Round 15 is basically a dream come true for footy fans.
Four top-eight battles headline the slate, beginning with a 1st v 2nd showdown on Thursday evening between the well-rested Dees and Lions from the MCG.
A rare Friday double-header kicks off the weekend, headlined by what might be a season-defining game for the Bulldogs when they take on the Hawks at Marvel.
Carlton and Freo square off for a second time on Super Saturday, followed by rivals Geelong and Richmond in action from the ‘G, and finally, the Swans and the Saints from Sydney.
As if that wasn’t enough, a late Sunday showdown between Port and the Suns wraps things up, the winner looking to move one step closer to securing a finals berth.
It shapes as a nightmare round for tipsters, but we’re confident we’ve found a few winners below!
Thursday June 23, 7:20pm, MCG
A rematch of last year’s Qualifying Final between what many believe to be the top two teams in the competition headlines the round .
The Dees will be hoping for a repeat performance of their 33-point thumping last August after suffering three consecutive defeats prior to the bye.
Suddenly, scoring has become a major problem for the reigning premiers, while their efficiency inside 50 has left a lot to be desired.
Brisbane, on the other hand, returns from the bye after defeating St Kilda quite comfortably at the Gabba two weeks ago.
The Lions have done extremely well to remain inside the top four, let alone on top of the ladder through some of their recent injuries, and they should confident knowing Dayne Zorko and Darcy Gardiner are both likely to return to the side.
Statistically, there isn’t much separating these two sides, but the Lions do look to have a clear advantage when it comes to clearances and tackles.
Brisbane’s pressure has been immense all season, an area that cost Melbourne dearly in their Queen’s Birthday loss to Collingwood.
The only knock on the Lions has been their slow starts.
Brisbane has shown a tendency to get away slowly in the first quarter, which of course, is a recipe for disaster against a class side like Melbourne.
Still, Brisbane’s forward line should give the Dees a real challenge down back.
Melbourne gave up 12 marks inside 50 to the Pies, and it’s fair to say Brisbane’s forward line is much more potent featuring a wide range of weapons – especially with Joe Daniher back in the fold.
The line looks just about right for a clash between 1st and 2nd, but based on recent form, the Lions to cause an upset looks a good bet.
Tip: Back the Lions 1-39 @ $2.60
Friday June 24, 7:00pm, Marvel Stadium
The Bulldogs are sniffing around a spot in the eight after downing GWS last week, but they’ll be hoping to avoid a similar shootout against a feisty and well-rested Hawthorn outfit on Friday night.
The Hawks prevailed by 27 points when they met the Dogs last year and they too will be hoping to build on some momentum after pushing Collingwood and Fremantle to the brink over the last few weeks.
Sam Mitchell’s side has managed only one win from its last five games, but there have been plenty of positives to take away with some gutsy performances against a few flag contenders.
The Dogs have been a tough side to get a feel for this season, but they could receive a massive boost in the form of key forward Josh Bruce.
Aaron Naughton was enormous last week in the win over the Giants and Bruce’s inclusion would add another weapon for the Hawks to contend with.
Speaking of weapons, much of Hawthorn’s chances depend on the status of Mitch Lewis.
The Hawks are no doubt a much tougher outfit with the youngster up forward, while Jack Gunston’s return from an ankle injury would also be welcome.
Overall, this game should be much closer than the current market suggests, but it’s one the Dogs simply must have.
On paper, the Bulldogs look to have an advantage around the clearances and inside 50 (depending on injuries) and although the Hawks are a tough out, the Dogs should get home late to keep their top-eight hopes alive.
Tip: Back the Bulldogs 1-39 @ $2.02
West Coast Eagles
Friday June 24, 8:40pm, Optus Stadium
The Bombers stole the headlines last week with a rousing win over St Kilda, one that left many fans wondering where that same effort had been all season.
After suffering another disheartening loss to Carlton a week earlier, Ben Rutten’s side suddenly found life in front of goal, while Essendon’s pressure also resembled that of the finals team we saw only six months earlier.
It’s likely too little too late for the Dons, but there’s nothing stopping them from picking up a second straight win this week in Perth.
West Coast’s season has been equally as miserable, although there was a bit to like about their performance against the Cats last week.
The Eagles hung tough for most of the game and even tied things up at half-time.
One goal in the final term eventually sealed their fate, but it was still an encouraging performance from a side that has struggled to score for most of the year.
West Coast has won three of its last five games against Essendon, but that same problem – scoring – is likely what sees them undone again this week.
The Bombers have averaged nearly six more scoring shots per-game compared to the Eagles, while they’ve also been much more efficient marking the ball inside 50.
It’s hard to read too much into either team’s performance last week, but with the Bombers finding some confidence, this road trip might be just what their season needs.
Tip: Back Essendon to Cover the Line (-16.5 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday June 25, 1:45pm, Marvel Stadium
A Round 6 rematch between the Blues and Dockers headlines a big afternoon of footy.
An inspired fourth quarter wasn’t enough to see Carlton over the line against the Tigers last Thursday night, while the Dockers spent the bye week resting up for a chance to potentially reclaim top spot on the ladder.
Freo prevailed comfortably when these two sides met in Perth back in April, largely thanks to a stunning defensive performance that saw Harry McKay and Charlie Curnow held to a combined three goals.
A similar performance down back would go a long way to ensuring Fremantle a fourth straight win, but as we’ve come to know over the last 12 months, there’s nothing more dangerous than the Blues on the back of a loss.
Carlton has gone 7-2 overall and 6-3 at the line following a previous defeat, while the Blues have also won their last two games over the Dockers in Melbourne.
Comparing the two side by side, it’s obvious the Blues have a clear advantage on attack, but they’ll need to take more than just 11 marks from 51 inside 50 opportunities like they did last week against the Tigers.
Freo, on the other hand, has been one of the toughest teams to get the ball inside 50 against, while the Dockers have also been one of the better teams in the league around the stoppages.
In terms of betting, all of that probably doesn’t make things any easier, but with the Dockers rested and proving very tough to score against, the current market price seems about right.
Tip: Back the Dockers 1-39 @ $2.30
Saturday June 25, 4:35pm, MCG
Two familiar foes take to the turf on Saturday afternoon in what is shaping up to be a potential finals preview.
The Cats scraped their way to a less-than-convincing win over West Coast last week following the bye, while the Tigers disposed of their old rivals Carlton in a fourth-quarter thriller.
Richmond has won three of its last five games against Geelong, but recent history does favour that of the Cats after recording the clean sweep last year.
An injury to Noah Balta does leave the Tigers looking vulnerable down back, which has to be of huge concern to coach Damien Hardwick with the Cats forward line featuring two Coleman Medal favourites in Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron.
Diving a little deeper, the Cats have been a much better team around the clearances and stoppages this year, while they’ve also allowed the fewest inside 50s to opposing teams.
You could argue Richmond has been a little more battle-tested in recent weeks with games against Sydney, Port, and Carlton, but it’s hard to ignore the Tigers’ fourth-quarter lull last week after leading the Blues for most of the game.
Geelong’s performance against West Coast was equally concerning, but we’ve come to expect that from them after the bye.
If the Cats are back to their best, especially up forward, they should take this one.
Tip: Back the Cats to Win @ $2.00
Saturday June 25, 7:25pm, SCG
There’s still plenty of footy left to be played, but a win could go a long way to ensuring a top-eight berth for these two clubs.
Sydney remains seventh on the ladder despite last week’s shock loss to Port, while the Saints are fighting for life in eighth after losing back-to-back games to the Lions and Bombers.
Wayward kicking was the main problem area for the Swans last week, something that has also plagued St Kilda right throughout the season.
As seen last week, the Saints continue to struggle to put together four quarters, but they did walk away comfortable 29-point winners then they played the Swans last year.
Statistically though, Sydney looks the much safer team to bet on.
The Swans average nearly five more inside 50 entries per-game than St Kilda, while they’re also ranked second in average disposals.
The Saints have always been a team that can put together a long winning streak and then fall in a hole midway through the season. It’s hard to say if that’s the case here, but with the Swans playing at home, they’re rightful favourites.
Tip: Back the Swans 1-39 @ $2.02
Sunday June 26, 1:10pm, Blundstone Arena
The wooden spoon race could be decided this weekend with North and West Coast both facing winnable games.
