Two months of footy remain before the finals, setting up another crucial round for several clubs looking to improve their position on the ladder.
Another Thursday night belter is in order this week as the Lions host the Bulldogs in a rematch of last year’s famous Semi-Final from the Gabba.
The Blues and the Saints take the stage on Friday night in front of a sold-out crowd at Marvel, while Saturday’s slate is headlined by an evenly matched affair between the top-eight hopeful Suns and Pies.
The Dockers and the Power round things out late on Sunday afternoon. Fremantle will be keen to cement its spot in the top four even further, while the Power simply need to win to keep their finals hopes alive.
It was a massive week for the favourites last week with only one underdog prevailing, but will we see a similar story unfold in Round 16?
Best bets and analysis below!
Thursday June 30, 7:20pm, Gabba
The Dogs prevailed by a single point over the Lions in last year’s thrilling Semi-Final, setting up a long-awaited rematch this Thursday night at the Gabba.
The word “pretender” has been used to describe the Lions, largely due to last week’s disheartening loss to reigning premiers Melbourne.
Chris Fagan’s side failed to show up for Thursday’s top-four blockbuster at the ‘G, not only failing to find points, but also struggling mightily with turnovers, stoppages, and marks inside 50.
The Dogs, meanwhile, continued their late season turnaround with a convincing win over Hawthorn.
It was touch and go early, but Luke Beveridge’s men prevailed by 42 points in what was also a handy percentage booster with several sides vying for their spot in the eight.
Like always, the Lions are favoured at home, but there’s plenty to suggest this game could turn into another heart-stopper.
Lining them up, both sides boast similar numbers when it comes to goals, clearances, scoring shots and inside 50s, but where the Dogs hold the advantage is in the turnover department.
The Lions coughed the ball up frequently last week against the Dees, particularly in their back half, leading to some easy scoring shots.
Similar problems won’t fly against a Bulldogs team averaging the second-most goals in the competition, but the Lions can at least rest easy knowing they rank first in the same department.
To make matters more complicated, these two sides played out a close preseason encounter, one the Lions won by six points back in March.
That hardly counts for much, but it is worth noting that eight of the last 12 games between these two sides have gone Under the Total.
Backing against the Lions at home is tough, especially with an impressive 6-2 record on the back of a loss to their name.
The Dogs will give this a crack, but with Zac Bailey and Dayne Zorko returning, the Lions should bounce back.
Tip: Back the Lions to Win & Under 175.5 Total Points @ $2.80
Friday July 1, 7:50pm, Marvel Stadium
Three weeks can be a long time in footy, just ask St Kilda.
The Saints looked a chance at the top four less-than a month ago, but now find themselves facing an uphill battle following a third straight loss to the Swans last week.
Even worse, St Kilda faces a horror run home – beginning this Friday night with a game against the red-hot Blues at Marvel.
The Baggers have had their own woes this season, but first-year coach Michael Voss has to be pleased with the way his side responded last week with a 31-point victory over flag contenders Fremantle.
Looking back, Carlton was sensational around the clearances, while Brownlow contender Sam Walsh looks almost impossible to defend.
The Saints made some huge calls at selection last week when they dropped Jack Higgins, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Brett Ratten swings the axe again after failing to respond against Sydney.
Who plays on Walsh is the big question, but there is some good news on the horizon with Bradley Hill and Paddy Ryder likely to return.
Still, accuracy in front of goal, basic tackling, and starting on time remain are just some of the major issues plaguing the Saints at the moment.
In front of a sold out crowd, it’s hard to pass up what is a very generous line on offer for the Blues.
Tip: Back the Blues to Cover the Line (-9.5 Points) @ $2.00
Saturday July 2, 1:45pm, MCG
Rock bottom is almost within arm’s reach for the Bombers.
After picking up a rare win over the Saints a fortnight ago, the Dons came crashing back down to earth with a 10-point loss to West Coast last week – one of the worst teams the competition has seen over the last decade.
A trip back to the MCG to face the Swans is another stiff challenge for Ben Rutten’s men, especially with key midfielder Andrew McGrath in doubt to make his return.
There is some good news on the Darcy Parish front, but it’s hard to entertain any kind of upset against a Sydney team that features one of the best midfields in the game, and a potent forward line that just had 23 scoring shots against St Kilda.
