Three weeks of home and away footy remains and there’s still plenty left to be determined on the AFL ladder.
A dream clash between Melbourne and Collingwood kicks off the round on Friday night with a big crowd expected at the MCG, followed by a trio of crucial games on Saturday evening, starting with the Dogs and Freo, the Cats and the Saints, and the Tigers looking to keep their top-eight hopes alive against Port.
All eyes then turn to the Gabba on Sunday for a key showdown between Brisbane and Carlton as both sides look to bounce back from respective losses.
The finals picture is set for another shake-up, and we’ve got you covered with analysis ahead of every Round 21 game below!
Friday August 5, 7:50pm, MCG
The Dees will have revenge in mind for the second week in a row after knocking off Fremantle by a convincing 46-point margin last Friday night in Perth.
Three goals each from Bayley Fritsch and Kozzie Pickett saw the reigning premiers avenge their previous loss to the Dockers, and Melbourne fans will be hoping for more of the same against a Collingwood outfit that prevailed by 26 points when they met back in Round 13.
That win was part of Collingwood’s ongoing streak, one that stretched to 10 in a row last week with a narrow victory over Port Adelaide.
The Pies have arguably been the best fourth-quarter team in the competition this year, but they do have some injury concerns with Jeremy Howe suffering a head knock, and Taylor Adams still awaiting scans.
Like last year, the Dees have health on their side, which should come in handy against a Pies team that has been applying relentless tackling pressure all season.
Simon Goodwin’s side will also have a point to prove against another finals contender after losing to Geelong and the Bulldogs over the last month.
A big win on the road over Freo should do wonders for their confidence, but when it comes to playing Collingwood, it’s fair to say the Dees have come off second-best.
The Pies have won four of the last five encounters, and they’ll have the added support of the Collingwood Army in front of what might be the biggest crowd of the season so far.
Narrow wins by no more than a goal over their last three games has to make punters nervous, but the Pies keep finding a way to dig deep and rally when it matters most.
This game will go a long way to determining who finishes second and third, but on form, the Pies covering in another thriller looks the play.
Tip: Back Collingwood to Cover the Line (+14.5 Points) @ $1.90
Gold Coast Suns
Saturday August 6, 1:45pm, UTAS
High-scoring games have become commonplace whenever the Hawks and Suns get together, and there should be no shortage of points up for grabs down in Tassie on Saturday.
The Suns prevailed by a comfortable 67-point margin when they took on the Hawks up in Darwin earlier in the year, a game that saw Mabior Chol and Malcolm Rosas finish with three goals each.
Things haven’t gone according to plan for the Suns since then, but they still have a chance to cap off a remarkable year with some wins over bottom-ranked clubs, much like they did last week in their three-point thriller over West Coast.
At the same time, the Hawks are also hoping to build towards next year and test themselves against another club that was once in finals contention.
Hawthorn came close to upsetting St Kilda last week with a late surge, but enough damage had already been done after trailing by plenty in the first quarter.
As already mentioned, the scoreboard has received a workout when these two sides have met in the past. The last four games have all gone Over the Total, but you do have to factor in the wet weather in Tassie that has been forecast right throughout the week.
With both sides struggling to play out a full four quarters at the best of times, and Hawthorn suffering a key injury to star forward Mitch Lewis, this one might be a bit more low-scoring.
Tip: Under the Points Total
Saturday August 6, 2:10pm, GIANTS Stadium
The Giants and the Bombers have put on some classics in recent times with the ledger sitting firmly in favour of the home side.
The last three contests between these two sides have been decided by no more than two goals, all of which have been won by the Giants.
Unfortunately, GWS’ recent form isn’t quite so pretty, the Giants having now lost four in a row after suffering a disheartening loss to the rival Swans last week that saw them kick only five goals.
On the flip side, the Bombers are making a bold push for the top half of the bottom eight with four wins from their last five.
After losing on the siren to the Pies, Peter Wright starred in last week’s demolition job over North Melbourne, while overall, Essendon’s pressure and basic attack has been much-improved on earlier efforts.
It feels as though Ben Rutten has done enough to keep his job safe heading into 2023, but there’s far from the same certainty at GWS with interim coach Mark McVeigh stating that his players had embarrassed the club last week.
The Giants’ overall effort and body language on the field has been lacking since the dismissal of Leon Cameron, and from a betting standpoint, it’s hard to see them winning another game this season.
Tip: Back the Bombers to Cover the Line (-6.5 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday August 6, 4:35pm, Marvel Stadium
Another high-stakes game has been set at Marvel on Saturday night with plenty on the line for both clubs.
Fremantle’s poor showing in wet conditions at home to Melbourne was a worrying sign for a team that once looked a top-four lock, but perhaps more concerning for coach Justin Longmuir has been his teams’ complete lack of scoring over the last few weeks.
Not for the first time, the Dogs also face a must-win game now sitting four points adrift from St Kilda in 10th.
There’s no shame in losing to the Cats in Geelong, but the Dogs were again their own worst enemy blowing a healthy three-goal lead at quarter-time with some basic accuracy woes.
On the plus side, Luke Beveridge has to be happy with the way his side performed around the stoppages, while the Dogs also managed to apply plenty of pressure inside their back-half early on.
Neither team fills you with much confidence at this point in the season, but statistically, the Dogs do look a safer bet averaging nearly four more scoring shots a game, and six more inside 50s compared to Fremantle.
The Dockers probably have the edge defensively, but they’ll be lacking some extra class with skipper Nat Fyfe still on the sideline.
You could also argue the Dogs have much more to play for with their season virtually on the line, and given they’ve played to a 7-5 record on the back of a loss, they look to be the play.
Tip: Back the Dogs 1-39 @ $2.10
Saturday August 6, 7:25pm, GMHBA Stadium
The Cats are the envy of almost every side in the competition as they prepare for yet another home game this week against the Saints.
In terms of recent form, Chris Scott’s side appears to have lengths on the rest of the competition, even if last week’s big win over the Dogs was a little ugly at times.
For those counting, the Cats have now won 10 in a row dating back to May, with their last loss coming to this same St Kilda outfit in one of the games of the season at Marvel.
It’s doubtful either coach will spend too much time reflecting on the past, but it’s fair to say the Cats probably would have won if they didn’t allow a late third-quarter goal burst.
To their credit, St Kilda did extremely well to win the clearances though, while Paddy Ryder and Max King had free reign at times combining for five goals.
Even so, the Cats have improved drastically since then, and their ball movement and basic discipline makes them the team to beat heading into the finals.
In terms of motivation, the Saints have much more to play for, which does make them an intriguing bet with a healthy +33.5 point head start.
Like so many other clubs, St Kilda hasn’t won in Geelong since 1999, but given they have been one of the tougher clubs to score against this year in terms of average goals allowed, they might be able to limit Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron and at least make a contest of this.
Tip: Back St Kilda to Cover the Line (+33.5 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday August 6, 7:40pm, Adelaide Oval
The Tigers have roared back into finals contention with a nail-biting win over the Lions last week, but that result has come at a cost with star defender Dylan Grimes suffering a hamstring injury.
Richmond’s fight-back from 30-points down was a true testament to the heart of the yellow and black, and although there’s still plenty of work to do, the Tigers can feel good knowing they now enter a very favourable stretch of schedule.
That said, a trip to the Adelaide Oval is never easy, and nobody knows that better than Richmond supporters.
The ‘Tiges have lost three of their last five games to Port at their home ground, but they did get the last laugh winning by 12 at the MCG back in Round 13.
The status of Dustin Martin remains a complete unknown, but his absence shouldn’t worry Tiger fans too much given Tom Lynch, Shai Bolton, and emerging star Noah Cumberland’s recent goal-kicking form.
For the Power, there’s nothing left to play for at this point, but you do sense this is the one club that could play spoiler over the remaining three weeks.
