2019 AFL Round 16 Preview

Facebooktwittermail

Set aside those Saturday night plans, because you won’t want to miss two epic rivalries from Adelaide and Perth.

The stakes are high this week as the Crows host the Power, followed by the second Western Derby of the year between the Eagles and the Dockers.

Throw in another top eight clash between GWS and the Lions on Sunday, and we can safely say this might be the most important round of footy yet.

Backing winners is tricky, but we’re confident we’ve found plenty this weekend. Be sure to read our entire 2019 AFL Round 16 Preview below.

Hawthorn Vs Collingwood

Friday July 5, 7:50pm, MCG

Four straight losses has Alastair Clarkson reflecting on what looks to be a lost season following last week’s agonizing six-point defeat to West Coast at the MCG.

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley is also asking questions of his side following a flat and uninspiring performance against North Melbourne.

The Pies lost by 44-points in a low-scoring game, a result that leaves Collingwood eight points shy of the ladder leading Cats.

Fireworks normally fly whenever Hawthorn and Collingwood get together, and while the Hawks look a shell of their former selves, the brown and gold still have plenty to feel confident about after thumping the Pies by 20+ points in their last two meetings.

Collingwood’s woes last week can be chalked up to a variety of factors. Losing Ben Reid in the opening quarter didn’t help, while the Pies also failed to respond to North’s no-nonsense pressure losing the disposal and inside 50 counts by a wide margin.

The Hawks weren’t disgraced in their loss to the Eagles, but they were on the scoreboard. It’s tough to win games of footy when you boot 17 behinds. Hawthorn’s decision to switch into game-saving mode with four minutes on the clock was also a questionable strategy against the reigning premiers.

Collingwood holds a perfect 3-0 record on the heels of a previous loss, so they deserve the benefit of the doubt this week. The Pies are 2-2 on the Friday night footy stage this year, so look for them to respond.

Tip: Back Collingwood 1-39 @ $2.02

Essendon Vs Sydney Swans

Saturday July 7, 1:45pm, MCG

A second consecutive win this week could move the Bombers back inside the eight for the first time since Round 5.

Essendon’s controversial six-point victory over GWS has the Dons equal on points with Port Adelaide, and they’ll now hope for some revenge on their loss to the Swans back in Round 8 at the SCG.

The Swans have put together a tidy three-game winning streak, albeit in three straight home games.

John Longmire’s side travels to Melbourne for their first game of the season at the MCG, and as recent history suggests, this one could be a coin flip.

The Bombers don’t stand out on the stat sheet, but the Swans sure do. Sydney has allowed the second-most inside 50’s to opponents this year, while their 2-3 record away from home also looks a little concerning.

Sydney, meanwhile, head into this game knowing they’ve won four of their last five games against the Bombers. The Swans are also 5-3 as the line underdog away from home over the last calendar year.

Perhaps the one similarity between these two sides is their lack of points. The Dons have put up 100-points or more only three times this year, while the Swans have accomplished the same feat only once.

With that in mind, it’s worth steering clear of the head-to-head market and instead back this game to be low scoring.

Tip: Under 157.5 Total Points @ $1.86

Gold Coast Suns Vs Richmond

Saturday July 7, 2:10pm, Metricon Stadium

The Tigers did their best to keep things interesting last week against the Saints, but in the end, Richmond stormed home in the final quarter to win comfortably by 33-points.

Gold Coast also kept things close against the Swans, trailing by only four points at half time before fading in the fourth quarter.

The Suns now head back to Metricon for the first time in over a month, but their track record against the Tigers at home is less than impressive.

In their last two meetings on the Gold Coast, the Tigers have won by an average margin of 53.5 points. The Suns have also won only one of their three games against Richmond at Metricon, all the way back in 2014.

Stuart Dew’s side continues to show up for the contest in the first half, but it’s the third quarter that troubles the Suns.

Gold Coast has won only four of their 14 third terms this year, compared to the Tigers, who are 7-7.

There’s every chance the Suns put a scare into the Tigers on Saturday, which makes their 5-4 record as the line underdog appear safe. Considering the Suns rank dead last in goals scored though, just don’t expect much else.

Tip: Back the Suns to Cover the Line (+33.5 Points) @ $1.90

Adelaide Crows Vs Port Adelaide

Saturday July 7, 4:05pm, Adelaide Oval

The stakes are high ahead of Showdown 47 with the Crows vying for a spot inside the top four, the Power hoping to rejoin the eight, and a slim 6.5-point line set for the occasion.

Both sides lost comfortably last week, but it was Port’s home loss to the Bulldogs that really caught fans off guard.

The Power managed only 41-points in horrendous conditions at Adelaide Oval, a game head coach Ken Hinkley would like to have back.

Port continues to flirt with the top eight, but they now find themselves in a standoff with the 10th place Bombers tied on points.

As for the Crows, nobody really expected Adelaide to prevail at the Cattery. Early on the Crows looked a chance at pulling off the upset, but in the end, Geelong’s eight goal second half sealed the deal.

If Saturday’s game is anything like their Round 8 showdown, we should be in for a real treat.

The Crows dominated for much of the game in their 20-point victory, while inaccuracy in front of goal – or should we say, 14 behinds – cost the Power any chance at winning.

Port have since tidied up in front of the sticks to rank eighth in total goals scored however, one spot behind the Crows. The Power, like they have for most of the season, also lead the league in inside ’50s.

Both sides are 2-2 on the back of a loss this season, but there is one stat separating the two: the second half.

The Crows have won the second half battle eight times this season, compared to the Power, who have won only four.

Considering the last three games between these sides have been decided by 1-39 points, a clutch performance in the second half should mean the difference between winning and losing.

