Round 8 of the 2015 AFL season is highlighted by the AFL Grand Final rematch between the Sydney Swans and the Hawthorn Hawks and while that game is set to be a ripper, there is plenty of other intriguing match-ups across the weekend.
The Greater Western Sydney Giants can lay claim to being a genuine top eight contender if they record their first three game winning streak in club history when they take on the Adelaide Crows, while Port Adelaide have the chance to get their season back on track when they host Richmond.
There are plenty of exciting betting opportunities spread right across round 8 of the 2015 AFL season and you can find our thoughts for all nine matches below.
The Geelong Cats are dominant favourites to beat the woeful Carlton Blues, but we are still offering odds of $2 for the Cats to beat the Blues on Friday Night!
Geelong Cats vs Carlton Blues
Friday, May 22 – 7:50pm AEST – Etihad Stadium
Carlton’s season from hell continued last weekend with a big loss to the Greater Western Sydney Giants and they face a tougher assignment against the Cats this weekend. The Blues were under pressure all week leading into that clash, but still produced an uninspired effort and it is clear that Mick Malthouse is not getting the best out of his players. Geelong have clearly regressed in 2015 and they are not premiership contenders, which was clearly evident against the Sydney Swans but they have enough talent to finish in the top eight and they should not be losing games like this one. The Cats have dominated the Blues in recent years and they should be able to record their seventh straight victory over the struggling side this weekend.
St Kilda Saints vs West Coast Eagles
Saturday, May 23 – 1:15pm AEST – Etihad Stadium
St Kilda were unable to come up with the four points against the Adelaide Crows last weekend, but they produced another tough effort and nobody can question their commitment in 2015. The West Coast Eagles maintained their position in second place on the ladder with a dominant victory over the Gold Coast Suns last weekend and Brownlow medallist Matt Priddis was absolutely outstanding. Priddis has stepped up again for the Eagles in 2015 and the Saints were unable to stop him in their two previous meetings last year. The disposal efficiency has been the cornerstone of the Eagles success in 2015 and that is the major reason that they are always a safe bet to beat sides sitting outside the top eight, while they should be able to sneak across the line of 28.5 points.
Greater Western Sydney Giants vs Adelaide Crows
Saturday, May 23 – 2:10pm AEST – MCG
The Greater Western Sydney Giants have never looked like beating the Adelaide Crowns, but this is a new Giants side and they continued their extraordinary start to the season with a big win over Carlton last weekend. This is another test for the Giants, but after their win over Hawthorn they have plenty of self-belief and feel that they are capable of beating anybody. Adelaide were able to beat St Kilda last weekend, but it is fair to say that it wasn’t their best performance of the season to date and the gap between their best and worst football continues to be too great. However, the Crows have travelled well this season and it is tough to see why the Giants are such clear favourites for this clash. The $2.30 on offer for the Crows is great value and they are a sensational bet to beat the line with a 9 and a half points start.
Gold Coast Suns vs Collingwood Magpies
Saturday, May 23 – 4:35pm AEST – Metricon Stadium
Collingwood have quickly fallen back to earth after Eddie McGuire claimed they were sneaky premiership chances and if the suffer a third straight loss this weekend, the alarm bells will start ringing. They will need to bounce back from their tough toss to Richmond last weekend as this is a game that they simply must win if they plan on playing finals. The Gold Coast Suns have won their past two clashes against Collingwood, but they are heading into this game after a big loss at the hands of the West Coast Eagles. Injuries continue to plague the Suns and their defensive unit looks like they will be extremely undermanned and may have trouble stopping Travis Cloke. The Magpies are one of the safest bets of the weekend and they should be able to beat the line of 18 and a half points comfortably.
