Melbourne is abuzz with hopeful Richmond Tigers after the side stamped themselves as genuine Premiership contenders with a big win over Hawthorn last weekend, but they face a tricky task against the Adelaide Crows in another Friday Night blockbuster.
The other highlight of the round takes place on Saturday night when the West Coast Eagles host Hawthorn at Domain Stadium in a game that could decide whether the two Western Australian-based teams finish in the top two.
We have closely analysed these two games as well as the seven other fixtures that are set to take place this weekend to come up with the best betting plays of the round.
The Tigers are currently clear favourites to beat the Crows this weekend, but we are offering the inflated odds of $2 for the Tigers to continue their winning run on Friday night.
Adelaide Crows vs Richmond Tigers
Friday, August 7 – 7:50pm AEST – Adelaide Oval
Richmond produced one of the most outstanding defensive efforts in recent memory when they restricted Hawthorn to just seven goals last Friday night and if they keep playing at that level they are genuine premiership contenders. The issue for the Tigers is that have generally backed these sort of performances up with woeful efforts and this is a genuine danger game for the top four hopefuls. Adelaide were blown off the park by the Sydney Swans last weekend and they still struggle for quality when they take on the best teams in the competition. However, they are still playing a competitive brand of football and if the Tigers don’t show up, the Crows do have enough quality to take advantage. It is tough to have faith in Richmond in a game like this one, but if they perform at their best the $1.70 currently on offer is massive overs and they will have no trouble covering the spread of five and a half points.
Collingwood Magpies vs Carlton Blues
Saturday, August 7 – 1:45pm AEST – MCG
This is normally the highlight of any AFL round, but with the football that these sides are playing at the moment it could turn into a real stinker. The Magpies have absolutely fallen in a heap in the past two months and their season hit a new low last weekend when they couldn’t get the job done against the Demons. This is their last chance to keep their finals hopes alive, but they don’t deserve to finish in the top eight. Carlton made some early progress under new coach John Barker, but they have gone backwards in recent weeks and they were nothing short of terrible against North Melbourne last weekend. You can’t place too much trust in Collingwood at this stage of the season, but the Magpies should be able to claim their sixth straight win over their arch-rivals.
Western Bulldogs vs Port Adelaide Power
Saturday, August 8 – 2:10pm AEST – MCG
The Western Bulldogs continue to improve in 2015 and amazingly they now sit in fifth position and look certain to play finals football. The Bulldogs were led by an evergreen Bob Murphy against Essendon last weekend and they love playing footy at Etihad Stadium. Port Adelaide kept their season alive with a comfortable win over St Kilda last weekend, but their face another must-win fixture this Saturday. While the scoreboard looking impressive for Port against St Kilda, they really didn’t play that well and they have simply not produced good enough football this season to be worthy of a place in the finals. The Bulldogs should be able to keep alive their top four chances and beat the line of five and a half points in the process.
Brisbane Lions vs Gold Coast Suns
Saturday, August 8 – 4:35pm AEST – The Gabba
The loser of this fixture will likely finish the season with the wooden spoon, so both teams have plenty to play for heading into the Q Clash. The Lions were soundly beaten by the Suns when these two teams met earlier in the season and they don’t look like they would beat a park football team with the level of football they are playing at the moment. Gold Coast came very short to recording one of the upsets of the season last weekend and Rodney Eade has definitely improved the defensive toughness of the Suns this season. If the Suns are able to apply the same defensive pressure to the Lions, their rivals will struggle to crack the half-century and the Suns look a fairly safe bet to salute and cover the line of 11 and a half points.
Geelong Cats vs Sydney Swans
Saturday, August 8– 7:20pm AEST – Simonds Stadium
Both these sides returned to their best form with big wins last weekend and this looms as an intriguing clash. The Cats were far too good for the Brisbane Lions last weekend and made good use of the football, but this is a completely different challenge and they have struggled against teams like the Swans in 2015. The Swans were aided by the return of key forwards Kurt Tippett and Lance Franklin last weekend, who helped them to a morale boosting win over the Crows. Sydney may have had their slump at the right time and coach John Longmire will be hopeful that his sides triumph last weekend wasn’t a one-off performance. This should be a fairly low-scoring affair, but we like the Swans to cover the line of six and a half points that is currently on offer.
West Coast Eagles vs Hawthorn Hawks
Saturday, August 8 – 7:40pm AEST – Domain Stadium
This is the match of the weekend and is the biggest test that the West Coast Eagles have faced this season. Both teams found it uncharacteristically tough to score points last weekend and it will be very interesting to see how they bounce back. The Eagles did not like the pressure that was placed on them by the Suns, but they face a different challenge against the Hawks and it wouldn’t surprise if they were able to return to their free-flowing best. This means that the pressure will be on the Hawks to go with their rivals and if the Eagles learnt anything from the Tigers last weekend, they may have found the key to restricting the premiership favourites. The Hawks are deserving favourites, but the Eagles are very tough to beat in front of their home fans and represent a little bit of value at their current quote of $2.20.
Melbourne Demons vs North Melbourne Kangaroos
Sunday, August 9 – 1:10pm AEST – MCG
Both these teams will be coming into this game on a high following their important wins last weekend. The Demons recorded their best win of the season against Collingwood and it will be interesting to see how they respond against what can be an inconsistent North Melbourne side. The Kangaroos have been playing much improved football in recent weeks and they should be able to consolidate their place in the top eight with their second straight win. The Demons have not beaten the Kangaroos in their last 13 encounters and they does not look like changing this week, but there is not a great deal of edge in the price on offer and the line of 24.5 points looks just about right.
Greater Western Sydney Giants vs Essendon Bombers
Sunday, August 9 – 3:20pm AEST – Spotless Stadium
Another off-field scandal has hit the Bombers this week and the Greater Western Sydney Giants may never have a better chance to beat the Essendon-based side. The Giants were beaten by Fremantle last weekend, but they were far from disgraced and there were some very positive signs heading into what is a fairly easy run of games. The Bombers continue to play what is nothing short of putrid football and it is fairly obvious that the majority of the side already have their thoughts on Mad Monday. Poor kicking in front of goal is the only thing that can cost the Giants victory this weekend and they should be able to cover the line of 23.5 points without a great deal of problems.
St Kilda Saints vs Fremantle Dockers
Sunday, August 9 – 4:40pm AEST – Etihad Stadium
The Ross Lyon Cup is always an intriguing contest and has thrown up a number of surprising results in recent years. Lyon has a habit of resting some of his best players when he takes on his former club and that has come back to bite Fremantle in the past two season as they have been on the end of big loses against the Saints. This Saints side is clearly superior to the one that proceeded it in the past two seasons and they will prove very tricky to beat if the Dockers don’t come to Etihad Stadium ready to play. It feels as though Ross Lyon has sole control over the outcome of this game, but recent history says that the $3.50 on offer for St Kilda is big overs and they should be able to beat the line with a 22 and a half points head start.
Don’t forget about our $2 Friday Night Football Special! We’re offering a whopping $2 for the Tigers to roll the Crows this Friday night.