Port has come extremely close to causing an upset over Melbourne, Geelong, and Collingwood over the last three weeks, form that has left the bookies no other choice but to install the Power as favourites.
Diving in at the current quote feels risky given what’s on the line for Richmond, but when you factor in the last three games between these two have been decided by no more than two goals, a line bet does look the safest play.
Tip: Alternate Line – Richmond +13.5 @ $1.72
Sunday August 7, 1:10pm, Marvel Stadium
The Swans have a chance to prove a point this week against current wooden spoon favourites North Melbourne.
John Longmire’s side was deadly in last week’s clash against GWS, storming home to a dominant 73-point victory thanks to a big day from Isaac Heeney and Buddy Franklin.
The importance of a win this week can’t be overstated with a top four spot all but a certainty, but this is also somewhat of a revenge game for the Swans after holding on to win by only 11 points against North back in April.
Of course, a lot has happened since then, particularly on Arden Street with the Roos firing David Noble and managing just one win since.
Struggling to hit the scoreboard, the Roos have reverted back to their old ways over the last fortnight in blowout losses to Hawthorn and Essendon, and they certainly won’t find this any easier against a Swans outfit that has allowed the fourth-fewest goals in the competition.
Playing at Marvel has been a real issue for Sydney in recent times though, as we’ve seen this year with losses to the Dogs and Carlton.
That isn’t to say we’re in for a massive North Melbourne upset, but after cutting it close last time they met, the line is very appealing.
Tip: Back North Melbourne to Cover the Line (+47.5 Points) @ $2.00
Sunday August 7, 3:20pm, Gabba
A matchup between the Lions and Blues hasn’t been this highly-anticipated since the two met in their famous Elimination Final at the Gabba back in 2009.
This isn’t do-or-die, but there’s plenty at stake again on Sunday afternoon with both clubs not only looking to make up for respective losses but also trying to hold ground on the ladder.
Brisbane’s hoodoo at the MCG continued with an agonising loss to Richmond last week, one that has cast plenty of doubt over the legitimacy of the club come finals time.
The Lions were the better team for three quarters, but injuries to Zac Bailey and Jarrod Berry made it tough in the late stages, while they didn’t help their cause by missing a couple of easy shots late in the fourth term.
As for the Blues, there were fewer excuses.
Carlton was blown out of the water early on against the Crows, a loss that might just be the reality check Michael Voss’ side needed as they now sit precariously in 7th spot on the ladder.
The “Voss vs his old club” storyline adds another element of drama to this matchup, and there’s sure to be a big crowd on hand at the Gabba to witness it.
As far as betting goes, the Lions are always a tough team to back against when they play at home, while they’ve also got recent history on their side with back-to-back wins over Carlton.
On the injury front, things are even grimmer for Carlton with defender Nic Newman suffering a cut to his knee last week, adding to an injury list that also features Matt Kennedy and small forward, Corey Durdin.
The Lions are still awaiting news on Bailey, but up forward, there were signs of encouragement with Eric Hipwood stepping up in the loss to the Tigers.
You could make a case that either team will win this game, but after Carlton’s lack of effort around the contest last week, the Lions should be able to bounce back here and move a step closer to returning to the top four.
Tip: Back the Lions 1-39 @ $2.10
West Coast Eagles
Sunday August 7, 4:10pm, Optus Stadium
A somewhat meaningless battle between West Coast and Adelaide wraps up the round with nothing more than bragging rights on the line.
The Crows will be eager to build on last week’s shock win over Carlton with a big victory on the road, while a win for the Eagles could also prove important currently tied on points with wooden spoon favourites, North Melbourne.
These two clubs have met once already this year, Adelaide prevailing by 31 points with Darcy Fogarty, Shane McAdam, and Tex Walker sharing in the goal-scoring spoils.
Wins have proven hard to come by for both teams this year, but if you had to back one team to win, you’d have to side with Adelaide – despite the fact they haven’t beaten the Eagles in Perth since 2016.
The Crows fell only five points shy to red-hot Collingwood three weeks ago, and although they’ve struggled to hit the scoreboard at times, they’ve still been the best team in the competition when it comes to tackling.
West Coast will take plenty away from their close call against the Suns last week, but this Crows team brings another challenge entirely in terms of pressure.
Tip: Back the Crows to Win @ $1.73
The AFL heads back to Victoria this week, bringing a strange sense of normalcy to the fixture due to the ongoing situation in Queensland.
Crowds still aren’t expected for the majority of games, but that won’t dampen a huge nine-game slate that features two top-eight blockbusters on Sunday and Monday.
The finals race continues to heat up as Essendon, Richmond, Carlton and St Kilda all face must-win games, while the top of the table could also be in for a shake-up with the Cats battling the Giants on Friday night.
For our best bets ahead of all nine games, check out our Round 21 Preview below!
Friday August 6, 7:50pm, GMHBA Stadium
The top of the ladder is again in focus this week as the Cats look to knock off the Giants for first place on Friday night.
Geelong extended its winning streak to five last week with a 20-point win over North Melbourne, although it’s fair to say Chris Scott’s side had a little more than they originally bargained for against a resilient Kangaroos outfit.
Like always, the Giants also come into this game with plenty to play for.
Leon Cameron’s men find themselves outside the eight again following a blowout loss to Port Adelaide on Sunday, and given their remaining run home, a finals spot looks far from a guarantee.
Not surprisingly, the Cats have been installed as heavy favourites in this contest with the added luxury of home-field advantage.
The Giants actually picked up a win over the Cats at GMHBA back in 2019, but with Jacob Hopper and Phil Davis in some doubt after suffering respective head injuries last week, a repeat performance looks tough.
Tip: Back Geelong 1-39 @ $1.91
Gold Coast Suns
Saturday August 7, 1:45pm, Marvel
Just when we wrote them off, the Blues find themselves back in back in the finals race following a 31-point scalp over St Kilda last week.
Carlton sits only four points adrift of the eight with three games to play, and they look a good chance to make up further ground with a game against the struggling Suns ahead on Saturday.
At one point the Gold Coast was also in the hunt for the eight, but performances like last week’s 98-point loss to Melbourne reminded everyone that the Suns still have a long way to go.
The Blues have been a very unpredictable side, as we saw a fortnight ago in their blowout loss to North Melbourne.
That said, the Suns have given up 120 points in back-to-back games, which spells potential disaster after Coleman Medal favourite Harry McKay ravaged the Saints for five goals last week.
With three straight wins to their name over the Suns, including an 11-point nail-biter earlier in Round 4, the Blues look a good bet to keep their season alive if they can find that same production up forward.
Tip: Back Carlton to Win & Over 167.5 Total Points @ $2.30
Saturday August 7, 4:35pm, MCG
The Tigers can’t afford another loss if they hold any hope of playing finals footy for the fifth year in a row.
Richmond has now suffered back-to-back defeats following a narrow four-point loss to Fremantle last week.
One win could put the Tigers right back on track, but it’s fair to say Saturday’s game is far from a given against a feisty North Melbourne side playing with a point to prove.
The Roos hung tight last week with the Cats before fading away in the final term.
Playing a full four quarters has been North’s downfall for most of the year, but they should fancy themselves against a Richmond outfit that has battled similar problems since the beginning of the season.
From a betting standpoint, this game is tough to get a feel for. Given the circumstances, the Tigers should bounce-back and keep their season alive, but their lack of efficiency in front of goal last week makes them nerve-racking bet moving forward.
On the opposite side, the Roos have been the best team to bet on at the line this year, covering in 13 of their 19 games so far.
This is a very narrow spread, but if they can start fast and also force the Tigers into some mistakes, this game isn’t beyond them.
Tip: Back North Melbourne to Cover the Line (+12.5 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday August 7, 7:40pm, Adelaide Oval
Showdown 50 promises to be a spectacle on Saturday night as the Crows and Port meet for the second time this year.
The season was over a long time ago for Adelaide, but this is still a vitally important game for the Power as they look to cement their top four spot with three games remaining.
