A Grand Final rematch and a pair of top-eight clashes headline Round 17 as the finals countdown continues.
Collingwood needs to bounce-back following last week’s loss to Hawthorn, while there’s plenty on the line between the Bombers and North Melbourne on Saturday.
The Tigers host the Giants on Sunday in a battle between fifth and sixth, followed by Port and the Lions from Adelaide Oval.
It’s a difficult weekend to dissect, so be sure to read our complete 2019 AFL Round 17 Preview below.
West Coast Eagles Vs Collingwood
Friday July 12, 6:10pm, Optus Stadium
The pressure is on at Collingwood following last week’s four-point loss to Hawthorn.
Nathan Buckley’s side played a flat four quarters as they slumped to their second loss in a row, leaving many to question just how legitimate the Pies are as a flag contender.
Meanwhile, out West, the Eagles suddenly look unstoppable. The Eagles claimed Derby 50 by a commanding 91-points over the Dockers, making West Coast the red-hot favourites this week as they remain home to face the Pies.
After losing last year’s Grand Final in heartbreaking fashion, the Pies failed to claim revenge in Round 3 losing by 22-points at the MCG.
If you’ve been keeping count at home, West Coast has now won four straight games over Collingwood. The Pies haven’t won against the Eagles in Perth since 2009, so not surprisingly, the Eagles are a perfect 4-0 as the home favourite against Collingwood.
Combining for 49 disposals in slippery conditions, Nic Naitanui and Andrew Gaff were phenomenal last week against the Dockers – a scary thought as the reigning premiers have suddenly hit full stride.
The Pies have plenty of talent through the middle to keep this close, but their long list of outs make them vulnerable for the second week in a row.
Realistically, Hawthorn should have won by plenty last week if they kicked straight, but with James Worpel and Jarman Impey seeing plenty of the footy, don’t be surprised if Collingwood struggles to tag West Coast’s elite midfielders this week.
Tip: Back West Coast 1-39 @ $2.00
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Sydney Swans Vs Carlton
Saturday July 13, 1:45pm, SCG
A 10-point loss to the Bombers has just about put a line through Sydney’s finals chances.
Sydney will look to bounce back this week against the Blues at home, but if you’ve caught a glimpse of Carlton over the last six weeks, you’ll know nothing comes easy against David Teague’s young and inspired side.
In a game they really should have won, the Blues somehow lost by five-points to Melbourne last Sunday. Carlton was the better team in front of goal, but a lacklustre third quarter was enough for the Demons to scrape home in the end.
For desperate Blues fans, the signs are certainly promising. Carlton’s pressure has been enormous over the last month, while it was encouraging to see Jack Silvagni boot three goals last week.
Unfortunately, the Blues lack form at the SCG. Carlton hasn’t won in Sydney against the Swans since 2011, while the Bloods have won their last three games at home.
The good news for Carlton is they probably won’t have to worry about Buddy Franklin this week. The future Hall of Famer has booted 16 goals in his last five games against the Blues, but will likely miss his third straight game with a hamstring injury.
Following the disappointment against Melbourne, the line looks a little generous this week.
The Blues are 7-3 as the line underdog over the last 12 months and considering the Swans have won by an average margin of 23-points at home this year, it’s worth backing Carlton to keep this game close.
Tip: Back Carlton to Cover the Line (+22.5 Points) @ $1.90
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Hawthorn Vs Fremantle
Saturday July 13, 2:10pm, UTAS Stadium (Launceston)
Can the Hawks really make the finals from here?
You can never write off Alastair Clarkson’s side, as Nathan Buckley and the Pies found out last week.
The Hawks were enormous in their four-point victory over the Pies, particularly Jarman Impey, James Worpel and James Sicily. Now, Hawthorn looks to accomplish something they’ve failed to do all year: win two games in a row.
Fremantle’s fall from grace was capped off with a 91-point loss to the Eagles in Derby 50 last week.
The Dockers were drenched on the ground and on the scoreboard in the first half, allowing West Coast to boot ten goals before the main break.
Freo is still searching for its first win in Tasmania against the Hawks, so it’s safe to say another slow start could prove detrimental to the Dockers’ winning chances.
The Hawks have won five straight games over Fremantle dating back to 2015, and although they’ve survived a few close calls down in Launceston this season, Hawthorn’s forward line should do the talking.
Mitchell Lewis finally broke through with a pair of goals last week against the Pies, while Luke Breust has been a little too quiet.
The Hawks are 4-1 as the line favourite at home to the Dockers, so back them to win this one comfortably.
Tip: Back the Hawks to Cover the Line (-12.5 Points) @ $1.90
AFL Same Game Multi
Essendon Vs North Melbourne
Saturday July 13, 4:35pm, Marvel Stadium
It’s far from do-or-die, but a win could go a long way towards playing finals for either club on Saturday afternoon.
David Zaharakis was the standout during the Bombers’ 10-point win over the Swans last week, a result that leaves Essendon tied on points with Port Adelaide and the Crows.
A win this week should vault the Dons back inside the eight for the first time since April, and they’ll feel pretty confident knowing they defeated North by 58-points back in Round 5.
Of course, that was well before Rhyce Shaw turned things around at Arden Street, and while there’s plenty on the line for the Bombers, the stakes are equally high for the Roos.