Tip: Back the Crows 1-39 @ $2.20

Western Bulldogs Vs Geelong

Saturday July 7, 7:25pm, Marvel Stadium

A 25-point win over Port Adelaide last week has the Dogs holding out hopes of a last dash top eight spot.

It will take a mighty effort this week against the Cats, a side that bounced back to winning ways last week at home against the Crows.

You don’t have to rewind very far to find the last game between these two sides. Geelong handed the Dogs a convincing 44-point defeat back in Round 9, a game highlighted by Tom Hawkins’ four goal performance.

The Cats have won four of their last five meetings against the Dogs, but Chris Scott’s side will be hoping for a more complete effort this week after falling behind in the first quarter against Adelaide.

Fortunately, the Dogs have been one of the worst first quarter sides in the competition, compared to the Cats, who have been the second best.

The last four contests between these two sides have gone well over 180-points, so you can certainly throw the Overs into a multi. Considering the Cats are also 4-2 as the home favourite against the Dogs, it’s worth backing Geelong in the Margin market.

Tip: Back Geelong 1-39 & Over 164.5 Points @ $4.10

Fremantle Vs West Coast Eagles

Saturday July 7, 7:25pm, Optus Stadium

Things got a little close for comfort for both sides last week, only West Coast were the ones walking away with the points in a last-ditch thriller against the Hawks.

Fremantle wasn’t quite so lucky losing in embarrassing fashion to Carlton at home. The Dockers looked a sure-thing with under a minute remaining, right before Marc Murphy put a dagger through the hearts of Fremantle supporters.

The Western Derby is always a big occasion, but this time around the stakes are high.

A win for West Coast and a Collingwood loss could potentially vault the Eagles into the second spot on the ladder. The Dockers, meanwhile, will be hoping to distance themselves from ninth-place Port Adelaide as they cling to a spot inside the eight.

These two sides met back in Round 4 with the Eagles winning by 13-points. For those counting at home, West Coast has now won the last eight derby’s dating back to 2015.

There’s plenty of questions left for Adam Simpson’s side to answer, but the Eagles deserve a mulligan following last week’s gritty win against the Hawks in sloppy conditions.

Nat Fyfe missed their Round 4 clash, so his inclusion alone should make this one a more even playing field.

Even so, Elliot Yeo is looking to rebound following last week’s quiet 16 disposal game, and with the Dockers holding a less than convincing 3-3 record on the back of a loss this year, it’s hard to go past West Coast winning this one in another nail-biter.

Tip: Back West Coast 1-39 @ $2.00

Carlton Vs Melbourne

Sunday July 8, 1:10pm, MCG

The scenes following last week’s huge upset win over the Dockers in Perth said it all: Carlton still believes.

The Blues head into Sunday’s game as the underdogs against a Melbourne side looking to bounce back from their admirable performance against the Lions.

At one stage the Dees looked a real chance at stealing the points, but a sloppy performance from the back line cost them in the third quarter.

There’s nothing left to play for other than bragging rights for both clubs, and although the Dees have won three straight games over Carlton, they’ll have their hands full on Sunday afternoon.

David Teague has instilled some belief into the Blues, and after winning two of their last three games, Carlton will fancy themselves a chance if Ed Curnow can dominate the clearances like he did last week.

There’s still no news on Max Gawn’s ankle, but even so, it’s worth noting three of the last five games between these two sides have been decided by 20-points or less.

The Blues are 3-1 as the line underdog against Melbourne, which makes this generous line look the safest play. Just don’t be surprised if Carlton winds up winning.

Tip: Back Carlton to Cover the Line (+17.5 Points) @ $1.90

North Melbourne Vs St Kilda

Sunday July 8, 3:20pm, Blundstone Arena (Hobart)

Last week’s dominant 44-point win over Collingwood has Rhyce Shaw’s side sipping the kool-aid at Arden Street.

It’s a remarkable turnaround following Brad Scott’s resignation, and with a game in hand against the hapless Saints, North could potentially move within two points of ninth on the ladder.

St. Kilda can hold their heads high after challenging the Tigers last week, but their third-quarter fade ultimately let them down.

Despite the result, the Saints still have plenty to play for this weekend. St. Kilda is tied on points with the Bulldogs, Swans and North Melbourne, but they’ll need to be at their best if they hope to squash their two-game losing streak against the Roos.

The bookies appear to be well in favour of North this weekend. The Shinboners are a perfect 4-0 as the home favourite against the Saints, and considering they hold somewhat of an advantage down in Tasmania, it’s hard to argue.

Tip: Back North Melbourne 1-39 @ $2.02

GWS Giants Vs Brisbane Lions

Sunday July 8, 4:40pm, Sydney Showground

The Giants have had an extra few days to stew on their controversial loss to the Bombers last week.

Fortunately, Leon Cameron’s side returns home on Sunday afternoon to face the Lions, a game that holds serious finals implications for two sides tied on points.

Brisbane won their ninth game of the year last week in thrilling fashion over the Demons. Eric Hipwood was the star booting a casual five-goal bag, while Dayne Zorko, Jarryd Lyons and Lachie Neale all chipped in with 30 disposals each.

The Lions have made only two trips to Giants Stadium since GWS officially entered the league in 2012. Not surprisingly, they’ve lost both trips down south, while you have to rewind all the way back to 2013 to find the last Brisbane victory over GWS.

Things have changed since then though, and although the Lions have won only two interstate games all year, they certainly possess enough strength in the midfield to challenge the Giants.

From a betting perspective, GWS holds a terrific 7-2 record as the home favourite over the last two months, while they’ve been less impressive against the line at 5-4.

On the flip side, the Giants are a perfect 4-0 on the back of a loss this season, making them hard to back against as they hope to move one step closer to ensuring a home final.