Port walked away with a comfortable 49-point win when these two sides met back in Round 8 as Travis Boak, Robbie Gray and Ollie Wines proved too much for Adelaide to handle.
The Crows have battled through injury to win only three games since, while their performance last week against the Dogs last week was forgettable at best.
Port, on the other hand, will be riding the momentum of a big win over GWS that saw Ken Hinkley’s men dominate through the midfield on their way to a strong four-goal final quarter.
Preventing goals has been a real problem recently for the Crows, particularly against this Port Adelaide side.
The last three Showdown’s have all gone in the favour of Port by more than 40 points, and with the Crows still battered and bruised, another blowout looks likely.
Tip: Back Port Adelaide 40+ @ $2.15
Saturday August 7, 7:40pm, Marvel
The Saints’ rollercoaster took another turn last week with a third straight loss to the Blues.
St Kilda’s finals hopes are still alive by the faintest pulse, but another loss to the red-hot Swans on Saturday night would all but put a line through their chances.
Sydney, meanwhile, comes into this game hoping to remain in touch with the top four.
The Swans rattled off their fifth straight win last week in a thriller over Essendon but still remain four points adrift from Port Adelaide on the ladder.
Fortunately, the sight of the Saints will come as a welcome side for head coach John Longmire after his side held on for a nine-point win when they back in Round 12.
To be fair, St Kilda put in a brave effort that day, but the same problem that has plagued them all season, goal-kicking, proved the decider in the end.
Shaun Higgins missed three chances to put the Saints in front late in the game, and it’s fair to say the same kind of mistakes will be punished by a Swans team that has only grown stronger with confidence.
The fact this game is being played at Marvel does play into St Kilda’s hands a little when you factor in Sydney’s struggles on the road at times this season.
That said, the favourite has won each of the last 13 games between these two sides, and so long as the Saints continue to be their own worst enemy, it’s hard to see them knocking off a genuine flag contender.
Tip: Back the Swans 1-39 @ $2.10
Sunday August 8, 2:10pm, UTAS
There’s no love lost between Hawthorn and Collingwood and that will again be the case on Sunday when both sides meet in Tassie.
The Hawks remain at their home away from home following a brilliant win against the Lions last week, one that had to have done departing head coach Alastair Clarkson proud in his final month at the helm.
Collingwood was equally impressive in their demolition job over West Coast, a result that has to leave Magpie fans feeling pretty good about where the club is headed.
For Hawthorn, this is another important game as far as the wooden spoon race is concerned, while the Pies will simply be looking to win back-to-back games for the first time since Nathan Buckley departed the club.
As far as betting goes, the market says it all. There is absolutely nothing separating these two teams head-to-head, making this by far one of the toughest games to try and pick this weekend.
Given the magnitude of this fixture, it’s worth noting the Pies have never traveled to face Hawthorn in Tassie, which is worth factoring in when you consider how tough the Hawks play down south.
The absence of Luke Breust will be felt immensely in the Hawthorn forward line, but after Chad Wingard, Mitch Lewis, Jaeger O’Meara and Dylan Moore all stood tall last week for Clarko, the Hawks might have enough to make it back-to-back wins.
Tip: Back the Hawks to Win @ $1.90
Sunday August 8, 3:20pm, Marvel
The top of the table Bulldogs meet the top-eight hopeful Bombers on Sunday in a game that holds plenty of weight as far as the ladder is concerned.
Essendon has suffered back-to-back losses to GWS and Sydney heading in, but such is the nature of the 2021 season that the Bombers still find themselves within reach of playing finals.
The Dogs, meanwhile, are looking to establish a cushion between themselves and the second-placed Cats atop the ladder.
Luke Beveridge’s side recorded a statement win last week over the Crows to make it three on the trot, while they’ve also held the wood over the Dons recently with six consecutive wins dating back to 2016.
Another loss for the Bombers would be devastating to their final chances this week, especially following a very competitive effort against a serious flag contender like the Swans last Sunday.
Unfortunately, Essendon has been dealt another serious injury blow with skipper Dyson Heppell and Kyle Langford both suffering injuries last week.
Both look likely to sit out this week, leaving the Bombers at a serious disadvantage when it comes to leadership and overall talent on the park.
The Bulldogs are humming along nicely right now and it’s hard to see them coming undone after kicking a whopping 34 goals across their last two games.
Essendon should give this a red-hot crack with their season on the line, but this spells more heartache for Bomber fans with a couple of their stars missing.
Tip: Back the Bulldogs to Cover the Line (-22.5 Points) @ $1.90
Sunday August 8, 5:10pm, Optus Stadium
No Nat Fyfe proved no problem for the Dockers last week as they fought back to defeat the Tigers by four points in a thriller over in Perth.
The result has left the injury riddled Dockers sitting eighth on the ladder with three games to play, a surprise turn of events for a team that looked dead and buried following the injury to their skipper a fortnight ago.
In Brisbane, things have taken a much different turn after Chris Fagan’s side suffered a disappointing defeat to Hawthorn in Tassie.
Brisbane did well to fight back and make a contest of it late in the game, but the lethargic effort showed in the first three quarters has cast plenty of doubt around the Lions’ premiership chances.
To make matters even worse, the Lions remain on the road as they look to improve on a below average 5-6 record away from home.
On the plus side, the Lions are locked in to play finals from here, but nothing is going to come easy against a Freo side that has really tightened up defensively over their last two games.
A good old fashioned Chris Fagan rev-up could change all of that though, and this certainly isn’t the first time the Lions have had their backs against the wall this season.
They need to start this game like they finished off last week, but with a decent 4-3 record at the line following a loss, the Lions should get the job done.
Tip: Back the Lions to Cover the Line (-10.5 Points) @ $1.90
West Coast Eagles
Monday August 9, 5:10pm, Optus Stadium
Two wins from their last five games has left the Eagles in a vicarious position with less than a month to play.
West Coast is desperately clinging to its spot inside the eight after suffering a demoralising loss to Collingwood last week, and they won’t feel particularly good about Monday’s game against a Demons team that just belted the Suns by 98 points.
Melbourne also has a lot to play if they hope to secure a top two spot.
The Dees sit two points behind Geelong and the Bulldogs in third, making this a must-win game as they venture to Perth for the first time all season.
Simon Goodwin’s side has been very tough to beat on the road this year, but the fact they’ve lost their last three games against West Coast in Perth dating back to 2018 is worth factoring in.
The Eagles aren’t used to playing as the underdog at home, and there is a bit to like about them after coming under fire all week for their lazy effort against Collingwood last Sunday.
Adam Simpson has plenty to mull over during the week in regards to selections, but with their spot in the eight on the line and a crowd also expected, the Eagles keeping this game close isn’t as absurd as it might seem.
Tip: Back West Coast to Cover the Line (+14.5 Points) @ $1.90
It’s a make or break kinda round for the Bombers, Bulldogs and Dockers, which makes this week’s tips even more difficult to try and predict.
Sunday’s top eight clash between West Coast and Adelaide from Perth also holds huge ladder implications as the Eagles look to potentially seize the top spot from Geelong.
We’ve analysed all nine games and our complete 2019 AFL Round 21 Preview can be found below.
Friday August 9, 7:50pm, Manuka Oval
There’s plenty on the line for GWS as they look to add to their three-game winning streak.
The Giants could still make the top four if results go their way, but Leon Cameron’s side needs to lift after surviving a scare against the Swans last week.
Speaking of scares, that’s about all the Hawks could muster last week against North Melbourne. Hawthorn led by three goals at quarter time, only to manage five more goals in the game in their 22-point loss.
The Hawks are set to miss the finals for only the second time in the last decade, but you can expect Alastair Clarkson’s side to show plenty of fight this week on the road.
Hawthorn toyed with the Giants back in Round 8 winning comfortably by 32-points, although it’s worth noting the Hawks are yet to record a win against the Giants on the road.