North has won four of its last five games including last week’s 39-point blowout against the Saints.
The Roos now look to snap a three-game losing streak against the Bombers, but if you’ve been paying attention to the stats, you’ll know North are a strong upset chance this week.
Shaw’s side currently ranks second last in inside 50’s allowed to opponents, which could make life tough for the Bombers after booting 11 goals and 10 behinds last week against the Swans.
North, meanwhile, are 5-3 as the away underdog over the last 12 months, and with Ben Brown fresh from a three-goal performance, the Roos look great value to win this one.
Tip: Back North Melbourne to Win @ $2.10
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Gold Coast Suns Vs Adelaide Crows
Saturday July 13, 7:25pm, Metricon Stadium
The Suns allowed Richmond to score 100-points before half time last week at home, firming even further into wooden spoon favouritism with seven rounds remaining.
Things aren’t about to get any easier with Adelaide coming to town, although the Crows were also left with egg on their face following last week’s 57-point loss in Showdown 47.
Adelaide is clinging desperately to a spot inside the top eight, but they should boost their percentage this week at Metricon if they can somehow kick straight.
Since joining the league in 2011, the Suns have lost all 12 games against the Crows. Adelaide has won four of its seven games on the road this year and are also 6-0 as the away favourite against the Suns.
Tip: Back the Crows 1-39 @ $2.12
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Geelong Vs St Kilda
Saturday July 13, 6:10pm, GMHBA Stadium
Sometimes the market paints the picture.
St. Kilda has a big decision to make regarding the coaching status of Alan Richardson following last week’s dismal performance against North Melbourne.
Only a fortnight ago the Saints were on the verge of a top-eight spot, but they have since plummeted down to 15th on the ladder with only one win in their last five games.
Things aren’t quite so dire at The Cattery, but Geelong has plenty of questions to answer.
The Cats took their foot off the gas last week in the fourth quarter against the Dogs, but really, the entire game seemed to lack the usual oomph we’ve come to expect from one of the classiest sides in the competition.
Geelong sits four points clear atop the table, and they’ll rest easy knowing they return home to GMHBA with a 2-0 record on the back of a loss this season.
The Cats are a perfect 3-0 as the home favourite at the line against the Saints, and if last year’s 46-point win is any indication, this one should have blowout written all over it.
Tip: Back Geelong to Cover the Line (-43.5 Points) @ $1.90
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Richmond Vs GWS Giants
Sunday July 14, 1:10pm, MCG
This game could go a long way to determining home field advantage throughout the finals.
Richmond is the in-form side after hammering the Suns by 92-points last week, but they’ll be hoping for a little revenge on their blowout loss to the Giants back in Round 3.
The Giants hit a snag last week against Lions, falling 20-points short at home in their second consecutive loss.
The problems were evident from the get-go as GWS struggled to build momentum and establish clean inside 50 entries. Sloppy turnovers also cost the Giants in the end; an area Leon Cameron’s side needs to tidy up ahead of their trip to face the Tigers.
The Giants’ losing record at the MCG is well documented, a number the Tigers have certainly contributed to. Since joining the league in 2012, GWS has lost all four of its games against Richmond at the home of footy.
Richmond were deadly in front of goal last week, and while the Giants will have their hands full with Tom Lynch and Dustin Martin, they’ll need to be wary of Daniel Rioli, who has booted 11 goals in his last five games against GWS.
The Tigers are 9-1 as the home favourite over the last year and a perfect 3-0 against GWS.
Three of their four games at the MCG have been decided by 1-39 points and considering the Giants haven’t played Richmond at the ‘G since 2017, the Tigers should win a close one.
Tip: Back Richmond 1-39 @ $2.10
AFL Same Game Multi
Western Bulldogs Vs Melbourne
Sunday July 14, 3:20pm, Marvel Stadium
Back-to-back wins over Port and Geelong has the Bulldogs in the driver’s seat for a last-minute finals berth.
Luke Beveridge’s side booted five goals in the fourth quarter against the Cats, as it feels as though the Dogs have now rediscovered their underdog mentality that led to the 2016 Grand Final.
As for Melbourne, last week’s five-point win over Carlton wasn’t pretty, but it got the job done.
The Dees have nothing to play for other than bragging rights this weekend, although they’ll be hoping to extend their three-game winning streak to four against the Dogs.
The last four meetings between these two sides have hardly been close, but Melbourne’s woes in the fourth quarter this season should give the Dogs a chance.
Simon Goodwin’s side has won only five of their 15 fourth quarters this season – the fewest in the league. The Dogs, meanwhile, are 3-1 as the home favourite against Melbourne.
For the Dogs to win this, they need all of their stars to shine. Lachie Hunter and Jack Macrae racked up over 30 disposals during last week’s win over the Cats, while the backline as a whole played enormously well holding Gary Ablett goalless.
Tip: Back the Bulldogs to Cover the Line (-8.5 Points) @ $1.90
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Port Adelaide Vs Brisbane Lions
Sunday July 14, 4:40pm, Adelaide Oval
The AFL has saved the best for last this week as the fourth-place Lions head to Adelaide Oval to face the seventh-place Power.
This was once a bitter rivalry during Brisbane’s heyday, and it has since brought plenty of fireworks with the last two games being decided by no more than 20-points.