The Swans have won three straight over the Saints dating back to the start of last season, but it’s worth noting five of their last six meetings have been decided by 15 points or less.
Sydney is averaging nearly three more goals per-game than the Bombers right now, so they should win this game, but given their 1-2 record in Melbourne this season, the 1-39 margin is probably the safest play.
Tip: Back the Swans 1-39 @ $2.05
Saturday July 2, 4:35pm, Adelaide Oval
The Dees have regained their rightful spot on top of the ladder following last week’s big win over Brisbane, a position they’ll be hoping to cement even further on Saturday when they travel to Adelaide to face the Crows.
After falling behind early, the Lions seemingly awakened the beast in the first quarter as the Dees ran away 64-point winners thanks to a big night from Bailey Fritsch and Clayton Oliver.
Despite what the scoreboard suggests, the Crows had their hands full with North Melbourne early on, at least before Tex Walker took over with another six-goal bag.
Matthew Nicks’ men will relish the chance to measure themselves against the benchmark in the competition, but this looks a massive test against a Demons side that rolled them 104-63 last season.
That said, the Crows did knock off Melbourne in a single-point thriller a few months earlier at home, so you can’t entirely rule out an upset.
Still, the Dees seemed to rediscover some of their mojo last week following the bye, particularly down back where they held the Lions to just seven goals.
It’s doubtful we see the club rush Max Gawn back from injury, but with Simon Goodwin likely taking an unchanged side down south, Melbourne should boost its percentage with a comfortable win.
Tip: Back Melbourne to Cover the Line (-35.5 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday July 2, 7:25pm, GMHBA Stadium
The Cats have one of the easiest remaining schedules, beginning this week with a return home to face wooden spoon favourites North Melbourne.
A massive 66-point line has been set in favour of Geelong, a margin they came close to covering when they won by 60 against the Roos back in Round 6.
Chris Scott’s side shouldn’t be short on confidence after knocking off Richmond in a thriller last Saturday night, but there will be some shuffling down back following Tom Stewart’s dangerous bump on Dion Prestia.
The Roos played some good footy early against the Crows last week, but they still failed to score more than 60 points for the sixth game in a row.
In terms of recent history, the Cats have owned North’s number with nine straight wins dating back to 2016, and you only have to take one look at the stats to know how much more dominant Geelong has been in comparison.
The Cats currently rank fourth in points per-game and fifth in disposals, two categories North ranks bottom of the pack in.
That said, this is still a big line for Geelong to cover, especially with Patrick Dangerfield still missing.
Considering North’s troubles scoring points, the Under might be the safer play.
Tip: Under 162.5 Total Points @ $1.88
Gold Coast Suns
Saturday July 2, 7:25pm, Metricon Stadium
The Pies can extend their winning streak to six in a row on Saturday at Metricon, but nothing is going to come easy against a Suns team looking to keep in touch with the eight.
Gold Coast fell agonisingly short of a fourth-straight win last week against Port Adelaide, a loss that has left them four points adrift from finals contention.
Statistically speaking, the Suns did plenty right, but the damage was largely done early in the first term as the Power got out to an early three-goal lead.
Speaking of big leads, the Pies nearly squandered a healthy five-goal advantage themselves last Sunday against the Giants.
Craig McRae’s side still prevailed by 11 in the end, but another fourth-quarter lapse won’t fly against a Gold Coast team that has been tough to defend all season.
As the market suggests, there’s a case to be made for either team, but this one should boil right down to which forward line can have the better day.
The Pies showed last week they’re capable of winning without Jordan deGoey, who’s inclusion in the side is far from a guarantee after taking last week off due to off-field issues.
If deGoey does sit, the Suns probably have an advantage up forward, but recent injuries to Izak Rankine, Nick Holman, and Alex Davies only complicate matters.
The Pies have owned the Suns for the last few years, particularly at Metricon where they’ve won their last three in a row.
Collingwood’s strong group of supporters should be in full voice, and after last week’s late scare, expect a big response.
Tip: Back Collingwood to Win @ $2.00
West Coast Eagles
Sunday July 3, 2:10pm, MCG
The Tigers should have a bit of a chip on their shoulder after falling three points short of Geelong in an instant classic last week.