Fittingly, the Roos haven’t tasted a win since they knocked off the Eagles back in March, and they’ll now return from the bye hoping to snap an 11-game losing streak against a Crows team they haven’t beaten since 2020.
Adelaide put up a good fight last week against the Suns and it’s fair to say the final score really doesn’t do Matthew Nicks’ side any justice.
The Crows cut the margin back to two goals midway through the final term, only to fall apart down back allowing the Gold Coast to kick four straight.
Goals have been a problem area for these two clubs right throughout the season, but the advantage does belong with Adelaide when it comes to the stats sheet.
The Crows are averaging nearly two more goals per-game in comparison to North, while they’ve also been a much better team at moving the ball inside 50 and intercepting on the defensive end.
North has failed to score more than 50 points in each of their last six games, while they’ve also been the easiest team to score against all season.
Looking ahead, this might be one of the last remaining games that are winnable for the Crows, and if they can avoid the costly mistakes in front of goal that held them back last week, so they should take the points.
Tip: Back the Crows to Cover the Line (-22.5 Points) @ $2.00
Sunday June 26, 3:20pm, MCG
The Pies and the Giants met in a famous Prelim Final three years ago, but their most recent encounter was rather one-sided.
Collingwood walked away comfortable 30-point winners at the MCG last April, and it’s no surprise to find Craig McRae’s side favoured by over two goals returning from the bye.
The Pies ran out 26-point winners over reigning premiers Melbourne a fortnight ago, extending their winning streak to four in a row following two impressive wins over finals contenders Fremantle and Carlton.
Collingwood’s pressure has been a big reason for their midseason turnaround, but they do face an uncertain time moving forward with Jordan deGoey, Jack Ginnivan, and Issac Quaynor in the midst of some off-field trouble.
The Giants put up a brave fight in one of the games of the season last week against the Bulldogs, one Luke Beveridge probably like to have back.
Star forward Toby Greene kicked a career-high seven goals, but defensively, the Giants let themselves down as Cody Weightman and Aaron Naughton enjoyed a big day in front of the sticks.
Collingwood’s forward line will miss deGoey and Ginnivan, but there’s still enough talent to get the job done.
Tip: Back Collingwood to Cover the Line (-15.5 Points) @ $2.00
Gold Coast Suns
Sunday June 26, 4:10pm, Adelaide Oval
Port v Gold Coast
A fascinating game between a pair of top-eight hopefuls wraps up the round in Adelaide.
Gold Coast faces a very favourable run home with several games against teams outside finals contention, but this does shape as a bit of a litmus test for Stuart Dew’s men with a couple of key outs.
Unfortunately, the injury bug has swept through the club with Wil Powell suffering a horrific leg injury in last week’s win over the Crows.
Powell joins Connor Budarick on the sideline, spelling a potential disaster for the Suns down back.
Port, on the other hand, was dealt a blow with Zak Butters suffering a knee injury last week, but there is some good news on the Orazio Fantasia front with the small forward a chance at playing this week.
In terms of recent history, it’s fair to say the Power have the upper hand.
Port has won 13 straight over the Suns since losing their first-ever match back in 2011, most recently on the Gold Coast where they walked away comfortable 50-point winners.
The Suns can definitely make a contest of this if they can lock the ball inside their forward line, something they’ve done extremely well all year.
Still, a couple of key outs down back leave Gold Coast looking vulnerable, and with Port sensing an opportunity to leap-frog the Suns on the ladder, it’s hard to back against the home side.
Tip: Back Port Adelaide to Cover the Line (-14.5 Points) @ $2.00
There’s still plenty of footy left to be played, but it’s fair to say this might be the most exciting round on the AFL calendar to date.
Three top eight blockbusters are scheduled, starting nice and early on Thursday with the Lions hosting Geelong in a rematch of last year’s Prelim Final at the Gabba.
Port heads back to Adelaide on Saturday looking to make it two in a row over the well-rested Swans, followed by a Sunday matinee between West Coast and the Bulldogs from Perth.
This round really has a finals-like feel to it, and to help you out, we’ve analysed all nine games in our Round 15 Preview below!
Thursday June 24, 7:20pm, Gabba
Chris Fagan and the Lions have likely had this game circled on their calendar for some time after the Cats prevailed by a whopping 40-points when they met in last year’s Prelim at the Gabba.
Home field advantage has seen the Lions open as the short-priced favourites ahead of Thursday’s blockbuster, but it’s fair to say they’ll have their hands full against a Cats side looking to make it seven wins on the trot.
Geelong comes in off a rousing final siren win over the Bulldogs last week, their third win over a top-eight club since their winning streak began.
The Lions, meanwhile, survived a scare in Tassie with a big second half against the Roos, a performance Fagan will be hoping his side can put behind them with one of the flag favourites in town.
While last week’s display did leave a lot to be desired, it’s hard to read too much into a game against a feisty North side in freezing conditions fresh from the bye.
Despite what the scoreboard suggests, the Lions were actually a chance in last year’s Prelim before Geelong really started to dominate the uncontested possession count.
Unfortunately for Brisbane, Geelong leads the league in that same area this year, while the Lions, on the other hand, rank second-last in the category.
Obviously, Brisbane is a very tough out at the Gabba, but this really should be an even-money game.
With the Cats boasting an impressive 2-0 record as the away underdog against Brisbane, Geelong is tough to ignore with a little insurance on offer.
Tip: Back Geelong to Cover the Line (+6.5 Points) @ $2.00
Friday June 25, 7:50pm, MCG
Another game against the struggling Saints couldn’t have come at a better time for Richmond.
The Tigers return from the bye looking to bounce back from a heartbreaking loss to West Coast in Round 13, and with only one win from their last five games, the Saints appear to be the perfect prey.
Richmond beat up on St Kilda when they met back in Round 5 to the tune of an 86-point margin, one that Jack Riewoldt contributed to with a five-goal performance.
Aside from a rare loss last year behind closed doors at Marvel, the Tigers have also enjoyed the better part of this matchup with six wins from their last seven meetings.
The Tigers have also been a really handy bounce-back bet over the last few years playing to an 8-2 record overall and a 7-3 mark at the line.
When you throw in the fact the Saints rank bottom five in goals scored this year, this should be easy pickings for Richmond with their spot in the eight basically on the line.
Tip: Back Richmond to Cover the Line (-27.5 Points) @ $2.00
Gold Coast Suns
Saturday June 26, 1:45pm, Blundstone Arena
Are we in for a bit of a Saturday shootout between 16th and 18th?
This mightn’t be the most exciting game of the round, but given how evenly matched these two sides are, this one could turn into a thriller.
North has opened as the short-priced favourite following a gutsy effort against Brisbane last week in Hobart, a game they are sure to build on as they remain down in Tassie for a third consecutive week.
The Suns, on the other hand, have cooled off significantly following their big win over Hawthorn a few weeks ago with two disappointing losses to Fremantle and Port Adelaide.
These two sides both occupy the bottom two spots in average goals this year, so if you’re struggling to find a winner head-to-head, the Under could be the safest play.
It just so happens that the last two meetings between North and the Gold Coast have fallen Under the Total, but there’s still a bit to like about the Roos in this spot after a very brave second quarter against the Lions.
We saw Brisbane struggle in the cold conditions last week, and with rain forecast for Thursday and Friday in Hobart, the Suns might find it just as tough.
If the Roos can actually kick straight this time in front of goal, they might be looking at their second win of the season.
Tip: Back North Melbourne to Win & Under 162.5 Total Points @ $3.30
Saturday June 26, 4:35pm, Marvel Stadium
A new era at Collingwood gets underway this weekend with interim head coach Robert Harvey taking over the reins from Nathan Buckley for the rest of the way.
The Pies sent off their coach in style a fortnight ago with a gutsy win over the Demons at the SCG, and they do look the rightful favourites heading into Saturday’s game against an injury-riddled Fremantle side.
The Dockers did enough to keep their season alive with a win over the Suns before the bye, but it’s tough to back them with any confidence considering they’ve lost their last five games on the road.
Collingwood, on the other hand, has played very competitively over the last month with two close losses to flag favourites Port and Geelong before back-to-back wins over the Crows and Dees.
This is one game that could go either way, but the form of the Pies reads much better than Freo’s recently.
For some added value, the Under could also be a worthwhile play when you factor in both teams rank bottom five in average goals this year.
