Rd 17 AFL Preview & Betting Tips
The top eight continues to take shapes with only seven rounds remaining in the AFL
Adelaide v Geelong
Thursday 7:50pm AEDT
They don’t get much closer than this match with $2 available for the Cats and $1.98 for the Crows.
This is last chance saloon time for Adelaide and you would expect them to come out breathing fire with their season on the line.
You can never write off the Cats though and they should be too good for the Don Pyke’s men.
Geelong has a good record at Adelaide Oval, though admittedly the majority of their wins have been against Port Adelaide and the Crows did thrash them at the ground in last year’s Preliminary Final.
We’re tipping Adelaide to get the early jump and then the Cats to come back and record a comfortable victory.
The $7.50 for Adelaide to lead at half time and Geelong to get the four points looks tasty with the Crows being overrun in many games this season.
Despite playing with a fracture in his hand, Matt Crouch looks to be getting back to his accumulating best with 38 possessions last week so we are liking the $9 for him to get 40 disposals.
Best Bet: Geelong to win
Value Bet: Matt Crouch to get 40 possessions
St Kilda v Carlton
The Friday night blockbuster returns in a big way with the worst team of the season (Carlton) up against the most disappointing (St Kilda).
St Kilda was typically wasteful against Port Adelaide last weekend - kicking five behinds in the first quarter which ultimately killed any chances of a victory.
Expect the Saints to make some changes with Blake Acres a certainty to come back in the side while Jake Carlisle is hopeful and Nick Coffield and possibly even Nathan Freeman to be included.
Don’t expect too many highlights in this match but one reason to watch is to see Jade Gresham in action.
A widely held position is that St Kilda doesn’t have any stars but Gresham is rapidly getting to that status and is worth considering in top goal scorer markets or multis.
The Saints last three weeks have been promising and this is a game they should win comfortably.
Carlton does have another victory in them this year though with a two game gap to 17th place not putting their number one draft pick in jeopardy.
Jack Sinclair had 30 touches a fortnight ago for the Saints playing on the wing so is great value at $12.
Best Bet: St Kilda -20.5
Value Bet: Jack Sinclair to have 30 touches
Hawthorn v Brisbane
The Hawks as favourite at Launceston has been as close to a certainty as you can find these days.
Since 2010 they have only lost twice when they were expected to win at the ground. This is not going to change, despite Brisbane’s turnaround in form.
The Lions may stay with them early, and may even lead at one of the breaks but Hawthorn’s experience – in which they averaged 110 games and 26 years on the weekend – will come to the fore in the last half.
Brisbane hasn’t got within 38 points in their last six matches at the ground and we reckon that will be around about the margin on Saturday.
No one knows the conditions in Tassie better than Luke Hodge though and you know he will be primed for a big one against his old side.
The Norm Smith Medallist racked up 30 touches only three weeks ago so the $26 on offer for him to do it again is very appealing, or if you want to play it a bit safer, take the $4.50 for him to amass 25.
Best Bet: Hawthorn -23.5
Value Bet: Luke Hodge to get 30 disposals
Melbourne v Western Bulldogs
If there is to be one upset this weekend, this shapes as the game.
The Bulldogs would have looked on with interest a fortnight ago when St Kilda cut holes in Melbourne’s defence on the wide expanses of the MCG.
Luke Beveridge and his coaching gurus will be plotting a similar strategy against the Demons so look for the Dogs to employ a high reward but high risk game plan of playing all at all opportunities, led by Jason Johannisen who dominated against Hawthorn last round.
The Demons recorded a huge 50 more inside fifties than Fremantle in Round 16 - numbers that should have translated to a 20-goal victory but were very wasteful.
Part of that was due to the extremely humid conditions in Darwin which would have taken a lot out of the Demons so don’t be surprised to see the Bulldogs get an early jump on Simon Goodwin’s team.
The Bulldogs are our tip to put the first nail in the coffin of a tired Demons’ finals hopes.
Best Bet: Western Bulldogs +29.5
Value Bet: Western Bulldogs 1-39
GWS v Richmond
The Tigers are incredibly on track to go the whole season without being involved in an upset with bookmakers tipping their three losses this season.
We can’t see that changing here despite Richmond playing away from the MCG.
The last two weeks Damien Hardwick’s side has looked at their best since last year’s finals series and they are now the shortest priced team to win the premiership at this stage of the season since Collingwood in 2011 (when they famously choked at the hands of Geelong).
