last half and ends up with a bag.
Best Bet: Carlton +62.5 @ $1.57*
Value Bet: Carlton to win the first quarter @ $5.30*
Everyone is jumping on the Melbourne bandwagon this week after their impressive thrashing of Adelaide in Alice Springs.
Incredibly, if the Dees win every quarter in this match, they will set a new AFL record for most consecutive quarters won at 22.
There is no reason to think that they won’t as well with seemingly the whole team in form.
It has started with Max Gawn in the ruck and there is certainly no one at the Bulldogs who will be able to stop him so expect the Demons to win the midfield battle and have plenty of inside 50s.
Angus Brayshaw has finally hit form for Melbourne fans and could be good value in Most Disposals markets as he has been attending a lot of centre bounces in the past month, coinciding with the Demons’ resurgence up the ladder.
With the Bulldogs unable to find an avenue to goal, this could be another Demon demolition. The -29.5 Line ($1.91) with Centrebet is extremely generous.
Best Bet: Melbourne -31.5 @ $1.91*
Value Bet: Angus Brayshaw to have 35+ touches @ $10*
University of Tasmania Stadium
The bookies aren’t sure what to make of this clash with $1.95 available for both sides.
Historically, Hawthorn at Launceston has been a fortress but Port Adelaide has the best record of any travelling side at the ground, though a lot of those wins were from the Power’s glory era from 2001 to 2004.
The Hawks have won 44 of 57 games played at the ground since their first match there in 2001.
Another factor is Port Adelaide is coming off a week’s rest after playing in China. If it was in the finals series, a lot would be made of the extra week recovery but this time of year it gets forgotten.
Whoever loses this match will be two games out of the eight and it is a long way back from there.
Port Adelaide went ‘all in’ in their drafting this season and this is the kind of game that they need to win to be a serious threat in September.
We think the extra week’s rest will be the deciding factor in this close match.
Best Bet: Port Adelaide to win the second half @ $1.90*
Value Bet: Hawthorn/Port Adelaide Half/Full double @ $7.50*
We said it two weeks ago when they lost to Essendon and we say it again here – these are the type of games that Geelong will lose.
After travelling the length and breadth of our fine country, and also a trip to China as well, Gold Coast are finally back at their home ground for the first time this season and after a week off, should be ready for a big performance against a battling Geelong side.
The Cats have only played at the ‘Glitter Strip’ twice in the past five years and have lost both times.
If Carlton had kicked straight last week they would have knocked off Geelong, so the $4.35 for a Suns victory seems like incredible value to us.
If the Suns regain Tom Lynch from injury, which is expected, those odds will change so get on them while you can.
Look for Touk Miller to get the job on Patrick Dangerfield while Nick Holman is likely to get Gary Ablett on his return to Metricon Stadium after leaving the Suns in the offseason.
We’re tipping the refreshed Suns to cause an upset in this one.
Best Bet: Gold Coast to win @ $4.35*
Value Bet: Gold Coast to win by 20-29 points @ $18*
This Dreamtime at the ‘G fixture has a bit more spice in it now that the Bombers have notched two upsets on the trot.
They will need all that form though as Richmond head into this match having won the last six games against Essendon.
The Bombers number one problem is they haven’t found anyone that can stop Dustin Martin.
In their last three games, Dusty has picked up the three Brownlow Medal votes for best on ground in every match.
Keep that in mind if you’re having a punt on the Dreamtime Medal, where Dusty is a $6 favourite with some bookies at the moment.
If Jack Riewoldt doesn’t recover from the concussion he suffered last week it could make the Most Goals markets interesting on both sides with Michael Hurley likely to come back in which could push Cale Hooker up forward again. Do the Tiges play Josh Caddy as their spearhead or bring Jacob Townsend or Noah Balta in for his first match?
We’re tipping Richmond’s last quarter spurt to be the difference again in this match.
Best Bet: Richmond -19.5 @ $1.91*
Value Bet: Richmond to win the last half by 31+ points @ $4.75*
Boy oh boy this one could get ugly!
The reason why? West Coast has arguably the best key forwards in the game at the moment and St Kilda is missing its best five key defenders.
First choice line-up of Nathan Brown, Jake Carlisle and Dylan Roberton? All injured or in Carlisle’s case, suspended. Next selection would be Sam Gilbert who is out for another six weeks. Such is the desperation, the Saints would move Josh Bruce down back if he wasn’t injured as well.
So trying to stop Coleman Medallist Josh Kennedy this week will be Logan Austin in his second game for the season.
The Saints will bring in a combination of Hugh Goddard, Rowan Marshall or Irish rookie Darragh Joyce to play his first game and potentially line up on the most in-form forward in the competition Jack Darling.
Then you still have Jake Waterman and Nic Naitanui or Scott Lycett to contend with. Someone is going to kick a big bag for the Eagles.
Best Bet: West Coast -54.5 @ $1.91*
Value Bet: West Coast to win by 100+ points @ $10*
North Melbourne has been the big surprise this season and is now odds-on to make the finals. Which considering they were the favourites with most bookies in the Most Losses market, is an incredible feat.
The Kangas can and should cement their position in the top eight with a win against the Lions.
Brisbane can’t be underestimated though, as they are one of the rare teams at the moment that isn’t struck by a spate of injuries and have their best 22 available.
The Lions haven’t beaten the Kangas in Melbourne since 2009 and haven’t really got close in that time either.
Big Ben Brown has kicked 16 goals in the last four matches against Brisbane and the Coleman Medal favourite should stretch his lead in this game with perfect conditions for a forward at Etihad Stadium.
We’re tipping a comfortable North Melbourne victory with another bag from Brown.
Best Bet: North Melbourne -28.5 @ $1.90*
Value Bet: North Melbourne to win by 40-59 points @ $4.50*
Collingwood will be happy to be back at the MCG after claiming two victories at Etihad Stadium without playing particularly well.
You have go all the way back to 2006 for the last time that the Dockers defeated the Magpies at the home of football and for anyone that saw Fremantle’s last visit to the ground a month ago when they only kicked four goals for the game, it is hard to see that changing on Sunday.
Fremantle’s team is dominated by Nathan Fyfe, Michael Walters, Aaron Sandilands, Lachie Neale and Luke Ryan, but after that their bottom 17 isn’t contributing a hell of a lot at the moment.
Ross Lyon will be hopeful of regaining Stephen Hill to the side while the pressure will be on for the coach to blood debutant Stefan Giro after impressive form in the WAFL.
Those changes are unlikely to make a difference to the result though in what should be a percentage boosting win for Collingwood.
Best Bet: Collingwood to win by 40+ points @ $2.60*
Value Bet: Collingwood to win by 60-69 points @ $11*
Adelaide will be desperate to bounce back after their most embarrassing loss in many years at the hands of Melbourne last week.
For the Giants, if they don’t win here their season might be completely cooked and suddenly, that premiership window may have shut on the Giants.
Not helping their cause is another injury to Brett Deledio who will miss another 10 weeks with a calf problem.
The Crows will receive a grilling in the local media throughout this week and no doubt Don Pyke will also be putting the heat on his side to respond.
Matt Crouch was one of the few Crows that could ask for his pay cheque after last week and he looks to be regaining that ball magnet/most disposals lock status that he reached in the back half of last season.
We’re tipping Adelaide will subject GWS to even more pain and put the first nail in the coffin of the Giants’ season.
Best Bet: Adelaide to win by 25+ points @ $1.90*
Value Bet: Adelaide to win by 40-59 points @ $5*