Hawthorn Hawks vs Sydney Swans
Saturday, May 23 – 7.20pm AEST – MCG
This is easily the most anticipated clash of round 8 and will be the first time these teams have met since the Hawks flogged the Swans in the Grand Final last year. It is fair to say that the Hawks have made a sketchy start to the 2015 AFL season, but the return of Jordan Lewis, Isaac Smith and Brian Lake is a huge boost and they will be pumped up to get their Premiership defense back on track with a win over their rivals. Sydney’s midfield was absolutely outclassed in the AFL Grand Final last year and the likes of Dan Hannebery, Luke Parker and Tom Mitchell will need to produce a much improved performance to give the Swans any chance. The battle between the key forwards will also be vital in this encounter and if Jarryd Roughhead or Lance Franklin can convincingly outplay the other it could go a long way to deciding the result of this games. The Hawks have a slight edge at the MCG, but there is not a great deal between these two sides and it should be a ripper.
Fremantle Dockers vs North Melbourne Kangaroos
Saturday, May 23 – 7:40pm AEST – Domain Stadium
Fremantle remain the standard-bearers in the AFL this season and they survived a scare from the Western Bulldogs last Sunday afternoon to keep their unbeaten record intact. The Dockers defense has been absolutely ruthless this season and they will certainly put the pressure on a Kangaroos team that can struggle in front of goal. The Kangaroos got home in a Friday Night thriller that will have given them plenty of confidence and they also will take some hope from the fact that they beat the Dockers at Subiaco last season. Todd Goldstein has been the form ruck-man in the AFL this season, but he will face his toughest test of the season to date against Aaron Sandilands. North Melbourne will be in this game a long way and should give it a real shake, but the Dockers have shown they can go to another gear when placed under pressure this season and they should prove too strong in the concluding stages.
Essendon Bombers vs Brisbane Lions
Sunday, May 24 – 1:10pm AEST – Etihad Stadium
Essendon would have penciled themselves in for an easy victory in this clash about four weeks ago, but this fixture has changed complexion dramatically in the past fortnight and the Lions are heading into this clash on the back of two tough wins, while the Bombers have fallen into a little bit of a hole. The Lions took advantage of their abundance of speed to beat the Power and a similar game plan would be quite efficient against the Bombers. The Bombers were far from disgraced in their past two losses, but their hopes of playing finals football will take a big hit if they are unable to return to winning form this weekend. Clearances have been a big issue for the Bombers in 2015 and this is an area that they will need to focus on in this clash. The Bombers are deserving favourites for this encounter, but they look unders at their current quote and I am more than happy to throw my support behind the Lions at their current quote of $4.
Melbourne Demons vs Western Bulldogs
Sunday, May 24 – 3:10pm AEST – MCG
The Western Bulldogs bounced back from their disappointing loss to St Kilda to produce an inspired effort against the Fremantle Dockers and they look well-placed to return to winning form this weekend. The Bulldogs have been able to maintain a high level of performance under new coach Luke Beveridge and they should record a comfortable victory if they perform at anywhere near their best this weekend. The Demons made a promising start to the 2015 AFL season, but the wheels have fallen off in recent weeks, although they have faced some stiff competition. Melbourne need to make better use of the football to be any chance against the Bulldogs and they will have to stay composed against a side that puts a great deal of pressure on the football. The Bulldogs should win this game in a canter and the line of 20 and a half points does not look high enough.
Port Adelaide Power vs Richmond Tigers
Sunday, May 24 – 4:10pm AEST Adelaide Oval
This is one of the most interesting games of the weekend and is a very crucial game for both sides. The Tigers took the pressure off coach Damien Hardwick with their narrow victory over Collingwood last weekend, but they need to produce a similar performance every week in order to be a top eight side in 2015. The clear standout for the Tigers was skipper Trent Cotchin and Richmond are obviously a far better team when their captain is playing at his best. The Power were woeful against the Brisbane Lions last weekend and there is now a fair bit of pressure on the side that has not been able to replicate the sort of football that they produced in 2014. Port Adelaide absolutely destroyed the Tigers in the elimination final at the Adelaide Oval last year and Power fans will see it as another sign that their side has regressed, if they are unable to produce a similar performance this weekend.
Don’t miss out on our AFL $2 Friday Favourite! The Geelong Cats are dominant favourites to beat the woeful Carlton Blues, but we are still offering odds of $2 for the Cats to beat the Blues on Friday Night!