Brisbane won by 17-points over the Power back in Round 3, but you have to rewind all the way back to 2012 to find the Lions’ last win over Port in Adelaide.
The Power have largely been one of the more inconsistent sides this season, however their dominant win over the Crows in Showdown 47 last week highlighted how dangerous Port can be when they control the inside 50’s.
Brisbane has won back-to-back games on three separate occasions this year, but can they back up one huge performance on the road with another?
Port Adelaide has won four of its seven home games this year, but more importantly, the Power are 5-1 as the home favourite against Brisbane.
The Lions, on the other hand, are 3-2 as the away underdog at the line against the Power. If Eric Hipwood can replicate his six-goal performance against Port Adelaide earlier in the year, Brisbane should come close.
Tip: Back the Lions to Cover the Line (+12.5 Points) @ $1.90
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The ladder continues to shift, and after a huge weekend filled with plenty of blowouts, it’s anyone’s guess how the Top 8 will shape up come finals time.
For the third week in a row, the AFL has dished up another Thursday night blockbuster, as well as a can’t miss battle between first and third on Sunday afternoon.
There’s just seven weeks to go, and as always, you can find all of our tips from our AFL Round 17 Preview below!
Adelaide Crows Vs Geelong
Thursday 12 July, 7:20pm, Adelaide Oval
The Crows caught a serious case of dejavu last week at the G’. Their 47-point thumping at the hands of the Tigers brought back serious nightmares from last seasons Grand Final disappointment, but not only that, Adelaide now find themselves well out of the finals picture with less than two months to play.
Meanwhile, back at the cattery, Geelong showed they still belong in the eight following a triumphant win over the Swans down in Sydney. The final quarter looked tailor-made for a Swans fightback, but Tim Kelly’s around the body snap with under five minutes to play saw the Cats home.
With all that in mind, everything now points towards a potential shootout this week in Adelaide.
Both sides have shown some pretty spotty form as of late, and since this might actually be Adelaide’s final, final chance at postseason footy, the Crows should recognise what’s on the line.
Fortunately for Don Pyke’s side, form is well and truly in favour of the pride. The Crows belted Geelong last season at Adelaide Oval to the tune of 51-points, and since the Cats haven’t won down south since 2016, Adelaide have to feel confident.
Geelong on the other hand, well they too will feel good following last week’s success. In all honesty, the Cats haven’t done a lot wrong over the last two months, no matter what their record says. Their win over Sydney highlighted how scary this team can be when they’re at full strength, but in case you need further convincing, just look at Mitch Duncan’s 32-disposals last week.
It’s fair to say that this game will come down to whoever can execute the number one principle in all of footy: teamwork. Several key players failed to show up last week for the Crows, including Tex Walker and Tom Lynch.
Hot/cold performances have been the theme for Adelaide for most of the season, and despite Geelong’s win over the Swans, they too could benefit from better showings from the likes of Gary Ablett and others.
If this one does stay tight, it’s going to come down to the fourth quarter battle, an area Adelaide have struggled in. If the Cats can find that extra gear just like they did last week in the final term, they should take a handy win on the road.
Back Geelong to Win @ $2.00
St. Kilda Vs Carlton
Friday 13 July, 7:50pm, Etihad
The Saints came back down to earth last week, and the Blues went from well, worst to… *insert adjective here*.
It’s hardly the prime time game the AFL thought it might be when they released the schedule, but it really is tough to tell exactly what we’ll take away from this one on Friday night.
On one hand, you’ve got the Saints on the back of an honourable loss against the Power, and on the other, the Blues on the back of an absolute disaster show against the Lions.
Where do you even begin?
St. Kilda are as bad as their record suggests, but there have been small, morale boosting victories within all of these catastrophes. David Armitage rewound the clock last week with 30 disposals and a trio of goals, and since the midfield has been such an area of concern for the Sainters, how about Jack Steele silencing Ollie Wines for the entire game?
Of course, it’s much harder to pick out the positives from Carlton’s mishap at The Gabba. They were outclassed by a team that could be considered their equal, and once again, the medical staff got quite the workout. The Blues will likely go without Andrew Phillips, Jacob Weitering and Caleb Marchbank moving forward.
It’s tough to call this one, and it’s obviously a game both sides will feel they can win. St. Kilda have won three of their last five encounters against the Blues, though, and with such a lengthy injury list, this is the type of game Tim Mebrey and Jack Billings should lap up.
Back St. Kilda to Beat The Line (-21.5 Points) @ $1.90
Hawthorn Vs Brisbane Lions
Saturday 14 July, 1:45pm, UTAS Stadium
As we saw on Saturday night against the Bulldogs last week, when Hawthorn play their best footy, they are a joy to watch.
The game hung in the balance at half time, but the Hawks completely bullied the Dogs in the second half, shutting down Jason Johannisen and booting seven goals in the third term.
How about the Lions, though?
Brisbane were heavily backed to beat the Blues, but nobody thought it would be by 40+ points. Eric Hipwood broke through with a career high six goals, while captain Dayne Beams chipped in with a lazy 40 disposals of his own.
With these two having met just six weeks prior, we’re now set up for the sequel to the Lions’ thrilling win over Hawthorn at The Gabba back in Round 9. Brisbane will have their work cut out for them on the road in Tassie, but the tail is certainly up and about for Chris Fagan’s squad right now.
