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The bye rounds are done and dusted and an epic weekend of Aussie Rules footy awaits us.

It’s time for that five-leg multi of hindsight that we like to call AFL Five Lessons Learned.

(1) Top Eight Traffic Jam

Every team has now played 13 games and the traffic for the top eight could give your city’s respective arterial roads a run for their money.

The log jam from 5th to 12th is quite something and there’s every chance some teams who are having an excellent season might miss out on finals by just a smidge of percentage if current trends continue.

You would think Melbourne, Brisbane, Geelong and Freo are locked for the finals and even Carlton might have a claim to it right now.

However, Richmond, St Kilda, Sydney, Collingwood, Western Bulldogs, Gold Coast and if things get really interesting Port Adelaide are all a shot if things go their way.

Nine games left in the home and away season and she’s all up for grabs.

Watch this space and watch the AFL futures market for some potential value plays, especially with the snakes and ladders nature of final eight positions.

(2) Get Over the Giants

Since Mark McVeigh took over as caretaker coach of the Giants, the big big sound has been recording some big big scores (for modern footy standards).

The Giants scored 323 points in their past three matches, and punters that got on the Overs for games involving GWS have been very satisfied with their investments.

Saturday night’s shootout against the Bulldogs was a fun watch and while modern footy pundits lament the lack of defence – the punters who backed the over couldn’t care less.

(3) West Coast Won’t Win the Wooden Spoon

2022 has been nothing but grim for the West Coast Eagles, but it looks like Adam Simpson and his men have turned a corner.

A fair few punters expected the Cats to head out west and register a nice little percentage boost, but the Eagles 18-point loss is the dictionary definition of honourable loss.

The injury list is reducing as are the covid cases.

If the likes of Tim Kelly, Liam Ryan and Nic Nat get back on the paddock it’s looking more like the spoon and the prized number 1 draft pick that comes with it might be heading to Arden Street.

(4) Bye rounds are Boring

We can’t always have Group 1s every week, however…

(5) There is an Epic Round Ahead

In only the fifth time since the final eight came into play in 1994, every team that is currently in the top eight will be playing against each other.

On Thursday night, second-placed Melbourne hosts top-of-the-ladder Brisbane.

Saturday arvo has fifth-placed Carlton facing third on the ladder Freo, in the twilight slot fourth-placed Geelong “hosting” Richmond (sixth) and just to top it off Sydney (seventh) host St Kilda (eighth)

Not only are the top eight clashes worth their weight in gold but 12th placed Port taking on 11th placed Gold Coast to finish the round on Sunday night.

Even the West Coast (18th) v Essendon (16th) game on Friday night is looking like an entertaining contest.

This round could shape the eight, but more importantly, make or break footy tipping competitions.

In case you are wondering, the Round and ladder positions look like this:

Thursday Night
Melbourne (2nd) v Brisbane (1st)

Friday Night
Western Bulldogs (10th) v Hawthorn (14th)
West Coast (18th) v Essendon (16th)

Saturday
Carlton (5th) v Fremantle (3rd)
Geelong (4th) v Richmond (6th)
Sydney (7th) v St Kilda (8th)

Sunday
North Melbourne (17th) v Adelaide (15th)
Collingwood (9th) v GWS (13th)
Port Adelaide (12th) v Gold Coast (11th)