The footy landscape took another turn last week.
With just six weeks left to play, the finals picture is starting to shape up, and it’s do-or-die time for the likes of Essendon, Geelong, Hawthorn and North Melbourne.
Who’s holding onto their spot in the eight?
We’ve previewed all nine games, and our 2018 AFL Round 18 Tips can be found below!
St. Kilda Vs Richmond
Friday 20 July, 7:50pm, Etihad Stadium
The $6.00 odds tell the full story – St. Kilda are no chance, right?
On the back of a win over Carlton last Friday, the Saints are searching for two straight, and although these teams are at complete opposite ends of the spectrum (and the ladder) you don’t have to rewind very far to find St. Kilda’s last win over the Tigers.
The Saints were heavy outsiders back then as they are now, but Round 17 provided the upset as St. Kilda defeated Richmond 138-71.
Of course, these two have met recently, with the Tigers recording an equally impressive blowout over the Saints back in Round 10 earlier this year.
If you’ll remember, Josh Caddy booted six goals that day to lead them to a 28-point victory.
So where does all that leave us now?
St. Kilda have every right to hold their heads high following last week’s win.
The three Jack’s were all impressive, with Steven, Steele and Billings all recording 30+ disposals.
The Tigers, though, they were just unlucky, and after several missed shots at goal, a hungry Richmond outfit looking for revenge on last week’s disappointment against GWS is a scary thought.
Now having lost four games on the road, the Tigers will be out to prove to their critics that they are still the team to beat.
Fortunately for the yellow and black, Daniel Rioli has booted six goals over the last three weeks, complimenting Jack Riewoldt’s efforts up forward.
Take nothing away from the Saints, they’ve played some hard footy over the last month, which has so far kept Alan Richardson in a job.
Against one of the best first and fourth quarter teams in the competition, though, this should be nothing more than a serious belting.
Back Richmond 40+ @ $1.90
Collingwood Vs North Melbourne
Saturday 21 July, 1:45pm, MCG
It was hardly a Sunday fun-day for these two sides last weekend.
Collingwood’s loss to the Eagles cost the Pies second spot on the ladder, while North did themselves no favours by failing to capitalize against an under-strength Sydney team.
You could say North’s meeting with Sydney was the game of the year, and it’s not very often we see Majak Daw kick a four-goal bag, but still, the Roos’ loss might have cost them a spot in the eight, but these Shinboners aren’t done just yet.
For Collingwood, much of last week’s woes came through the midfield, but it was their woes in front of the sticks that hurt the most.
The Pies led by just one-point at halftime, but after 15 scoring shots to West Coast’s nine, it certainly should have been much, much more.
Mark it down as just an off day if you will, but it’s clear even Jordan de Goey’s four-goal bags won’t always be enough to get the Pies over the line – especially against the competitions elite.
You can hardly place North Melbourne in that category of course, and as we saw last week, the Roos’ inability to win centre clearances when it counted was what ultimately cost them against the Swans.
The last two encounters between these teams have hardly been close, but given the magnitude of this game and the finals stakes on the line for North Melbourne, this one should be a tight affair.
Given the battered and bruised shape of Collingwood’s back-line, though, North Melbourne are the pick here.
The Pies allowed eight goals between William Rioli, Mark LeCras and Josh Kennedy last week, and things don’t get any easier with Daw and Ben Brown up next.
Back North Melbourne To Win @ $2.45
Sydney Swans Vs Gold Coast Suns
Saturday 21 July, 2:10pm, SCG
Who says Sydney aren’t a premiership contender?
Even when the chips are down, the Swans just keep on marching.
Dan Hannebery and Jarrad McVeigh’s absence looked to seriously hinder Sydney’s shot at the flag, but aside from Buddy Franklin booting his 900th goal last week, the Swans once again caught a serious case of Ronke-itis.
The young Ben Ronke has turned into a serious sensation this season, rejuvenating Sydney’s forward line for the future.
His five-goal bag last week wasn’t quite as impressive as his seven-goal bag against the Hawks back in Round 8, but he has a chance to outdo himself against the lowly Suns at home this week.
Gold Coast’s season went from worst to, well, desperate last week against the Bombers.
Okay, full credit, the Suns were in this game up until half time, but the belief seemingly fell away as the Bombers went on to win by 44-points.
