The AFL has managed to piece together another round of football amidst the ongoing situation unfolding around the country.
Round 19 kicks off on Friday with Port taking on Collingwood at Marvel, followed by the second edition of the Q-Clash and a blockbuster between the Dees and the Dogs on Saturday.
The Swans and the Dockers square off at Metricon in an important game on Sunday, while there should be plenty of feeling between Geelong and Richmond in a rematch of last year’s Grand Final.
Tipping is tough with so many teams changing location, but we’re confident we’ve found some winners in our 2021 AFL Round 19 Preview!
NOTE: All of these tips were written on the information available at the time of publish however with just about every fixture being a fluid situation the conditions may have changed by first bounce.
Given the unpredictable nature of the schedule it also warrants repeating this disclaimer from the markets: In the event that the venue is changed, all bets will stand unless the venue is changed to the opponents home ground.
Friday July 23, 7:15pm, Marvel Stadium
Port reclaimed their spot inside the top four last week with a strong win over St Kilda as they now look to cement their place with a win over Collingwood on Friday night.
The Power came from two goals down to snatch a one-point win right at the death over the Pies when they met earlier in May, a game both teams have likely spent the week reflecting on.
Unfortunately, a similar story unfolded last week as the Pies blew a two-goal half-time lead in a disappointing loss to Carlton.
To make matters worse, the Pies also suffered some major casualties with Callum Brown, Brody Mihocek and Will Hoskin-Elliott all suffering injuries – three key outs that obviously make this road trip very tough against one of the healthiest teams in the competition.
It’s fair to say the jury is still out on Port as far as the flag is concerned, but this does look a nice game for them to make up ground against a wounded opponent.
Tip: Back Port Adelaide to Cover the Line (-32.5 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday July 24, 1:45pm, Marvel Stadium
The Blues should step out at Mavel with a renewed sense of urgency after keeping their finals hopes alive with a win over Collingwood last week.
David Teague’s side erased a two-goal deficit at half-time to win comfortably in the end, but they’ll need to improve on that performance if they hope to make it two wins on the trot against a gallant North side that has proven very feisty in recent weeks.
The Roos have nothing left to play for at this point, but they have been playing some decent footy of late with a win over West Coast sandwiched between two respectable losses to the Dogs and Essendon.
These two sides also played out a tight affair when they met last year – the Blues winning by only seven points to snap a five-game losing streak against North that extended back to 2015.
From a betting perspective, neither side has done enough to fill you with confidence, but North’s outstanding 11-6 record at the line this year does command some respect.
After trailing Collingwood last week, North can make this a contest if they start fast.
Tip: Back North Melbourne to Cover the Line (+6.5 Points) @ $1.90
Gold Coast Suns
Saturday July 24, 3:10pm, Gabba
The Lions were originally scheduled to play Hawthorn this week but will instead travel to the Gold Coast for the second Q-Clash of the season.
Brisbane annihilated the Suns by 73 points when they met back in April, but things have certainly taken a different turn in recent weeks to suggest the rematch might be a little closer.
A month ago, the Lions looked like the team to beat, but back-to-back double-digit losses to St Kilda and Richmond has cast some doubt over Chris Fagan’s side.
Last week’s loss to the Tigers largely boiled down to Brisbane’s back-line struggling to contain 300-gamer Jack Riewoldt, while the absence of Eric Hipwood was also felt up forward.
Fortunately, this does look a nice game for the Lions to get back on track against a team they’ve typically beat up on in recent times.
The Lions have won five straight over the Suns dating back to 2018 and have also proven a very profitable play at the line covering in four of their five games as the home favourite.
Brisbane should win this game, but you could also build a case for the Suns following a fairly encouraging month of footy.
Gold Coast suffered an honourable loss to the Dogs last week by only 11 points, snapping a two-game winning streak that featured victories over GWS and Richmond.
If Ben King and Ben Ainsworth are on, the Suns are a much better chance than the current line suggests, especially with Lachie Neale potentially missing due to a shoulder injury.
Tip: Back the Suns to Cover the Line (+28.5 Points) @ $1.90
West Coast Eagles
Saturday July 24, 2:35pm, Optus Stadium
The Eagles and the Saints could potentially trade places on the ladder following the outcome of Saturday’s clash.
West Coast managed to maintain their spot in the eight last week with a much-needed win over the Crows, and it is no surprise to find the Eagles as the short-priced favourites heading back home to Perth.
The Saints could also venture back into finals contention with a bounce-back win.
St Kilda’s three-game winning streak came to an end last week at the hands of Port, but Brett Ratten has to be impressed with the way his side fought back from a 20-point deficit to take the lead in the fourth quarter.
The Saints have been average on the road this year, but it’s fair to say West Coast’s recent form leaves them looking a little under the odds in the market – especially when you consider St Kilda owns a 20-point win over the Eagles earlier in April.
This game really is one of the toughest to pick, but the Saints represent good value as the away underdog at the line.
St Kilda has played to a very strong 7-3 mark in this scenario over the last 12 months, while they’ve also gone 8-5 on the back of a loss during the same time frame.
Unlike last week, if the Saints can find some accuracy in front of goal, they should be right in this.
Tip: Back St Kilda to Cover the Line (+14.5 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday July 24, 5:40pm, Marvel Stadium
We should be in for a real treat if this game turns out anything like the Round 6 clash between Hawthorn and Adelaide.
After trailing by 32 points at three-quarter time, the Hawks went on to record a famous come-from-behind victory down in Tassie thanks to the heroics of Jacob Koschitzke.
Like Adelaide, the rest of Hawthorn’s season has been lost to injury, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be treated to an intriguing clash on Saturday with bragging rights on the line.
For the Crows, a win would bring a welcome end to a four-game losing streak, but their recent form suggests this will be a tough task against a Hawks outfit that rallied from the brink to draw with the Demons last week.