If the Pies can play with that same kind of energy they showed in Bucks’ final game and also dominate the disposal and clearance counts, they should win this.
Tip: Back Collingwood to Win & Under 152.5 Total Points @ $3.20
Saturday June 26, 7:25pm, MCG
Footy returns to the ‘G on Saturday for an all-important twilight affair between the Dons and the Dees.
Essendon’s finals hopes are well and truly alive after downing Hawthorn last week in Tassie, while the Dees will be eager to remain on top of the ladder after losing a thriller to Collingwood right before the bye.
The Dons have been playing some inspired footy of late, but the way they struggled to close the door last week against the Hawks doesn’t bode particularly well against a well-rested Melbourne outfit.
After the Dees lost to the Crows last month, they bounced back in a big way to thump the Dogs the next week, and as their 5-3 record after a loss suggests, they look a good bet to do the same.
You might be surprised to learn that the Bombers rank second in goals scored this year, but they might find this a tough task against a Melbourne team that has allowed the second-fewest down the other end.
Fresh from the bye and with a point to prove, this could be a statement game for the Dees.
Tip: Back the Demons 1-39 @ $2.05
Saturday June 26, 7:40pm, Adelaide Oval
Port will be hoping to build on some of the momentum they gained in last week’s 50-point win over the Suns when they take on the Swans in a huge battle between fifth and sixth.
Sydney will be eager to get back to business following their stunning loss to Hawthorn in Round 13, but nothing is going to come easy against a Power side that has lost only two games at home.
Port showed last week that they are still a legitimate flag contender, but things are about to get interesting for Ken Hinkley’s side after Robbie Gray suffered a knee injury.
Brownlow contender Ollie Wines and the potent forward pairing of Charlie Dixon and Orazio Fantasia are enough to carry the load though, particularly against a Swans side that hasn’t defeated Port in Adelaide since 2015.
This game really is a coin flip between two finals contenders, but the edge has to go to Port with home-field advantage.
We’ve seen over the last couple of weeks that the bye can sometimes be a hindrance more than a help, and that could certainly be the case again for the Swans playing in a tough road environment after a week off.
Tip: Back Port Adelaide 1-39
Sunday June 27, 1:10pm, MCG
The Giants have flirted with the top eight all season, but they may finally venture back into finals contention if results go their way this week.
GWS would need Richmond to lose to St Kilda, but they can also help their own cause with a home win over the Hawks on Saturday.
The Giants inched a little closer last week with a huge double-digit win over Carlton, while the Hawks lost a nail-biter in Tassie to the Bombers.
Head coach Leon Cameron will need to ensure his side doesn’t take this frisky Hawthorn outfit lightly, especially after this game was moved from the Hawks’ hoodoo ground, GIANTS Stadium, to the MCG.
The Hawks have shown plenty at times this year to suggest they are on the right track to contending soon, but their lack of efficiency inside 50 and in front of goal continues to hurt them.
GWS is far from a great side defensively, but the fact they’ve held Carlton and West Coast to under 80 points in two of their last four games reads well.
Finding confidence in the Giants at the ‘G is tough, but since this is a game they basically need to have if they wish to play finals, they should scrape home.
Tip: Back the Giants 1-39 & Hawthorn Under 69.5 Total Points @ $4.30
West Coast Eagles
Sunday June 27, 3:20pm, Optus Stadium
Optus Stadium should be rocking on Sunday afternoon for a potential finals preview between second and seventh.
The Eagles return from the bye looking to build on a come-from-behind win over Richmond a fortnight ago, while the Dogs are looking to bounce back from last week’s heartbreak against the Cats in Geelong.
West Coast has done extremely well to keep its head above water with so many players out injured, and there does appear to be some reprieve on the horizon with Luke Shuey, Jeremy McGovern, and Tim Kelly all a chance to return this week.
On the Doggies’ front, Aaron Naughton looks set to play after being subbed out during the game against Geelong, a huge inclusion for a forward line that currently leads the league in goals per game.
As far as betting goes, the Eagles are the rightful favourites at home, and they do look worthy of wager based on the fact they’ve won three straight home games against the Dogs since the 2016 Elimination Final.
The Dogs are a gritty side that has enough firepower to cause an upset, but since they’ve lost two of their last three games against a top eight side, the Eagles have a slight edge with a rest advantage.
Tip: Back West Coast 1-39 @ $2.20
Sunday June 27, 4:40pm, Marvel Stadium
We wrap things up with a ‘now or never’ type game between the Blues and Crows on Sunday afternoon.
With only one win from their last five games, Carlton’s season is basically on the line as they find themselves 10 points off the ninth-placed Giants on the ladder.
The Crows, on the other hand, sit just six points adrift after pulling off a memorable win over St Kilda right before last week’s bye.
The Blues have been installed as -9.5 favourites at the line, but that does look a little generous considering how awful Carlton has looked defensively over the last six weeks.
David Teague’s side now ranks second in goals allowed to opponents, while the Crows haven’t fared much better ranking third.
These two sides have also proven incapable of playing a full four quarters for most of the season, so it’s fair to say whichever team can maintain its composure through the second half should go a long way towards winning.
That makes this one a very tough call, but with both sides coughing up points rather easily, the Over looks the sensible play.
Tip: Over 170.5 Total Points @ $1.88
Round 15 is short and sweet as the AFL kicks off another festival of footy on Tuesday night.
Essendon’s season is on the line in another do-or-die clash against West Coast at the Gabba, followed by a mini blockbuster on Thursday between GWS and Carlton from Metricon.
Two old rivals, Brisbane and Collingwood, round things out on Friday in a can’t-miss top eight showdown that could drastically alter the ladder.
With the fixture shifting back into overdrive, we’ve previewed all six games in our 2020 AFL Round 15 Preview below.
Tuesday September 1, 5:40pm, Adelaide Oval
Hawthorn’s season is effectively over following last week’s disaster against the Bombers, but they’ll still be eager to avoid complete embarrassment against the Crows on Tuesday afternoon.
Adelaide are well-rested heading into Tuesday’s contest following their Round 14 bye, so this shapes up as a very winnable contest for the Crows to finally breakthrough for their first victory of the season.
Daniel Talia and Brad Crouch are both a chance at returning, which is more than can be said for the battered and bruised Hawks.
Jon Patton is set to miss the remainder of the year with a tendon injury in his foot, while there’s still no word on Jaeger O’Meara, James Frawley, Ricky Henderson or Issac Smith at time of publish.
Hawthorn were fantastic in the first half last week against the Bombers, so it’s very difficult to get a read on them heading into this game.
The Hawks succumbed to the pressure in the late stages against the Dons, but their biggest issue was inaccuracy in front of the sticks.
Hawthorn lacked a significant target up forward once Patton left the ground and it is difficult to trust Jack Gunston and Luke Breust to completely carry the load.
The Crows have done a lot wrong this year, but one thing they have gotten right is tackling.
Adelaide ranks third in average tackles this year, so if the Crows can put the Hawks under some pressure, they might just be in this.
Tip: Back the Crows to Cover the Line (+15.5 Points) @ $2.00
West Coast Eagles
Tuesday September 1, 8:10pm, Gabba
The Bombers kept their season alive last week with a desperate win over the Hawks, but the job is far from over with four very tough games waiting up ahead.
Essendon takes on West Coast on Tuesday at the Gabba, followed by Geelong on Sunday and both Port Adelaide and Melbourne to round things out.
With that in mind, a win this week is paramount for the Dons if they wish to sneak into the eight, but based on their first half performance last week against Hawthorn, victory is far from a guarantee.
The Dons fought their way back from a six-goal deficit in the second half to stun the Hawks, which doesn’t bode particularly well against a West Coast side hoping to bounce back.
Despite losing to Richmond last week, the Eagles were far from disgraced in their return to Queensland to face the reigning premiers, a performance they are sure to build on.
The Eagles have typically been a great bounce-back bet following a previous loss going 3-2 at the line over the last calendar year.
Perhaps the only knock (quite literally) on West Coast is the potential omission of Josh Kennedy due to concussion.
If the big man misses this contest, it plays right into the hands of the Bombers and the rejuvenated Joe Daniher, who is fresh from a three-goal performance in his return.
The Eagles are averaging the third-most goals to opponents this year, so if Kennedy sits, the chances of the Bombers keeping this tight appear very realistic.