GWS should win this game if they can win the midfield battle and also force the Hawks into skill errors – much like the Kangaroos did last week.
Even so, the bookies have set a reasonably low Total for this game, which appears to be the safest play. The average Total of Giants home games this season has been 178 points, putting the Overs into play this week.
Tip: Over 143.5 Total Points
Saturday August 10, 1:45pm, MCG
Collingwood stumbled for a brief moment during the first quarter against the Suns last week before going on to register a much-needed 69-point win.
The Pies hold little hope of reclaiming a spot back inside the top four, but Saturday’s game against the hapless Demons should be a nice little percentage booster with the added chance of improving to fifth on the ladder.
Melbourne has plenty to be proud of after a strong first half against the Tigers, but Richmond proved too much in the second going on to win comfortably by 33-points.
The last two meetings between these two sides have hardly been memorable, with Collingwood winning both by an average margin of 41 points.
Collingwood met the Demons back in Round 12, a game Melbourne dominated on the stat sheet. Unfortunately, Simon Goodwin’s side struggled to find an answer to Jordan De Goey, Will Hoskin-Elliott and Jaidyn Stephenson – all of which booted a three-goal bag.
The Pies have now won three straight over the Demons dating back to 2017, and although the injury list has grown longer with the loss of Mason Cox, they should have no trouble covering what appears to be a generous line.
Melbourne could keep things close in the first half, but like last week, the second half should let them down again. The Dees have won the fewest second halves this season, compared to the Pies, who booted eight goals in the second half last week.
Tip: Back Collingwood to Cover the Line (-15.5 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday August 10, 1:40pm, Adelaide Oval
Port Adelaide head home this week with plenty of work to do should they hope to play finals.
Last week’s huge win over the Bombers was a nice start, but Ken Hinkley’s side will need to ensure they treat the Swans with caution on Saturday afternoon.
Sydney lost a two-point nail-biter last week to the Giants – a game the Swans really should have won. Issac Heeney was brilliant in front of goal, and although the Swans will now miss the finals for the first time since 2009, you can expect Sydney to try and end the season on a high note.
Port has won two straight over the Swans, both of which came at the SCG. It’s also worth noting the Swans haven’t travelled to Adelaide Oval to face the Power since 2015.
Despite their 9-10 record, Port has quietly been the best inside 50 side in the competition this year. The Power dominated that area of the ground last week against the Bombers, and with the Swans averaging the second-most inside ’50s to opponents this year, it spells trouble for the Bloods.
In their four home wins this year, Port has only won by an average margin of 20 points. The Power’s last two wins over the Swans have come by no more than 30-points, so it’s worth backing Port in the Margin market.
Tip: Back Port Adelaide 1-39 @ $1.98
Gold Coast Suns
Saturday August 10, 4:35pm, The Gabba
Plenty are painting Brisbane as a serious Grand Final chance following their seventh straight win last week over the Bulldogs.
There’s a lot to like about the Lions, but Chris Fagan won’t be happy with his sides lack of composure in the fourth quarter last week.
Brisbane led by five goals at the halftime break, only to allow the Bulldogs to sneak back into the game with a six-goal third quarter. The Lions still went on to win by 28-points, but if Brisbane is to contend for a flag, they can’t afford to take their foot off the gas from here on out.
The Suns are the last team that should trouble the Lions, but this line looks a little wide between two sides that have played out some classics in recent years.
Before Brisbane’s 49-point win over the Gold Coast back in Round 6, the previous two Q-Clashes were decided by no more than five points. The Suns have nothing left to play for, but as we’ve seen against the Bombers and the Pies over the last fortnight, Gold Coast is capable of keeping the game close for three quarters.
Tip: Back the Suns to Cover the Line (+50.5 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday August 10, 7:25pm, Marvel Stadium
Seventh plays 10th on Saturday night in a game that could determine the finals landscape for good.
This might be the final chance for the Dogs following last week’s disappointment up in Brisbane. Luke Beveridge’s side came out flat and uninspired to open the game, but the good news is, the understrength Bombers might be easy prey.
Essendon’s injury woes hit a new low during the week with the loss of Matt Guelfi to a season-ending knee injury.
Guelfi now joins Joe Daniher, Tom Bellchambers, Michael Hurley and Andrew Saad on the injured list, leaving the Bombers looking well under the odds as the favourites this week.
Leadership was clearly missing from the Dons during last week’s 59-point belting at the hands of Port Adelaide. The good news is Dyson Heppell could potentially return, but his inclusion alone won’t be enough to stop the Dogs’ fierce midfield.
Lost in last week’s loss to the Lions was Jack Macrae’s seventh consecutive game of 30+ disposals. He alone could wreak havoc on the Bombers and considering the Dogs have won their last four games over Essendon, everything points towards a Bulldogs upset.
Tip: Back the Bulldogs to Win @ $1.95
Saturday August 10, 7:25pm, GMHBA Stadium
Things are trending south at The Cattery right now as Geelong slumped to its fourth loss last week since the bye.
This time, Fremantle proved too much for the Cats in Perth – although the game was certainly up for grabs at half time with the Dockers leading by only three points.
North Melbourne would need a miracle to make the finals from here, but they certainly boosted their confidence with a thrilling win over the Hawks last week at Marvel.
The Roos allowed five unanswered goals in the first quarter, right before new head coach Rhyce Shaw switched things up at quarter time. North went on to win comfortably by 22-points, although they still find themselves four points short of a spot back inside the eight.
Despite their shortcomings since the bye, home-field advantage should work in Geelong’s favour this week. The Cats haven’t lost to the Roos in Geelong since 2015 and have since then compiled a tidy four-game winning streak.
Tip: Back Geelong to Cover the Line (-22.5 Points) @ $1.90
Sunday August 11, 1:10pm, Marvel Stadium
Fremantle’s 34-point win over the Cats last week was enough to keep their faint finals hopes alive heading into Sunday’s game against the Saints.
The Dockers are tied on points with Port and the Bulldogs on the ladder, and they should feel confident heading into this game knowing they beat St. Kilda by five points back in Round 3 at Optus Stadium.
At one-point Fremantle looked destined to play finals, but after a midseason slump due to injuries, suddenly a few question marks have started to pop up.
If you take a look at Fremantle’s win last week over the Cats, you’ll notice just efficient they were with the ball. The Dockers dominated the inside 50 count by a wide margin, and also outmuscled Geelong for 40 more disposals.
St. Kilda has found a new lease on life since the firing of Alan Richardson, but keep in mind, Freo has found some success in Melbourne this year.
With everything to play for and the future of coach Ross Lyon still on the line, back the Dockers to win this one outright.
Tip: Back Fremantle to Win @ $2.18
Sunday August 11, 3:20pm, MCG
Suddenly the Tigers look like the Richmond of old as they set their sights on a seventh straight win.
Damien Hardwick’s side survived a first-half scare last week against the Demons to go on and win comfortably by 33-points, and although the Blues have proven themselves as no easy-beat, it’s tough to fade the Tigers on Sunday afternoon.
Carlton turned up for the contest last week against the reigning premiers, but the Eagles proved too strong in the second quarter thanks to some brilliant footy from Liam Ryan and Willie Rioli.
The Blues had no answer for West Coast’s top stars, which doesn’t spell good news as they prepare to face Dustin Martin and Jack Riewoldt.
Both Dusty and Jack have combined for 14 goals over their last five games against the Blues and considering the Blues haven’t defeated Richmond since the 2013 elimination final, it’s worth playing it safe at the line.
Tip: Back Richmond to Cover the Line (-34.5 Points) @ $1.90
West Coast Eagles
Sunday August 11, 2:40pm, Optus Stadium
Sunday afternoon’s battle between the birds holds plenty in store from Optus Stadium.
For West Coast, a win and a Geelong loss would see the Eagles back on top of the ladder. The Crows, meanwhile, are simply hoping to widen the gap between themselves and the ninth-place Power on the ladder.
