Rd 18 AFL Preview & Betting Tips
Some big fixtures this weekend that will help shape the finals.
St Kilda v Richmond
In a role reversal on form this season, the Saints come into this fixture off the back of a victory while the all-conquering reigning premiers Richmond had their colours lowered by GWS last week.
The Saints were impressive in dispatching of an awful Carlton side by 64 points and will take some comfort in the fact that they won this corresponding fixture against Richmond last season by 67 points with Tim Membrey booting a game high five goals.
That was the last game that Richmond would lose for the season before they went on to record a drought-breaking premiership and they should extract some revenge on St Kilda with a comfortable win here.
It is unfortunate for St Kilda that they will cop a fired up Richmond side away from the MCG, with all the discussion during the week centring around the fact Richmond cannot win away from home.
Richmond was incredibly wasteful around goal last week and expect to see the Tigers step up their defensive pressure this week and potentially put up a big score.
Jack Riewoldt has an excellent record against the Saints and he looks a solid bet to be the game’s leading goal scorer.
Best Bet: Richmond -24.5 points.
Value Bet: Jack Riewoldt Most Goals.
Collingwood v North Melbourne
Both teams went down last Sunday but the Kangaroos were gallant in biting the dust against Sydney while Collingwood was disappointing in their match with the West Coast.
The Pies midfield was lacklustre Sunday. Steele Sidebottom was held to just 18 disposals and look for him to have a big game this Saturday and he looks a good bet to gain 25 disposals or more.
North Melbourne has had an outstanding season, most experts had them finishing towards the rear of the ladder, and they are in the hunt to make the finals. We feel that they may be found out at the back end of the season as the race for the finals intensifies.
One of the shining lights for Collingwood last week was Jordan De Goey. He has had an outstanding season and kicked the first goal and four goals for the game and again looks a good bet to be the game’s leading goal scorer.
North Melbourne has shown tremendous resolve this season and will again be competitive, so as a result the best bet is Collingwood winning by Under 39.5 points at around the $2.20 mark.
Looking longer term, if you anticipate that Collingwood will win their first premiership since 2011 they are now out to $11 across the board.
Best Bet: Collingwood Under 39.5
Value Bet: Steele Sidebottom Most Disposals Group A.
Sydney v Gold Coast
The reality is that the Sydney Swans will win this game by as much as they want to, which does not make an attractive betting prospect.
If the Swans do enough just to secure the four points, then they will win by about four to six goals but if they put the foot down they could win by up to 120 points.
With fine weather predicated expect Lance Franklin to have a day out, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that he outscores the Gold Coast side by himself.
Franklin kicked three goals against North Melbourne last Sunday but can put himself back in Coleman Medal contention with a bag and looks a good bet.
Sydney star Josh Kennedy hurt himself early last week against the Kangaroos but will be back firing on all cylinders and looks a lock to get 25 disposals or more and a good bet to gain 30.
The end of the season cannot come quickly enough for the Gold Coast Suns who started the season so well by winning their first two games and three of their first five before the wheels fell off.
This might be the time to back the Swans for the flag where they are $8 with Ladbrokes.
Best Bet: Sydney Swans Over 40
Value Bet: Lance Franklin to kick 5 or more goals.
Essendon v Fremantle
Essendon kept their slim finals chances alive last week with a 44-point win over Gold Coast and they should bank another four points against a Fremantle side who caused one of the biggest upsets of the season last Sunday when defeating flag fancies Port Adelaide.
The Bombers midfield was back to their best last week with Zach Merrett registering a game high 37 disposals and Dyson Heppell chiming in with 36. Both look a good bet to gain 30 or more in this fixture, or if you want to play it slightly more conservatively, stick with the 25 or more.
The Dockers were gallant last Sunday, but scoring is the biggest problem for this side and even in the win over Port they managed to kick just eight goals for the game. Playing indoors at Etihad Stadium, a similar return will see them receive a hefty beating.
Essendon should win this game comfortably, and while the line of 32.5 does look high at face value, they should have little problem covering it.
Looking longer term if you anticipate that the Bombers will make the finals, just like they did last season, they are now out to $12 with Ladbrokes.
Best Bet: Essendon -24.5.
Value Bet: Zach Merrett most disposals Group A.
Brisbane v Adelaide
Suddenly this is one of the most intriguing games of the round with both teams finding massive form reversals in the past month which has given supporters of both teams reason for optimism heading into 2019.
The teams are playing much better than their ladder position of 16 for Brisbane and 11 for Adelaide would suggest and this should be a high scoring and entertaining game.
The Brisbane Lions were sparkling last week when defeating Hawthorn as massive underdogs.
Adelaide was back to the sort of form last week against Geelong that saw them reach the Grand Final last season and they should have enough class to get the win here and keep their finals chances alive.
