The countdown to the finals is now on in earnest and there are two very important games this weekend that could go a long way to deciding the make-up of the top four.
Richmond host Fremantle on Saturday afternoon and they will have to be taken seriously as a top four prospect if they are able to record another upset victory, while the West Coast Eagles can go a long way to securing a top two finish if they beat the Sydney Swans on Sunday.
We have analysed all nine games this weekend and come up with a stack of betting plays across every single match-up.
Carlton Blues vs Hawthorn Hawks
Friday, July 24 – 7:50pm AEST – Etihad Stadium
This is one of the biggest mismatches in AFL history and Hawthorn are more than deserving of their current $1.01 quote. The Hawks have been nothing short of outstanding in the past month and their midfield is absolutely firing on all cylinders. They remain the benchmark in the AFL and are well on their way to a third straight Premiership. Carlton were far from disgraced against Fremantle last weekend, but they face another challenge entirely on Friday night and it is very difficult to see how their midfield can even go close to matching it with their talented opposition. The Hawks will win this game easily, but there is not really any value in this game outside of the $2 that we are offering for Hawthorn to win the clash.
Greater Western Sydney Giants vs Geelong Cats
Saturday, July 25 – 1:45pm AEST – Startrack Oval
The Greater Western Sydney Giants produced a much improved performance against the Gold Coast Suns last weekend and they will be taking plenty of confidence into this clash. There was plenty to like about the enterprising style of football played by the Giants and if they can produce that again they will be tough to beat. Geelong bounced back to winning form with a solid victory over the Western Bulldogs, but there are still plenty of gaps in their game – although they will be buoyed by the return of Joel Sellwood. The Cats have won all three of their previous clashes with the Giants, but the Giants are well-placed to maintain their place in the top eight with a win this weekend and they are well worth a bet at their current quote of $1.82.
Adelaide Crows vs Gold Coast Suns
Saturday, July 25– 1:40pm AEST – Adelaide Oval
The Adelaide Crows recorded an emotional victory over Port Adelaide in Showdown last weekend and they continue to play an exciting brand of high-scoring football. The fact that the Crows were able to get the job done last weekend gives us plenty of confidence to follow them for the rest of the season. The Gold Coast Suns have focused on their defense in recent weeks, but it is tough to see them being able to withstand the pressure that they will be placed under by the Crows and they simply don’t have the points in them to match it with their rivals. The Crows to beat the line of 26 and a half points is the best bet of the weekend and the $2.50 for them to win by 40 points or more is also outstanding value.
Richmond Tigers vs Fremantle Dockers
Saturday, July 25 – 4:35pm AEST – MCG
Richmond started their impressive run of form when they beat Fremantle in round ten and they have the chance to continue their charge for a top four finish this weekend. The Tigers have been far from impressive against the Giants, Blues and Saints in recent weeks, but they have still been able to get the job done and they have the points in them to trouble the Dockers this weekend. The Dockers simply aren’t playing at the same level that they were a couple of months ago and they are going to need to go to another level to be any chance whatsoever of claiming a maiden flag. They still sit on top of the AFL ladder, but they have a fairly poor record against Richmond at the MCG and the Tigers should be able to get the job done at their current quote of $1.85.
Essendon Bombers vs Port Adelaide Power
Saturday, July 25 – 7:20pm AEST – Etihad Stadium
Essendon were far from outclassed against North Melbourne last week, but they feel apart when the pressure went on in the final period and their inability to play out a strong four quarters has plagued them all season. The Power were arguably the better side against Adelaide last weekend, but poor kicking in front of goal cost them badly. They are sure to get plenty of chances to score against a Bombers side that has been the worst centre clearance team in the AFL in 2015 and their midfield should be able to run all over their opposition. The Bombers have won their past five meetings with the Power, but it is tough to see that continuing this week and the Power look like a good bet to beat the line of 11 and a half points.
Brisbane Lions vs North Melbourne Kangaroos
Saturday, July 25 – 7:20pm AEST – The Gabba
This is a massive game for North Melbourne as club legend Boomer Harvey plays his 400th game. The Kangaroos have found a semblance of their best form in recent weeks and the side would have taken plenty of confidence from their strong final term against the Bombers last weekend. The Brisbane Lions continue to play some very uninspiring football and they were nothing short of woeful against the Demons. This is a side that has enough talent on the roster to win plenty of games, but there is clearly something wrong with the culture of the club. The Kangaroos have plenty to play for this weekend and they should be able to record their second win over the Lions this season without a great deal of problems.
Western Bulldogs vs Collingwood Magpies
Sunday, July 25 – 1:10pm AEST – Etihad Stadium
This is one of the most interesting games of the round and will be key to the finals hopes of both sides. Collingwood have slipped out of the top eight after losing four games on the trot, but they continued to play well in defeat last weekend and they should really have won at least two of those games. The Western Bulldogs missed out on an opportunity to solidify their top eight spot when they went down to the Cats last weekend and they are still a good chance of slipping out of the top eight. Collingwood will be without Travis Cloke and Jamie Elliot, but they should still be able to return to winning form this weekend and they are a good bet to beat the line of five and a half points.
Melbourne Demons vs St Kilda Saints
Sunday, July 26 – 3:20pm AEST – MCG
It feels like it was only yesterday that the Saints beat the Demons in a thriller in round 11 and this could end up being one of the most competitive games of the weekend. The Demons were able to bounce back from their horror loss to the Bombers to beat the Lions last weekend and they really should have beaten the Demons earlier this year. St Kilda came home with a wet sail against the Tigers last year and they are trending well in the majority of key metrics. Neither of these teams is going to play finals football in 2015, but a win for either side would mean a great deal for their momentum heading into next season and beyond. The Saints have not lost to the Demons since 2006 and they can continue their winning streak over their rivals this weekend.
West Coast Eagles vs Sydney Swans
Sunday, July 26 – 4:40pm AEST – Domain Stadium
This is clearly the game of the round and is a very big test for both teams. The Sydney Swans have simply forgotten how to score points in recent seasons and they were absolutely destroyed by the Hawks last weekend. This may have been the wake-up call that the Swans needed and it will be very interesting to see how they respond this weekend. Everybody continues to wait for the Eagles to fall in a heap, but they continue to get the job done and they are scoring plenty of points to boot. This is the biggest test that the Eagles have faced in a number of months and they have not beaten the Swans since 2007. The Eagles are deserving favourites, but it is tough not to have a bet on the Swans at $2.45 and the line of ten and a half points does seem overly generous.
Don’t forget about our $2 Friday Night Football Special! We’re offering a whopping $2 for the Hawks to roll the Blues this Friday night.