Don’t look now, but Brisbane have quite the history down in Launceston, even if it isn’t pretty. The Lions have played eight games in Tasmania over the last 10-years, with just one win to their name back in 2009.
Unfortunately for the Lions, the other seven games were hardly close, which is just what we should expect this weekend.
The Hawks have their moments, but the third quarter has really become their bread and butter this season. It was evident last week that Jack Gunston’s inclusion back into the side means the world to this team, freeing up the likes of Luke Breust to kick a casual six-goal bag.
There’s every chance the Lions make this a contest, but the Hawks should realise they have quite the handy run home. Sitting just inside the eight with some pretty favourable games to come against Carlton and St. Kilda, this is the type of match Hawthorn will look to make a statement in.
Back Hawthorn to Win By 1-39 @ $2.15
Melbourne Vs Western Bulldogs
Saturday 14 July, 4:35pm, MCG
Looks like the Demons aren’t going to fade into the night.
Last week’s convincing win over the Dockers looked more like the Melbourne we once knew, and for the first time in weeks, it was nice to see the Dees taking care of a team with much less class.
The Doggies were hard done by against the Hawks, or perhaps just out-coached. Alastair Clarkson’s halftime adjustments made the Dogs look like two different teams from start to finish, canceling out whatever slim hope the Bulldogs had of playing finals.
On paper this game looks intriguing, that is if you look past the Dogs 49-point blowout loss against Melbourne back in Round 11.
The Dees taking care of a miserable Fremantle side is one thing, but as we know, the Dogs can just about beat anyone on their day. This injury riddled side is still dangerous in open space, so it’s going to take the class of Melbourne’s midfield to contain the likes of Mitch Wallis and Marcus Bontempelli.
If there was one thing we took away from the Dees win in Darwin last week, it was their inconsistencies. Melbourne kicked just seven goals in the first half, but also booted a whopping 24 behinds.
That has to be a little concerning for one of the top scoring sides in the competition, but fortunately for Melbourne, the Dogs aren’t exactly any better in front of the sticks. The Bulldogs managed just one goal in the entire third quarter last week against the Hawks, cancelling out any chance of a comeback victory.
With a move back up to sixth on the ladder, the Dees have to take not only this game seriously, but the Bulldogs seriously. If Melbourne wish to finish inside the Top 4, this is a must-win, but if they can average close to 80 inside fifties like they did last week against Freo, this one should be easy pickings.
Back Melbourne to Win By 40+ @ $2.15
Gold Coast Suns Vs Essendon
Saturday 14 July, 7:25pm, Metricon Stadium
Don’t look now, but it’s been a long time in between drinks for the poor old Suns.
Having now lost 10 straight games, Gold Coast’s last win over the Lions back in Round 5 must feel like a lifetime ago.
To make matters worse, last week’s effort against North Melbourne was a far cry from the victory over the Roos earlier in the season. No Suns player managed to kick more than one goal last week, leaving plenty of opened ended questions surrounding this club ahead of the future.
The Bombers won’t feel quite as bad following their shortcomings against the Pies, but that one had to sting. It felt like a finals game, but that’s exactly what Essendon were chasing on Sunday afternoon sitting 12th on the ladder.
It’s not that Essendon played poorly, they just let their foot slip off the pedal when it counted most. The Bombers were too slow to respond to Collingwood’s quick transition attack, costing them three goals in the span of five minutes during the fourth quarter.
With a trip to the Gold Coast now in hand, the Dons should feel they can get this ‘finals or bust’ season back on track, though.
The late withdrawal of Orazio Fantasia hurt Essendon last week, but they should welcome back one of their top goal-scorers ahead of the trip up north. There were also small victories to come from last week’s loss to the Pies, including the pressure from Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti and Zach Merrett’s 33 disposals.
Not for the first time, it’s hard to see where the Suns scoring will come from. Essendon’s tackling pressure has been elite during the second half of the season, and after being dominated in the contested possession count last week, they’ll be keen to make up for it.
Bombers by plenty.
Back Essendon to Win By 40+ @ $2.35
GWS Giants Vs Richmond
Saturday 14 July, 7:25pm, Spotless Stadium
So who’s going to beat this Richmond outfit?
You’d be hard pressed to think of anyone that could match the Tigers’ elite ball movement and pressure displayed during their blowout win over the Crows.
Time and time again the reigning premiers have shown that stingy defence wins games, but also that teamwork and confident ball sharing through the midfield is the separating factor between Richmond and the rest of the league.
The Giants certainly have that blueprint down-pat, but they just don’t have the players to execute it. Jonathon Patton’s absence was evident last week during the loss to the Eagles in Perth, but for the most part, you had to be encouraged by the Giants’ nerve right up until the final whistle.
Since GWS hold the home ground advantage here, you could certainly make a case for the hosts. Sure, last week’s trip out west resulted in a loss, but the Giants’ ability to reclaim momentum time and time again had them in the contest right up until the final siren.
With the casualty list a mile long, goals from the likes of Adam Tomlinson and Harry Himmelberg were fundamental for GWS last week. We saw the Giants kick away in the final term against Hawthorn three week’s ago, and if they can find that kind of resolve against the Tigers, there’s every chance this stays close.