Round 23 can’t come quick enough now for Stuart Dew, and with a trip to face Sydney at the SCG, suddenly the Suns could be looking at the wooden spoon following what could be their 12th straight loss.
The Swans’ ability to win crucial clearances last week was great, but more impressively, their ability to hold their nerve showed true signs of an experienced premiership team.
North Melbourne booted ahead in the dying stages of the final term, but a clutch goal from Aliir Aliir on the heels of two freakish snaps from Buddy Franklin highlighted how dangerous this team is when they are given just a sniff.
With that in mind, the Swans should have no trouble here at home.
Back Sydney To Cover The Line (-52.5 Points)
Essendon Vs Fremantle
Saturday 21 July, 4:35pm, Etihad Stadium
Looks like the Bombers aren’t done just yet.
Essendon’s victory over the Suns last week ensured the finals are still within reach, and with a handy game up next against the Dockers, John Worsfold’s team could be in line for a spot in the eight.
Surprisingly enough, Fremantle proved they are no pushover last week, edging Port Adelaide by nine-points in a rather low-scoring and dull contest at Optus Stadium.
Mathematically Freo are still a chance to play finals, and with four more home games still to come, anything is a chance.
The Bombers have been up and down all season, and having won just one of their last five against the Dockers, history isn’t on their side.
There were also calls for concern last week during the first half against the Suns.
Trailing by five-points against a much lesser opponent is never a good look, and as we’ve seen more than once this season, the Bombers still look incapable of stringing together a full four-quarter win.
Since this game is in Melbourne however, the Bombers should have this one.
Fremantle have won just once in the footy capital this year, with the Dockers’ last trip to Etihad to face the Bombers resulting in a 25-point loss.
Back Essendon To Cover The Line (-28.5 Points) @ $1.90
Brisbane Lions Vs Adelaide Crows
Saturday 21 July, 7:25pm, The Gabba
Don’t look now, but Brisbane are on the verge of history.
The last time the Lions won four straight was during the 2008 season, and on the heels of a season-defining win against the Hawks down in Launceston, anything is possible heading back to The Gabba.
The Crows have won six straight over the Lions, but Adelaide’s record on the road isn’t quite as convincing – Don Pyke’s side has won just two interstate games all year.
As we saw last week, gone are the days of the Lions’ sloppy inside fifty entries.
Chris Fagan’s side have grown in leaps and bounds, particularly in the forward line, while Eric Hipwood shapes up as a potential future Coleman Medalist.
Before we get too ahead of ourselves though, the Crows have everything to play for this weekend, and they’ll have to do it minus Tex Walker.
A one week ban has ruled the captain out for Saturday’s game, but Adelaide will need to rally away from home if they wish to keep their slim hope of finals alive.
One of the biggest keys to this game for both teams will be pressure, and although the Crows midfield stacks up in terms of talent, Brisbane’s pressure against the Hawks last week can’t be overlooked.
Of particular importance to the Lions is Daniel Rich.
His seven tackles last week set the bar, and as we saw, when Brisbane apply that kind of pressure around the ball, it creates equal opportunities for the likes of Hipwood and Cam Rayner to snap some shots.
There was a time when Brisbane would fold when they were given a chance to win the game, and although the growing pains aren’t entirely over, Brisbane’s six goals to Hawthorn’s one-point during the final quarter last week tells the full story of where this team is heading.
A lot has been made of the Lions at home this year, but even more has been made of the Crows on the road.
Brisbane in another upset.
Back Brisbane To Win @ $2.35
Geelong Cats Vs Melbourne
Saturday 22 July, 7:25pm, Simonds Stadium
Are we staring at a potential finals preview here?
Sitting eighth on the ladder, the Cats need this one badly.
Last week’s disappointment in Adelaide cost Geelong a prime opportunity to secure themselves a spot in the finals, but fortunately a trip back home to Simonds Stadium awaits next.
As for the Demons, well it’s hard to know what to make of the red and the blue.
A 50-point win secured two straight victories for Melbourne, but are the Dees still a realistic premiership threat?
If Melbourne were to march into Geelong and notch a win over the Cats, there would be no doubt about it, but since the Demons’ last win at Simonds Stadium came way back in 2015, there’s every reason to doubt the Dees this week.