Tip: Back Essendon to Cover the Line (+21.5 Points) @ $2.00
Wednesday September 2, 7:10pm, Metricon Stadium
The Tigers have a huge opportunity to leapfrog their way back into the second spot on the ladder with a win over the Dockers on Wednesday.
Richmond has now won three on the trot following last week’s win over West Coast, a performance Damien Hardwick will be hungry to replicate as his side hopes to earn a clean sweep over Western Australia at Metricon.
Fremantle have proven themselves a tough customer at times, but it’s hard to see them bringing down the might of the Tigers based on last week’s efforts against GWS.
The Dockers haven’t tasted a win over Richmond since 2017, while it’s also worth noting the Tigers remain a perfect 4-0 at Metricon this year.
Dylan Grimes’ absence will be felt, but it’s not enough to sway this one in favour over the Dockers.
Tip: Back Richmond to Cover the Line (-30.5 Points) @ $2.00
Thursday September 3, 4:40pm, Cazaly's Stadium
A stunning three-point win over St Kilda was enough to keep the Dees in the eight for another week as they now turn their attention towards a struggling Swans side that has won only one of their last five.
Simply scoring points has become a real problem for the Swans in recent weeks, evident in their 73-47 loss to the Power last Saturday.
Both sides are playing on the short backup, but it’s difficult to fade the Dees in this spot based on Sydney’s troubles in front of goal.
Melbourne has allowed the sixth-fewest goals on average to opponents this year and they should sense the importance of a win with GWS, the Bulldogs and the Bombers all breathing down their neck.
That said, the Swans hold the wood over the Demons with seven wins from their last 10 games.
Melbourne are well known for losing games they should be winning, and on the short rest from Alice Springs to North Queensland, there’s a bit to like about the Swans keeping this close.
Tip: Back the Swans to Cover the Line (+16.5 Points) @ $2.00
Thursday September 3, 7:10pm, Metricon Stadium
The Giants can potentially reclaim a spot back in the eight if they take care of Carlton on Thursday night.
GWS kept their season alive with a 38-point win over the Dockers in Perth last Saturday and it appears the bookies are with them to make it two in a row against the Blues.
Carlton put in a brave first half effort against Collingwood last week before a goalless second half saw them undone.
Mathematically the Blues are still a chance at finals, but they’d to win out and results to go their way.
Unfortunately for Carlton supporters, the Blues have lost their last two games against the Giants by more than 60 points.
It’s difficult to see this game getting quite so out of hand, but with Patrick Cripps nursing a knee injury and the Giants a little more familiar with Metricon, you have to like GWS in this spot.
Tip: Back the Giants 1-39
Friday September 4, 7:50pm, Gabba
The Lions have waited for over a year to get some revenge on the Pies.
Brisbane lost to Collingwood in front of a sold-out crowd at the Gabba on Good Friday last year, a game Chris Fagan will likely use to motivate his side ahead of this week’s blockbuster between third and sixth.
The Lions are the heavy favourites in the market, but there is a case to be made for Collingwood.
On one hand, Brisbane are playing on 12 days’ rest after defeating St Kilda a fortnight ago, but there was a bit to like about the Pies’ second half performance against the Blues last week with Steele Sidebottom, Adam Treloar and Jordan De Goey all missing from the side.
Collingwood has won six straight over Brisbane dating back to 2014, a similar hoodoo to the one Richmond holds over the Lions.
After two flat performances against North Melbourne and St Kilda in recent weeks, there’s everything to suggest Collingwood can keep this tight.
Tip: Back Collingwood to Cover the Line (+14.5 Points) @ $2.00
Footy is back to full strength this week with the bye weeks done and dusted, setting up a thrilling race to the finish as the top eight remains anyone’s guess.
The Bombers put it all on the line on Thursday night against the Giants, while the Cats look to bounce back at home to the Crows on Friday.
With a pair of primetime thrillers to look forward to, be sure to view all of our 2019 AFL Round 15 tips below.
Thursday June 27, 7:20pm, Marvel Stadium
Plenty on the line this week for the Bombers as they hope to rebound from last week’s meltdown against the Eagles in Perth.
Essendon failed to capitalize on West Coast’s wayward goal kicking in their 35-point defeat, leaving the Bombers four points shy of a spot inside the eight. They’ll now face the third-place Giants on Thursday on the back of a bye.
The Giants won by 23-points over North Melbourne a fortnight ago, and despite their woes in Melbourne from time to time, find themselves as the short-priced favourite against the Bombers.
GWS has won four of its last five games against Essendon, while you only need to rewind back to Round 1 to find their last meeting against the Dons.
Leon Cameron’s side walked away with a handy 72-point win at home to start the season, but on the flip side, the Giants’ 2-5 record following the bye is worth keeping in mind.
Neither coach will read too much into their previous meeting, but the Bombers need to start this game on the front foot. Essendon hit the quarter time break goalless back in Round 1, so it’s not surprising to learn they’ve won only five of their 13 first quarters this season.
The Giants can also win this game comfortably if they kick straight. GWS booted 16 goals to 16 behinds last time against the Bombers, but Jeremy Cameron has typically saved his best for Essendon kicking nine goals in his last five games.
With all that in mind, you can’t go past the in-form GWS head-to-head, but it’s worth backing the Bombers and their 3-2 record as the line underdog against the Giants to keep this game close.
Tip: Back the Bombers to Cover the Line (+12.5 Points) @ $1.90
Friday June 28, 7:50pm, GMHBA Stadium
Geelong lived up to their reputation following the bye losing by 11-points to Port Adelaide last week.
Speaking of byes, the Crows return from a week off hoping to build on their three-game winning streak which includes a pair of impressive wins over the Giants and Tigers.
Adelaide are 3-2 following the bye over the last five years, but they’ll need to be on top of their game this week at the Cattery.
The Crows haven’t won in Geelong since 2003, and while Adelaide’s recent winning streak is somewhat impressive, they are about to face a Cats side hungry to make up for last week’s loss.
Chris Scott’s side holds a strong 5-2 record on the back of a loss over the last 12 months, and if this game plays out anything like their Round 3 meeting, the Cats have plenty to feel confident about.
The 24-point margin didn’t do the Cats any justice when these two sides met back in April. Geelong raced away with a three-goal lead at quarter time, winning the contested footy to hold the Crows to only one goal in the fourth term.
It’s safe to expect this game to be even more one-sided on Friday night. Geelong has lost only once this year at the Cattery and considering six of their home games against the Crows have been decided by 1-39 points, it’s worth sticking with the margin market.
Tip: Back the Cats 1-39 @ $1.98
West Coast Eagles
Saturday June 29, 1:45pm, MCG
The once proud and mighty Hawks continue to tumble down the ladder after slumping to their third straight loss last week.
Hawthorn’s ugly inside 50 entries cost them dearly against the Swans, and with the reigning premiers coming to town, it’s hard to find any confidence in the brown and gold.
West Coast did it ugly last week at home, but a 35-point win over the Bombers was enough to push them back inside the top four.
The Eagles will hold fond memories of their 15-point win over the Hawks at Marvel last year, while they’ll also hope to repeat their success at the MCG after defeating Collingwood by 22-points back in Round 3.
Hawthorn has won three of their last five games against West Coast, but it really feels as though the Eagles are starting to click. Last week’s scoreline doesn’t do the Eagles any justice as they won the clearances, inside 50 and tackle counts by a wide margin.
It’s basically now or never for the Hawks. Alastair Clarkson’s side now sits 12th on the ladder, two games shy of a place back inside the eight.
The last five games between these two sides have been decided by 15-points or more, and with a surprisingly slim line set, it’s worth backing the Eagles to Cover.
Tip: Back West Coast to Cover the Line (-12.5 Points) @ $1.90
Gold Coast Suns
Saturday June 29, 4:35pm, SCG
Back-to-back wins has the Swans on the up as they hope to salvage something from this already lost season.
The Swans were at their best last week against Hawthorn, winning by 19-points thanks to Buddy Franklin’s four-goal bag.
Gold Coast returns from the bye week hoping to snap their nine-game losing streak. The Suns looked home and hosed against St. Kilda a fortnight ago, right before the same old fourth quarter woes crept in.
Sydney will play their third straight game at home this week as they seek revenge for last year’s 14-point loss to the Suns in Round 18.