Hawthorn has been a very difficult team to get a read on throughout the year, but they have been a very profitable team as the away underdog covering in eight of their last 13 games on the road.
The Hawks have also covered in four of their last five games against the Crows at the Adelaide Oval, so there’s a bit to like about them here at goof value.
Tip: Back the Hawks to Cover the Line (+2.5 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday July 24, 7:25pm, MCG
We turn our attention towards the top of the table on Saturday night for a mammoth game between first and second.
Despite last week’s disappointing draw against Hawthorn, the Dees still remain on top of the table as they look to make it a clean sweep over the Dogs.
Melbourne recorded a statement victory over Luke Beveridge’s side back in Round 11, which ironically came off the back of a one-point loss to the Crows the week prior.
The Dogs, on the other hand, come into this game with a point to prove after surviving a bit of a scare last week in an 11-point win over the Suns.
Points should come at a premium when you consider both teams rank bottom three in goals allowed this season, but it’s fair to say this game will be won and lost in the midfield, just like it was last time around.
The Dogs found no answer to Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver earlier in the year, while Max Gawn also dominated the hit-outs.
The recent form of these two clubs is in question, but after blowing a win last week, the Dees should be motivated to not only get back on track, but also extend their lead atop the table.
After a lackadaisical first quarter last week against the Suns, another slow start could prove very costly here for the Dogs.
Tip: Back Melbourne 1-39 @ $2.25
Sunday July 25, 12:30pm, Metricon Stadium
The stakes will be high at Metricon on Sunday with plenty of finals implications on the line.
The Swans are edging their way towards the top four with three straight wins over West Coast, the Dogs and the Giants under their belt, and they’ll also be out for some revenge on the Dockers after losing by only two points when they met in Perth back in May.
Freo, meanwhile, still find themselves among a backlog of teams vying for a spot in the eight.
The Dockers came undone last week against Geelong, but it’s hard to read too much into a game played at The Cattery in front of no fans.
The biggest challenge for Freo this week will be stopping Buddy Franklin, something they failed to do last time out with the superstar forward kicking a six-goal bag.
Buddy has been in red-hot form since then, which is obviously a worrying sign after the Dockers gave up seven combined goals to Tom Hawkins and Patrick Dangerfield last week.
Metricon has been a house of horrors for the Swans over the last two seasons, but their dominance up forward of late should pose some problems for a Fremantle side that has won only three games away from home this year.
Tip: Back the Swans 1-39 @ $1.98
Sunday July 25, TBD, MCG
The Tigers found their way back into the win column last week with a blowout victory over Brisbane, but they were also dealt a crushing blow with Dusty Martin suffering a season-ending kidney injury.
The loss has taken some of the shine off what would normally be a blockbuster game and also left Geelong as the short-priced favourites heading in.
Chris Scott’s side has been coasting over the last month with three wins on the trot over Essendon, Carlton and Fremantle, while they’ll also hold fond memories of the Tigers after recording a huge 63-point win when they met earlier in May.
The Tiges’ definitely have enough talent left on the park to keep this competitive, but it’s fair to say Dusty’s absence will be felt enormously when it comes to creating scoring chances and also linking up play through the midfield.
As for Geelong, the Cats have seemingly hit their stride with Dangerfield fit and Tom Hawkins making a late run for the Coleman.
Danger was on the sidelines when these two sides last met, and the Cats still managed to dominate in all the major statistical categories.
A win for Geelong could see them into the top two, and with the attack firing on all cylinders, the Cats are very tough to fade.
Tip: Back Geelong to Win & Over 154.5 Total Points @ $2.60
Sunday July 25, 6:10pm, Metricon Stadium
There are plenty of big games in the AFL this weekend, but none bigger than the Friday night blockbuster between Richmond and Collingwood.
That game and a host of others this weekend will have a direct effect on the make-up of the top four and the top eight at the end of the season, so there is a huge amount to play for.
We have analysed all nine games set to take place this weekend and our complete 2019 AFL Round 19 preview can be found below.
Friday July 26, 7:50pm, MCG
This is a massive clash for both sides as they push towards securing a top four finish this season.
Richmond are hitting peak form at the right end of the year, recording four impressive victories on the trot since the bye round.
Tom Lynch has become Mr. Reliable inside the forward 50, registering three majors in each of those four fixtures.
The Tigers have a 13-4 head-to-head record on the back of a win and represent great value at the line in the same scenario with 10-7 record.
Collingwood are on the opposite trajectory to Richmond, slipping to their third defeat in their past four outings in an embarrassing performance against the injury ravished Giants last round.
The Pies do boast an edge over the Tigers in recent times winning both of the sides past two meetings, although it’s safe to say both teams look like completely different outfits since they last met at the G in round two.
The Tigers are going to be looking to make a huge statement to the rest of the AFL as they continue to climb the ladder two rungs at a time heading into September.
Richmond To Cover The Line (-9.5) @$1.90
Tom Lynch to Kick 3+ Goals
Saturday July 27, 1:45pm, UTAS Stadium
In terms of top eight implications this clash should be considered as the most pivotal of the round.
The Hawks fly into this round 19 matchup off the back of a three-game win streak which includes the scalps of competition leaders Geelong and top four contenders Collingwood.
Hawthorn hold an impressive record at the University of Tasmania Stadium, winning six from their last seven outings dating back to the beginning of last season.
The only side to boast a better winning percentage at UTAS during that time are the Brisbane Lions following their 98-65 upset last year.
A win for the Lions would see them breathing down Geelong’s neck in the race for minor Premiership honours while consolidating their position in the top four and pushing towards a home qualifying final.
Chris Fagan has had the wood over his former mentor Alistair Clackson winning their last three clashes comfortably.
Brisbane stroll into this contest off the back of a 5-1 head-to-head record and have represented enormous value over that stretch.