Jeremy Cameron is the man to watch this week after last year’s sickening clash with Harris Andrews, and while the Lions will be looking for revenge, it’s hard to look past the fact he owns 11 goals against Brisbane in his last five games.

Tip: Back the Giants 1-39 @ $2.05


2018

Unpredictable upsets – that was the story of the AFL last weekend.

Round 15 threw the AFL ladder into a frenzy, with Collingwood now sitting second behind the reigning premiers, while the Cats loss to the wayward Bulldogs sent Geelong all the way down to eighth.

The stage is now set for what should be an even bigger Round 16, and the AFL continues to provide the goods ahead of another blockbuster Thursday night.

Swans? Cats? Make sure you check out all of our 2018 AFL Round 16 tips below!

Sydney Swans Vs Geelong Cats

Thursday 5 July, 7:20pm, SCG

The Swans hit the stage for their second Thursday night game in a row, and the opponent certainly isn’t any easier this time around.

Richmond looked in total control over Sydney last week, dominating in disposals and inside fifties, but the Swans hang in there before the Tigers were able to finish over the top of them late.

It was a tough loss for the Swans to follow, but they’ll feel good knowing they won both the clearances and contested possession battle against the top side in the competition.

Up next is the Cats, a side reeling from a crushing loss to the Bulldogs last week.

The difference between a win and a loss for Geelong was a kick from Harry Taylor, a shot the 10-year veteran missed on the final siren.

Geelong will be no doubt hungry to make up for that loss, and with finals just under two months away, they’ll have ladder implications in mind.

Unfortunately for the Cats, their last win in Sydney came way back in 2013, and as we’ve seen, this Swans team is no joke at home.

As it just so happens, there’s a little chip on the shoulder of the Cats here.

If we rewind to Round 6, you’ll remember Geelong leading by a comfy margin at three-quarter time, only to lose by 17-points at home.

That loss has haunted the Cats all season, and since it’s been nearly a month since Geelong have tasted that winning feeling, they need to find some form asap.

Unfortunately for Chris Scott and his side, this is the kind of fixture Swans’ gun full-forward Buddy Franklin laps up.

He’s booted 53-career goals vs. the Cats, and as we saw last week against Alex Rance, he’s capable of kicking a four-goal bag against even the best defenders.

To get to this point, Geelong haven’t done a lot wrong. Patrick Dangerfield, Gary Ablett and Joel Selwood all combined for 95-disposals last week, they just can’t seem to find any luck.

If one thing is for sure, though, when momentum goes against Geelong, they crumble.

The Cats did well to throw the kitchen sink at the Bulldogs in the final few minutes, but they looked under siege against a much younger team for portions of the game.

With all that in mind, it’s hard to see Geelong winning this on the road, and it’s even harder to envision Sydney losing two straight games, something they haven’t done all year.

Back Sydney Swans to Beat the Line (-15.5 Points) @ $1.90

Richmond Vs Adelaide Crows

Friday 6 July, 7:50pm, MCG

Six months ago you would’ve had this one circled on your calendar, but now, not so much…

The Tigers aren’t exactly running away with the competition, but they look pretty unstoppable.

The Crows, meanwhile, are in the fight of their life for a spot in the eight, and a loss to the reigning premiers at the G’ might just cancel Adelaide’s September plans.

To say Richmond were impressive last week in their win against Sydney would be an understatement.

The injury to Reece Conca looks to be just a minor blow, but the ferocity really looks like it’s back with the yellow and black.

Jack Riewoldt and Kane Lambert combined for a six goal bag, but it was Richmond’s ball movement throughout the midfield that really caught the eye.

Since we’ve already done this once this season, it’s worth looking back at the Tigers and Crows’ last meeting back in Round 2.

The home ground advantage proved beneficial to Adelaide, but no one expected the under-strength Crows to win by 26-points.

The Crows went without Matt Crouch, David Mackay and Rory Sloane for much of that game, but still rallied the gutso to take down their Grand Final rivals.

It’s almost fitting that the Crows find themselves in the same “underdog” type role ahead of Friday nights game, but can Adelaide pull this off for the second time?

Short answer, no.

The Crows have traveled to Melbourne six times so far this year, and broke even at 3-3.

Last week’s resounding victory over the Eagles was something to savour, but you can’t look past the fact that Adelaide had to fight back from 27-points down to defeat an undermanned West Coast side at Adelaide Oval.

Richmond remain one of the top scoring and top inside fifty sides in the competition.

Given their spotty form, it’d be easy to take this Crows outfit lightly, but the Tigers should be fired up to take a big bite out of the revenge cherry following their disappointment against the Crows earlier in the year.

Back Richmond 1-39 @ $2.50

Brisbane Lions Vs Carlton

Saturday 7 July, 1:45pm, The Gabba

A trip to Perth to face a rejuvenated Dockers team looked to be a tall order for the Lions last week, but boy did they delight.

Brisbane came out firing from the gates, kicking four goals in the opening quarter. With just one win next to their name prior to the match, the Lions went on to win comfortably in the end, setting us up for what should be an intriguing clash between two wooden spoon contenders at The Gabba.

Brisbane’s win lifted the Lions away from the wooden spoon zone, now occupied primarily by the Blues for the time being.

Carlton can certainly hold their heads high following last week’s loss against the Power though, having lost by only 21-points against one of the in-form teams in the competition.

This fixture has provided some classics in recent years, but Brisbane hold the upper hand having won four of the last five.

The Blues last win at The Gabba came way back in 2013, but there’s every chance Carlton could pinch their second win of the season this week.

Of course, if that is to happen, the Blues will really need to show up ready for the challenge.

The Lions looked like a completely different team in Perth last week, moving the ball freely going forward and really challenging defenders inside fifty.

The standout for the Lions in their victory over the Dockers was 20-year old forward Eric Hipwood.

