AFL Round 7: Saturday Afternoon Match Previews & Betting Tips

The Demons face a must-win clash against the Hawks as they seek only their second win of the season. The Saints will be hoping to bounce back against a Giants team looking for redemption in Canberra. The struggling Swans take on the young Lions looking to save their season.

Ryan Lepore
Thu, 2 May, 12:00 AM

Hawthorn v Melbourne - MCG - 1:45pm

Remarkably, the Demons sit bottom of the AFL ladder after the opening six rounds and will look to begin digging itself out of this huge hole against Hawthorn at the MCG on Saturday afternoon. Melbourne will have to overcome a strange quirk of history if they are to pick up just their second victory of the season, with the Hawks entering this fixture undefeated in their last 10 Round 7 matches at the MCG.

The Hawks were desperately slow out of the blocks against the Blues last week, trailing by six goals in the first half before clawing their way back and snatching a five-point victory in Launceston. Liam Shiels and Jaeger O’Meara were incredible during that result; the former contributed 26 disposals, three goals and nine tackles while the latter added 42 touches and one major. Hawthorn should be out for a measure of revenge during this fixture, having been knocked out of the 2018 finals series by Melbourne through a 104-71 defeat in the semifinal.

Key Stat: Melbourne has failed to cover the line in six of its last seven matches.

Tip: Melbourne

Best bet: Melbourne over 15.5

Value bet: Melbourne 1-39

GWS v St Kilda - Manuka Oval - 1:45pm

After suffering a reality check at the hands of the Adelaide Crows last weekend, St Kilda could be in for an even greater one when GWS plays host to the Saints in Canberra. The 39-point loss at Marvel Stadium saw them jump out of the blocks, but failed to capitalise on their dominance, allowing the Crows to arrest back the moments before the first change and from there were no match for their opponents, with the margin blowing out in the final term.

A continuation of that form against the Giants could prove costly given they’ve won four of six final quarters this season – equal-highest in the AFL. One of those fourth-quarter wins came during their dominant 41-point victory over the Swans last weekend. Unfortunately for GWS, that result may have come at a cost with Lachie Whitfield considered doubtful to take part on Saturday due to a heavily corked thigh.

Even so, St Kilda has to deal with a 1-8 record from its last nine interstate matches, as well as the home side’s nine wins from their last 10 at this venue.

Key Stat: St Kilda has lost seven of its last eight interstate matches by a margin of 1-39 points.

Tip: GWS

Best bet: GWS 1-39

Value bet: GWS 40+

Brisbane v Sydney - Gabba - 4:35pm

In 2017, the Swans recovered from an 0-6 start to make the finals. They enter this match against the Brisbane Lions at 1-5 but a loss this time would almost certainly end their season as this isn’t the same Swans powerhouse who haven’t missed finals since 2009.

The Lions will be looking to build upon their 4-2 start to the season by snapping an 11-game losing streak to the Swans and defeating for the first time since 2009, which also marks the last time Brisbane participated in September. As such, although there is still a lot of football to be played this season, there could be a bit riding on this result, especially for the Lions who will be hoping to move to 5-2 for the first time since 2004.

Brisbane rank as the third-strongest attack this season and after again reaching triple figures last week and it  could prove a decisive factor against a Sydney side which currently ranks as the third-worst defence and most recently gave up 120 points against the Giants.

Key Stat: Sydney has won its last 11 matches in Queensland

Tip: Brisbane

Best bet: Brisbane 1-39

Value bet: Brisbane -19.5/ Over 167.5

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