As for Geelong, to win this one they simply need to knuckle down.
Sloppy turnovers and an inability to control momentum have cost the Cats on more than once occasion, but if the Cats can get themselves back on the same page, Geelong are as dangerous as anyone in the competition.
It’s something we never thought we’d say, but better production from Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield is needed from this moment forward. 20-disposal efforts don’t cut it, and it also doesn’t help when Tom Hawkins converts just two of his seven scoring shots, just like he did last week.
The Dees on their day can make a mockery of any team, but if Geelong can limit Melbourne on the scoreboard, particularly during the third quarter, the Cats should hold on to their spot in the eight.
Back Geelong 1-39 @ $2.15
Carlton Vs Hawthorn
Sunday 22 July, 1:10pm, Etihad Stadium
There were always question marks surrounding this Hawthorn outfit, but this? Who would’ve thought.
The Hawks were poor for so many patches during their loss to the Lions last week, kicking just one-point in the fourth quarter.
Tasmania has become a fortress for Hawthorn, but Alastair Clarkson’s side only provided frustration for the Hawks’ southern faithful.
Injuries have been a huge problem for Hawthorn, and as we saw last week, the loss of Ben McEvoy around the ruck really hurt.
The Hawks were dominated in the clearance category 44-29, but it doesn’t help when three of your best full-forwards fail to show up.
With Jack Gunston kicking the lone two-goals between himself, Jarryd Roughead and Luke Breust, the Hawks were put to shame against a half-strength Lions back line.
The loss has now called into question the selection of players like James Frawley and Paul Puopolo, but while it looks like panic stations at Glenferrie, the Hawks do have a comfy game against the Blues up next.
Carlton’s season took another turn for the worst last week, losing Matthew Kreuzer to an elevated heartbeat.
The Blues were seriously undermanned last week following Kreuzer’s absence, and while Patrick Cripps filled in, if the Blues are missing their star forward against the Hawks, they should be in trouble.
For Hawthorn to win, they need to take this game seriously though, something they failed to do last week against the Lions.
It’s been one extreme to the next for Hawthorn, but this really is do-or-die in terms of finals, now we just wait and see if the old “clutch” Hawthorn side shows up.
Back Hawthorn 1-39 @ $2.40
West Coast Eagles Vs Western Bulldogs
Sunday 22 July, 3:20pm, Perth Stadium
The Eagles won the game last week, but they may have lost the war at the same time.
Nic Naitanui’s injury put a dampener on what was otherwise a resounding win over Collingwood at the G’, a victory that sent the Eagles back to second on the ladder.
With Naitanui doubtful for the rest of the season, you could argue the Eagles aren’t the biggest threat to Richmond’s premiership chances, but if West Coast were to dish out a serious belting against the Bulldogs this week, we might all think differently.
The Doggies are really running on fumes now, surviving with a depleted list ravished by injuries.
Another harsh road trip awaits this week to Perth, and after last week’s severer disappointment at the hands of the Demons, it’s hard to see the Dogs rallying to pull off the unthinkable here.
Stepping in to replace Nic Nat is fellow ruckman Scott Lycett, but he’s not the only inclusion the Eagles will be happy about. A healthy Josh Kennedy snapped three goals last week against the Pies, and although West Coast’s midfield has copped a devastating blow, West Coast are still in prime position for a win this weekend and a big finals run.
Back West Coast To Cover The Line (-41.5 Points)
Port Adelaide Vs GWS Giants
Sunday 22 July, 4:40pm, Adelaide Oval
Last week was a game the Power should have won, but a scrappy, low-scoring affair against Fremantle cost Port Adelaide not only a victory, but fourth place on the ladder.
GWS, on the other hand, made good of their home ground advantage against the Tigers, holding on for a nail-biting two-point victory over the reigning premiers.
With so many pieces missing, the Giants looked like the GWS of old, and with a spot back inside the Top 8, all of a sudden Leon Cameron’s side could make a run toward the finals.
On paper this game looks tough to call, but Port Adelaide’s home ground advantage should prove to be the deciding factor here.
The Power have won six games at Adelaide Oval this season, but believe it or not, GWS have been particularly strong in interstate games, notching five victories this season.