The youngster showed some great body work on opposing defenders, but there’s no looking past Cameron Rayner’s 19 disposal, two goal effort, either.

It’s been a while since Brisbane have gone in heavy favourites, but as we know, they are a different team at home.

Aside from their attacking prowess, Brisbane’s pressure has really gone up a gear in recent weeks, and their ability to win hit-outs in the ruck has been a true testament to just how good this side will be in the future.

When the Lions are up and about like this, they are at their most dangerous, and you only have to look at Dayne Beams’ 33-disposal game last week to know that Brisbane should be able to notch two straight wins.

Back Brisbane to Beat the Line (-17.5 Points) @ $1.90

Port Adelaide Vs St. Kilda

Saturday 7 July, 4:05pm, Adelaide Oval

All of a sudden the Power are edging their way back towards the Top 4, but the real story here is St. Kilda’s triumph over the Demons last week.

It was an arm wrestle for the entirety, but the Saints squeaked out two-point winners against a Melbourne team that looked destined to jump back into the winners circle.

The highlight for the Sainters was Tim Membrey. The 24-year old has been the focus of criticism all year, but his four goals on Sunday showed he does have a future as St. Kilda’s go-to goal kicker.

As for Port, their win over the Blues was what they needed, but it was hardly as convincing as Power fans might’ve liked.

Travelling to Melbourne is tough for any inter-state team, but things looked a little sketchy for Port after trailing by a pair of goals at quarter time.

Returning back home to the fortress that is Adelaide Oval, you’d have to back the Power by plenty this week, right?

It sure is hard to make a case for St. Kilda, what with seven straight losses to the Power next to their name and all.

Port would’ve liked more impact on the scoreboard last week, but Chad Wingard was once again at his very best.

His work around the ball in the midfield over the last six weeks has been nothing short of remarkable, but to ice the cake, Robbie Gray’s trio of goals and 13 disposal game only further highlights just how much talent the Power have moving forward.

Taking nothing away from the Saints last weekend, it was probably more a case of Melbourne losing the game, rather than St. Kilda actually winning it.

Alan Richardson’s side were dominated in every category apart from disposals, and despite Jack Billings’ big day, it’ll take more than just individual performances to out muscle this Port side.

The Power are in prime position for finals, but after chairman David Koch urged the AFL to push finals games away from the MCG during the week, Port will know the importance this game holds in terms of ladder position come finals.

Back Port Adelaide 1-39 @ $2.32

Western Bulldogs Vs Hawthorn

Saturday 7 July, 7:25pm, Etihad

Where to now for Hawthorn?

Last week was crucial for the Hawks, but they seemingly did everything they could to let another must-win game slip through their hands.

It was a game the Hawks of old would have won, and having come back from a 22-point deficit to be within three-points of the lead in the final term, Hawthorn really should have walked away with the points.

The Bulldogs, on the other hand, did what the Hawks could not.

The sons of the west used all of their momentum to knock of the Cats in dramatic fashion, withholding a late charge from a side that was once considered a premiership favourite.

Hawthorn’s issues last week were just a blip on the radar of what has been a season long problem.

Another slow start saw the Hawks fall behind by 20+ points in the opening term, while the defence down back allowed Jonathon Patton to slot two late goals to seal it for the Giants.

It’s tough to get a read on Alistair Clarkson’s team, as it has been all season.

One week they pump Adelaide, while the next they look flat.

If one thing is for sure, the loss of Shaun Burgoyne really hurt this team, and when the class of previous premiership heroes is missing, this Hawthorn team looks like a shell of its former self.

Still, the Hawks are a realistic chance to play finals, but there’s something about this Bulldogs side that makes them dangerous. There’s still a lingering shred of that “never say die” attitude that won them a premiership in 2016, and if the crowd gets behind them, the Dogs are almost as dangerous as a Top 4 side.

Hawthorn have won four of their last five against the Dogs, but there’s been a couple of classics in the mix, including 2016’s semi-final.

With Burgoyne still set to miss the next three weeks, and no news on Cyril Rioli just yet, you get the feeling the Hawks need some kind of big inclusion to reignite the spark.

Unless that happens, this is a market to stay well away from given both teams spotty form.

No Bet

Melbourne Vs Fremantle

Saturday 7 July, 7:40pm, TIO

Fancy these two meeting on the back of what was a horror Round 15 for both clubs.

It was a gutting loss for the Dockers, one that has called the entire club into question, which is just about all you can say for the Demons following a third straight loss to the miserable Saints.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned this season, it’s that any idea of “form” should be tossed right out the window.

Reading into Fremantle’s wins over the Crows and Blues in rounds prior was probably a little foolish, but who would have expected Fremantle to show up so unprepared at home last week.

As for the Demons, they showed up against the Saints, but it wasn’t enough.

To make matters worse, Jesse Hogan played his heart out kicking three goals, but if the Demons can still lose after that kind of effort, it makes you wonder if this club is actually ready for finals.

With the water still looking murky for both teams, perhaps this game will provide some clarity.

Fremantle would need a miracle to play finals from here, but if the Demons were to lose, there’s a good chance Melbourne would slip well out of the eight.

Fortunately for both clubs, this game is being played on somewhat neutral turf in the Northern Territory.

Melbourne hosted Adelaide at TIO Stadium earlier in the year, defeating the Crows by close to 100-points.

The trip is certainly unkind to certain teams that don’t travel well, a category the Dockers certainly fall under.

Freo have won just one inter-state game so far this season, but they have won four of their last five against the Demons, including last seasons two-point nail biter.

This is a huge opportunity for Melbourne to really get back on track, though, and prove that their fantastic start to the season didn’t count for nothing.

If they can play some composed footy in the final term, something they failed to do last week, the Dees should take full advantage of a lost and confused Fremantle side.