Richmond lost star midfielder Dion Prestia in the process, but it’s fair to say the Tigers of old have returned after pushing one of the top flag fancies right to the brink.
The Tigers have been an outstanding bounce-back bet for the last five or so years, particularly in recent times playing to a 6-1-3 record head-to-head and an 8-2 record at the line.
West Coast, meanwhile, will be hoping to build on a rare win over Essendon last week at home.
Josh Kennedy starred with a six-goal bag, and although finals are well and truly out of the conversation, it has been an encouraging span for the Eagles with a win and a somewhat close game against Geelong following the bye.
The added inclusion of star ruckman Nic Naitanui is an enormous boost, but it’s hard to entertain any kind of Eagles upset given their awful record away from home this year.
Covering a 30-point line isn’t easy, but for a team like the Tigers, one that ranks third in points and fourth in inside 50s, backing Richmond seems relatively safe this week.
Tip: Back the Tigers to Cover the Line (-36.5 Points) @ $2.00
Sunday July 3, 3:20pm, GIANTS Stadium
We could be in for a high-scoring thriller this week when the Giants and Hawks meet in Sydney.
Both clubs rank top five in goals allowed this season, a defining factor in each club’s respective losses last week.
Like they have done all season, the Hawks started fast against the Bulldogs on Friday night, only to fall away in the second half in an eventual 42-point loss.
Almost in reverse, the Giants fell behind by five goals to Collingwood, but once the heavens opened up, they came roaring home to put a real scare into the Pies, losing by only 11 in the end.
It’s been difficult to get a read on these two sides this season, but the trends do suggest the Over is a good bet here.
Six of the nine meetings between GWS and Hawthorn have resulted in the Over, and the current 154.5 line does seem a little short given how quickly both teams can score in short bursts.
Tip: Over 154.5 Total Points @ $1.88
Sunday July 3, 5:20pm, Optus Stadium
The importance of Sunday’s game from Perth can’t be overstated.
Two weeks ago, Freo looked a lock for the top-four, but last week’s loss to Carlton has left them teetering on the brink with the Blues and Lions both tied on points.
Port also faces a must-win game if they hold any hope of staging a late-season fight back.
The Power have won three of their last five after knocking off the Suns last week, but they still find themselves four points adrift from the eight and behind Gold Coast on percentage.
The similarities between these two sides on the stat sheet is uncanny, but it’s hard to ignore the fact the Power haven’t beaten Fremantle in Perth since their Semi-Final win back in 2014.
Recent wins over the Suns and Sydney have been impressive, but Port’s 2-4 record on the road this season is of equal concern.
The Dockers were largely beaten by Sam Walsh and Patrick Cripps last week in a rare defensive meltdown that we haven’t seen from Justin Longmuir’s side much at all this season.
As far as this one goes, we should be in for a low-scoring game of footy, but with home-field advantage and, perhaps more importantly, an outstanding 6-2 record at the line following a loss, the Dockers should get the job done.
Tip: Back the Dockers to Cover the Line (-16.5 Points) @ $2.00
The AFL has again been left scrambling this week due to the ongoing COVID crisis unfolding right across the country.
The situation in Sydney has forced Sunday’s crucial game between the Swans and West Coast to be played in Geelong, while there’s still plenty of uncertainty surrounding the venue between Fremantle and Carlton at time of publish.
Fortunately, Friday’s blockbuster between the Cats and the Bombers is set to go ahead from Geelong, followed by an intriguing battle on Saturday afternoon when the premiership favourite Melbourne Demons battle GWS at the ‘G.
For analysis and betting advice on each and every game, be sure to read our 2021 AFL Round 16 Preview here!
Gold Coast Suns
Thursday July 1, 7:20pm, Marvel
A game against the Gold Coast might be just what the doctor ordered for the struggling Tigers on Thursday night.
Richmond’s performance was arguably one of the worst of the Damien Hardwick era last week against the Saints, but the good news is the Tigers still find themselves sitting eighth thanks to a pair of losses from Essendon and GWS.
The Suns, on the other hand, come into this game a little worse for wear after suffering their third consecutive defeat against North Melbourne.