Unfortunately for the Power, the Giants have also found success at Adelaide Oval.
The last time Port hosted GWS was in 2016, a game the Giants won 79-60.
Things have certainly changed since then, but if GWS can knuckle down and apply pressure on the Power, much like they did last week against the Tigers, they could pull off another upset.
Back GWS To Beat The Line (+3.5 Points) @ $1.90
It is another massive weekend of action in the AFL and it doesn’t get much bigger than the Friday Night Blockbuster between Adelaide and Geelong.
This could be a genuine AFL Grand Final preview, but the Greater Western Sydney Giants are sure to have something to say about that and they take on Richmond in another massive game on Sunday afternoon.
All nine matches offer some level of intrigue from a betting perspective and our complete 2017 AFL Round 18 tips can be found below.
Adelaide Crows Vs Geelong
Friday 21 July, 7:50pm, Adelaide Oval
The rivalry between these two sides has been dominated by Patrick Dangerfield in recent years, but there is every chance that the star midfielder will not be in action this weekend after he suffered an ankle injury during last week’s win over Hawthorn.
Dangerfield’s likely absence is one of the main reasons that Adelaide are set to start this clash as clear favourites – even though they have lost their past five games against Geelong.
Adelaide have won eight of their past 11 games as home favourites and more impressively in each of those wins they have managed to cover the line.
Geelong extended their unbeaten run with a fighting victory over Hawthorn, but there is little doubt that they would not have won that game without Dangerfield in the side.
This will be a true test of whether Geelong are a one man team – or two man team if you include Joel Sellwood – and it really is tough to have any faith in them without Dangerfield in the team.
The Crows are always tough to beat at the Adelaide Oval regardless and they are a good bet to cover the line with a 12.5 points start.
Back Adelaide To Beat The Line (-12.5 Points)
Essendon Vs North Melbourne
Saturday 22 July, 1:45pm, Etihad Stadium
North Melbourne have won their past four games against Essendon, but it is the Bombers that will go into this clash as clear favourites.
Essendon produced one of their best performances of the season to dismantle St Kilda last weekend and they are capable of competing with the best teams in the competition when they produce their best form.
Winning as favourites has proven to be an issue for Essendon and they have won just one of their past four games as the punter’s elect.
North Melbourne were no match for Port Adelaide last weekend and they have now lost six games on the trot.
The Kangaroos have now won only two of their past 15 games as away underdogs and they are a middling 7-8 against the line in this scenario.
These are two teams that are tough to trust from a betting perspective and this is a clash that I am more than happy to stay out of this clash.
Melbourne Vs Port Adelaide
Saturday 22 July, 2:10pm, MCG
Port Adelaide will go into this crucial clash with Melbourne as narrow favourites.
Port Adelaide made it two wins on the trot with a dominant display against North Melbourne, but they still have a reputation as flat-track bullies and their record against top-sides is very poor.
The Power have won five of their past six games as away favourites and they have an identical record against the line.
Melbourne were no match for Adelaide last weekend and they could potentially fall out of the top eight if they fail to win this weekend.
The Demons have won one of their past three games as home underdogs, but they are only 1-2 against the line in this scenario and their record against Port Adelaide is very poor.
There is plenty to like about Port Adelaide in this clash and the line of 6.5 points does not seem like anywhere near enough.
Back Port Adelaide To Beat The Line (-6.5 Points)
Western Bulldogs Vs Gold Coast Suns
Saturday 22 July, 4:35pm, Cazaly’s Stadium
The Western Bulldogs won ugly against Carlton and they need to keep winning to have any chance of playing Finals Football.
They covered the line last weekend, but the Bulldogs really have been an extremely tough side to trust from a betting standpoint this season.
The Bulldogs have won ten of their past 16 games as favourites for a clear loss, while they are an extremely poor 3-13 against the line when giving away a start.
Gold Coast suffered their fourth loss in five games when they went down to Collingwood last weekend and they really do look to be a side that has had enough this season.
The Suns have won only three of their past 14 games as underdogs and they are a middling 7-7 against the line in this scenario.
There really is no value to be found in this clash and I am more than happy to stay out.
Sydney Swans Vs St Kilda
Saturday 22 July, 7:25pm, SCG
The Sydney Swans are on a serious roll to the AFL Finals and they go into this clash with St Kilda as clear favourites.