Gold Coast, on the other hand, will be hoping to win just their second interstate game of the season.
The Swans did a lot right last week, but things took a turn for the worst following Buddy Franklin’s hamstring injury in the third quarter.
The four-time Coleman Medalist is set to miss three-four weeks, placing enormous responsibility on the shoulders of future star forward Nick Blakely.
Gold Coast has proven capable of keeping games close, at least in the first three quarters. The Suns are 11-9 as the line underdog over the last 12 months, so back Stuart Dew’s side to keep this one interesting.
Tip: Back the Suns to Cover the Line (+33.5 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday June 29, 7:25pm, Marvel Stadium
There was nothing pretty about Collingwood’s nine-point win over the Bulldogs, but the Pies still got the job done in the end to remain inside the top three.
This week coach Nathan Buckley prepares for a dangerous looking North Melbourne side – one that can smell an upset fresh from the bye.
The Roos won three straight games amid Brad Scott’s resignation, and they certainly weren’t disgraced during their 23-point loss to the Giants a fortnight ago at home.
These two sides met only once last year; a game Collingwood won comfortably by 66-points.
The Pies have won four of their last five games against North Melbourne, but if we’re to consider Collingwood a serious premiership threat, they need to make a defensive statement this week against a North side allowing the fourth-most average goals to opponents.
Tip: Back Collingwood 1-39 @ $2.06
Saturday June 29, 7:10pm, Adelaide Oval
Port have now won three of their last five games to overtake the Dockers for the seventh spot on the ladder.
Last week’s big win over Geelong should boost morale around the club, and with a game in hand against one of the competitions worst goal-kicking sides, it looks as though the Power are well on their way to playing finals.
The Dogs made a mess of last week’s game against Collingwood. The Bulldogs led by five points at half time, only to allow five goals in the third quarter on their way to a nine-point loss.
The Bulldogs are averaging 12.7 behinds per-game, the most in the league. The Power follows closely averaging 11.7, but Port should have an edge over the Bulldogs when it comes to inside ’50s.
Ken Hinkley’s side has allowed the second-fewest inside 50 entries to opponents this year. That’s bad news for a Bulldogs side that hasn’t won in Adelaide against the Power since their 2016 premiership run.
You can’t back Port head-to-head, but you can back the Power and their 3-1 record as the line favourite at home to the Dogs.
Tip: Back Port Adelaide to Cover the Line (-20.5 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday June 30, 1:10pm, Marvel Stadium
Saints coach Alan Richardson is back on the hot seat following last week’s 56-point capitulation against the Lions.
The game was still in the balance at half time before the Saints fell away in the third term allowing Brisbane to kick nine goals. St. Kilda now find themselves sitting 11th on the ladder at 6-7, making Sunday’s game crucial to their top eight chances.
As for the Tigers, Richmond returns from a much-needed bye week following their Round 13 loss to the Crows.
The Tigers are 2-3 following the bye over the last five seasons, and while stats like that are usually worth paying attention to, it’s tough to back a Saints upset coming off last week’s uninspiring performance.
St. Kilda is 5-8 on the back of a loss over the last 12 months, compared to the Tigers, who hold a much more impressive 4-3 record.
Richmond has won three straight over the Saints dating back to 2017, all of which have come by wide margins.
Expect nothing else this weekend from a well-rested Tigers outfit looking to spark a second-half fight back.
Tip: Back Richmond to Cover the Line (-22.5 Points) @ $1.90
Sunday June 30, 3:20pm, The Gabba
The Lions head back to the Gabba on Sunday following their bounce-back 56-point win over the Saints in Melbourne.
Brisbane have lost four straight games to the Demons dating back to 2015, and although the Lions look close to unbeatable at home, Chris Fagan has to be wary of Melbourne on Sunday afternoon.
It would take a miracle for the Dees to play finals from here, but there’s still bragging rights on the line.
Melbourne snapped their four-game losing skid against the Dockers last week, while they’ll also take confidence into this game knowing they beat the Lions by 26-points at the Gabba last year.
Brisbane are 5-1 as the home favourite over the last 12 months, compared to the Dees, who hold a 3-6 record as the away underdog during the same time frame.
Four of the last five matches between these two clubs have been decided by 20-points or more, which brings Brisbane’s 4-2 record as the line favourite at home into play.
The Lions can win this game if the forward line continues to punish sloppy defence. Brisbane are averaging the fourth-most goals this year, while the Demons rank second in goals allowed to opponents.
All in all, this should be another momentum-building win for the Lions as they eye off a top-four spot.
Tip: Back the Lions to Cover the Line (-14.5 Points) @ $1.90
Sunday June 30, 3:20pm, Optus Stadium
A trip back home to Perth couldn’t have come at a better time for the Dockers as they hope to regroup following last week’s 14-point loss to the Dees.
Despite winning three of their last five games, Freo has slipped down to eighth on the ladder as they hope to make up ground against the hapless Blues on Sunday afternoon.
Likewise, a bye couldn’t have come at a better time for Carlton. Even after Round 12’s huge win over the Lions, the club is still in turmoil with interim coach David Teague at the helm.
The Blues haven’t defeated the Dockers in Perth since 2016 and have since lost three straight games to Fremantle.
The Dockers, meanwhile, are a mediocre 3-1 on the back of a loss this season, and with an equally impressive 3-2 record as the line favourite at home to the Blues, this game really isn’t worth overcomplicating.
Tip: Back Fremantle to Cover the Line (-22.5 Points) @ $1.90
The AFL is back in full swing this week with a strong nine game slate following the last of the byes.
In a huge game between first and second, Thursday night should provide some bang for fans’ buck at Etihad Stadium. Meanwhile, this might be the Crows’ one last hurrah towards finals at home against the Eagles.
It’s a can’t-miss round of footy, and you can find all of our 2018 AFL Round 15 Tips below!
Thursday 28 June, 7:20pm, Etihad Stadium
This is the prime time blockbuster footy fans have been crying out for, the top of the ladder Tigers take on the second placed Swans in what should be a cracker.
Although this is a Richmond home game, Etihad Stadium effectively makes it an away/neutral ground and takes the MCG fortress advantage away from the Tigers.
The Sydney Swans can lay claim to being the most recent team to beat the Tigers at the G’, beating them by nine points in a thriller after falling behind by 36 points early in the second quarter last year.
The Swans kicked eight of the last nine goals in the game, with Kieren Jack’s banana putting them up late in the final quarter and Gary Rohan kicking the sealer. The game left Sydney one game out of the top eight after losing their first six games of the season, leaving plenty of questions surrounding Richmond’s ability to close out matches.
The Tigers went on to win the flag that year, meanwhile, the Swans made the finals but bundled out in the second week.
It’s a rare thing in the modern game to look for the one on one match up, but the prospect of Lance Franklin lining up against Alex Rance could lead to a classic duel between full forward and full back.
With both teams coming fresh off the bye, the Swans come off a big win snapping the West Coast Eagles winning streak at the SCG and the Tigers were able to dismantle Geelong “away” at the MCG.
If this game was being played at the G you would find it hard to tip against the Tigers, but with the neutral venue and the Swans tending to play well away from home, their chances in this match are boosted thanks to AFL venue contractual obligations.
Like most of Richmond’s matches this year, expect it to be an arm-wrestle for the first three quarters but the Tigers to come home strong in the final quarter, giving the Tigers an away win in a home game.
Richmond to Beat the Line (-8.5 Points)
Friday 29 June, 7:50pm, Etihad Stadium
The luckless and injury riddled Western Bulldogs take on Geelong at Etihad Stadium this Friday night with the Cats going in red-hot favorites to win.
The Bulldogs come off a heartbreaking two point loss to North Melbourne last week, while the Cats are fresh off the bye and a loss to Richmond before the break.
When these two teams last met in Round 9 of last year at Kardinia Park, the Cats were able to withhold a barnstorming second half comeback from the Western Bulldogs, going on to win by 23 points.
In the first half of the match the Cats were relentless and dominated all over the ground, holding the Bulldogs scoreless in the second quarter.
The Doggies were able to get themselves back in the contest by kicking six goals to Geelong’s one, and managed to jump nine points ahead at three quarter time with Mitch Wallis being among the Bulldogs best.
The Western Bulldogs have not beaten Geelong since Round 21, 2009.