Stuart Dew’s side was far from disgraced in the nine-point loss, but the Suns’ inability to compete in the fourth quarter is a worrying side with the reigning premiers in town this week.
Richmond’s recent run of injuries has only gotten worse with Noah Balta and Nathan Broad set for an extended stint on the sideline, but there is some good news on the Tom Lynch front with the star forward set to face his former side.
As far as betting goes, this looks like the perfect game for the Tigers to get back on track.
The top four and even the premiership are in question right now, but it’s hard to ignore the fact Richmond has won six straight over the Gold Coast dating back to 2015.
Lynch’s inclusion should give the Tigers a little more direction moving the ball forward, and seeing as though the Suns seemingly don’t have the legs to play a full four quarters, this one could get ugly.
Tip: Back the Tigers to Cover the Line
Friday July 2, 7:50pm, GMHBA
A trip back to Geelong couldn’t have come at a better time for the Cats as they look to regroup following last week’s 44-point annihilation against Brisbane.
Questions have been asked all week about Geelong’s premiership credentials, particularly after an uncharacteristically quiet game from the likes of Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood at the Gabba.
The Bombers, meanwhile, should be playing with a sense of urgency this week after suffering a controversial loss against the Dees last Saturday.
With the Tigers losing, the Bombers squandered an ideal opportunity to re-join the eight, but they shouldn’t be short on confidence after pushing the premiership favourites to the brink.
The fact this game is being played at GMHBA obviously makes the Cats tough to bet against, particularly when you consider the Bombers haven’t won, or let alone played in Geelong since the ‘90s.
That said, the baby Bombers have proven to be a tough out this season, which in turn has seen them cover the line four of their last five games.
Brisbane proved last week that the Cats don’t respond well to intense pressure, so look for the Bombers to employ a similar strategy to try and disrupt Geelong through the midfield.
With some rain also forecast for Friday, the Bombers look a strong play to cover what is a fairly generous line.
Tip: Back the Bombers to Cover the Line (+25.5 Points) @ $2.00
Saturday July 3, 1:45pm, MCG
The Dees will be hoping for a repeat of Round 3 on Saturday as they look to make it a clean sweep over the Giants at the MCG.
Melbourne won by 34 points when they met in Sydney earlier in the year, while they’ll also be looking to build on a thrilling win over Essendon last week that has likely left Simon Goodwin with plenty to think about.
The Dees struggled under the Dons’ enormous pressure for most of the game, but like all good sides do, Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver showed their class to ensure a much-needed victory.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the Giants.
Leon Cameron’s side blew a three-goal first-quarter lead against the Hawks last Sunday and managed to squander a chance to return to the eight in the process.
Looking ahead, the Dees should be able to win this game comfortably if they can replicate the same game plan they put into effect in Round 3.
Much like last week against Hawthorn, the Giants led by three goals at quarter time, only to fall apart in the second half as turnovers and sloppy play gifted the Dees nine goals.
If Melbourne can apply the same pressure and find some much-needed accuracy in front of goal, they should go a long way towards winning this.
Tip: Back Melbourne 1-39 @ $2.10
Saturday July 3, 4:35pm, Adelaide Oval
An important trip to Adelaide is in store this week for the Lions as they look to cement their spot inside the top four.
Brisbane was ultra-impressive last Thursday night at the Gabba in their 44-point thumping over Geelong, a result that put the rest of the league on notice with the finals fast approaching.
The Crows have lost three of their last four games, but they’ve certainly been playing some decent footy of late to suggest they can make a contest of this.
Adelaide lost by only 10 points to Carlton last week at Marvel, a respectable margin after the game got well out of hand in the second quarter.
For all the positives about Adelaide though, this still looks a tough task now that Rory Sloane’s season appears to be over with a finger injury.
It’s worth noting that the Lions haven’t won against the Crows in Adelaide since 2011, but if they can bring that same brand of physical, punishing football that was so effective last week against the Cats, they should prove tough to beat.
When you also consider Brisbane has been one of the best first quarter sides in the competition, this one could get out of hand early.
Tip: Back the Lions to Cover the Line
Saturday July 3, 7:40pm, MCG
The Dockers have done extremely well to keep their heads above water during this recent injury crisis as they now find themselves just one win away from returning to the eight.