As an inductee into the Tasmania Football Hall of Fame, Chris Fagan is no stranger to the harsh conditions which inevitably await his side.
If the Lions are to be Premiership contenders, this season they will be required to stand up in these hostile environments.
Brisbane To Wiin By 1-39 @$2.40
Saturday July 27, 2:10pm, MCG
All the pressure will be on the shoulder of the visitors in this game, a loss for Adelaide will drag them back into the pack of side vying for a finals birth.
Carlton have recorder four wins from their past six fixtures at a very lucrative net return from a betting perspective.
This run is even more impressive when you consider their two defeats were by margins under six points.
Alternatively, the Crow are three wins from their last six and only one from their last four which came against the AFL’s extra bye round in the Suns.
The Crows haven’t enjoyed travelling to the MCG in recent times, losing their three last outings at the ground by an average margin of 50 points.
Form suggests Carlton are every chance shake up the race for the eighth spot on the ladder with a surprise victory at the ‘G’ on Saturday and I’m happy to take the value at the line on this one.
Carlton To Cover The Line (+11.5) @ $1.83
West Coast Eagles
Saturday July 27, 2:35pm, Optus Stadium
Sitting two games and a fair chunk of percentage outside of the top eight, North Melbourne will enter this round with a do or die mantra as they tackle one of the Premiership favourites in West Coast.
The Roos can consider themselves hard done by over the past couple of rounds, narrowly going down to the two inform sides of the competition in Brisbane and Essendon.
Despite those loses Rhyce Shaw has Roos bouncing with five wins from their last eight. North Melbourne have a 9-3 record at the line during away games and represent outstanding value across this market especially as the underdog (6-2).
A win for West Coast should all but guarantee a top four finish while placing them in a commanding position to secure a home qualifying final.
Sporting a forward line dripping with talent it’s been the big Jack Darling who has led his side from the front, kicking 16 goals in his last four matches.
The Eagles have largely flown under the radar this season, accumulating nine wins from their last twelve outings without putting anyone to the sword with the exception of Freo in the Derby.
Adam Simpsons side is 6-6 against the line as home favourite at a negative net value.
North Melbourne To Cover The Line (+18.5) @ $1.90
Jack Darling to Kick 3+ Goals
Saturday July 27, 7:25pm, Marvel Stadium
With coach sackings the flavour of the month, Simon Goodwin could find himself under immense pressure if his side fail fire against the Saints.
Both the Demons and Saints have represented horrible value form a betting perspective in the 2019 AFL season.
The Saints will be out to build on their flawless one-from-one record under caretaker coach Brett Ratten after they effectively ended the Bulldogs hopes for finals footy last round.
St Kilda claim a notable 5-2 record over the Dees as underdogs returning extraordinary value for the punters
Melbourne have a surprising 3-0 record as the away favourite over the past 12 months although those numbers signify little return on a betting perspective.
The Saints have a renewed lease on life, and I’m pleased to take them at the head-to-head price.
St Kilda to win @ $2.05
Saturday July 27, 7:10pm, Adelaide Oval
Look up the definition of inconsistency in the AFL dictionary and you’ll find the words ‘Port Adelaide’
Ken Hinkley’s side has had more off weeks than a FIFO worker, but when they do show up, they’re well worth the price of admission.
Port are 0-3 as an underdog against the Giants and don’t offer any more value at the line over the same trip.
The Giants hold 5-2 head-to-head record as the away favourite and have covered the line as the favourite in their last three meeting with Port.
GWS have been struggling with multiple injuries throughout the year but have managed to stay afloat.
This has been largely off the back of their elite forward line, with Jeremy Cameron, Harry Himmelberg, Jeremy Finlayson and Toby Greene all registering multi goals last time out.
GWS Giants (-4.5) To Cover The Line @$1.90
Sunday July 28, 1:10pm, Marvel Stadium
While both Fremantle and the Western Bulldogs are sitting just four point outside of eight it would take a mammoth effort to see either side playing September footy.
The Dogs have won four from their last six outings and have manufacturing huge value from a betting perspective.
The Dockers have been a boogie team for the Bulldogs winning a commanding nine of the sides last twelve meetings at a handy net profit for punters.
Rory Lobb was the difference last round against the Swans and Freo’s big man will prove a handful up front once again as Sandilands takes up the rucking duties.
Six of the last seven games between this pair have gone under 163 total points, under the pressure of a must will situation I can see this trend continuing on Sunday.
Rory Lobb to Kick 3+ Goals
Total Points Under (163.5) @ $1.90
Sunday July 28, 3:20pm, SCG
Sydney may mathematically still a chance of playing football come September but that math is roughly slim to none.
The young Swans have shown ample fight over the past month but have struggled to build score board pressure only recording over 100 points in the last twelve outings.
Sydney have proved profitable for the punters at the line, covering the margin in eight of twelve games as the underdog.
Geelong raced to a record on 10-1 prior to the bye round and have struggled since losing three from their last five.
The Cats hold a perfect 3-0 over the Swans as favourites and provide further value for the punters off the back off a defeat with a 5-1 head-to-head record.
The Cats have the minor Premiership to protect and will be too strong for the courageous young Bloods.
Cats 1-39 @ $2.06
Total Points Under (148.5)
Gold Coast Suns
Sunday July 28, 4:40pm, Metricon Stadium
The age old saying “Save the best for last” need not be applied to round 19 of the AFL. The Inform side of the comp in Essendon travel north to take down the steadily declining Suns.
The Suns form line is long, red, and full of L’s, the Gold Coast side has zero wins from their last twelve fixtures and have provided the punters with a net loss across the line as well.
The Suns only success against the Dons came back in 2015/16 whiles Essendon were embroiled in their infamous drug saga.
The Dons are looking to secure their fifth win on the trot at Metricon on Sunday afternoon, with only Brisbane Lions rivalling their current form.
Essendon have provided the punters a clear profit in the head-to-head market during that run, although a little creativity might be required to find the value in this fixture.