In their match against North Melbourne last week, the Bulldogs played their best football and were able to get a 24 point lead in the second quarter. Marcus Adams was rock solid in defence, but with the match being close all night, the Roos were able to pinch a goal in the final seconds of the match denying the Dogs their fifth win of 2018.
Geelong comes off a bye after their arm wrestle against the Tigers before the break. Gary Ablett lived up to the big occasion, captain Joel Selwood and Mitch Duncan were also amongst the Cats best.
Gary Ablett (25 possessions, seven clearances and one goal) was outstanding on the big occasion and was well supported through by captain Joel Selwood (29 possessions, five clearances and two goals) and Mitch Duncan (22 possessions and six clearances) before Richmond ran away with the game in the final quarter.
With Geelong needing a win to get back into the top four and the Western Bulldogs injury list piling up, they should be too good for them this Friday night.
Back Geelong to Win by 40+ @ $2.32
Saturday 30 June, 1:45pm, MCG
The bottom of the ladder Blues take on the up and about Port Adelaide at the MCG this Saturday afternoon in a game where the Power will go in at Winx-like odds to win.
When these two teams last met in Round 5 of 2017, Port Adelaide thrashed a woeful Blues by 90-points at Adelaide Oval in the prime time stage of Friday night football. Robbie Gray, Ollie Wines and Jared Polec played vital roles in that game with Port dismantling Carlton. Levi Casboult kicked four of the Blues seven goals for the night.
Port Adelaide established themselves as a contender last week after they beat the Demons at Adelaide Oval in what was an arm wrestle between the two sides. Melbourne led for most of the night, but were unable to establish a solid lead. After dominating in the inside 50’s, a goal from Sam Gray put the Power in front alongside Justin Westhoff’s goal from a 50 meter penalty. Melbourne kept coming, but Port was able to keep them at bay going on to a 10-point win.
The Blues didn’t make it easy for Collingwood in their 20-point loss last week. Hit by injury, Carlton hit the lead briefly in the third quarter, but the Pies gathered composure and went on to win the game. It was a brave effort from Carlton, down to two men on the bench after half-time with Lachie Plowman injuring his right knee. Charlie Curnow gave Blues fans some hope (and a specky reminiscent of Jezza) for the future along with Patrick Cripps and Kade Simpson amongst Carlton’s best.
With Port in red-hot form, they’ll want to make the most of a rare MCG trip and should be able to get the job done easily over Carlton, even if they show some fight.
Back Port Adelaide to Beat the Line (-38.5 Points)
West Coast Eagles
Saturday 30 June, 4:05pm, Adelaide Oval
The Collective-mind-less Crows takes on West Coast coming off two losses on the trot at Adelaide Oval in a clash that punters are struggling to find a favorite in.
When these two teams last met in what was the final game at Subiaco, the story was more about the percentage on the ladder with the Eagles beating the Crows by 29 points, leapfrogging the Demons by 0.5% to sneak into eighth spot on the ladder. It could be said at the time Adelaide already had top spot sewn up, taking an easy approach to the match with everything to play for.
How things have changed in 2018. Although West Coast have lost their past two games, they have been one of the in form sides of the season so far.
For Adelaide, it’s been a nightmare. Plagued by their Grand Final capitulation, the pre-season camp from hell and a string of bad losses, the Crows will need a string of good luck if they want to play finals football this year.
The Eagles come off a shock loss to Essendon at Optus Stadium. The Bombers booted the first eight goals of the game and West Coast’s poor kicking ensured the Bombers the win despite having two less scoring shots than the Eagles. West Coast also won the inside 50’s but lost the clearances and possessions and lived up to the old saying that bad kicking, is bad football.
Adelaide come off the bye, dumping their controversial “Collective Mind” program that has plagued the club this season. Prior to that, a 56-point loss to Hawthorn at the MCG in which the Crows kicked only four goals for the night, the third lowest score in the clubs history. Bryce Gibbs did what he could to keep the Crows in the game with 28 disposals and six clearances, while Jake Kelly showed some promise in the back line. Players such as Luke Brown, Riely Knight, Tom Lynch and Rory Sloane will also be available to play after coming back from injury.
With the Crows back at home and West Coast wanting to get back to winning ways, this match could go either way, but based on 2018 form, the Eagles should be able to get the job done even with Adelaide’s backs against the wall.
Back West Coast Eagles to Win @ $2.00
Gold Coast Suns
Saturday 30 June, 7:25pm, Metricon
It might sound crazy, but the Suns actually had something to take away from their 53-point belting at the hands of the Hawks last week.
Despite a disastrous two months of footy, the Suns held the Hawks to just two goals come quarter time, and actually led at one stage.
The stat sheet doesn’t look flattering, but as always, Tom Lynch’s name more than stands out. He finished with a couple of goals alongside 13 disposals, and although you could say that’s a quiet effort by his standards, it was nice to see the Suns actually entering inside fifty with some determination.
Like the Hawks, Collingwood were also played closely by a much weaker opponent. Carlton fans held some hope during the third quarter against the Magpies, but thanks to Will Hoskin-Elliott’s three goals, this ugly game still resulted in a Magpie win.
As has been the case in recent years, this one is shaping up as another belting for the Suns, but the expected loss of Adam Treloar to some hamstring issues really hurts.
The Magpies walked away 15-point victors the last time these two met last season, but we’ve certainly seen some crooked numbers on the scoreboard dating back, including 2015’s 118-47 Collingwood win.
Perhaps the only thing the Suns have going form them is home field advantage, and even that is a stretch. As we know, Collingwood travels well, so a crowd somewhere between 15-20,000 is expected on the Coast.
If you aren’t part of the Collingwood army, this game mighn’t mean much, but to the Magpies, this is a huge deal. A Collingwood win and a West Coast loss would further edge the Pies towards the Top 3, also equaling six straight wins.
We’ve seen Collingwood fall apart with everything on the line once or twice before, and although they still might squeak this out, there’s every reason this could be close.
Back Gold Coast To Beat The Line (+35.5 Points)
Saturday 30 June, 7:25pm, Spotless Stadium
And so life after Jeremy Cameron begins.
Things looked on the up for the Giants before Cameron’s viscous hit cost him a lengthy suspension. Not only that, his absence might also put a line through GWS’ season.
There’s no doubt the Giants would have liked Cameron available for this key clash against the Hawks, but even his actions last week are no match for the bookies – the Giants still sit favourites.
For the Hawks, their finals hopes took a slight dive last week as well. Sean Burgoyne’s exit midway through the game sent scares through the entire Hawks Nest, with scans revealing the future Hall of Famer is suffering from a tight hamstring.
Burgoyne’s game day fate remains up in the air, just like finals hopes for these two clubs. Hawthorn looked mighty convincing two weeks ago against the Crows, but as we’ve seen on a handful of occasions, these Hawks don’t travel well.
The Giants will rest easy knowing Jonathon Patton and Josh Kelly combined for five goals last week, comforting news as the Giants prepare for a long stint without their star forward.
Hawthorn, on the other hand, will need Jack Gunston to fire another three-goal bag if Burgoyne is set to miss time.
This one should be a cracker, but the Hawks should be able to put their road woes to bed with a spot in the eight up for grabs.
Back Hawthorn to Win @ $2.00
Sunday 1 July, 1:10pm, MCG
Is this just a hiccup or a serious case of the Melbourne wobblies?
The Demons were in the thick of it last week in Adelaide, leading for most of the game. Unfortunately, Sam Gray proved to be the Dees’ ultimate demise, snatching the lead for the Power in the final 10-minutes of the game.
If there was ever a fixture to get your season back on track though, this is it. The Saints come in fresh from a bye, but let’s not forget, it took St. Kilda all four quarters to defeat a lousy Suns side in the final minute of the game two weeks ago.
Despite the loss, the Demons have to hold their heads high. Their midfield play was superb, especially in a hostile environment, and it was encouraging to see guys like Angus Brayshaw, Clayton Oliver and Nathan Jones all rack up 28-disposals each.
Recent history shows that we could be in for another blowout again this week, with the last five games being decided by 20-points or more. The Demons have also won three of those five games, and should feel more than confident that their back line can contain what has so far been a disappointing St. Kilda forward line.
With all that in mind, the Demons should see themselves back to winning ways.
Back Melbourne to Win by 40+ @ $1.92
Sunday 1 July, 1:10pm, Etihad Stadium
Interesting? That would be an understatement.