Back Melbourne to Win By 40+ @ $1.88

North Melbourne Vs Gold Coast Suns

Sunday 8 July, 1;10pm, Etihad

Things went from bad to worse for North Melbourne last week.

Clinging to eighth on the ladder, the Roos had to knock off the reborn again Bombers at Etihad Stadium, but failed to do so in what was a high-scoring affair.

The loss saw North’s finals chances take a slight tumble, and since they now sit just outside the eight, a game in hand against the Gold Coast Suns couldn’t have come at a better time.

As expected, the Suns were no match for Collingwood at home last week.

They did well to lead at quarter time, but it was all downhill from there, as the Pies managed to kick 14 goals.

If there was one positive to take away, it was the Suns’ fight-back in the fourth quarter.

The game had blowout written all over it, and although the Magpies still won by 39-points, it could have been much, much worse.

So are they any chance against the Roos away from home this week?

The bookies say no, but recent history might suggest this could be a close shave for the Roos. Gold Coast took care of North up in Cairns earlier this year, walking away with a 16-point win in horrible conditions.

Of course, things were a little different for the Suns back then, because Tom Lynch was actually fit and healthy.

Now Gold Coast are relying on the likes of Nick Holman to kick goals, a far cry from Round 4 when the Suns legitimately looked a shot at playing finals.

On the flip side, North’s three game losing streak has hardly been empty.

Ben Brown is still doing his thing, and the same goes for Mason Wood, who booted three last week against the Bombers.

It’s no surprise to see the Suns rank inside the Top 3 in points against this year, and with just one win on the road, it’s not only hard to figure out where the scoring will come from, but it’s also hard to see how they can stop North’s elite attacking threats for the second time this season.

Back North Melbourne 1-30 @ $2.55

Essendon Vs Collingwood

Sunday 8 July, 3:20pm, MCG

The traditional ANZAC clash between these two sides was a little disappointing back in April, but how things change.

Don’t look now, but Essendon have won three straight, and the Bombers fans are up and about with the sight of finals ahead.

Speaking of up and about, perhaps no one can rival the confidence the Pies are showing right now.

There’s no doubt the AFL loves the idea of a Collingwood/Richmond Grand Final, but this game could go a long way to deciding where the Pies finish on the ladder.

The Bombers were particularly impressive last week against North Melbourne, a game that turned out to be quite a high scoring affair.

It was a big week for Orazio Fantasia, who booted four goals, but this was really the blueprint of footy the Bombers were supposed to be playing during the early stages of the season.

As for Collingwood, they got the job done against the Suns, walking away 39-point victors on the back of Josh Thomas’ four goal bag.

That’s the great thing about this Pies outfit this season, the goals are coming from everywhere, and for once, team cohesion and unity appears to be back at the club.

For Essendon to win, they need to find an answer to Collingwood’s pressure. This is the kind of game that will draw a big crowd, and the Bombers can’t afford to start slowly. Playing their lightning fast brand of footy through the midfield has got them this far, and if they can get the ball in the hands of Dyson Heppell and Zach Merrett early and often, they’ll go a long way to stifling the Pies.

As for Collingwood, it’s safe to expect a similar game plan to the one they executed so well against the Demons a month ago, and that’s what should see them over the line here. G

et the ball to Mason Cox going forward and control the clearances.

It’s been the Pies’ method to success so far, and it should see Collingwood win a close one this week.

Pick Your Own Line (Collingwood -12.5 Points) @ $2.04

West Coast Eagles Vs GWS Giants

Sunday 8 July, 4:40pm, Optus Stadium

West Coast’s woes continued last week in what was another wayward performance against the Crows.

The Eagles looked home and hosed by the third quarter, but momentum and a lack of defensive poise cost West Coast a crucial win on the road.

The Giants, meanwhile, were on the opposite end, fending off a late attack from Hawthorn in the final term to hold on to win by 11-points.

All is not lost for the Eagles, but their once illustrious place atop the ladder looks long gone.

Last weeks loss saw West Coast slip down to third, while the Giants win saw them jump all the way from 10th into sixth.

We’re now set up for what should be a fun game on Sunday, and a big test for a GWS side that has won three games on the road this season.

Unfortunately for the Giants though, they aren’t too familiar with the trip to face the Eagles in Perth, having last played out West against the Eagles back in 2016.

With five wins at home so far this year, West Coast are certainly a different beast at Optus Stadium.

The Eagles will be relying on the inclusion of Mark LeCras this week, while Josh Kennedy is also no certainty.

The Eagles do come into this round as the favourite though, and for good reason.

At full strength they are one of the best scoring teams in the competition, and since the Giants will still be missing spearhead Jeremy Cameron, they’ll need to find scoring elsewhere.

Winning at home against the Hawks is one thing, but doing it on the road against a stingy defence like the Eagles is another.

GWS showed signs of weakness late last week, and if it wasn’t for Johnathon Patton, they probably would have let it slip.

Back West Coast 1-39 @ $2.12


2017

There are now only two months left in the AFL regular season and the battle for positions in the top eight is closer than ever.

It is another weekend that is packed full of big games, but there is none bigger than the Friday Night Blockbuster between the Adelaide Crows and the Western Bulldogs.

Our betting plays have been on absolute fire in recent weeks – 13 winners from our past 15 tips – and our complete 2017 Round 16 AFL tips can be found below.

Adelaide Crows Vs Western Bulldogs

Friday 7 July, 7:50pm, Adelaide Oval

Adelaide Crows 104 - Western Bulldogs 45

This is a huge game for both these sides.

Adelaide were not overly impressive against Carlton, but they were still able to come away with the four points and they will start this clash as clear favourites.

The Crows have won eight of their past 11 games as home favourites and they are a profitable 7-4 against the line in this scenario.