A tough game against Carlton awaits though as the Blues are also vying for a late finals push following last week’s gutsy 10-point win over Adelaide.
The market suggests this an evenly matched game, but the Dockers appear to have an edge with the Blues set to travel without Marc Murphy and Eddie Betts.
Their absence alone makes this a tough task for a Carlton side that has played to a 2-2 record outside of Melbourne this year, not to mention the fact Nat Fyfe could return from a shoulder injury for Fremantle.
If you’ve been keeping count, you’ll know the Blues have won three straight over the Dockers dating back to 2019, but the way Fremantle has played defensively recently makes them the team worth betting on.
The Dockers have held their last two opponents to under 80 points – a worrying sign for a Carlton outfit that ranks 10th in total goals this year.
Tip: Back Fremantle 1-39
Saturday July 3, 7:40pm, Marvel
The Hawks have very little to play for at this point, but they’ll certainly relish the opportunity to knock off another finals contender like they did last week against GWS.
Hawthorn was on the right end of a come-from-behind victory for a change as the Giants blew a three-goal first-quarter lead in a memorable win at the MCG.
The Hawks can’t afford to give this talented Port Adelaide side the same kind of head start though, especially with the Power riding the highs of last week’s 10-point win over Sydney at home.
Hawthorn can be a handful at times, but this only gets tougher if Chad Wingard misses the game with a hamstring issue.
Likewise, the Power have some injury concerns of their own on the Charlie Dixon front, but the fact Port has played to a perfect 3-0 record in Melbourne this year is hard to ignore.
Only 10 points separated these two sides when they met last year, so you could make a case for the Hawks at the line, but the Power kicking clear to win by a comfortable margin in the fourth term looks more likely.
Tip: Back Port Adelaide 1-39 @ $2.05
West Coast Eagles
Sunday July 4, 1:10pm, GMHBA
Due to Sydney’s ongoing COVID situation, the neutral turf in Geelong will play host to Sunday’s top-eight blockbuster between the Swans and Eagles.
This is the second top-eight clash in a row for both sides after the Swans fell 10 points short to Port Adelaide last week, while West Coast followed suit on Sunday with a dismal display against the Dogs at home.
Both teams will be eager to get back on track and move a step closer to the top four, but this is a difficult game to dissect with almost even money on offer.
Having now lost back-to-back games, the Swans have really hit a rough patch that largely boils down to their inability to play a consistent four quarters.
The Eagles, on the other hand, are simply trying to get some of their mojo back after most of their stars have spent the first half of the season on the injured list.
To make matters more complicated, neither side has been particularly impressive on the road, which does make the Total the safest play.
Six of the last eight games between these two sides have gone Under the Total, so it’s worth backing a low-scoring affair on neutral turf.
Tip: Under 162.5 Total Points @ $1.90
Sunday July 4, 3:20pm, MCG
Just when we thought the Saints were dead and buried, they come roaring back to life with a stunning 40-point win over the reigning premiers.
Brett Ratten’ side still has plenty of work left to do from here, but another win over Collingwood on Sunday would go a long way to bridging the gap between themselves and the top eight.
Collingwood has little left to play for at this point and it is surprising to find the Pies as short-priced favourites in betting.
The Magpies came back down to earth last week in Robert Harvey’s first game as interim coach with a 12-point loss to Fremantle, but this does look an ideal bounce-back game against a St Kilda side that typically gives up goals for fun.
Last week’s win over Richmond was impressive, but you could argue it was more a case of the Tigers playing awful footy, as opposed to the Saints putting on a clinic.
Say what you will about Collingwood, but they’ve owned St Kilda’s number in recent years with three straight wins, and if they can avoid the second quarter collapse that cost them so dearly last week, so they should be right in this.
Tip: Back Collingwood to Win @ $1.73
Sunday July 4, 4:40pm, Marvel
The Bulldogs could potentially move into the top spot on the ladder this week if results go their way.
Fresh from a big win over West Coast last week in Perth, Luke Beveridge’s side now set their sights on the wooden spoon favourites in what is no doubt a very favourable matchup at Marvel against North.
The Roos managed to build on their honourable loss against Brisbane to win their second game of the season against the Suns last week, but this is obviously a huge step up in class against a premiership – not that North fans need any reminding.