Both the Dons pace off the halfback flank and ball use through the middle of the ground will threaten to turn this game into a Glitter Strip blood bath.
Essendon to win 60+
Jake Stringer to Kick 3+ Goals
The race to the finals has become so tight, it’s almost impossible to predict what’s going to happen next.
The Top 4 remains unchanged, but after a pretty wild weekend, the lower half of the Top 8 is completely up for grabs.
Round 18 saw the unthinkable happen in more ways than one, and with back-to-back blockbusters to kick off Round 19, who knows what the ladder will look like next week.
So should you side with the favourite or the underdog?
As always, allow our 2018 Round 19 Preview to lead the way!
Friday 27 July, 7:50pm, Etihad Stadium
Everything will have to go right from here, but the Bombers are still a chance.
If Essendon really are to play finals, they’ll need to find that winning formula once again this week. The timing couldn’t be any better for the Dons with the Swans fresh off a disheartening loss to the Gold Coast Suns at home, and if Essendon can rely on the same five-goal production they saw last week from Orazio Fantasia, the Bombers could be well on their way towards September.
Sydney, well where to next?
Injuries have ravished this side, but there’s no excuse for last weeks disgrace. The Swans led by plenty during the first quarter, only to allow the Suns to kick six straight to lead at half time.
The loss was a far cry from the Swans’ resounding win over North Melbourne the week prior, but perhaps we can finally say all of these injuries have finally caught up with the bloods.
With Etihad Stadium playing host to Friday nights game, things don’t get any easier for the Swans. Sydney have been particularly strong down in Melbourne, but good luck stopping Fantasia and David Zaharakis this week.
After missing time with a groin injury, Fantasia has been dynamite, but there’s so many names really starting to live up to their potential in this Essendon line up. Six players finished with 20-disposals or more last week against Fremantle, and although the run home is extremely tough, the Bombers will still fancy themselves for finals.
The last time these two met, it was Sydney dumping the Bombers out of the elimination final at the SCG. That game was a completely one-sided, but if the Bombers can play clean, turnover-free footy, this one is theirs for the taking.
Tip: Back Essendon 1-39 @ $2.26
Saturday 28 July, 1:45pm, MCG
You’ve probably had this one marked on your calendar, and since their last encounter back in Round 6 turned out to be a thriller, who could blame you?
The Tigers ran away with a 113-70 victory back in April, but don’t let the scoreboard fool you, that game was a lot closer than it may have seemed.
Collingwood succumbed to Richmond’s usual pressure that day, but players like Adam Treloar and his 42-disposals were detrimental to the Pies’ winning hopes.
With Treloar still stuck on the sideline, the question now becomes, who can step up for the Pies?
After Jordan de Goey booted another four-goal bag against North Melbourne last week, scoring doesn’t look to be a problem for Collingwood, but the midfield just might. Last week’s 66-point win aside, the Magpies will need to find a way to limit Richmond through the middle of the field, and as Collingwood learned last time, if they don’t, the repercussions are very, very costly.
Trent Cotchin notched 29-disposals during Richmond’s last meeting with the Pies, while last week’s win over St. Kilda should only further worry Magpie supporters.
Dustin Martin finally found some form with 30-disposals and a goal of his own, and although the Magpies are a much stronger side than the Saints, Richmond’s pressure around the ball is still a step above everybody else.
In front of what should be close to 80,000, this one should belong to the yellow and back.
Back Richmond To Beat The Line (-16.5 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday 28 July, 2:10pm, GMHBA Stadium
Normally a win is a good thing, and while Geelong would be happy with the points, the fact last weekend’s win over Melbourne still sees the Cats out of the eight has to sting.
Two straight home games are nice though, and if Chris Scott’s side can notch a win over the Lions this week, the Cats should be in prime position for finals.
The Lions were unlucky not to make it four straight wins last week against the Crows, but lazy goal-kicking ultimately cost Brisbane in the end. Overall it was another gallant effort from this young side, and with so many signs of promise, you can’t write off an upset chance this week.
The last time Brisbane met Geelong at Simonds Stadium, they were handed a 125-56 defeat. The Lions last pulled off a win in Geelong way back in 2003, but as we saw two weeks ago against the Hawks, this dangerous Brisbane side are more than capable of winning away from home.
If the Lions really are to make something of this game, they will need to win the midfield battle. Gary Ablett once again rewound the clock last week to finish with 31- disposals, so it’s going to take the class of Dayne Zorko and Dayne Beams to really push the Lions over the line.
Unfortunately, this young Lions outfit are still prone to the odd turnover or two, and if they don’t make the most of their opportunities, they may suffer the same humiliation as the Demons last week.
This game certainly shouldn’t come down to a kick at the siren, but expect the Lions to be in the contest. Whether or not they can withstand Geelong’s savage momentum surges is the real question.
Back Geelong 1-39 @ $2.24
St. Kilda Saints
Saturday 28 July, 4:35pm, Spotless Stadium
Go ahead and say it, the Giants are the real deal.
Two straight wins, one against the reigning premiers and one against the Power, has GWS riding high with just over a month left in the season.
After so many injuries and Jeremy Cameron’s suspension, no one expected the Giants to be competitive, let alone sitting sixth on the ladder, but here we are, and things are about to get even better.
St. Kilda were miserable last week against the Tigers, kicking just two goals to Richmond’s 11 in the first half. It was a tough night for St. Kilda’s forward line, who saw just 42 inside fifties come their way, and after GWS completely shut down the Power last weekend, the scoring opportunities may be far and few for the Saints for the second week in a row.
To make matters worse, Spotless Stadium isn’t a ground the Saints are all too familiar with. Last time St. Kilda traveled to GWS they lost by 35-points, but that was way back in 2015.
The Giants are up and about right now, and on the back of a season defining win on the road, it’s hard to see GWS losing here at home.