The Western Bulldogs have won just one of their past four games and they suffered another tight loss at the hands of the West Coast Eagles last weekend.

They have still won four of their past eight games as away underdogs and they are a profitable 6-2 against the line in this scenario.

The Bulldogs have generally saved their most impressive performances for the best sides in the competition this season and there is not as much between these two sides as the current betting suggests.

$3.75 is a massive price for a team with the quality of the Western Bulldogs.

Back Western Bulldogs To Win @ $3.75

Hawthorn Vs GWS Giants

Saturday 8 July, 1:45pm, University Of Tasmania Stadium

Hawthorn 97 - GWS Giants 97

Hawthorn made it two wins on the trot with their victory over Collingwood, but it is still the Greater Western Sydney Giants that will start this clash as clear favourites.

GWS were probably a touch lucky to come away with a draw against Geelong last Saturday and they continue to play a slightly unconvincing brand of football.

The Giants have won seven of their past ten games as away favourites for a narrow loss, but they are 6-4 against the line in this scenario.

Hawthorn head to Tasmania on the back of two excellent wins and it is no secret that they have an excellent record on the Apple Isle.

The Hawks have won six of their past 13 games as underdogs for a big profit and they are 7-6 against the line when receiving a start.

This is a game that the market looks to have got just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting standpoint.

No Bet

Collingwood Vs Essendon

Saturday 8 July, 2:10pm, MCG

Collingwood 80 - Essendon 117

This is one of the fiercest rivalries in the AFL and there is very little separating the two sides in betting.

Essendon suffered a shock loss at the hands of the Brisbane Lions last weekend, but they will still go into this clash as narrow favourites.

The Bombers did beat Collingwood when they met on Anzac Day earlier this year, but they continue to be a tough team to trust from a betting standpoint.

Collingwood slumped to their third straight loss when they went down to Hawthorn last weekend and this will be another season of disappointment for the Magpies.

The Magpies have won four of their past 12 games as underdogs and they are 10-2 against the line when receiving a start.

There really is not a great deal between these two teams and this should be a very tight affair, which makes the $2.63 on offer for either team to win by less than 15.5 points really stand out from a betting perspective.

Back Either Team To Win By Less Than 15.5 Points @ $2.63

Sydney Swans Vs Gold Coast Suns

Saturday 8 July, 4:35pm, SCG

Sydney Swans 118 - Gold Coast Suns 51

The Sydney Swans are well and truly back in finals contention and they will start this clash with the Gold Coast Suns as dominant favourites.

Sydney really should have beaten Melbourne by a much bigger score last Friday night, but they still did enough to win and have won seven of their past eight games.

The Swans have still won only seven of their past 13 games as home favourites for a clear loss and they are a poor 5-8 against the line in this scenario.

Gold Coast celebrated Gary Ablett’s 300th game with a win over North Melbourne and they are sure to have taken plenty of benefit from that performance.

Winning away from home continues to be an issue for the Suns and they have lost their past seven games as away underdogs, while they are 3-4 against the line in this scenario.

Sydney really should be able to continue their winning ways, but there is no value at their current price and I am keen to stay out of this clash from a betting standpoint.

No Bet

Brisbane Lions Vs Geelong

Saturday 8 July, 7:25pm, The Gabba

Brisbane Lions 78 - Geelong 163

Geelong famously lost to the Brisbane Lions at The Gabba back in 2013, but they will start this clash as dominant favourite’s.

The Cats were arguably a touch unlucky to not get the full four points from their meeting with Greater Western Sydney and this is obviously a much weaker opposition.

Geelong have won six of their past nine games as away favourites for a narrow loss and they are 4-5 against the line in this scenario.

Brisbane produced an outstanding final quarter to record an upset win over Essendon and they really are showing some promising signs in the second half of the season.

The Lions have won only two of their past ten games as home underdogs and their record against the line in this situation is no better.

Geelong should be able to return to winning form, but this is another clash that the market has got just about right and I will be staying out of.

No Bet

St Kilda Vs Richmond

Saturday 8 July, 7:25pm, Etihad Stadium

St Kilda 138 - Richmond 71

This is a huge game for both St Kilda and Richmond.

Richmond came from behind to record an upset win over Port Adelaide and another victory would go a long way towards cementing their position in the top four.

The Tigers have been an easy team to trust as favourites – they have won six of their past seven games as the punter’s elect and they are 5-2 against the line in this scenario.

St Kilda made it three wins on the trot with their win over Fremantle and their finals hopes are now in their own hands.

The Saints have won five of their past 12 games as underdogs for a narrow profit, but they are only a middling 6-6 against the line in this scenario.

Richmond have proven this season that they are more than capable of competing with the best teams in the competition and on their best form they have a clear edge over St Kilda.

The line of 11.5 points will probably not be enough for St Kilda.

Back Richmond To Beat The Line (-11.5 Points)

North Melbourne Vs Fremantle

Sunday 9 July, 1:10pm, Etihad Stadium

North Melbourne 82 - Fremantle 86

Both these teams go into this clash on the back of lengthy losing streaks and it is North Melbourne that will start this game as favourites.

North Melbourne had enough opportunities to beat the Gold Coast Suns, but they were unable to take advantage and let a golden opportunity slip.

The Kangaroos have won only two of their past five games as home favourites and they are a very poor 1-4 against the line in this scenario.

Fremantle have not been disgraced in their two most recent defeats at the hands of Geelong and St Kilda, but they have lacked composure at key moments.

The Dockers have won only two of their past eight games as away underdogs and they are 3-5 against the line in this situation.

These are two teams that are very tough to trust from a betting perspective and this is another clash that I am happy to steer clear of.