The Roos lost by a historic 128-point margin when these two sides met back in Round 3, which not surprisingly, has left the line at a very casual -50.5 points in favour of the Dogs.
North has definitely played some much better footy since then, but the back-line is likely in for another tough day after Josh Bruce kicked 10 on them last time they met.
Long lines like this always make you nervous, but after beating West Coast by over 50 points last week on the road, there’s no reason the Dogs can’t do the same here.
Tip: Back the Bulldogs to Cover the Line (-50.5 Points) @ $1.90
Blink and you might miss it.
North Melbourne and Port Adelaide kick off Round 16 on Saturday night as the AFL moves one step closer to playing finals.
With the top eight far from decided, this shapes up as another make-or-break week for the Dees, Bulldogs, Giants and Bombers with time quickly running out.
We should receive some added clarity on Sunday as the Cats hope to put a line through Essendon’s season, while West Coast can do the same in their blockbuster clash against the Bulldogs at Metricon.
We’ve analysed all eight games between Saturday to Wednesday in our 2020 AFL Round 16 Preview below.
Saturday September 5, 7:40pm, Metricon Stadium
Port Adelaide could have some company atop the ladder heading into Saturday’s game if the Lions take care of Collingwood on Friday night.
The Power won’t have to worry too much though as they prepare to take on a North Melbourne side that has lost five straight games.
These two sides are both coming off a much-needed bye, but it’s very difficult to see the Kangaroos pulling off a miraculous upset.
North squandered a prime opportunity to record their last win of the season against the Suns a week ago in a very lethargic 91-28 defeat.
Port, meanwhile, enjoyed a fairly cruisy end to August with victories over Hawthorn and Sydney and this easy run should help them immensely heading into the final two games against Essendon and Collingwood.
The Power have also been an exceptional betting play at Metricon this year going 4-1 overall.
With rest on their side, this should get ugly.
Tip: Back Port Adelaide to Cover the Line
Sunday September 6, 1:05pm, Metricon Stadium
The Saints have had a week off to get their heads straight following back-to-back losses to Brisbane and Melbourne.
After sitting top four only two weeks ago, the Saints are suddenly in danger of sliding outside the eight, but they do have a chance to return to form this week against a Hawthorn side that has hit complete rock bottom.
The Hawks were the victims of the previously winless Crows on Tuesday in a performance that left a lot to be desired.
Alastair Clarkson refuses to believe a rebuild is imminent, instead falling back on his “cycle of footy” theory.
The Hawks are battered and bruised, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see some young faces lineup with the team playing on short rest.
That should inspire some much-needed confidence, but it probably won’t be enough to get the Hawks over the line against a well-rested Saints outfit.
This is also Hawthorn’s first look at Metricon (and Queensland) this season.
The wide-open Gold Coast ground takes some getting used to, so just about everything is working in the Saints’ favour here.
Tip: Back St Kilda to Cover the Line
Sunday September 6, 3:35pm, Gabba
Another loss on Sunday might just bring an end to Essendon’s finals hopes.
With only one win from their last five games, the Dons face another huge test on Sunday against a well-rested Geelong side playing off a bye.
The Cats have been notoriously awful following a week off for the past decade, but in this strange and whacky season, it’s difficult to see them struggling with a Bombers side that still can’t seem to play four solid quarters of footy.
Essendon managed only two goals in the second half on Tuesday night against West Coast in their 15-point loss.
The Dons weren’t disgraced by any stretch, but after such a promising turnaround against Hawthorn, it was a little disappointing to watch Joe Daniher and Jake Stringer fail to kick a goal.
A similar performance against Geelong this week simply won’t fly, and unfortunately for the Bombers, the stats suggest we might be in for a repeat performance.
The Cats have allowed the second-fewest goals to opponents this year, which largely explains their five-game winning streak.
With Geelong well-rested and looking to remain in the top four, this one could turn out a little one sided.
Tip: Back Geelong to Cover the Line
West Coast Eagles
Sunday September 6, 6:10pm, Metricon Stadium
The Dogs have won only two of their last five games yet somehow find themselves just one win away from a spot back inside the eight.
Fresh from a week off, the Bulldogs should fancy themselves a genuine chance on Sunday against a West Coast side playing on only four days’ rest.