These two sides have met once already this year back in Round 10, a game the Eagles won by 12-points at Adelaide Oval. Jamie Cripps, Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling all booted three goals each, while the Crows failed to find the same production from their forward line.
Adelaide has been one of the most inconsistent sides all season, particularly at home where they’ve won only five of their 10 games this season. Unfortunately for the Crows, their road form hasn’t been much better – in fact, Adelaide hasn’t won against the Eagles in Perth since 2016.
The Eagles are hitting their stride nicely ahead of the finals, while the Crows still shape up as pretenders.
West Coast has covered the line in two of its last three games as the home favourite against the Crows, so back the Eagles to win this one easily.
Tip: Back West Coast to Cover the Line (-25.5 Points) @ $1.90
Richmond might be home and hosed, but as for the rest, it’s anyone’s guess.
The Top 8 is a cluster, and there’s still no clarity when it comes to the finals picture.
With five teams fighting to keep their spot in the eight, it’s now or never for the likes of the Swans and Port Adelaide, while Geelong and North Melbourne need everything to go their way as they look on from outside the eight.
So are we in for another round of thrillers and controversy?
Be sure to bang it below and check out all of our AFL Round 21 tips to find out!
Friday 10 August, 7:50pm, Etihad Stadium
It was curtains for the Bombers’ finals hopes last week against the Hawks, but despite the loss to one of their biggest rivals, there’s still plenty to salvage from this lost season.
Essendon’s cracking effort last week certainly didn’t go unnoticed.
The Bombers were fantastic all game long, but it was the individual efforts that really stood out.
Cale Hooker, Conor McKenna, Jake Stringer and Mark Baguley were all phenomenal for the Dons, and although this rebuild has taken a lifetime, the future is bright for the Bombers.
Speaking of the future, the same can’t be said for the Saints.
Last week marked St. Kilda’s 14th loss of the season, but nobody expected Alan Richardson’s side to look so flat against an evenly matched opponent like the Bulldogs.
St. Kilda once again fell apart during the crucial stages of the game, allowing the Dogs to fight back from a four goal opening deficit to lost by a whopping 35-points.
Looking forward to this twilight affair, this is the Bombers’ to lose.
Now that Essendon are healthy, they should have this one, especially if you consider a depleted Bulldogs backline managed to limit St. Kilda full forward Tim Membrey to just one goal last week.
The Saints have hardly looked up to the challenge against any team inside the Top 8 this year, but now they face not only one of the most ferocious teams when it comes to pressure and clearances, but also one of the best fourth quarter sides in the competition.
Keep the ball in Dyson Heppell and McDonald-Tipungwuti’s hands and chip it over the top to Stringer and Orazio Fantasia – that should be the Dons’ strategy in a nutshell.
And, of course, it should also result in a pretty nasty Friday night blowout.
Tip: Back Essendon 40+ @ $2.26
Same Game Multi: Essendon 40+, Total Goals Over 25.5 ($1.83)
Saturday 11 August, 1:45pm, MCG
These games are always must-watch, down-to-the-wire affairs, but the circumstances are a little different this time around.
Normally by this point in the season, Hawthorn and Geelong sit somewhere toward the Top 4, and although the Hawks find themselves fifth on the ladder, this might be the Cats last hurrah if they wish to play finals footy.
In case you missed it, Hawthorn prevailed in a classic last week against the Bombers.
It was back and forth all day, but Hawthorn’s prowess, particularly in the midfield, won them the game.
What was impressive from Hawthorn was their “bend but don’t break” demeanor.
As we just mentioned, Essendon are a top fourth quarter team, but the Hawks fought off a strong last minute challenge from the Bombers to reclaim momentum behind some strong play from Ben Stratton and 19-year old standout, James Worpel.
Geelong, well they too know all about fourth quarters.
The Cats were on the wrong end of last weekends game against the reigning premiers, but if Gary Ablett kicks straight, we’re probably not even having this conversation.
For the most part, that’s been the theme for Geelong.
There’s been some unlucky moments and some basic brain fades, as the Cats have more often than not had to fight back from the back-foot for most of the year.
So where does that leave us ahead of the next chapter in this epic rivalry?
Round 2’s one-point thriller was perhaps the game of the season, but it was dominated by Joel Selwood, Patrick Dangerfield and Gary Ablett.
Those three were huge for the Cats last time out, but the Hawks still walked away with the points.
Obviously, those three names must fire if Geelong are to win, but most importantly, they need to contain Tom Mitchell.
The Brownlow favourite went un-tagged for most of last weeks victory over the Bombers, but he punished Essendon to the tune of 43 disposals.
There’s so many players to keep an eye on in this Hawthorn outfit, and although this game should be close, even if you figure out a way to shut down Mitchell, guys like Jaeger O’Meara and Issac Smith can step up.
Hawthorn would like to finish Top 4, but they’d like to put a dagger in Geelong’s season.
Play it safe and take the Hawks at the line.
Back Hawthorn To Beat The Line (+7.5 Points) @ $1.92
Same Game Multi: Hawthorn To Win ($2.20), Total Match Points 151-160 ($5.75)
Gold Coast Suns
Saturday 11 August, 2:10pm, Metricon
You hate to call any game a “cakewalk”, but the odds really tell the full story here.
The reigning premiers were taken to the sword by the Cats last week, but prevailed in nail-biting circumstances.
It’s safe to say the Tigers will enjoy their trip to the Gold Coast on Saturday, as this is the first time in a long time Richmond hasn’t had to play on a prime-time stage.
If the Suns are to pull off a miracle win here at home, they’ll need to crack down on last weeks major issues.
A 96-point loss to the Demons was just the beginning, as Peter Wright’s knee injury now places the goal-kicking burden squarely on Alex Sexton’s shoulders.
Since Richmond are the class of competition, don’t expect the Tigers to underestimate the Suns.
They did that a month ago against the Giants, resulting in a narrow two-point loss on the road.
Speaking of away games, this is also a chance for Richmond to prove something to their critics.
The Tigers are the favourites for a reason, but their winless interstate record this season is telling for a club that holds the MCG wins record.
The Tigers need to be wary of “just show up” attitude that got them in trouble against the Giants, but fortunately, this injury riddled, understrength Suns side is no threat to the yellow and black.
Tip: No Bet
West Coast Eagles
Saturday 11 August, 4:05pm, Adelaide Oval
The Eagles got their season back on track last week against the Dockers, but the aftermath has been a storm of controversy.
Andrew Gaff’s knockout punch on Andrew Brayshaw during last weeks derby was nothing short of horrifying, and although we all wish Brayshaw a speedy recovery, the Eagles now carry on without one of their key players.
At the time of this writing, it’s unclear the extent of Gaff’s suspension, but it’s likely he misses the rest of the year including finals.
For a side already down Josh Kennedy and Nic Naitanui, that’s one serious blow.
To keep the controversy going, Port Adelaide also have some issues of their own to take up with the AFL.
Josh Jenkins’ last minute goal during Showdown 45 sent the Crows home winners last week, but the snap on goal actually hit the post.
Perhaps it’s only fitting these two clubs meet up this week – aside from last weeks circumstances, this should be a lot closer than Round 7’s blowout affair.
The Eagles an extra gear amidst the chaos last week, and with so many big names missing, it was encouraging to see Jamie Cripps, Liam Ryan and Jack Darling combine for 11 goals.
The Power, on the other hand, well they will feel confident knowing full well they have one important factor on their side this week: home field advantage.
The Adelaide Oval was hardly a fortress for Port last week, but with their spot in the eight potentially on the line, expect the Power to get up for this.
West Coast looked ordinary two weeks ago in Ballarat against North Melbourne, and if Port can control the midfield battle behind Ollie Wines and Chad Wingard, this game should be theirs.