Back GWS Giants 40+ @ $2.38
Gold Coast Suns
Saturday 28 July, 7:25pm, Metricon Stadium
How can this get any worse?
For Carlton that is.
You could hardly call last week’s game against Hawthorn an “effort”, as the Blues were completely lost for all four quarters of the game. The Hawks racked up 58 inside fifties and a whopping 420 disposals in their percentage boosting win, and to make matters even worse, Carlton now carry on without the injured Zac Fisher.
It’s been a grim season for the Suns, but last week’s win in Sydney snapped Gold Coast’s 11 game losing streak. It was a game the Suns had no business winning over the Swans, but it was great to see Aaron Young and Alex Sexton combine for seven goals in the victory.
What we’re left with now is hardly a blockbuster, but these kind of bottom dweller affairs normally turn out to be quite fun. Just a month on from the Suns’ disappointment against St. Kilda, another game they should have won, it’s safe to say Gold Coast won’t be taken Carlton lightly this weekend.
In terms of a tip, it’s so hard to build a case for Carlton. Simple tasks like manning up, handballing and tagging seem close to impossible for the Blues right now, as this side is far from resembling an AFL caliber team.
The Suns will look to make the most of this game, and if they can find the same kind of performance out of defenders Rory Thompson and Steven May, there’s no reason Gold Coast can’t make this two wins on trot.
Back Gold Coast Suns to Beat The Line (-20.5 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday 28 July, 7:40pm, Adelaide Oval
There’s still a lot that has to happen, but Adelaide’s win over Brisbane moved the Crows one step closer to possibly playing finals footy this year.
While the Crows got back to winning ways though, the same old (pardon the pun) demons haunted Melbourne once again last week. The Dees looked well on their way to a season defining win down in Geelong, but a last second surge of momentum cost Melbourne the points and a whole bunch of confidence.
Now, it’s another road trip, this time to Adelaide Oval, a ground the Demons have also felt their fair share of disappointment on this season. Round 14’s loss to Port Adelaide earlier in June caused further heartbreak to this already tortured fan base, but fortunately for Dees fans, history has their back.
Melbourne’s last visit to face ‘the pride’ down south resulted in a 107-66 victory. Fast forward to May, the Demons also held the Crows’ number – winning 146-55 in Alice Springs.
It’s fair to say that these two teams don’t match up very well. Melbourne has had no trouble moving the footy around against the Crows recently, evident in Angus Brayshaw and Clayton Oliver’s 30+ disposal game last time these two teams met.
The Crows might have earned the points last weekend up in Brisbane, but they were hardly convincing. It wasn’t so much a case of Adelaide winning the game, it was a case of the Lions losing it, and since the Crows continue to struggle to get the job done, the Demons are a great upset bet.
Back Melbourne To Win @ $2.12
West Coast Eagles
Sunday 29 July, 1:10pm, Blundstone Arena
North’s finals hopes aren’t over just yet, but West Coast might hold the final nail to jab in the Kangaroos’ coffin.
Last week was a tale of two cities. North Melbourne’s encounter against Collingwood shaped up as can’t-miss, only for it turn into a 66-point bloodbath come the final siren.
West Coast’s season marched on without the injured Nic Naitanui, but you wouldn’t know the Eagles were missing one of their superstars. A 54-point home win kept the four-point buffer between Adam Simpson’s side and the third placed Pies, and with a fairly comfortable run home, West Coast could finish the season top two.
While all that is well and good, what does this week hold, though?
North’s two biggest problems right now are midfield pressure and goal accuracy. The Roos had 19 scoring shots last week, but kicked 10 behinds. Oh, and as the 84-47 tackle count suggests, North also failed to withstand Collingwood’s midfield pressure.
West Coast may be without one of their biggest names, but they are still one of the most ferocious teams around the ball. Couple that with the fact the Eagles have become quite the well-traveled team this year, and all of a sudden you’re staring at a West Coast win.
Back West Coast Eagles 1-39 @ $2.26
Sunday 29 July, 3:20pm, Mars Stadium
By this point in the season, it’s safe to say the Dogs probably just want the games to end.
Fortunately for the Bulldogs, this is a very winnable game at Mars Stadium, and as Port’s four wins in interstate games suggests, the Power are far from a guaranteed certainty away from home.
The last two contests have hardly been close, including Round 13’s 57-point win to the Power, but the Dogs know Port are on the ropes right now, and if they can just find a way to win plenty of the ball and control the likes of Ollie Wines and Chad Wingard, the Bulldogs will have a chance.
Much of the problem for the Power last week was ball use. It’s a rare issue for a team that has become one of the most efficient teams by foot, but the Giants’ defensive pressure completely rattled Port at home, and as we’ve seen during times this season, when the Dogs want to, they can really put teams under the pump.
One of the biggest keys to success for the Westerners will be Jason Johannisen. When the roving halfback is given space and placed in a more attacking midfield role, he’s a dangerous threat, one capable of setting up forwards like Luke Dahlhaus for a shot at goal.
If the Dogs can forget about last week’s painful disappointment on the road and try to salvage something from this lost season, they’re a chance here in Ballarat.
Back Western Bulldogs To Win @ $2.95
Sunday 29 July, 2:40pm, Optus Stadium
After a fortnight of disappointment, something finally went the way of Hawthorn last week.
A percentage boosting win against the hapless Blues sees the Hawks back up into the eight, and with a fairly cruisy run home, these are the games Hawthorn need to win if they have any hope of contesting in the finals.
It was nice to see Jarryd Roughead return to form last week, but there’s no looking past Paul Puopolo’s four goal, 22-disposal effort. Sure, it came against a B-grade Carlton defence, but this was by far the best lineup Alastair Clarkson has constructed since his side was struck with injuries.