The Bombers shocked the country last week with a huge win over the Eagles in Perth. This team looked destined for the cellar a month ago, but here’s Essendon sitting 12th on the ladder with a chance of playing finals.
North Melbourne weren’t quite as impressive last week, but they got the job done against what turned out to be a pretty dangerous looking Bulldogs side. It took a Jack Ziebell last minute goal to bury the Dogs by a couple of points, but the important thing is North still find themselves in the eight.
You’re probably looking at the potential game of the round here, a meeting between two of the league’s most aggressive teams on attack.
For the Bombers, the theme so far has been, which Essendon outfit is going to show up? If it’s the one that features Jake Stringer kicking a three-goal bag, North should be worried.
Essendon will also be encouraged by the work of Devon Smith last weekend. The 25-year old has really come along this season, racking up 25 disposals vs. a tough Eagles defence.
The Roos certainly have plenty to feel good about themselves, though. It was a tight and scrappy game against the Bulldogs, but Ben Brown still managed a lazy five-goal bag.
It’s really tough to get a read on what lies ahead on Sunday, especially with both sides looking rather unconvincing at times.
North have won five of their past seven encounters against the Dons, but this is a new-look Essendon defence down back.
If the Bombers are to have any chance, they’ll need that same defensive prowess to keep this one a low-scoring affair. As we saw last week, when North get a nice run over the midfield, they can really make you pay in a matter of seconds.
Whether or not the Bombers are up to that task, remains to be seen.
Back Essendon 1-39 @ $2.50
Sunday 1 July, 2:40pm, Optus Stadium
There’s no doubt the Lions showed up to play against the Giants last week, but Harris Andrews’ injury really took the sting out of Brisbane’s attack.
Chris Fagan’s side will carry on without their star defender, bad news with a trip to Perth to face a well-rested Fremantle side up next.
It was no surprise to see the Dockers manhandle the Blues two weeks ago, and all of a sudden this team could make a late push for finals.
Having won three in a row, the logjam between 12th and 9th on the ladder could play out well for the Dockers.
A win on Sunday could potentially move Fremantle as high as 10th, and with Adelaide struggling and the Giants now Jeremy Cameron-less, you can certainly make a case for Fremantle and finals.
The Lions haven’t won against Freo out west since 2009, while their last trip to face the Dockers at what was once Domain Stadium came all the way back in 2015.
As we saw last week, there’s undoubtedly some determination within this line up, especially during the third quarter. Luke Hodge wound back the clock last week with a big hanger, and Eric Hipwood’s three-goal game was also a welcome sign.
For Brisbane to have any chance in this one, they need to shake off the nerves early. The Lions have played scoreboard catch-up for most of the season, and after the Dockers booted 12 unanswered opening goals against Carlton a fortnight ago, they can’t afford to start sloppy.
Back Fremantle To Beat The Line (-19.5 Points)
What a season it has been!
The 2017 AFL season continues to produce a string of stunning games every single week and once again we are set for another big weekend of intriguing games.
Our AFL best bets have really found form in the past month and we are confident that will continue, so don’t miss out on our complete 2017 AFL Round 15 tips below.
Friday 30 June, 7:50pm, MCG
Melbourne 50 - Sydney Swans 85
This is a genuine Friday night blockbuster and there is very little between these two sides in betting.
Melbourne made it four wins on the trot with their narrow victory over the West Coast Eagles and at this stage they are very narrow favourites.
It is no secret that the Demons don’t have a great record as the punter’s elect and they have won five of their past eight games as home favourites, while they are 2-6 against the line in this scenario.
Sydney continued their own winning streak with their incredible win over Essendon and they are going to need those type of results to go their way to have any chance of playing Finals football.
The Swans have won three of their past five games as away underdogs for a clear profit and they have an identical record against the line.
Sydney have won their past five games against Melbourne and they are value to continue that winning streak this weekend.
Back Sydney To Win @ $1.95
West Coast Eagles
Saturday 1 July, 1:45pm, Etihad Stadium
Western Bulldogs 80 - West Coast Eagles 87
The Western Bulldogs returned to winning form against North Melbourne last weekend and they are favourites to make it two wins on the trot against the West Coast Eagles.
The Bulldogs were still far from impressive against North Melbourne, but they were still able to come away with the four points and should take some much-needed confidence from that win.
They have won eight of their past ten games as home favourites for a clear profit, but they are only 3-7 against the line in this scenario.
West Coast made it four losses from their past five games when they went down to Melbourne in a thriller last weekend and they could drop out of the top eight if they lost this weekend.
The Eagles did beat the Western Bulldogs earlier this season and their record as away underdogs is surprisingly good – they have won their past three games in this scenario.
This looks set to be another close affair and the Eagles are a great bet to beat the line with a start of 12.5 points.
Back West Coast To Beat The Line (+12.5 Points)
Saturday 1 July, 2:10pm, MCG
Carlton 77 - Adelaide Crows 89
Adelaide suffered a shock defeat to Hawthorn last weekend, but they will still go into this clash with Carlton as clear favourites.
Adelaide have really struggled for consistency of late and they have suffered back-to-back defeats just once over the past 12 months.
The Crows have won eight of their past 11 games as away favourites for a narrow loss and they are 6-5 against the line in this scenario for a profit.
Carlton had their winning run ended by Richmond last weekend, but they have shown throughout this season that they are capable of competing with the best sides in the competition on their day.
The Blues have won four of their past 11 games as home underdogs for a big profit and they are a profitable 6-5 against the line in this scenario.
Adelaide go into this clash as deserving favourites, but the line does look about right and I am happy to stay out of this clash from a betting perspective.
Gold Coast Suns
Saturday 1 July, 4:35pm, Metricon Stadium
Gold Coast Suns 118 - North Melbourne 99
These teams played out an interesting clash earlier this season and this is another game where there is not a great deal between the two teams in betting.
The Gold Coast Suns suffered their second loss on the trot when they went down to St Kilda last weekend, but they will still start this clash as narrow favourites.
Gold Coast have won three of their past five games as home favourites and are 2-3 against the line in this scenario.
North Melbourne suffered a heart-breaking defeat at the hands of the Western Bulldogs last weekend and they have now lost three games on the trot.
The Kangaroos have won only one of their past seven games as away underdogs, but they are a profitable 4-3 against the line when being given a start on the road.
These are two teams that are very tough to trust from a betting perspective and this is another clash that I am keen to stay out of.
Saturday 1 July, 7:25pm, Spotless Stadium
GWS Giants 68 - Geelong 68
This is one of the biggest games of the weekend and could be the preview of a crucial AFL Finals clash.
Greater Western Sydney returned to a semblance of their best form with a big win over the Brisbane Lions and they will go into this clash as clear favourites.
The Giants have won eight of their past 11 games as home favourites for a loss and they are a very poor 4-7 against the line in this scenario.
Geelong came from behind to score a much needed win over Fremantle last weekend and they have won four of their past five games despite not playing particularly well.
The Cats have only started three games as underdogs over the past 12 months and they have won all three of them, while they have won six of their past nine games on the road.
There is not as much between these two teams as the current betting market suggests and Geelong are a great bet to beat the line with a start of more than three goals.
Back Geelong To Beat The Line (+19.5 Points)
Saturday 1 July, 7:40pm, Adelaide Oval
Port Adelaide 63 - Richmond 76
Port Adelaide and Richmond both remain in the hunt for a top four finish and this is a huge game for both sides.
Port Adelaide have the home ground advantage and they will start this clash as favourites after they recorded two comfortable wins over both the Brisbane Lions and Collingwood.
The Power have won four of their past six games as home favourites for a loss and they are only a middling 3-3 against the line in this scenario.
Richmond returned to winning form with a low-scoring victory over Carlton and can take a big step towards a top four finish with an upset win over Port Adelaide.
Winning away from home has proven to be something of an issue for Richmond and they have won only one of their past eight games as away underdogs, while they are 4-4 against the line in this scenario.
The betting market that really does standout in this clash is the Under in Total Points betting.
The Under has saluted in 22 of the past 34 games played by Richmond as well as ten of the past 18 games played by Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval.
Under 163.5 Points
Sunday 2 July, 1:10pm, Etihad Stadium
Essendon 82 - Brisbane Lions 90
Essendon are the shortest-priced favourites in the AFL this weekend and really should prove too strong for the Brisbane Lions.