Tip: Back Port Adelaide 1-39 @ $2.06
Same Game Multi: Port Adelaide 1-39, Under 150.5 Points ($1.88)
Saturday 11 August, 7:25pm, Etihad
The last time these two met it was an instant classic, and on the back of two heartbreaking losses, the Pies and the Lions look to get back to winning ways.
Keeping in mind all of Collingwood’s injuries, the Pies did well to hang tough with the Swans at the SCG last week.
The Magpies fought back from 20-points down to give Sydney a real scare in the final term, but the Pies failed to man up in the dying stages of the game to give themselves a chance.
Brisbane, well it was basically the same story.
The Lions sputtered and choked during the third quarter, but Brisbane came all the way back to be within one kick of winning the game.
That one kick should have gone through the goal posts, but No.1 overall draft pick, Cameron Rayner, opted for a round the body banana rather than a drop punt, only to boot the ball through for a behind.
It was a tough lesson for both clubs last week, but Collingwood need to regroup in a hurry if they have any hope of finishing inside the Top 2.
The Pies nearly toppled the Swans, but there’s no looking past the fact Buddy Franklin booted six goals on the night.
That kind of thing shouldn’t happen when you win the clearance and contested possession battle, but it only highlights how weak the Magpies back line is at the moment.
Of course, the Lions don’t feature anyone of Franklin’s prowess, but there’s no denying Eric Hipwood, Rayner and even Dayne Zorko can boot a bag on any given occasion.
Throw in the fact Brisbane often turn up to Etihad ready to play, and you have a big chance of an upset, and a little Lions revenge, ahead on Saturday.
Tip: Back Brisbane Lions To Win @ $3.60
Same Game Multi: Lions To Win, Under 185.5 Total Points ($1.87)
Saturday 11 August, 7:25pm, UNSW Canberra
Make no mistake, GWS are serious contenders now.
The Giants earned their fourth straight victory last weekend, defeating Carlton in blowout fashion.
The win sent GWS up to third on the ladder, and with the up and about Crows up next, it looks as though we have a Saturday night blockbuster on our hands.
It’s safe to say this game would be better suited to Spotless or Adelaide Oval, but the somewhat neutral turf of UNSW Canberra will have to do.
Not to worry, the Giants still enter this game as the favourites, but they do have some injury concerns to address ahead of the weekend.
Toby Greene, Brett Deledio and Dawson Simpson all left the ground during last week’s 105-point win over the Blues, casting a small cloud of doubt over one of the leagues up and coming premiership favourites.
As for the Crows, the footy gods smiled upon thee last week as Josh Jenkins’ behind was ruled a goal.
The umpiring blunder let Adelaide off the hook in the Showdown against Port Adelaide, but importantly kept their season alive for one more week.
Having only met 10-weeks ago, the Crows will be out for revenge on their 16-point loss to the Giants back in Round 11.
They only need to refer back to last years Qualifying Final win to get a grasp on the right game plan though, as Adelaide pumped the Giants by 36-points last season.
It’s likely the Giants will welcome back star forward Jeremy Cameron this week, only making life tougher for the Crows.
Adelaide will feel confident knowing Jenkins is in goal-scoring form however, and Matt Crouch’s 35 disposals last week should only help to calm any further nerves.
We’ve been saying “do or die” about the Crows for a month now, but they continue to hang around.
With the Giants likely to enter this game minus a few stars, Adelaide should find themselves closer to the eight.
Tip: Back Adelaide Crows To Win @ $2.80
Same Game Multi: Crows To Win, Adelaide Crows Goal 1st Scoring Play ($3.60)
Sunday 12 August, 1:10pm, Etihad
Just when it looked like the wayward Bulldogs would be hard pressed to record another win this year, they go and pull off a big one against the Saints last week.
It certainly helped having Jackson Macrae back in the side, but for the talk surrounding the Dogs and goal-kicking this year, it was nice to see Luke Beveridge’s side kick more goals than they did behinds for a change.
Kicking goals has hardly been a challenge for North Melbourne, but boy were the Roos lucky last week.
If Cam Rayner kicks that last second goal in the fourth quarter, this is a totally different conversation, one that potentially involves North missing the finals.
Still, here we are, and while only one of these teams actually has something to play for, this could still turn into quite the chippy affair at Etihad on Sunday afternoon.
The last time these teams met was back in Round 14, a game the Roos held on to win by two-points.
The Bulldogs were much healthier back then, but they do still feature two of their key game changers in Marcus Bontempelli and Jason Johannisen ahead of this weekend.
Both of those guys were rather quiet last time out for the Dogs, so look for Beveridge to come up with some kind of plan to get them more involved this week.
Down the other end, the Dogs other problem is Ben Brown, Jack Ziebell and Majak Daw, three players that played a massive role during the Roos’ win over the Lions.
It’s very likely the Dogs can challenge North on attack, but it’s unlikely they have the defenders to keep the Roos’ big three quiet all day.
Don’t let the Bulldogs win last week fool you, they trailed by a wide margin after the first quarter, and if red, white and blue start slow from the gate again, it will cost them against this North outfit.
Tip: Back North Melbourne 1-39 @ $2.12
Same Game Multi: North Melbourne 1-39, Western Bulldogs/North Melbourne Half-Time/Full-Time ($6.50)
Sunday 12 August, 3:20pm, MCG
Hawthorn and Geelong might be the game of the round, but this is a nice little side dish to keep you going on Sunday.
The Demons have quietly been putting in work, winning comfortably against the Suns last week to make it two on the trot. The Swans, meanwhile, escaped by the skin of their teeth against Collingwood last week to keep their season ticking for one more week.
This game has the makings of a potential blockbuster, especially given the Swans are close to full strength once again.
Sydney have also been quite the formidable team at the MCG this season, taking down the likes of Hawthorn at the home of footy.
To make matters even more convincing for the bloods, the Swans have won their last three games against the Dees at the G’.
Last seasons 45-point blowout was the last meeting between these two teams, a game Melbourne fans would probably rather forget.
The Demons look well on their way to the finals, but they are yet to record a win against any of the Top 4 sides this year.
Throw in losses to Geelong and Hawthorn, and suddenly this game looks a little beyond the red and the blue.
Sydney got back to basics last week, and it looked mighty convincing.
Buddy kicked his usual bag, and the old veteran, Jarrad McVeigh, collected a lazy 26 disposals.
Most impressively for the Swans, though, has been defender Aliir Aliir.
The 23-year old was dynamite down back against the Pies, and he looks unstoppable on any ball kicked over head at the moment.
The Demons look strong right now, but their last two wins have been against a struggling Crows side and the lowly Suns.
You can’t buy into that too much.
Back the Swans this week.
Tip: Back Sydney Swans To Win @ $2.95
Same Game Multi: Swans To Win, Over 169.5 Total Points ($1.86)
Sunday 12 August, 2:40pm, Optus Stadium
Two teams on the heels of a thrashing, what more is there to say?
Carlton looked lost against the Giants last week, falling behind by four goals in the opening term.
Things weren’t much better for the Dockers, either, as Freo trailed by three goals of their own at quarter time.
The season can’t end soon enough for these two cellar dwellers, but with a chance to end their season on a high note, Fremantle are the team to back this weekend.
Ross Lyon’s side may have lost three straight, but they handed it to this same Carlton side back in Round 13.
Nat Fyfe was electric that day, collecting 30 disposals and booting a pair of goals, and with a chance to return from injury and play in front of the home crowd, Fyfe’s inclusion would be massive for the Dockers.
A road trip to Perth is the last thing Carlton needed, and this feels like a game the Blues will use to get some run in much younger players’ legs. It’s hardly going to be spectacle, but for punters, ride with the Dockers by plenty.
Tip: Back Fremantle To Win 40+ @ $2.50
Same Game Multi: Fremantle To Win 40+, Over 163.5 Total Points ($1.85)
Round 21 of the 2017 AFL season begins with a genuine blockbuster between the Western Bulldogs and the GWS Giants and there are a number of massive games spread right across the weekend.