For Richmond to win, they need to get off to a fast start. The Giants have become quite efficient at pouncing all over their opponent early, evident in victories against Hawthorn and Brisbane recently, and although Spotless Stadium is hardly a fortress, it’s not the kind of ground you want to fall behind at.
Since this is the Tigers’ first trip away from Melbourne since Round 12, it will be interesting to see how they handle this road trip. Since Richmond’s last visit to Spotless resulted in a 78-75 loss, the Giants, with their season on the line, look a smart play here.
Back GWS Giants to Beat The Line (+12.5 Points) @ $1.90
Collingwood Vs West Coast Eagles
Saturday 14 July, 1:10pm, MCG
Second vs. third and a potential finals preview?
That’s what’s ahead of us on Sunday, and on the back of their seventh straight win last week, the Pies come in as the early favourite.
To get to this point, it’s taken plenty of heartache. The Magpies’ win over the Bombers last week was nothing short of impressive, and the same can be said (once again) for Jordan de Goey.
The Eagles also had plenty to prove last week, having lost three straight since the bye. It took all four quarters to dispose of a steely Giants side, but the Eagles kept their Top 4 hopes alive with a win at home.
As we’ve seen so far this season, the Eagles of old are no more. A trip to Melbourne used to haunt this team, but West Coast’s 3-0 record in the footy capital this year says otherwise.
Collingwood, well let’s just say they are far from a guaranteed certainty at the G’. The Pies have won just four games at home this season, and with an injury list a mile long, an eighth straight win is no guarantee.
If West Coast really are to upset the Pies this week, they’ll need to knuckle down defensively. An under-strength forward line called for much more progressive play through the midfield last week, which in turn left the Eagles vulnerable on transition.
In case you’ve missed it, that’s one of the areas Collingwood can really hurt a team, evident in de Goey’s fourth quarter goal last week. The Pies are one of the quickest teams to take the ball from goal square to goal square, and if the Eagles don’t account for Collingwood’s talent as well as the wider dimensions the G’ has to offer, they’ll hardly stand a chance.
Back Collingwood to Beat The Line (-14.5 Points) @ $1.90
North Melbourne Vs Sydney Swans
Sunday 15 July, 3:20pm, Etihad
Even a win over the lowly Suns wasn’t enough to vault North Melbourne back into the eight.
On the flip side, Sydney have much bigger things to worry about. Kieran Jack, Jarrad McVeigh and Dan Hannebery all suffered injuries last week during the loss against the Cats, with each player expected to miss time.
The loss of McVeigh is by far the biggest deal for the Swans. A broken collarbone has ruled him out until the finals, a big blow for Sydney’s number one on-field leader.
Despite a win over the Gold Coast, North weren’t entirely convincing last week, either. The Suns fought back to be within 11-points at half time, and although North won comfortably in the end, there’s still a long ways to go for this team to make the eight.
The odds are rather close here, and there’s definitely value in either side. Sydney’s six wins in inter-state games makes them the team to beat, but it’s tough to see how they can contain North’s arsenal of attacking weapons.
If you’ll recall during Round 7, the Roos pinched a close one in the dying stages over the Swans at the SCG. That game came entirely down to momentum, something the Swans were unable to withstand last week against Geelong.
With so many injuries, this road trip to Etihad couldn’t have come at a worse time. North need to get back in the eight, and they should make it 2/2 against the Swans.
Back North Melbourne to Win @ $2.00
Fremantle Vs Port Adelaide
Sunday 15 July, 4:40pm, Optus Stadium
It’s strange to think Fremantle were even flirting with the idea of finals just three weeks ago.
Back-to-back losses to Brisbane and Melbourne have sent this team into a downward spiral, and it only gets worse against one of the in-form clubs in the competition up next.
Sitting fourth on the ladder, the Power are every chance to finish second or even first with seven weeks to play. We all expected Port to polish off the Saints by more than 36-points last week, but Charlie Dixon’s four-goal bag once again showed that when one player has an off day, another can step up in his place.
The talent on this Power team is obvious, whereas the Dockers are struggling from all angles. Aside from tackles, Fremantle were dominated in all statistical categories last week, and as we saw during their game against the Lions, when Freo fell behind, they just gave up.
Home field advantage is one thing, but a quick turnaround looks almost impossible for the Dockers. The Power dominated the hosts by 50-points back in Round 1, and although their 4-3 record in away games is less than flattering, it’s hard to see this being anything other than total dominance.
Back Port Adelaide to Win By 40+ @ $3.10
The 2017 AFL season continues to deliver and there are nine games set to take place this weekend that will all have some bearing on the make-up of the top eight.
There are a host of massive games this weekend, but there are none bigger than the Sydney Derby between the in-form Sydney Swans and the Greater Western Sydney Giants on Saturday night.
We have closely analysed this game and all eight other fixtures in the AFL this weekend and our complete 2017 AFL Round 17 tips can be found below.
St Kilda Vs Essendon
Friday 14 July, 7:50pm, Etihad Stadium
St Kilda made it four wins on the trot with their big victory over Richmond and they go into this clash with Essendon as favourites.
The Saints were truly outstanding against Richmond and they have shown throughout this season that they are capable of competing with the best sides in the competition when they are on their game.
St Kilda have won eight of their past nine games as favourites for a clear profit, but they are only 4-5 against the line in this scenario.