The Eagles held on for 15-point win against the Bombers on Tuesday night – a strong result with Josh Kennedy on the sidelines.
West Coast should see their star forward return from a concussion, but they still might have their hands full against a frisky Dogs team capable of beating anyone on their day.
Luke Beveridge’s side took Geelong to the brink in their 11-point loss a fortnight ago, a performance the Dogs are sure to build on now that they’ve had a week off to set things straight.
In their last five games the Dogs have pummelled Adelaide and Melbourne and also hung tight with Port Adelaide, Brisbane and Geelong.
Those form lines read well for this contest, particularly at Metricon, where the Eagles are just 1-3 this year.
Tip: Back the Bulldogs to Cover the Line
Monday September 7, 7:10pm, Cazaly's Stadium
Melbourne v Fremantle
The Dees will be in a hurry to put last week’s horror loss to the Swans behind them with time quickly running out in the season.
A place in the top eight is still up for grabs, but Melbourne must ensure they win from here on out with the Bulldogs and Giants both breathing down their neck.
The Dockers will relish the chance to put a final line through the Demons’ season after a spirited performance against Richmond last Wednesday night.
Fremantle managed only 29 points against the Tigers but still managed to put a scare into the reigning premiers for the better part of three quarters.
Both sides are playing on very little rest here and, like many other games of late, it is difficult to envision a great deal of points.
The Dees showed last week that they are still as untrustworthy as ever, while the Dockers have kicked less than eight goals in four of their last five games.
It just so happens that the Total has gone Under in the last two meetings between these teams, so we’re tipping another low scoring contest.
Tip: Under 105.5 Total Points @ $1.87
Tuesday September 8, 5:40pm, Adelaide Oval
The previously winless Crows are finally on the board after coming away with a big win over the Hawks last Tuesday.
Adelaide still find themselves as long outsiders heading into Round 16, but the Giants do need to ensure they don’t overlook the Crows with their season on the line.
GWS has now won back-to-back games over Fremantle and Carlton as they hope to maintain pace with the top eight.
The Giants are playing on only four days’ rest following their narrow nine-point win over the Blues last Thursday, while the Crows have a week under their belt.
Adelaide has won three of its last five contests against GWS and there is a bit to like about the Crows with Phil Davis and Josh Kelly’s status still uncertain.
Tip: Back the Crows to Cover the Line (+19.5 Points) @ $2.00
Tuesday September 8, 8:10pm, Metricon Stadium
Carlton will be looking to end their season on a high note with finals now out of the equation.
The Blues lost a thriller to GWS last Thursday night that has just about put a line through their top eight chances, and they aren’t about to find life any easier against a frisky Sydney side capable of upsetting anyone on their day.
The Swans are coming off a monumental upset over the Demons last week that leaves them looking good value in the market.
Sydney have typically been a very strong side to bet on at the line in away games this year, and there is a lot to like about the Bloods laying +8.5 ahead of Tuesday’s contest.
Carlton defeated Sydney 69-62 when these two sides met last year, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see a similar low-scoring result.
Tip: Back the Swans to Cover the Line (+8.5 Points) @ $2.00
Gold Coast Suns
Wednesday September 9, 7:10pm, Gabba
The first Q-Clash of the season kicks off on Wednesday night with the Lions looking to rejoin Port Adelaide atop the ladder.
Chris Fagan’s side came away with a gutsy win over Collingwood last Friday at the Gabba, but they also suffered a loss at the same time with star defender Harris Andrews set to miss up to six weeks with a hamstring injury.
The Suns, meanwhile, are playing on nine days rest after piling on the points in a 91-28 defeat over North Melbourne a fortnight ago.
Gold Coast has very little to play for other than bragging rights at this stage of the competition, although that should be motivation enough after losing the last three Q-Clash’s to Brisbane.
That said, the Lions are at a slight advantage playing at the Gabba.
Brisbane has covered in three of their last four games against the Suns as the home favourite, and with their goal kicking showing slight improvement last week against the Pies, the Lions should record another statement victory here.
Tip: Back the Lions to Cover the Line (-18.5 Points) @ $2.00
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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)
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.
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
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)
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.
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)
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)
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
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)
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)
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
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
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)
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