AFL Round 22: Sunday Match Previews & Betting Tips
A monster Sunday of footy begins with a potential Grand Final preview as Richmond & West Coast meet at the MCG, the Bulldogs will look to continue their late-season charge when they travel to Sydney to face GWS before we say goodbye to Jarryd Roughhead as the Hawks host the Suns.
Richmond v West Coast - MCG - 1:10pm
Each vying to secure a top-two finish, Richmond and West Coast will face off at the MCG on Sunday afternoon. Although the Tigers and Eagles currently sit third and fourth on the ladder, they also occupy the top-two spots for flag favouritism and could be a prelude to a Grand Final later next month.
The Tigers have rocketed back into contention due to a stellar seven-match winning streak after most recently accounting for the Blues 28-points at the MCG last Sunday, which made it 18 straight wins at the venue during day matches. That result continued the side’s incredibly strong defensive exploits; Richmond has conceded just 61.3 points on average across those seven matches.
That defence will be put to the test by the Eagles’ third-ranked attack, which has been boosted by the recent form of Jack Darling, who has booted 23 goals in the last seven weeks. Darling put through six goals when his side demolished Richmond 130-83 during their most recent meeting in Round 9 of last season.
Key Stat: Richmond has won each of its last 18 day matches at the MCG.
Best bet: Richmond -11.5
Value bet: Richmond over 24.5
GWS v Western Bulldogs - Giants Stadium - 3:20pm
After experiencing contrasting results in Round 21, GWS and the Western Bulldogs will come together at GIANTS Stadium on Sunday afternoon in a replay of their epic 1026 preliminary final.
And while this match doesn’t have the same ramifications as that day, this fixture is of considerable importance, especially to the Bulldogs, who can move a huge step towards their first finals berth since that premiership winning season Shrough victory.
The Dogs boosted their chances of playing finals immensely through an unbelievable 104-point triumph over the Bombers last weekend during which they kicked 21 consecutive goals. Comparatively, the Giants appear destined to finish with a home elimination final given they need just one victory to secure that position and will face the hapless Suns in the final round.
Conversely, GWS is unlikely to secure a top-four place having fallen eight points behind fourth through a dismal 56-point loss to Hawthorn in snowy Canberra. That result marked the Giants’ lowest score in their eight-year history, however, there should be hopes of improvement on Sunday given they are set to welcome back Matt de Boer, Josh Kelly and Harry Himmelberg, but have lost Coleman Medal leader Jeremy Cameron.
Key Stat: The Western Bulldogs have lost each of their last 20 Sunday matches outside of Melbourne.
Best bet: GWS 1-39
Value bet: GWS -6.5/Over 161.5
Hawthorn v Gold Coast - Marvel Stadium - 4:40pm
With the curtain set to come down on Jarryd Roughead’s career, Hawthorn will look to send off its club champion in style by downing a hapless Gold Coast side at Marvel Stadium.
The Hawks could also be eyeing a finals place if other results go their way over the weekend, as they currently sit one win and percentage behind the eighth-placed Power. Percentage could certainly be less of an issue after this encounter if they are able to triumph in the same manner as a number of the Suns’ recent opponents.
After falling by 91-points in the QClash last weekend, Gold Coast has now lost 16 matches on the bounce, as well as four of its last six by a margin of 11+ goals. With that being said, only two of the Hawks’ previous nine wins against the Suns have come by such a margin, one of which was back in their inaugural campaign.
Key Stat: Gold Coast has covered the line in each of its last eight matches at Marvel Stadium.
Best bet: Over 166.5
Value bet: Gold Coast +47.5/Over 166.5