Essendon returned to winning form with a confidence-building win over Collingwood, but there is little chance that St Kilda will play as badly as Collingwood did last weekend.
The Bombers have now won eight of their past 18 games as underdogs for a clear profit and they are 13-5 against the line in this situation.
This is an interesting game in terms of the top eight race, but it is one that the market has got just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
Geelong Vs Hawthorn
Saturday 15 July, 1:45pm, MCG
The rivalry between Geelong and Hawthorn is one of the fiercest in the AFL and this shapes as an emotional game for the Hawks following the announcement that Luke Hodge will retire at the end of the season.
Geelong have lost only one of their past seven games and have scored some big wins during that period, but across the board they have still not been overly impressive.
The Cats have won eight of their past ten games as home favourites, but they are only 3-7 against the line in this scenario.
Hawthorn have found a semblance of their best form in recent weeks and they head into this clash following their nail-biting draw with Greater Western Sydney last Saturday afternoon.
The Hawks have won three of their past seven games as away underdogs for a big profit and they are 4-3 against the line in this scenario.
This is a massive occasion for Hawthorn and they are a good bet to cover the line with a start of 15.5 points.
Back Hawthorn To Beat The Line (+15.5 Points)
Port Adelaide Vs North Melbourne
Saturday 15 July, 2:10pm, Adelaide Oval
Port Adelaide are one of the shortest-priced favourites of the weekend in the AFL and really should prove too strong for North Melbourne.
The Power returned to winning form with an emphatic victory over the West Coast Eagles last weekend and a similar performance be more than enough to account for the Kangaroos.
Winning at home has still proven to be something of an issue for Port Adelaide – they have won only four of their past seven games as home favourites and they are 3-4 against the line in this scenario.
North Melbourne suffered their fifth straight defeat when they went down to Fremantle last weekend and this is a club that is clearly looking towards 2018 already.
The Kangaroos have won only one of their past seven games as away underdogs, but they are 4-3 against the line in this scenario.
These are the types of games that Port Adelaide have struggled in this season and North Melbourne are a good bet to beat the line with the monster start of 38.5 points.
Back North Melbourne To Beat The Line (+38.5 Points)
Gold Coast Suns Vs Collingwood
Saturday 15 July, 4:35pm, Metricon Stadium
The speculation around the future of Nathan Buckley continues and it will only increase if Collingwood fail to beat the Gold Coast Suns this weekend.
The Gold Coast were no match for Sydney last weekend, but they will still go into this clash with the Magpies as narrow favourites.
This is not a position in which they have thrived – they have won only two of their past four games as home favourites and have the same record against the line.
Collingwood produced one of their worst performances of the season against Essendon last weekend and they have now lost four games in a row.
The Magpies have won only two of their past seven games as away underdogs, but they continue to be flawless against the line in this scenario.
It is tough to trust Collingwood from a betting standpoint, but taking on the Suns continues to be a profitable betting play.
Back Collingwood To Win @ $2
GWS Giants Vs Sydney Swans
Saturday 15 July, 7:25pm, Spotless Stadium
The Sydney Derby has developed into one of the most anticipated games on the AFL calendar and we are set for a thriller at Spotless Stadium this weekend.
Greater Western Sydney played out their second draw in as many weeks last Saturday against Hawthorn and it really has been a fairly bizarre season for the Premiership favourites.
The Giants have won eight of their past 11 games as home favourites, but they are only 4-7 against the line in this scenario and have been tough to trust from a betting standpoint in recent weeks.
Sydney made it five wins on the trot with a strong victory over the Gold Coast Suns and they are arguably the form team in the entire competition.
The Swans have won two of their past four games as away underdogs for a profit, but they have lost their past three games against the Giants.
This may be one of the most interesting games of the weekend from a football standpoint, but there is no value betting wise.
Melbourne Vs Adelaide Crows
Saturday 15 July, 7:40pm, TIO Traeger Park
TIO Traeger Park in Darwin is home to a genuine blockbuster this weekend as Melbourne take on the Adelaide Crows in a crucial game for both sides.
Adelaide showed their dominance with a massive win over the Western Bulldogs last Friday night and there may be no side that can match them when they perform at their best.
The Crows have won 16 of their past 22 games as favourites for a profit and they are 13-9 against the line in this scenario.
Melbourne made it five wins from their past six starts with a fighting victory over Carlton, but they will need to improve on that performance to have any chance of beating Adelaide.
The Demons have won six of their past 11 games as underdogs, while they were able to beat Adelaide earlier this season.
The Crows go into this clash as deserving favourites, but there is not as much between these two sides as the current betting market suggests and Melbourne represent a hint of value at their current price.
Back Melbourne To Win @ $3.15
Richmond Vs Brisbane Lions
Sunday 16 July, 1:10pm, Etihad Stadium
Richmond came crashing back to earth with their heavy loss at the hands of St Kilda, but they are clear favourites to account for the Brisbane Lions this weekend.
The Tigers looked completely shell-shocked against St Kilda and there is no doubt that they will need to improve on that to be any chance of being a serious contender in September.
Richmond have won their past ten games against the Brisbane Lions and they have generally been a trustworthy side as home favourites this season – they have won three of their four games as home favourites and have the same record against the line.
The Lions were no match for Geelong last weekend, but they have generally produced their best performances in Melbourne.