The Bombers suffered a heart-breaking defeat at the hands of the Sydney Swans last Friday night and it will interesting to see how they bounce back from what can only be classified as a choke.
Essendon have played only one game as home favourites in the past 12 months and they failed to get the job done, but their overall record at Etihad Stadium is excellent.
Brisbane were not disgraced against the Giants last weekend and it is their inability to play a strong four quarters that is really holding them back.
The Lions have won only two of their past 11 games as away underdogs, but they are a highly profitable 8-3 against the line in this scenario.
Essendon should win this game comfortably, but the line of 43.5 points does seem a touch excessive and the Lions are more than capable of covering it.
Back The Lions To Beat The Line (+43.5 Points)
Sunday 2 July, 3:20pm, MCG
Hawthorn 118 - Collingwood 94
This is the second game between these two sides in just over a month.
Collingwood scored a come-from-behind win over Hawthorn on that occasion and they will head into this clash as narrow favourites.
The Magpies have won only four of their past nine games as favourites for a clear loss and they are a poor 3-6 against the line when giving away a start.
Hawthorn produced one of their best performances of the season to upstage Adelaide last Friday night, but stringing together efforts of that quality has proven to be an issue.
The Hawks have won five of their past 12 games as underdogs for a big profit and they are a middling 6-6 against the line in this scenario.
Both these sides are tough to trust from a betting standpoint and I am happy to let this clash slide through to the keeper.
Sunday 2 July, 4:40pm, Domain Stadium
Fremantle 80 - St Kilda 89
There is always a fair bit of spice in a game that I now like to refer to as the ‘Ross Lyon Cup’.
This is another game where there is very little between the two teams in betting and Fremantle are narrow favourites to return to winning form – despite losing four games on the trot.
Fremantle did everything but win against Geelong last weekend and if they perform at that level again they will be very tough to beat, but that could prove to be easier said than done.
The Dockers have won their past three games as home favourites and they are generally tough to beat in front of their home fans at Domain Stadium,
St Kilda made it two wins on the trot with their victory over the Gold Coast Suns and these are the sort of games that they are going to need to win to finish inside the top eight.
The Saints have won three of their past seven games as away underdogs for a profit and they are 4-3 against the line in this situation.
The market has overreacted to the Dockers’ performance against Geelong and St Kilda are the value selection to come away with the four points.
Back St Kilda To Win @ $2
This is the final split round of the 2016 AFL season and North Melbourne, Greater Western Sydney Giants, Brisbane Lions, Fremantle, Geelong and Hawthorn are all on the bye.
The round begins with the clash between the West Coast Eagles and Essendon before Port Adelaide take on Richmond in an exciting Friday night football showdown.
Saturday’s fixtures are headlined by the the interesting clash between the Sydney Swans and the Western Bulldogs before Melbourne play the Adelaide Crows in the only game on Sunday.
West Coast Eagles
Thursday 30 June, 6:10pm, Domain Stadium
West Coast Eagles 130 - Essendon 52
The West Coast Eagles returned to winning form with a victory over the Brisbane Lions last weekend and they have an excellent chance to make it two wins on the trot on Thursday night.
West Coast had their unbeaten run at Domain Stadium ended by the Adelaide Crows, but they have still won 11 of their past 12 games at the venue as home favourites and they are 10-2 against the line in this scenario.
They are giving up a monster start of 74.5 points in this clash, but they are 10-2 against the line when giving away a start of over 50 points.
Essendon gave the Greater Western Sydney Giants a scare before they went on the bye, but they have been unable to string together two quality performances on the trot and their inability to score points has been a huge issue.
The Bombers are 3-8 against the line as away underdogs in the past 12 months and it is tough to see them being any match for what can be an explosive West Coast outfit.
Recommended Bet: Back The West Coast Eagles To Beat The Line (-74.5 Points)
Friday 1 July, 7:20pm, Adelaide Oval
Port Adelaide 94 - Richmond 56
This will be the second meeting between Port Adelaide and Richmond this season after Port Adelaide recorded a very comfortable victory over their rivals earlier in the year.
Port Adelaide went into the bye on the back of a very disappointing performance against Fremantle and they really need to win this contest to have any chance of playing finals football.
The Power will start this clash as clear favourites and they have proven a fairly safe bet in this position, with a 7-2 record, but they are 4-5 against the line in this scenario.
Richmond have won five of their past six matches, but all but one of these victories came against sides that are currently sitting outside of the top eight and they have struggled to mix it with the best this season.
The Tigers have won two of their past five games as away underdogs for a tidy profit, but their record against the line in this scenario is only 2-3.
Port Adelaide look very short for a team that is coming off a loss to Fremantle and there is definitely some value available at the $3.05 on offer for an upset Richmond win.
Recommended Bet: Back Richmond To Win @ $3.05
Gold Coast Suns
Saturday 2 July, 1:40pm, Metricon Stadium
Gold Coast Suns 108 - St Kilda 68
The Gold Coast Suns have still won just three games this season, but they produced much improved efforts against Richmond and Hawthorn and are set to go into this game as narrow favourites.
This will be just the fifth time in the past 12 months that the Suns have started a home game as favourites and they have three of these contests, but they are a flat 2-2 against the line.
It is incredible that St Kilda could go into this game as underdogs considering that they have won four of their past five matches and were outstanding against Geelong last weekend.
The Saints don’t have the best record on the road and they have won just two of their past 10 games as away underdogs, while they are 4-6 against the line in this scenario.
It is tough to trust either of these teams from a betting perspective in this scenario and I am happy to stay out of this clash from a betting proposition.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Saturday 2 July, 4:35pm, SCG
Sydney Swans 79 - Western Bulldogs 83
This is set to be the match of the round and should be a very interesting clash between two sides that could battle again in September.
Sydney went into their bye on the back of a fairly dominant victory against Melbourne and they can move to the top of the AFL ladder with a victory this weekend.
The Swans will start this game as clear favourites and this is a position in which they have thrived in the past 12 months – they have won nine of their past ten games as home favourites and they are 8-2 against the line in this scenario.
The Western Bulldogs were disappointing against Geelong in their final clash before the bye and anymore loses could see them lose touch with the top four.
They beat the Swans last year, but their record as away underdogs is far from convincing and they have won just two of their past six games in this scenario for a loss, while they are 3-3 against the line.
Sydney are a safe bet to make it two wins on the trot and they should be able to cover the line of 16.5 points.
Recommended Bet: Back Sydney Swans To Beat The Line (+16.5 Points)
Saturday 2 July, 7:25pm, MCG
Carlton 45 - Collingwood 57
This is the biggest rivalry in the history of the AFL and this should be a hotly-contested game, despite the fact that both these sides are sitting outside the top eight.
Carlton suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Greater Western Sydney last weekend and their impressive run of form looks to have come to an end, which is why they look set to start this game as underdogs.
However, the Navy Blues will take confidence from the fact that they beat Collingwood earlier this season and they are a highly profitable 3-4 as away underdogs in the past 12 months.
Collingwood ended a three-game winning streak with a solid win over Fremantle last weekend, but they still look very short at their current odds of $1.77.
The Magpies have won just three of their past nine games as the punter’s elect and their record against the line when giving away a start is an extremely poor 2-7.
Carlton are the best value bet of the weekend and they really should be starting this clash as favourites.
Recommended Bet: Back Carlton To Win @ $2.05
Sunday 3 July, 3:20pm, MCG
Melbourne 98 - Adelaide Crows 120
Adelaide have stamped themselves as genuine premiership contenders with five victories on the trot and they scored a 33 point victory over North Melbourne last weekend, despite the fact that their kicking was awful and they finished with 28 behinds.
The Crows have a reputation of only being able to play at the Adelaide Oval, but this isn’t really the case and they are 2-1 in both head to head and line betting as away favourites, while they are 6-3 against the line overall when giving away a start.
Melbourne have hit somewhat of a wall in the past month and they went into the bye having won just one of their past four matches.
They have won three of their past eight games as home underdogs for a narrow loss, but in the games that they didn’t win they were beaten by a decent margin and they have the exact same record against the line in this scenario.
The Crows will carry on their winning ways and are a good bet to cover the line of 22.5 points.
Recommended Bet: Back Adelaide To Beat The Line (-22.5 Points)