No Bet

Carlton Vs Melbourne

Sunday 9 July, 3:20pm, MCG

Carlton 82 - Melbourne 90

Melbourne are now right on the edge of the top eight and really need to keep winning these sort of games in order to play finals football.

The Demons had their winning streak ended by the Sydney Swans last Friday night and their fairly poor performance was overshadowed by the off-the-ball incident involving Tomas Bugg.

Melbourne will be desperate to bounce back to their best, but they have won only one of their past three games as away favourites and are very tough to trust as the punter’s elect.

Carlton produced another brave effort to give Adelaide a scare last weekend and they have shown they are capable of playing at a high level on their day.

The Blues have won six of their past 20 games as underdogs for a profit and they are 13-7 against the line in this scenario.

Carlton are more than capable of giving Melbourne a scare and they can cover the line with a small start.

Back Carlton To Beat The Line (+8.5 Points)

West Coast Eagles Vs Port Adelaide

Sunday 9 July, 4:40pm, Domain Stadium

West Coast Eagles 88 - Port Adelaide 120

This is another crucial game in the battle for positions in the top eight.

The West Coast Eagles upstaged the Western Bulldogs in Melbourne last weekend and they will go into this clash at Domain Stadium as clear favourites.

West Coast are no longer unbeatable at Domain Stadium – they have won seven of their past ten games as home favourites and they are 4-6 against the line in that scenario – and their record against Port Adelaide in Perth is particularly bad.

Port Adelaide failed to capitalize on their early dominance against Richmond last weekend and their performance in the final stages of the game left a great deal to be desired.

Winning away from home has not been an issue for Port Adelaide this season and they have won two of their past five games as away underdogs, while they are 3-2 against the line in this scenario.

There is nowhere near as much between these two sides as the current betting market indicates and they are a great bet to cover the line with a start.

Back Port Adelaide To Beat The Line (+10.5 Points)


2016

Thursday Night Football is back this weekend and Port Adelaide will host Hawthorn in a very intriguing fixture as we build towards the AFL finals.

We are set for another ripper on Friday night, with Geelong and the Sydney Swans set to do battle and Saturday night’s fixtures are highlighted by the meeting between the Western Bulldogs and the Richmond Tigers.

The round concludes on Sunday and the headline match is the preliminary final rematch between the West Coast Eagles and the North Melbourne Kangaroos.

Port Adelaide Vs Hawthorn

Thursday 7 July, 7:20pm, Adelaide Oval

Port Adelaide 79 - Hawthorn 101

Port Adelaide did not have a great season in 2015 and they missed the finals, but they were still able to beat Hawthorn on two occasions and they are yet to lose to their rivals at the Adelaide Oval.

The Power have won eight of their past 12 games at the Adelaide Oval and they head into this clash on the back of a victory over Richmond, but they are 0-2 as home underdogs in the past 12 months and they are 1-1 against the line in this scenario.

Hawthorn have won five games on the trot and they have proven to be a profitable betting play as away favourites in the past 12 months – the Hawks have won 11 out of their past 14 games in this scenario and they are 8-6 against the line in this scenario.

The Hawks will be keen to end their losing streak against Port Adelaide and they are a good bet to cover what seems like a fairly small line of 11.5 points.

Recommended Bet: Back Hawthorn To Beat The Line (-11.5 Points)

Geelong Vs Sydney Swans

Friday 8 July, 7:50pm, Simonds Stadium

Geelong 60 - Sydney Swans 98

This is easily the most anticipated match of the round and this could prove to be a genuine AFL Grand Final Preview.

Both these teams are coming off last start losses, but it is Geelong that will start this game as clear favourites and they have won ten of their past 11 meetings with the Sydney Swans at Simonds Stadium.

It is no secret that the Cats have an outstanding record at Simonds Stadium and they are 7-1 as home favourites in the past 12 months, while they are 5-3 against the line in this scenario.

Sydney suffered a disappointing loss at the hands of the Western Bulldogs last weekend and they have an excellent record of 6-2 on the back of a loss in the last year.

The Swans have struggled as underdogs this season and they have won just one of their past five games as outsiders, with their record against the line in this scenario a non-profitable 2-3.

The home ground advantage gives Geelong a big edge in this clash and they are a fairly safe bet to return to winning form with a comfortable victory over the Swans.

Recommended Bet: Back Geelong To Beat The Line (-14.5 Points)

GWS Giants Vs Collingwood

Saturday 9 July, 1:40pm, Spotless Stadium

GWS Giants 93 - Collingwood Magpies 125

The Greater Western Sydney Giants have never beaten Collingwood, but they are extremely short-priced favourites to do just that this weekend.

GWS went into the bye on the back of three straight victories and there is very little to suggest that they won’t be able to make it four wins on the trot.

The Giants have won seven of their past eight games as home favourites and their record against the line in this scenario is identical for a very large profit.

Collingwood were able to return to winning form last weekend with a win over Carlton, but there was still very little to like about their performance and they go into this game as heavy underdogs.

The Magpies have been a losing betting proposition across just about every metric in the past 12 months and they are no different as away underdogs – they are 2-4 in head to head betting and 3-3 against the line.

The line of 45.5 points does seem excessive, but Collingwood have shown throughout this season that they are quick to give up the bundle when it becomes clear they are going to lose a game and the Giants should be able to put up a big score.

Recommended Bet: Back GWS Giants To Beat The Line (-45.5 Points)

Gold Coast Suns Vs Brisbane Lions

Saturday 9 July, 4:35pm, Metricon Stadium

Gold Coast Suns 139 - Brisbane Lions 113

This is the second QClash between the Gold Coast Suns and Brisbane Lions this season after the Lions scored an upset win over the Gold Coast earlier this season.

It has been a season to forget for both these teams, but the Gold Coast have actually played some good football in recent weeks and they ended their losing streak with a comprehensive performance against St Kilda last weekend.