Fremantle, on the other hand, weren’t quite so lucky. The rollercoaster season continued for the Dockers, falling by 29-points against the Bombers. Freo were always going to find it hard to win in Melbourne, but with home field advantage ahead this week, the Dockers are quite an enticing bet.
Hawthorn are one of the few remaining clubs yet to travel to Optus Stadium this year, but trips to Perth are far from a daunting task for the Hawks.
Dating back to 2011, Fremantle have won three of their last four trips to Western Australia, with most games hardly turning out to be much of a contest.
This current day Hawthorn side is an unpredictable one, but this 2013 Grand Final rematch should suit the Hawks nicely. Even with Shaun Burgoyne still on the sidelines, Hawthorn’s precise kicking and long list of goal scorers should get the job done.
Back Hawthorn 1-39 @ $2.05
Adelaide are now six points clear at the top of the AFL Ladder, but there are only ten points between Geelong in second and St Kilda in 11th!
The closeness of the competition means that just about every game for the remainder of the season is absolutely vital and that ensures that there are plenty of opportunities.
We have closely analysed every game in the AFL this weekend and our complete 2017 AFL tips for round 19 can be found below.
Friday 28 July, 7:50pm, MCG
Hawthorn 72 - Sydney Swans 66
This should be another fascinating installment of what has been the biggest rivalry in the AFL in recent seasons.
Sydney made it seven wins on the trot with their professional performance over St Kilda and incredibly they are now on the second line of AFL Premiership betting.
The Swans have won seven of their past eight games as away favourites and they are an impressive 6-2 against the line in this scenario.
Hawthorn kept themselves in finals contention with a big win over Fremantle, but they are going to need to keep winning to have any chance of finishing in the top eight.
The Hawks did beat Sydney earlier this season, but there is no doubt that Sydney have gone to another level in the second half of the season and Hawthorn lack the upside of their great rivals.
Sydney can continue on their winning way and cover the line in the process.
Back Sydney To Cover The Line (-14.5 Points)
Saturday 29 July, 1:45pm, Blundstone Arena
North Melbourne 76 - Melbourne 72
Melbourne have somewhat solidified their place in the top eight, but they need to keep winning games like this one to return to the AFL Finals.
The Demons have struggled against North Melbourne in recent seasons and they may never get a better chance to end their losing streak against the Kangaroos.
Melbourne have won two of their past three games as away favourites, but they are only 1-2 against the line in this scenario.
North Melbourne have lost seven games on the trot and they are definitely a team that is already looking towards 2018.
The Kangaroos have won only one of their past seven games as home underdogs for a clear loss and they are 3-4 against the line in this situation.
This is a clash that the market looks to have got just about right and I am happy to stay out of this clash from a betting perspective.
Saturday 29 July, 2:10pm, Spotless Stadium
GWS Giants 98 - Fremantle 86
It has been over a month since Greater Western Sydney won a game, but they will still go into this clash with Fremantle as clear favourites.
The Giants suffered their second defeat on the trot with a very lacklustre effort against Richmond and there is no doubt that the one-time premiership favourites are now at a serious crossroads.
Greater Western Sydney have won eight of their past 11 games as home favourites, but they are only 4-7 against the line in this scenario.
Fremantle suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Hawthorn last weekend and they have now lost seven of their past eight games.
The Dockers have won three of their past eight games as away underdogs for a profit, but they are only a middling 4-4 against the line.
It is tough to have any faith in either of these two teams based on their recent efforts and this is a clash that I will not be getting involved in.
Saturday 29 July, 4:35pm, Adelaide Oval
Port Adelaide 63 - St Kilda 61
This is another huge game on a weekend that is packed full of them.
Port Adelaide were poor against Melbourne last weekend, but they will still go into this clash with St Kilda as clear favourites.
The Power have won five of their past eight games as home favourites for a clear loss and they are a middling 4-4 against the line in this scenario.
St Kilda looked set to begin a big charge to the AFL Finals when they were dominant against Richmond, but they have since produced two extremely poor performances against Essendon and Sydney.
The Saints have won only two of their past seven games as away underdogs for a clear loss and their record against the line in this scenario is not much better.
The betting market that stands out in this clash is the Under in Total Points betting.
Four of the past five Port Adelaide games at the Adelaide Oval have resulted in the Under and it does look another lovely play in this clash.
Back Under 160.5 Points
Gold Coast Suns
Saturday 29 July, 7:25pm, Metricon Stadium
Gold Coast Suns 65 - Richmond 98
Richmond are on a high after beating Greater Western Sydney last weekend and they will start this clash with the Gold Coast Suns as clear favourites.
The Suns have been a bogey team for Richmond in the past, but Richmond have won the past two games played between these two sides and really should be able to make it two wins on the trot.
Richmond have been a profitable betting play as away favourites this season and they are 8-3 against the line on the back of a win.
Gold Coast slumped to their third straight defeat when they went down to the Western Bulldogs last weekend and they are left with very little to play for.
The Suns have won three of their past seven games as home underdogs for a big profit and they are 4-3 against the line in this scenario.
This does look like something of a danger game for Richmond, but there is no real value in betting.
Saturday 29 July, 7:25pm, Etihad Stadium
Carlton 58 - Geelong 123
Geelong lost to Adelaide last weekend, but the market is confident that they can return to winning form against Carlton this weekend.
The Cats suffered a shock loss at the hands of Carlton the last time that these two teams did battle and it would not surprise if the Blues gave them another scare.
Geelong have won six of their past nine games as away favourites for a narrow loss, but they are a profitable 5-4 against the line in this scenario.
Carlton suffered their fifth loss on the trot when they went down to the Brisbane Lions last weekend and surprisingly it was their defensive structures that let them down in that clash.
The Blues have won four of their past 11 games as home underdogs for a very big profit and they are 7-4 against the line in this situation.
Carlton are a better team than their performance against the Lions suggests and they are capable of covering the line with the big start of 28.5 points.