Brisbane have won three of their past 11 games as away underdogs for a big profit and they are now 8-3 against the line in this scenario.
Richmond should prove too strong for the Lions, but the line of 37.5 points does seem just about right.
Carlton Vs Western Bulldogs
Sunday 16 July, 3:20pm, MCG
The Western Bulldogs’ season is now at a crossroads and they are going to need to go on a winning run to have any chance of playing finals.
The Bulldogs have lost four of their past five games and their performance against Adelaide last weekend was nothing short of pathetic.
They will still go into this clash as favourites, but they have been very tough to trust in this scenario – they have won only three of their past six game as away favourites and they have failed to cover the line in any of their six most recent games in this scenario.
Carlton suffered their third straight loss when they went down to Melbourne last weekend, but once again they were far from disgraced.
The Blues have now won four of their past 11 games as home underdogs for a clear profit and they are a most impressive 8-3 against the line in this scenario.
Carlton are more than capable of recording another upset win and they are a great bet to cover the line.
Back Carlton To Beat The Line (+11.5 Points)
Fremantle Vs West Coast Eagles
Sunday 16 July, 4:40pm, Domain Stadium
This is very important edition of the Western Derby as both sides need to win to stay in touch with the top eight.
The West Coast Eagles were no match for Port Adelaide last weekend, but they will still go into this clash with Fremantle as clear favourites.
They have won the past four editions of the Western Derby, but their record as favourites this season has been very poor – they have won only nine of their past 18 games as favourites and they are 5-13 against the line in this scenario.
Fremantle suffered a heart-breaking defeat for the third week in a row and there is no doubt that they are playing better better football than their recent form suggests.
The Dockers have won five of their past 17 games as underdogs for a narrow profit, but they are only 7-10 against the line in this scenario.
This is a game that the market looks to have got just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
We have another Thursday Night Blockbuster in the AFL this weekend as the Sydney Swans and Hawthorn do battle in a rematch of the 2014 AFL Grand Final.
The Fremantle Dockers host Geelong in what is sure to be an exciting Friday night contest before North Melbourne and Port Adelaide headline Saturday’s fixtures.
There are three games on Sunday and the pick may be the all-Melbourne clash between St Kilda and Melbourne at Etihad Stadium.
Sydney Swans Vs Hawthorn
Thursday 14 July, 7:20pm, SCG
What a way to start the weekend of football!
The rivalry between these two teams has been extremely fierce in the past five years and it would not surprise if these two teams met in another AFL Grand Final later in the year.
Sydney produced one of their best performances of the season to date last weekend to dispose of Geelong in a very efficient manner and they will go into this clash as narrow favourites.
The Swans have proven to be a very safe betting play as home favourites in the past 12 months and they have won nine of their past 11 games in this situation, while they are 8-3 against the line.
Hawthorn made it six wins on the trot with their professional victory over Port Adelaide last weekend and we will get a real indication of where the Hawks stand at this stage of the season on Thursday night.
This will be just the second game that the Hawks have started as underdogs in the past 12 months, but their record away from home is strong and they have beaten the line in nine of their past 15 games on the road.
I have this clash priced straight down the middle at $1.92 apiece and it is clear that the Hawks do represent value at their current price of $2.15.
Recommended Bet: Back Hawthorn To Win @ $2.15
Fremantle Vs Geelong
Friday 15 July, 6:10pm, Domain Stadium
Geelong have now lost two games on the trot, but they have an excellent chance to return to winning form against Fremantle this weekend.
The Cats have been a much improved side in 2016, but they are still far from a reliable betting proposition and their record as away favourites in the past 12 months is a very poor 3-1-4, while they are 2-6 against the line in this scenario.
In saying that, Fremantle have been another hopeless betting team this season and it is tough to have any faith in them going forward.
The Dockers have won just one of their past four games as home favourites and their record against the line is an average 2-2.
Geelong really should be able to return to winning form, but there is no value at their current price and I am happy to stay out of this game from a betting perspective.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Richmond Vs Essendon
Saturday 16 July, 1:40pm, MCG
Richmond have an excellent record against Essendon in recent seasons and have won four of the past fives games played between the two sides.
The Tigers gave the Western Bulldogs a real scare and there was plenty to like about their performance, but they were still unable to walk away with the four points.
Richmond will start this game as dominant favourites, but this is definitely not a position in which they have thrived in the past 12 months and they have won just five of their past nine games as home favourites, while they are a truly dreadful 1-8 against the line.
Essendon were unable to beat St Kilda last weekend, but they were competitive and they kicked their highest score of the season to date.
The Bombers have been another team that has been extremely tough to trust for punters and their record of 1-11 in head to head betting and 3-9 against the line as away underdogs does not inspire any confidence.
I am not brave enough to take the $1.13 on offer for a Richmond victory and this is another fixture that I am happy to sit out of.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
North Melbourne Vs Port Adelaide
Saturday 16 July, 4:35pm, Etihad Stadium
North Melbourne made an extremely promising start to the season, but they are now sitting in eight position on the ladder after losing four games on the trot.
The manner of their defeats against both Adelaide and West Coast in the past 12 months would have been the most disappointing for Brad Scott, but they will still go into this game as clear favourites.
While they have struggled in recent weeks, the Kangaroos have still proven to be a reliable side from a betting perspective and they have won nine out of their past 10 games as home favourites and they are 6-4 against the line in this scenario.