The Crows midfield should be the difference. Last week Rory Laird had a game high 43 disposals with Matt Crouch continuing his brilliant form with 30 touches. Both look a good bet to rack up 30 or more touches in this fixture.
Adelaide is capable of betting anybody in the competition and if they can sneak into the finals they can be an x-factor. The Crows should win this game before a massive three weeks where they come up against flag contenders Melbourne, Port Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney.
If you anticipate the Crows can sneak into the finals you can snap up $5 at Ladbrokes and they are $81 with the same bookmaker to go one better than last season and win the flag.
Best Bet: Adelaide (Win)
Value Bet: Adelaide -9.5 into over 170.5
Geelong v Melbourne
These teams have had similar seasons in 2018 - their best has arguably been the best footy in the competition but when they are bad they are putrid.
Melbourne put in a blistering performance last week against the Western Bulldogs to keep their finals chances alive.
Big man Max Gawn put in another performance that saw him tighten in Brownlow medal markets, he was $201 at the start of the season with Ubet and $11 to poll the most votes for Melbourne with TAB.
Those wanting to step into the ‘Bearded’ Gawn to win the Brownlow can still secure $9 at Ladbrokes.
The Demons midfield was too strong last week with Oliver continuing his magnificent recent form after he had 35 disposals against Fremantle and 34 last week while Angus Brayshaw has been equally as impressive collecting 31 touches against Fremantle and a game high 38 last week against the Bulldogs.
With Geelong having a star-studded midfield with Dangerfield, Ablett and Selwood, it gives us a great betting opportunity to back both Oliver and Brayshaw in the Group A most disposals, in a game that should be fiercely contested, this looks the best betting opportunity.
Looking longer term Crownbet is top odds on both these sides winning the premiership listing Melbourne at $10 and Geelong at $15.
Best Bet: Clayton Oliver most disposals Group A
Value Bet: Either team to win by 1-15 points.
Carlton v Hawthorn
Carlton is having one of the worst seasons in the history of VFL/AFL football and will again be on the receiving end of another hefty defeat.
The Hawks were extremely disappointing losing to Brisbane last week and simply must win this game and win it well if they are going to keep their finals chances alive.
Hawthorn should smash the scoreboard here and kick well over 100 points. The line on face value looks high at 39.5 points but considering the Blues have lost by 65 points against Brisbane two weeks ago and 64 points against St Kilda at this ground last week, it is almost impossible to make a case for them being competitive.
If you want a safe anchor through multi bets the Hawks should easily win by over 24.5 points and the $1.60 on them doing so looks a free kick for punters.
The biggest interest in this game might centre around the Brownlow Medal with both Tom Mitchell and Patrick Cripps right in contention.
Mitchell is favourite with TAB and all bookmakers with Cripps now top odds at $12.
It has been a long season for Carlton, but there will be good betting opportunities betting against them over the next month.
Best Bet: Hawthorn winning by over 24.5 points.
Value Bet: Jack Gunston most goals.
West Coast v Western Bulldogs
The West Coast Eagles announced themselves as genuine premiership contenders last week when beating Collingwood at the MCG and they should have little trouble dispatching a Western Bulldogs side that is depleted by injury.
In a round with plenty of short-priced favourites, the Eagles do look another risk-free anchor for multi bets and they should comfortably win by over 24 points and cover the line that is set at 41.5 points.
Look for the Eagles to totally dominate the midfield and there will be good betting opportunities around the running players covering their over/under disposal line.
Andrew Gaff is in scintillating form and is in discussion for the Brownlow Medal.
Gaff had an equal game high 30 disposals last week against Collingwood and again looks a good bet to get 30 or more disposals and to get the most touches from Group A.
Looking longer term the West Coast Eagles are well primed to finish in the top two which will give them a golden chance to reach the Grand Final.
If you anticipate that the Eagles can win their fourth premiership since the club entered the AFL, you can still snap up $11 with TAB.
Best Bet: West Coast Eagles Over 39.5
Value Bet: Andrew Gaff Most Disposals.
Port Adelaide v Greater Western Sydney
Arguably the match of the round as we try and work out which one of these teams is a pretender and which is a contender.
Both these teams are in the bottom half of the eight and need to snare the four points if they are a chance at finishing the season in the top four.
Last week the Giants kept their season alive with a win over Richmond while Port may have ruined their season with an insipid loss against the battling Fremantle Dockers.
This will be a pulsating game, both sides like to move the ball quickly which should result in a high score being posted. This should be a contest where if the two sides kick straight then a high points total will be registered.
From a betting perspective, the Power look extremely backable returning home and we suggest ending the weekend with a bet on them, while a value play may be having something on either side winning by under 15.5 points which also gives you the insurance of the draw.
Looking longer term the winner of this game will have their price for the premiership slashed. Port Adelaide is currently $12 with Crownbet and the Giants $19 at Bet 365.
Best Bet: Port Adelaide (Win)
Value Bet: Either team by under 15.5 points.