Back Carlton To Beat The Line (+28.5 Points)
Sunday 30 July, 1:10pm, Etihad Stadium
Western Bulldogs 127 - Essendon 97
Essendon currently sit inside the top eight, but that could change completely if they don’t beat the Western Bulldogs in this Sunday afternoon blockbuster.
The Western Bulldogs made it two wins on the trot when they beat the Gold Coast Suns last weekend, but the Western Bulldogs definitely represent a much tougher challenge.
They will go into this clash as underdogs and this is a position in which the Bulldogs have actually thrived over the past 12 months – they have won five of their past nine games when not fancied by the market for a big profit.
Essendon moved into the top eight with their win over North Melbourne and they do look to be a side that is finding form at the right stage of this season.
However, they do face a much tougher assignment against the Western Bulldogs and they have been a side that have struggled somewhat as favourites this season.
The Western Bulldogs have won the past two games played between these two sides and they can extend that winning streak this weekend.
Back Western Bulldogs To Win @ $2
Sunday 30 July, 3:20pm, MCG
Collingwood 103 - Adelaide 103
The Adelaide Crows are now dominant favourites to win the minor premiership and can maintain their lead at the top of the ladder with a win over Collingwood on Sunday.
Adelaide were excellent against Geelong last weekend and they continue to be the most impressive side in the AFL this season.
The Crows have won eight of their past ten games as away favourites for a clear profit and they are 6-4 against the line in this scenario.
A fighting victory over the West Coast Eagles was soured somewhat by the resignation of Collingwood CEO Gary Pert earlier in the week, but the Magpies have often produced their best performances this season in the midst of off-field turmoil.
The Magpies have lost their only two games as home underdogs this season and they have lost four games on the trot at the hands of Adelaide.
This is a game that Adelaide really should be able to win comfortably and they can cover the line of 20.5 points in the process.
Back Adelaide To Beat The Line (-20.5 Points)
West Coast Eagles
Sunday 30 July, 4:40pm, Domain Stadium
West Coast Eagles 113 - Brisbane Lions 45
The West Coast Eagles have recorded some big wins over the Brisbane Lions in recent years and they go into this clash as the shortest-priced favourites of the weekend.
West Coast really threw away the win against Collingwood last weekend and stringing together back-to-back wins has been a big problem, but they are 7-2 against the line on the back of a win.
However, they have won only five of their past nine games as home favourites and they are 3-6 against the line in this scenario.
Brisbane produced one of their best performances of the season to record a big win over Carlton but they will go into this clash with the West Coast Eagles as clear underdogs.
The Lions have won only two of their past 11 games as away underdogs, but they are an impressive 8-3 against the line in this scenario.
There is not as much between these two teams as the current betting market suggests and the Lions are a great bet to cover the line with the big start.
Back Brisbane Lions To Beat The Line (+47.5 Points)
There is now only a month left in the 2016 AFL regular season and there are a number of key games this weekend.
The round starts on Friday night when Geelong host the Western Bulldogs at Simonds Stadium before Collingwood take on the West Coast Eagles in the pick of Saturday’s games.
The match of the round might not be until Sunday afternoon when the Fremantle Dockers face Sydney Swans in what could prove a preview for the AFL Finals Series.
Friday 29 July, 7:50pm, MCG
Geelong 103 - Western Bulldogs 78
Geelong have won the last eight games played between these two sides and they are clear favourites to continue their dominance over their rivals this weekend.
Geelong made it two wins on the trot with a tough victory over Adelaide last weekend and they face another tough challenge against a Western Bulldogs side that is only clinging on to their top four chances.
The Cats have not been a consistent betting side this season and they are 7-10 against the line when giving away a start, while they are 1-2 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The Western Bulldogs went down to St Kilda last weekend and lost Mitch Wallis for the rest of the season in the process, but they are 6-1 on the back of a loss in the past 12 months and will fancy their chances of bouncing back this weekend.
They have won three out of their eight games this season as underdogs and are 4-4 against the line, but they have been impressive in their two games at the MCG this season.
There is definitely not as much between these two sides as the betting market suggests and I am more than happy to throw my support behind the Western Bulldogs with a start of 19.5 points.
Recommended Bet: Back The Western Bulldogs To Beat The Line (+19.5 Points)
Saturday 30 July, 1:45pm, Manuka Oval
GWS Giants 111 - Richmond 23
The Greater Western Sydney Giants have never beaten Richmond, but they have an outstanding opportunity to do just that at Manuka Oval in Canberra this weekend.
The Giants moved into second position with their come from behind victory over Port Adelaide last weekend and they have now won five of their past six games.
Favoritism has not been a struggle for the Giants this season and they have won 11 out of their 15 games as the punter’s elect, while they are 9-6 against the line when giving away a start.
Richmond produced another stinker of a performance against Hawthorn on Sunday afternoon and they have shown time and time again this season that they are unable to match it with the very best teams in the competition.
This is backed up in their betting statistics – the Tigers have won just one of their past six games as away underdogs and they are 2-4 against the line in this scenario.
The line of 40.5 points does seem a touch on the excessive side, but the Giants are 3-2 when giving away such a large start this season and their midfield could run rampant against an uninspired Richmond this weekend.
Recommended Bet: Back GWS Giants To Beat The Line (-40.5 Points)
Saturday 30 July, 2:10pm, Aurora Stadium
Hawthorn have opened up an eight point lead on top of the AFL Ladder with their comfortable victory over Richmond and they are dominant favourites to beat Carlton this weekend.
Hawthorn have now won eight games in a row, but they have still not been a profitable team from a betting perspective this season – they are 9-3 in head to head betting and just 3-9 against the line.
Carlton have lost six games in a row, but there has been plenty to like about their last two performances against West Coast and Sydney and they were arguably unlucky not to get the job done.