Port Adelaide lost to Hawthorn last weekend and they desperately need to win this clash to have any realistic chance whatsoever of playing finals football.
The Power have been a profitable play in head to head betting markets as away underdogs over the past 12 months, but they are 2-2 against the line and have generally struggled against teams above them on the table this season.
This is another tricky assignment for North Melbourne, but they can return to winning form this weekend and cover the line of 17.5 points.
Recommended Bet: Back North Melbourne To Beat The Line (-17.5 Points)
Western Bulldogs Vs Gold Coast Suns
Saturday 16 July, 7:25pm, Cazaly Stadium
The Western Bulldogs have elected to take their home game against the Gold Coast Suns to Cazaly Stadium in Cairns.
The Bulldogs survived a scare against Richmond last weekend and they are clear favourites to record their third victory on the trot this weekend.
It is very rare to see the Western Bulldogs lose a game that they start as favourites and they are 12-2 as the punter’s elect in the past 12 months, while they are 10-4 against the line when giving away a start.
The Gold Coast Suns made it two wins in a row with a high-scoring victory over the Brisbane Lions and they have a rare opportunity to win three games in a row.
The Suns have an extremely poor record as underdogs and they have won just one of their past 15 games in this situation, while their record against the line is a very poor 4-11.
I am very confident that the Western Bulldogs will record a comfortable victory this weekend and they can easily cover the line of 31.5 points.
Recommended Bet: Back The Western Bulldogs To Beat The Line (-31.5 Points)
Adelaide Vs Collingwood
Saturday 16 July, 7:10pm, Adelaide Oval
Adelaide continue to fly under the radar somewhat, but they have now won seven matches on the trot and they will go into this clash with Collingwood as clear favourites.
The Crows were at their efficient best against Carlton last weekend and they continue to be a very safe betting play as home favourites – they have won five of their past six games in this scenario and they are 4-2 against the line.
Collingwood have found a semblance of their best form in recent weeks and they recorded their third win in a row with a very impressive performance against the Greater Western Sydney Giants, but whether they can repeat that level of performance against the Adelaide Crows is a big question.
The Magpies have now won three of their past seven games as away favourites for a sizeable profit and they have also been a profitable betting side against the line in this scenario.
Adelaide are definitively the team to beat and it pains me to oppose them at the Adelaide Oval, but the $4.60 available for a Collingwood victory is big overs and they are capable of scoring another big upset.
Recommended Bet: Back Collingwood To Win @ $4.60
Carlton Vs West Coast
Sunday 17 July, 1:10pm, MCG
It is no secret that West Coast have struggled on the road this season, but they have an excellent chance to record a rare win at the MCG when they take on Carlton on Sunday afternoon.
West Coast maintained their excellent record in front of their home fans with a win over North Melbourne and they will go into this clash as clear favourites.
It should come as no surprise that West Coast have a very average record as away favourites and they are 3-1-2 in this scenario, while they are 2-4 against the line.
Carlton have regressed after their promising start to the season and they have now lost four games in a row, but they have still proven to be a very profitable betting side as home underdogs in the past 12 months having won three of their past nine games in this situation.
However, their record against the line is an extremely average 4-5 and if you are going to back them this weekend you are probably best backing them in head to head betting markets.
This is another game in which I am willing to take a gamble – West Coast really should win, but you can’t ignore the value that is on offer.
Recommended Bet: Back Carlton To Win @ $4.60
St Kilda Vs Melbourne
Sunday 17 July, 3:20pm, Etihad Stadium
The market indicates that this should be the tightest match of the round as there is very little between these two teams in betting.
Both these teams will go into this clash on the back of last start victories – St Kilda beating Essendon and Melbourne beating Fremantle – and it is the Demons that will start this clash as favourites.
Melbourne’s average record as favourites is no secret and they have won just four of their past seven games as the punter’s elect, but they do have the same record against the line in this situation.
The Saints have a simply outstanding record against Melbourne in recent years and there is plenty to like about them ahead of this clash.
St Kilda have proven to be a profitable betting play as home underdogs and they have won three of their past ten games in this scenario for a healthy profit, while they are 5-5 against the line in this situation.
There is a little bit of value at the $2 on offer for a St Kilda victory and they can get the job done.
Recommended Bet: Back St Kilda To Win @ $2
Brisbane Lions Vs GWS Giants
Sunday 17 July, 4:40pm, The Gabba
This is the biggest mismatch of the weekend and the Greater Western Sydney Giants are very short-priced favourites to record a dominant victory on Sunday afternoon.
The Giants suffered a shock loss at the hands of Collingwood last weekend and they will be desperate to avoid another upset defeat at the hands of the Brisbane Lions on Sunday.
The problem for the Giants is that they have really struggled as away favourites in the past 12 months – they have won four of their past seven games in this scenario and they are a very poor 2-5 against the line.
The Brisbane Lions suffered another loss at the hands of the Gold Coast Suns and it has now been an extremely long time between wins for the struggling franchise.
The Lions don’t have a particularly bad record at The Gabba in the past 12 months – they are 2-7 as away underdogs and are 4-5 against the line – but they are still a very tough team to trust from a betting perspective.
This is another clash that I am more than happy to ignore from a betting standpoint.
Recommended Bet: No Bet