The winner of the clash between Richmond and Geelong will all but secure a top four finish, while the loser of the game between Melbourne and St Kilda will likely fall out of finals contention.
These are just three of the big games set to take place this weekend and you can find our complete 2017 AFL round 21 tips below.
Friday 11 August, 7:50pm, Etihad Stadium
Western Bulldogs 57 - GWS Giants 105
The past two games played between the Western Bulldogs and the GWS Giants have been absolute epics and hopefully we are in for a repeat on Friday night.
Greater Western Sydney made it two wins on the trot with a professional win over Melbourne and they will start this clash as narrow favourites.
This is not a position in which they have thrived this season and they have won only four of their past nine games as away favourites.
It was not pretty, but the Western Bulldogs were able to come away with the four points from their clash with the Brisbane Lions and they have now won four games on the trot.
The Bulldogs have won their only game as home underdogs this season and their form at Etihad Stadium has been very strong.
There really is not a great deal between these two teams and the Western Bulldogs do appeal at their current price of $2.20.
Back Western Bulldogs To Win @ $2.20
Saturday 12 August, 1:45pm, SCG
Sydney Swans 143 - Fremantle 39
The Sydney Swans are the shortest-priced favourites of the weekend in the AFL and they should prove too strong for Fremantle.
Sydney were excellent against Geelong last weekend and since round seven Hawthorn are the only side in the entire competition that they have lost too.
The Swans have still proven to be a losing betting proposition as home favourites this season – they are have won seven of their past 12 games in this scenario – and they are 6-6 against the line.
Fremantle ended their losing run with a quality win over the Gold Coast Suns and they have played some solid football over the past month.
The Dockers have actually won three of their past nine games as away underdogs for a small profit and they are 5-4 against the line in this situation.
Sydney should really win this game, but the line of 44.5 points is excessive and I doubt the Dockers will be disgraced in this clash.
Back Fremantle To Beat The Line (+44.5 Points)
Saturday 12 August, 2:10pm, Simonds Stadium
Geelong 80 - Richmond 66
This is an incredibly important game and there is basically a guaranteed top four finish on the line.
Geelong have won 19 of their past 20 games against Richmond, but it is the Tigers that will go into this clash as narrow favourites.
Richmond have won three of their past four games as away favourites and they have the same record against the line in this scenario.
Patrick Dangerfield will be back in action for Geelong this weekend, but they will be without Joel Selwood after he suffered an ankle injury during the Cats big loss at the hands of the Sydney Swans.
The Cats have won two of their past three games as home underdogs for a profit and you really can’t underestimate their simply outstanding record against Richmond.
Geelong can defy the absence of Selwood and continue their dominance over the Tigers.
Back Geelong To Win @ $2.40
Gold Coast Suns
Saturday 12 August, 4:35pm, The Gabba
Brisbane Lions 142 - Gold Coast Suns 84
The Brisbane Lions won the first Q-Clash this season and they are favourites to complete the double this weekend.
This is the first time that Brisbane have started a game as favourites this season, but they are deserving of that status following their quality performance against the Western Bulldogs last weekend.
Brisbane have never lost to the Gold Coast Suns as home favourites and their record against their rivals at the Gabba is stellar.
The Suns slumped to their fifth loss on the trot when they went down to Fremantle last Saturday night and it really has been another season to forget for the Gold Coast.
They have lost their past eight games as away underdogs and their record against the line in this scenario is a very poor 2-6.
Brisbane really have played some decent football in the second half of the season and they can score another win over their Queensland rivals.
Back Brisbane To Win @ $1.80
Saturday 12 August, 7:25pm, Etihad Stadium
Essendon 80 - Adelaide Crows 123
The Adelaide Crows currently sit six points clear on top of the AFL ladder and can potentially secure the minor premiership with a win over Essendon.
Adelaide were simply outstanding against Port Adelaide last Sunday afternoon and when they are at their best there are very few teams in the AFL that can match them.
Winning away from home has not been an issue for the Crows so far this season and they have won eight of their past 11 games as away favourites, while they are 6-5 against the line in this scenario.
Essendon did not make it look easy, but they came from behind late to beat Carlton and they are back in the top eight.
The Bombers have won seven of their past nine games as home underdogs for a big profit and they are a most impressive 8-1 against the line in this scenario.
This is a game that the market looks to have got just about right and I am more than happy to stay out of this clash from a betting perspective.
West Coast Eagles
Saturday 12 August, 7:40pm, Domain Stadium
West Coast Eagles 100 - Carlton 83
The West Coast Eagles have dropped out of the top eight, but they will still go into this clash with Carlton as clear favourites.
West Coast had their chances against St Kilda last weekend, but they lack composure at key moments and that loss could cost them badly in a few weeks time.
The Eagles have won only six of their past ten games as home favourites for a loss and they are 4-6 against the line in this scenario.
Carlton really should have come away with the four points from their clash against Essendon last weekend and it will be interesting to see how they back-up this weekend.
The Blues have lost seven games on the trot, but they have generally performed better than that record suggests and they have covered the line in five of their past eight games as away underdogs.
The line of 34.5 points is a big one for a team that has been as inconsistent as the Eagles and the Blues are a good bet to cover the line once again.
Back Carlton To Beat The Line (+34.5 Points)
Sunday 13 August, 1:10pm, MCG
Melbourne 96 - St Kilda 72
Melbourne ended their lengthy losing streak against St Kilda earlier this season and they will go into this clash with the Saints as favourites.
The Demons were fairly poor against Greater Western Sydney last weekend and their chances of finally returning to finals football really do hang in the balance.
Melbourne have won only five of their past ten games as favourites and they are a particularly poor 2-8 against the line in this scenario.
St Kilda showed plenty of character to beat West Coast on Sunday afternoon and keep their finals hopes alive.
The Saints have won only four of their past 11 games as away underdogs, but they are 6-5 against the line in this situation.
There really is very little between these two teams and an extremely close game seems very likely, which means that St Kilda really do appeal with a start of 7.5 points.
Back St Kilda To Beat The Line (+7.5 Points)
Sunday 13 August, 3:20pm, University Of Tasmania Stadium
Hawthorn 116 - North Melbourne 89
Hawthorn had their finals hopes dashed by Richmond last weekend, but they will still go into this clash with North Melbourne as dominant favourites.
The Hawks were never really able to get anything going against Richmond, but it is fair to say that they won’t face such a stiff challenge against North Melbourne.
Hawthorn have won only three of their past seven games as favourites for a clear loss and their record against the line in this scenario is a disastrous 1-6.
North Melbourne wasted plenty of goal-scoring opportunities against Collingwood last weekend and they will go into this clash without Ben Brown.
The Kangaroos have won only three of their past 17 games as underdogs for a clear loss, but they are 9-8 against the line when being given a start.
Hawthorn do go into this clash as deserved favourites, but their isn’t as much between these two sides as the current betting market suggests and North Melbourne can cover the line with a start of 28.5 points.
Back North Melbourne To Beat The Line (+28.5 Points)
Sunday 13 August, 4:40pm, Adelaide Oval
Port Adelaide 98 - Collingwood 71
Port Adelaide were nothing short of disgraceful against Adelaide, but they will still go into this clash with Collingwood as clear favourites.
It is tough to have any faith in Port Adelaide after such a poor performance, but they are 7-2 on the back of losses so far this season and they rarely produce poor performances back-to-back.
The Power have won six of their past eight games as home favourites for a small loss and they are a middling 4-4 against the line in this scenario.
Collingwood continued their unbeaten run with an impressive victory against North Melbourne and they really can produce some quality football on their day.
The Magpies have won three of their past six games as away underdogs and they are an incredibly impressive 6-0 against the line in this situation.
It really would not surprise if Collingwood came out and won this clash and they are an excellent bet to beat the line with a start of 21.5 points.