Sydney made it six wins on the trot with their stellar victory over Greater Western Sydney last weekend and they are now back in the frame as a genuine premiership contender.
The Swans have won eight of their past 13 games as home favourites for a loss and they are still only 6-7 against the line in this scenario, but they have won their past seven games against St Kilda.
St Kilda produced one of their worst performances of the season to go down to Essendon last weekend, but the market really has overreacted to that performance.
The Saints have won three of their past seven games as away underdogs and they are 4-3 against the line in this scenario.
There really isn’t anywhere near as much between these two teams as the current betting market suggests and St Kilda are an excellent bet to cover the line with a very healthy start.
Back St Kilda To Beat The Line (+27.5 Points)
Fremantle Vs Hawthorn
Saturday 22 July, 7:40pm, Domain Stadium
There is very little between these two teams in betting and it is Hawthorn that will start this clash as narrow favourites.
Hawthorn lost no admirers with their narrow loss at the hands of Geelong last weekend and they have found a semblance of their best form in recent weeks.
The problem for the Hawks is that they have lost their past three games as away favourites and have really struggled as the punter’s elect this season.
Fremantle were extremely poor against the West Coast Eagles last weekend and they are another side that may have already started looking towards 2017.
The Dockers have won just two of their past nine games as home underdogs and they are 3-6 against the line in this scenario.
It is impossible to trust either of these sides from a betting perspective and this is another clash that I am more than happy to steer clear of.
Richmond Vs GWS Giants
Sunday 23 July, 1:10pm, MCG
It has been a tough month for Greater Western Sydney, but they will still go into this clash with Richmond as clear favourites.
GWS’s loss to Sydney last weekend means that they have not won a game since they beat the Brisbane Lions nearly a month ago and they have looked increasingly vulnerable.
The Giants have now won only six of their past ten games as away favourites and they are a middling 5-5 against the line in this scenario.
Richmond almost beat GWS earlier this season and they have shown on a number of occasions in 2017 that they are capable of mixing it with the best teams in the competition.
The Tigers have won three of their past six games as home underdogs and they are a profitable 4-2 against the line in this scenario.
This has the making of another thriller and the Tigers are a good bet to beat the line with the insurance of a 8.5 points start.
Back Richmond To Beat The Line (+8.5 Points)
Collingwood Vs West Coast Eagles
Sunday 23 July, 3:20pm, Etihad Stadium
This is a massive game for the West Coast Eagles as they now have their finals chances in their own hands.
West Coast did enough to see off Fremantle, but it has been a long time since they were able to string together back-to-back wins.
The Eagles have won only three of their past eight games as away favourites for a clear loss and taking them on against the line in this scenario has been a highly profitable play.
Collingwood ended their losing streak with a good win over the Gold Coast Suns and they did win the most recent meeting between those two sides.
The Magpies have won one of their past three games as home underdogs, but they are 2-1 against the line as away underdogs and 9-1 against the line as underdogs in general.
Collingwood are more than capable of winning this game and are an excellent bet to beat the line with a start of 7.5 points.
Back Collingwood To Beat The Line (+7.5 Points)
Brisbane Lions Vs Carlton
Sunday 23 July, 4:40pm, The Gabba
The Brisbane Lions desperately need to win this game if they are going to be any chance of avoiding the wooden spoon.
They will go into this clash as underdogs, but they weren’t disgraced against Richmond last weekend and they have played some decent football over the past month.
Brisbane have won only two of their past ten games as home underdogs and their record against the line in this scenario is no better.
Carlton really missed Patrick Cripps last weekend against the Western Bulldogs and they suffered their fourth loss on the trot.
The Blues have really struggled as favourites this season – they have lost their only two games as away favourites and are incredibly tough to trust in this scenario.
Both Brisbane and Carlton have shown some promising signs this season, but they are still incredibly tough to trust from a betting perspective.
There is no Thursday night game this weekend and the round gets underway on Friday night when Collingwood host North Melbourne.
Saturday’s fixtures are highlighted by the crucial clash between Geelong and Adelaide, with new Cats recruit Patrick Dangerfield set to take on his former teammates.
There are a number of exciting games on Sunday, but the highlight is sure to be the massive clash between Hawthorn and Richmond at the MCG.