The Suns will start this game as clear favourites and they have a surprisingly strong record in this position – they have won four of their past five games as home favourites and they are 3-2 against the line in this scenario.

Brisbane went into the bye on the back of ten straight losses and they have not won a game since they played the Gold Coast earlier this season.

The Lions have been a truly woeful betting team in the past 12 months and they have not won a game as away underdogs in this time period, while they have beaten the line in just one of their past ten games in this scenario.

It is always tough to trust the Gold Coast from a betting perspective, but the data suggests that they can get the job done and it is always good to be up against the Brisbane Lions.

Recommended Bet: Back The Gold Coast Suns To Beat The Line (-29.5 Points)

Western Bulldogs Vs Richmond

Saturday 9 July, 7:25pm, Etihad Stadium

Western Bulldogs 85 - Richmond 75

The Western Bulldogs have an excellent record over Richmond in recent seasons and they have won ten of the past 13 games played between the two sides.

The Bulldogs bounced back from their defeat at the hands of Sydney to score an upset win over the Sydney Swans last weekend and they are clear favourites to make it two wins in a row.

Favourtism has been a position that has suited the Western Bulldogs in the past 12 months and they have won seven out of their past eight games as home favourites and they have an identical record against the line.

Richmond all but had their finals hopes ended by Port Adelaide last weekend and it is tough to see the Tigers being able to upstage the Bulldogs this weekend.

The Tigers have recorded just the one win as away underdogs this season and their record against the line in this scenario is a non-profitable 1-3.

The Western Bulldogs should prove far too strong for Richmond this weekend and I am keen to back them to cover the line of 29.5 points.

Recommended Bet: Back The Western Bulldogs To Beat The Line (-29.5 Points)

Melbourne Vs Fremantle

Saturday 9 July, 5:40pm, TIO Stadium

Melbourne 87 - Fremantle 55

Melbourne have a shocking record against Fremantle in recent years and they have lost the past seven games played between the two sides, but they will start this clash as clear favourites.

Melbourne went into the bye on the back of a very poor performance against Sydney, but they were much better against the Adelaide Crows last weekend and were well and truly in the game for three quarters.

While the Demons have been a better team in 2016, they have still been tough to rely on from a betting perspective and they have won just three of their past seven games as favourites, with the exact same record against the line.

Fremantle went into their bye after a pitiful performance against Collingwood and they are a side that is even more difficult to trust from a betting perspective.

The Dockers have won just two of their past 15 games as underdogs and their record against the line is a very poor 5-10.

These are two teams that are very difficult to trust and I am happy to stay out of this clash.

Recommended Bet: No Bet

Carlton Vs Adelaide

Sunday 10 July, 1:10pm, MCG

Carlton 47 - Adelaide 107

Carlton have won four of the past six games played between the two sides, but before that the Crows had won seven straight fixtures and Adelaide will go into this weekend’s clash as clear favourites.

Adelaide survived a scare from Melbourne to make it six wins on the trot, but this could prove to be a tricky game for the Crows as they don’t have a great record at the MCG.

They have won three of their four games as away favourites in the past 12 months, but they are only 2-2 against the line in this scenario and they will be giving away a hefty start of 31.5 points this weekend.

Carlton made a very promising start to this season, but they have now lost three games on the trot and they were particularly poor against Collingwood last weekend.

The Blues have been a profitable betting play as home underdogs in the past 12 months after winning three of their past eight games in this scenario, but their record against the line is only an even 4-4.

Adelaide are clearly the team to beat in this clash, but the market appears to have gotten the line just about right and this is another game that I am happy to stay out of from a betting perspective.

Recommended Bet: No Bet

West Coast Eagles Vs North Melbourne

Sunday 10 July, 1:20pm, Domain Stadium

West Coast Eagles 104 - North Melbourne 72

The West Coast Eagles returned to winning form at Domain Stadium with a big win over Essendon last Thursday night, but they face a much tougher challenge against North Melbourne this weekend.

West Coast had their flawless run at Domain Stadium ended by Adelaide last month, but they still have a simply outstanding record in front of their home fans and they have won 12 of their past 13 games as home favourites, while beating the line in all but two of these clashes.

North Melbourne went into the bye on the back of three straight losses at the hands of Geelong, Hawthorn and Adelaide and they face another difficult assignment on Sunday.

The Kangaroos have an excellent record as favourites, but they have won just 2 of their past six games as away underdogs although they have beaten the line in four of these six clashes.

You can make an argument for both teams, but I never like to bet against West Coast at Domain Stadium and I am confident that they can cover the line of 17.5 points this weekend.

Recommended Bet: Back The West Coast Eagles To Beat The Line (-17.5 Points)

Essendon Vs St Kilda

Sunday 10 July, 4:40pm, Etihad Stadium

Essendon 98 - St Kilda 109

This is the final game of the weekend and will likely be played in front of a fairly small crowd at Etihad Stadium.

St Kilda produced one of their poorest performances of the season to date against the Gold Coast Suns last weekend, but they will still go into this clash as dominant favourites.

They don’t start many games as favourites, but when they do St Kilda usually get the job done and they are 3-0 in both head to head betting and line betting as the punter’s elect in the past 12 months.

The problem for punters is that the Saints a large start of 41.5 points, but the Saints have given away a start of that size on four occasions since 2012 and have covered the line three times.

Essendon were on the receiving end of another heavy defeat at the hands of West Coast last weekend and they have now won just three of their 23 games of football.

In saying that, the Bombers have generally saved their best performances for the MCG and they have actually been a profitable betting play against the line as home underdogs.

I am happy to go back to my rule of not betting on Essendon games this weekend as the market has got this clash just about right.

Recommended Bet: No Bet