The Giants have could have easily beaten the Eagles last week but they are desperately missing Jeremy Cameron in the forward line, especially now that big Jono Patton has gone down with a season-ending knee injury.
Expect the Tiger Train to keep rolling on towards September with another comfortable victory in Sydney.
The Giants will need their midfield firing on all cylinders if they are any chance and we are liking the look of Tim Taranto, who is arguably coming off his best game with 28 touches, to rack up 25 in this one at $3.75.
Best Bet: Richmond -10.5
Value Bet: Tim Taranto to get 25 touches
Gold Coast v Essendon
Essendon will record a comfortable victory against a Gold Coast team who is arguably the worst in the competition.
The pressure is now coming from Essendon fans to play the youngsters with their season now appearing to be done.
That won’t affect the scoreline too much and the $2.37 for the Bombers to win by over 40 points is very generous.
Adam Saad will be in an interesting player to watch against his old side and it is just unfortunate there are no markets on how many bounces the backman will have as he should notch double figures.
Devon Smith is coming off the best game of his season with 31 disposals and 13 tackles and incredibly, he is $11 to rack up another 30 in this game. Get on that now because it’s an absolute steal!
With the Bombers able to score freely when up and running, this could get ugly for the Suns. Keep that in mind when considering Total Points markets for this match, as well as Goalscorer markets.
Best Bet: Essendon 40+
Value Bet: Devon Smith to have 30 disposals
Collingwood v West Coast
The bookmakers have been very generous offering just a -11.5 line for the Magpies who will win this match and win it well.
The Eagles have a terrible record at the MCG and have despite scraping over the line against the Giants last week, have really struggled without Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling in their side.
The Magpies continue to improve on the other hand and will have no trouble dispatching the Eagles, with a thrashing not unlikely.
Nathan Buckley’s side, like Richmond, is yet to lose this season when they have been favourites, which they have been now in nine matches.
Andrew Gaff is in rare form at the moment and on the wide expanses of the MCG will be hard to stop with the powerful runner sure to rack up plenty of possessions on the wings. We like the $8.50 for him to get 40 possessions.
For the Magpies, Jeremy Howe could do what he pleases without Kennedy and Darling in the Eagles forward line so $4.50 for him to get 25 touches is good value.
Best Bet: Collingwood -11.5
Value Bet: Collingwood 40+
North Melbourne v Sydney
Here is another match in which it looks like the bookmakers are doing us a favour with the value available for Sydney.
The Swans have been very impressive over the last few years at Etihad Stadium, other than a fortnight ago against the rampaging Tigers, and should regain Isaac Heeney after he suffered concussion.
North Melbourne hasn’t looked the same side since Jarrad Waite was injured and they were less than impressive against a woeful Gold Coast last week.
Sydney should win this one comfortably.
The Roos will be sweating on the fitness of their star backman Robbie Tarrant who is likely to get the first crack at Buddy Franklin with the superstar forward primed for a big match at one of his favourite hunting grounds.
Jack Lloyd is doing what he pleases in the Swans backline at the moment and has mastered the kick to himself after a point to get another possession trick, so we like the $4.50 for him to have 35 touches, a number he has been building to with 33 and 34 disposals in the last two weeks.
Best Bet: Sydney to win
Value Bet: Sydney 40+
Fremantle v Port Adelaide
The Dockers wilted in extremely tough conditions in Darwin and if it wasn’t for the wasteful Demons, should have lost by 20 goals.
Ross Lyon’s men look a different side without Aaron Sandilands and Nathan Fyfe dominating the clearances and have been extremely poor the last fortnight.
Last week’s game would have taken a lot out of the young Dockers while the Power had a much easier time disposing of St Kilda.
Port Adelaide has generally had a good record in Perth, including a famous semi-final victory against the Dockers in 2014.
The last five matches between these two teams, however, have been won by the home side.
The Power need to keep winning if they are to be a chance of a coveted top two position and this is a game they simply must win.
They will do that and do it well with the Over 40+ Margin good value at $3.70 against an undermanned Dockers side.
Use the line for the Power in an anchor for your weekend multi given as the last game of the round you will have a chance to hedge your bets should it still be alive in the last leg.
Best Bet: Port Adelaide -17.5
Value Bet: Port Adelaide 40+ (Margin)
*Prices correct at time of writing