Collingwood Vs North Melbourne
Friday 22 July, 7:50pm, Etihad Stadium
North Melbourne have now lost five games on the trot, but punters are confident that they can return to winning form when they take on Collingwood this weekend.
The Kangaroos may have hit a form slump in the past month, but they have still proven to be a profitable betting team in the past 12 months and they have won their past seven games as away favourites, while they are 5-2 against the line in this scenario.
Collingwood were not disgraced against the Adelaide Crows last weekend, but they were still unable to go with their rivals when the game was on the line.
The Magpies have won two of their past five games as home underdogs for a tidy profit, but their record against the line is only 2-3 and they continue to be a tough team to trust from a betting perspective.
I am willing to give North Melbourne one more chance this weekend and if they play anywhere near their best they should easily beat the line of 8.5 points.
Recommended Bet: Back North Melbourne To Beat The Line (-8.5 Points)
Sydney Swans Vs Carlton
Saturday 23 July, 1:45pm, SCG
This is the biggest mismatch of the weekend and the Sydney Swans are dominant favourites to return to winning form against Carlton this weekend.
The Swans suffered a heart-breaking defeat at the hands of Hawthorn last weekend, but they still remain a very strong betting team and they have beaten the line in eight of their past 12 games as home favourites.
Carlton gave the West Coast Eagles a genuine scare last weekend, but they were still unable to get the job done and they have now won just two of their past ten games as away underdogs.
Their record against the Swans is particularly poor – they have lost their past three games against their rivals by 60 points or more – and Sydney are 6-3 against the line on the back of a loss.
I expect Sydney to bounce back in emphatic fashion this weekend and they should be able to record a sizeable victory.
Recommended Bet: Back The Sydney Swans To Beat The Line (-55.5 Points)
Gold Coast Suns Vs Fremantle
Saturday 23 July, 2:10pm, Metricon Stadium
The Gold Coast Suns recorded their first ever win against Fremantle earlier this season and they are favourites to get the job done again this weekend.
The Suns were no match for the Western Bulldogs last weekend, but before that they were able to beat St Kilda and the Brisbane Lions and they have a surprisingly strong record as home favourites.
Gold Coast have won five out of their past six games in this scenario, but they remain a lacklustre 3-3 against the line.
Fremantle’s mid-season surge quickly came to an end and they head into this clash on the back of three straight losses, but they were far from disgraced against Fremantle last weekend.
The Dockers remain one of the worst betting team in the entire AFL and they have won just one of their past 11 games as away underdogs, while they are a truly woeful 3-8 against the line.
The Suns are normally able to get the job done when they are expected to win and they are a safe bet at their current quote of $1.57.
Recommended Bet: Back The Gold Coast Suns To Win @ $1.57
West Coast Vs Melbourne
Saturday 23 July, 2:35pm, Domain Stadium
The West Coast Eagles have won their last eight games against Melbourne and they are dominant favourites to maintain their winning streak over their rivals this weekend.
West Coast were far from impressive against Carlton last weekend, but they were still able to get the job done and they are clearly a better team in front of their home fans at Domain Stadium.
The Eagles have now won 12 of their past 13 games at the venue for a strong profit and their record against the line is this scenario is a simply outstanding 11-2.
Melbourne were strong out of the gates against St Kilda last weekend, but they showed very little character when the game was on the line and they were very disappointing in the second half.
The Demons do not have a bad record as away underdogs – they have won three out of their past eight games in this scenario and are 5-3 against the line – but their record against West Coast is truly awful and they have failed to cover the line in their past eight meetings.
Melbourne will be no match for a firing West Coast and I don’t think that the line of 38.5 points will be anywhere near enough.
Recommended Bet: Back The West Coast Eagles To Beat The Line (-38.5 Points)
Western Bulldogs Vs St Kilda
Saturday 23 July, 7:25pm, Etihad Stadium
The Western Bulldogs have won six of their past seven games and they are clear favourites to continue their winning ways against St Kilda this weekend.
The Bulldogs are one of the most consistent betting sides in the AFL and they have won 13 of their past 15 games as favourites for a tidy profit, while they are an excellent 11-4 against the line in this scenario.
St Kilda showed plenty of character to get the job done against the Demons last weekend, but it has been fixtures like this one in which they have really struggled in recent years.