The Blues have won only two of their past 11 games as away underdogs this season, but they are a profitable 6-5 against the line in this situation and Hawthorn have covered just once in their three games this season giving away a start of 48 points or more.
Hawthorn should be able to continue their winning streak, but I expect this to be a closer game than the market expects and I am more than happy to back Carlton with a 48.5 point start.
Recommended Bet: Back Carlton To Beat The Line (+48.5 Points)
West Coast Eagles
Saturday 30 July, 4:35pm, MCG
The West Coast Eagles have won five games in a row, but they have not been overly impressive in the past fortnight and they are only narrow favourites.
The Eagles were particularly poor against the Melbourne Demons last weekend and they were extremely lucky to walk away with the four points.
It is no secret that West Coast have struggled as away favourites this season and they have won just three of their six games in this situation, while they are 1-5 against the line.
Collingwood were very poor in the first half against North Melbourne last weekend and they continue to be a tough team to trust from a betting perspective this season.
The Magpies have won two of their past six games as home underdogs for a narrow profit, but they are 2-4 against the line in this scenario and their record against West Coast in recent years is poor.
The market looks to have got this game just about right and I can’t find any value in the current prices on offer.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Saturday 30 July, 7:25pm, The Gabba
Brisbane Lions 79 - Port Adelaide 173
The Brisbane Lions recorded a shock victory over Port Adelaide in their only meeting last year and they have not lost to the Power at The Gabba since 2007, but they will still go into this clash as clear underdogs.
The Lions finally ended their losing streak with a victory over Essendon last Sunday afternoon, but they obviously face a much tougher opposition this weekend.
Brisbane have won two of their past nine games as home underdogs for a narrow loss, while they are also a non-profitable 4-5 against the line in this situation.
Port Adelaide missed out on a golden opportunity to improve their chances of playing finals football when they went down to Greater Western Sydney last weekend, but they will still start this clash as clear favourites.
The Power have really struggled as away favourites in the past 12 months and they are 3-3 in both head to head betting as well as against the line.
These are two sides that are vert tough to trust from a betting perspective and this is another game that I am happy to let go through to the keeper.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Saturday 30 July, 7:25pm, Etihad Stadium
North Melbourne 85 - St Kilda 62
North Melbourne finally ended their losing streak with a tough victory over Collingwood last weekend and they are favourites to make it two wins on the trot against St Kilda.
While North Melbourne have frustrated their fans in recent weeks, they have still proven to be a profitable team from a betting standpoint and they have won 15 of their past 17 games as favourites, while they are 11-6 against the line in this scenario.
St Kilda scored an upset victory over the Western Bulldogs last weekend to make it three wins on the trot and they have now won five of their past six games.
This is a rare run of consistency for St Kilda, but they continue to be a tough side to catch as a betting proposition – they have won six of their past 20 games as underdogs for a narrow profit, but they are only 10-10 against the line in this scenario.
I am confident that North Melbourne will find a semblance of their best form as we head into the AFL Finals and they are great bet to cover the line when they give away a start of only 9.5 points.
Recommended Bet: Back North Melbourne To Beat The Line (-9.5 Points)
Gold Coast Suns
Sunday 31 July, 1:10pm, MCG
Melbourne 66 - Gold Coast Suns 64
The Gold Coast Suns have won three out of their past four games, but it is still Melbourne that will start this contest as clear favourites.
Melbourne have won just one of their past five games and they have been very frustrating for their fans in recent weeks as they had opportunities to beat both St Kilda and West Coast.
The Demons have been able to improve their record as favourites this season and they have won three of their past four games as home favourites, while they have an identical record against the line.
Gold Coast have finally started to play some decent football in recent weeks and they produced an uncharacteristically professional performance against Fremantle last weekend.
While the Gold Coast continue to win games that they are expected to, their record as underdogs is extremely poor.
They have won just one of their past nine games as away underdogs and they are 3-6 against the line in this scenario.
The pressure is on Melbourne to return to winning form this weekend, but I am confident they can get the job done and cover the line of 29.5 points in doing so.
Recommended Bet: Back Melbourne To Beat The Line (-29.5 Points)
Sunday 31 July, 1:20pm, Domain Stadium
Fremantle 47 - Sydney Swans 137
Sydney were definitely not at their best against Carlton last weekend, but they still came away with the four points and they are dominant favourites to make it two wins on the trot against Fremantle this weekend.
Sydney have not been able to string together back-to-back victories since they beat the Gold Coast Suns on June 4 and their record away from home is not overly impressive – they are 5-3 as away favourites in head to head betting and 4-4 against the line.
Fremantle made it four losses on the trot with a fairly lacklustre effort against the Gold Coast last weekend and it is very tough to have any real faith in them going forward.
The Dockers have not made Domain Stadium a fortress in the past 12 months and they have won just one of their past five games as home underdogs, while they are 3-2 against the line in this scenario.
The Swans are definitely the team to beat in this clash, but there is no value at their current quote.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Sunday 24 July, 4:10pm, Adelaide Oval
Adelaide 143 - Essendon 61
This is the big mismatch of the weekend as the Adelaide Crows are dominant favourites to get the done against Essendon this weekend.
Adelaide had their losing streak ended by Geelong last weekend and poor kicking for goal coat them dearly again, but their record against teams they really should beat is unblemished and they have won five of their past six games as home favourites.
The line of 65.5 points is obviously very large and the biggest that the they have faced since 2012 and the favourite is 21-24 when giving away such a big start.
Essendon all but secured the wooden spoon with their loss to the Brisbane Lions last weekend and they are worth of being such short-priced favourites this weekend.
They have won just one of their past 12 games as away underdogs for a very big loss, while they are just 3-9 against the line in this scenario.
The Adelaide Crows are capable of putting up a big score this weekend – they average more points a game than any other team in the AFL this season – and they are capable of covering what it is a very large line.
Recommended Bet: Back Adelaide To Beat The Line (-65.5 Points)