The Saints have won just five of their past 19 games as away underdogs and they are a lackluster 9-10 against the line in this scenario.
I am always happy to stick with the Western Bulldogs and I am confident that they will have no trouble covering the line of 20.5 points.
Recommended Bet: Back The Western Bulldogs To Beat The Line (-20.5 Points)
Geelong Vs Adelaide
Saturday 23 July, 7:25pm, Simonds Stadium
This is set to be the match of the round as Patrick Dangerfield and the Cats take on Adelaide in what should be a very tight affair.
Geelong ended their two match losing streak with a victory over Fremantle last weekend, but they were still far from impressive and they will need to produce an improved performance to be any chance of beating Adelaide this weekend.
The home ground advantage does give Geelong the edge in this fixture as they have won six of their past eight games as favourites at Simonds Stadium, while they are 5-3 against the line in this scenario.
Adelaide continue to fly under the radar, but they have now won eight games on the trot and they have not been beaten since they faced Geelong in Adelaide earlier this season.
The Crows have won three of their past eight games as away underdogs for a narrow loss, but they are 5-3 against the line in this scenario.
This game is set to be an absolute ripper and both teams are genuine premiership contenders, but Geelong are the team to beat in front of their home fans and there is an edge at their current price of $1.60.
Recommended Bet: Back Geelong To Win @ $1.60
Essendon Vs Brisbane Lions
Sunday 24 July, 1:10pm, Etihad Stadium
Nobody expected to see this happen in 2016, but Essendon are actually set to start a game as favourites!
Essendon have not won a game since they beat Melbourne in round 2, but they have been more than competitive in the past two weeks and gave both St Kilda and Richmond a scare.
This is the first time that the Bombers have started a game as favourites in the past 12 months and it is difficult to trust a team that has won just one of their past 11 home games as well as two of their past 23 fixtures.
Brisbane produced another uninspiring performance against the Greater Western Sydney Giants last weekend and there is clearly something very wrong with this football club.
The club’s culture is clearly toxic and the side seem to have no interest in putting their foot forward for under-fire coach Justin Leppitsch.
The Lions have lost their past 11 games as away underdogs and they are a truly horrid 2-9 against the line in this scenario.
This is set to be a clear contender for the worst game of the year and the only people with any real interest will be those have that have bets on the wooden spoon – I am personally more than happy to stay out of this affair!
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Hawthorn Vs Richmond
Sunday 24 July, 3:20pm, MCG
Hawthorn made it seven wins on the trot with their narrow victory over Sydney last weekend and they are not expected to have any trouble accounting for a Richmond side that has caused them problems in recent seasons.
Hawthorn just keep on finding ways to win this season and in my opinion they deserve to be clear premiership favourites – no other team has their ability to take control of a game when it really matters.
In saying that, the Hawks really haven’t been a particularly strong betting team this season and they have won eight of their past 11 games as home favourites, while they are a very poor 2-9 against the line in this scenario.
Richmond returned to winning form with an uninspiring performance against Essendon, but they have really struggled against the big guns in the AFL this season.
The Tigers have won just one of their past four games as away underdogs and they are only 2-3 against the line in this scenario.
It is no secret that the Tigers have won three of their past five games against Hawthorn and gave them a scare earlier this season, but the market looks to have gotten this game just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Port Adelaide Vs GWS Giants
Sunday 24 July, 4:10pm, Adelaide Oval
This is one of the most interesting games of the weekend and it is the type of game that Port Adelaide need to win if they are going to leapfrog North Melbourne to finish in the top eight.
Port Adelaide proved far too strong for an uninspiring North Melbourne last weekend and have the home ground advantage, but they will still go into this clash as clear underdogs.
Port Adelaide have an outstanding record at the Adelaide Oval as favourites, but as underdogs they have really struggled this season and they have lost all three of their game as home underdogs this season, while they are 102 against the line.
Greater Western Sydney are genuine premiership contenders, but their record away from Spotless Stadium is still a slight concern and they are an unconvincing 4-3 as away favourites, while they are 2-5 against the line in this scenario.
Both these teams don’t have a great record on the back of a victory and this is a very tricky game to analyse from a betting perspective.
Recommended Bet: No Bet