Back Collingwood To Beat The Line (+21.5 Points)
There are now only three rounds left in the 2016 AFL regular season and every game is now key as we build towards the finals.
The rounds gets underway on Friday night when the Western Bulldogs and Collingwood square off at Etihad Stadium and we don’t have to wait long for the game of the round between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and West Coast Eagles before Fremantle take on Adelaide in the final match of the weekend.
Friday 12 August, 7:50pm, Etihad Stadium
Western Bulldogs 95 - Collingwood 92
The Western Bulldogs showed a great deal of both mental and physical toughness to beat North Melbourne last weekend and they will start this clash with Collingwood as clear favourites.
The Bulldogs continue to defy what is a hefty injury toll to remain an outside chance of sneaking into the top four and this is a game that they really must win for that to be a reality.
The Bulldogs have proven to be a safe betting proposition as home favourites this season and they have won seven of their past nine games in this scenario, while they are 6-3 against the line.
Collingwood were unable to build on their solid victory over West Coast and regressed to the form that we have seen the majority of this season with a loss to Richmond.
While Collingwood have struggled from a football standpoint this season, they have proven to be a profitable betting play as away underdogs and they have won three of their past eight games in this situation.
The Western Bulldogs are a safe bet to get the job done, but there is not much of an edge at their current price of $1.40 and the market looks to have got this game just about right.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Saturday 13 August, 1:45pm, The Gabba
Brisbane Lions 99 - Carlton 95
The wooden spoon will not be on the line in this clash for the first time in a couple of seasons, but this is still a genuine cellar-dwellers clash between two very out of form teams.
Carlton have not won a game of football for over two months and they were very poor against Carlton last weekend, but they will still go into this clash as clear favourites.
This will be just the second time in the past 12 months that Carlton have been away favourites – a clash they lost – but they have won and beaten the line in two of their three games as the punter’s elect this season.
The Lions sunk to a new low with their dreadful effort against Adelaide and there really are very few positives that this club will be able to take from this season.
Brisbane have been a losing betting proposition across every betting metric this season and that is no different as home underdogs – they have lost seven of their past nine games as home underdogs and they are 4-5 against the line.
Carlton have been very poor in recent weeks, but they are still a more talented outfit than this Brisbane Lions side and the Blues really should be able to return to winning form.
Recommended Bet: Back Carlton To Beat The Line (-16.5 Points)
Saturday 13 August, 2:10pm, MCG
Hawthorn 96 - North Melbourne 57
This is a big game for both sides as they both suffered disappointing defeats last weekend.
Hawthorn produced their poorest performance in weeks to go down to Melbourne and they now need to win this clash to stay on top of the AFL ladder.
It is no secret that Hawthorn have not suffered back-to-back losses in a number of seasons and they have won 19 out of their past 25 games as favourites, but they are a very poor 9-16 when giving away a start.
North Melbourne had their chances against the Western Bulldogs and couldn’t get the job done – leaving them at something of a crossroads this season.
The Kangaroos have generally struggled as underdogs this season and have won just two of their past eight games in this scenario, but they have been a positive betting play against the line with a start.
It is very rare that Hawthorn produce two poor performances in a row and I fancy them to come out firing against North Melbourne this weekend.
Recommended Bet: Back Hawthorn To Beat The Line (-20.5 Points)
West Coast Eagles
Saturday 13 August, 4:35pm, Spotless Stadium
GWS Giants 96 - West Coast Eagles 97
This is one of the most interesting games of the round and could prove to be a preview for what we see in the 2016 AFL Finals.
The Greater Western Sydney Giants got the job done against the Gold Coast Suns to make it four wins on the trot, but they did not make it look easy.
In saying that, they will still start this game as clear favourites and they may never have a better chance to record their first ever victory over the West Coast Eagles.
GWS have won six of their past seven games as home favourites and most impressively have an identical record against the line in this scenario.
West Coast got the job done against Fremantle in a fairly tense Western Derby and they have now won six of their past seven games, but still aren’t playing particularly well.
Their struggles away from home this weekend have been well documented and they have won just one of their past four games as away underdogs, while they have an identical record against the line.
Greater Western Sydney look very well-placed to beat West Coast for the first time ever and should comfortably cover the line of 25.5 points.
Recommended Bet: Back GWS Giants To Beat The Line (-25.5 Points)
Saturday 13 August, 7:25pm, Etihad Stadium
St Kilda 76 - Sydney Swans 146
The Sydney Swans have won the past five games played between these two sides and they are clear favourites to continue their stellar record against St Kilda this weekend.
Sydney made it three wins in a row with a very comfortable victory over Port Adelaide last weekend, but they may not have it their own way against St Kilda.
The Swans have won only six of their nine games as away favourites this season for a loss, but they have proven to be profitable against the line in this scenario.
St Kilda have actually proven to be a very profitable betting team this season and they are 4-1-1 as home underdogs for a big profit, while they are 6-3 against the line.
The Saints still have a slim chance of playing finals football and they will be pumped up for what they will see as a winnable game.
This game should be much closer than the current betting market suggests and St Kilda are a great bet at the line with a start of 27.5 points.
Recommended Bet: St Kilda To Beat The Line (+27.5 Points)
Saturday 13 August, 7:10pm, Adelaide Oval
Port Adelaide 54 - Melbourne 94
Port Adelaide have dominated Melbourne in recent memory and have won the past six games played between the two sides, but head into this game on the back of a very poor performance against Sydney.
It was easily the worst performance that Port Adelaide have produced in a number of seasons and they will still start this clash as clear favourites.
Favourtism has actually proven to be a positive for the Power this season and they have won six of their seven games as home favourites, while they are 4-3 against the line in this scenario.
Melbourne produced one of their best performances in a number of seasons to beat Hawthorn last weekend and they are sure to take a great deal of confidence from that victory.
In saying that, the Demons have struggled somewhat on the road this season and they have won only two of their past eight games as away underdogs, while they are 3-6 on the back of a win.
I expect Port Adelaide to bounce back in a big way this weekend and the line of 14.5 points won’t be enough.
Recommended Bet: Back Port Adelaide To Beat The Line (-14.5 Points)
Gold Coast Suns
Sunday 14 August, 1:10pm, Etihad Stadium
Essendon 75 - Gold Coast Suns 69
The pain is almost over for Essendon fans and they only have a few games left this season without their suspended group of players.
It is fair to say that this very young Bombers side has not been disgraced this season, but they have become fairly noncompetitive in recent weeks and it is fair to say that they will go into this clash as clear underdogs.
Essendon have won just one of their past nine games as home underdogs, but they are a credible 6-3 against the line in this situation.
The Gold Coast Suns lost their second tight game in as many weeks to the Greater Western Sydney Giants last weekend, but they have an excellent chance to return to winning form.
This is just the second game that the Suns will start as away favourites in the past 12 months, but they have proven a fairly safe bet as the punter’s elect.
Gold Coast really should be able to get the job done, but they look to have found their right price and this is a clash that I am happy to stay out of from a betting perspective.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Sunday 14 August, 3:20pm, MCG
Richmond returned to winning form with a victory over Collingwood last weekend, but they face a much tougher assignment against Geelong.
The Tigers showed what they are capable of against Collingwood, but stringing together performances of that quality has proven to be a major issue and they are just 6-7 on the back of a victory.
In saying that, Richmond are 2-1 as home underdogs this season and they are more than capable of matching it with any other team in the competition on their day.
Geelong made it four wins on the trot with a comfortable victory over Essendon and coach Chris Scott will be hopeful that they can maintain that form heading into the 2016 AFL Finals.
The Cats have not been a flawless team from a betting proposition this season and their record as away favourites is a very scratchy 4-1-4, while they are a very poor 2-7 against the line in this scenario.
It would not surprise me if Richmond were able to find a degree of form at the wrong time of the season and I expect them to give Geelong a scare this weekend.
Recommended Bet: Back Richmond To Beat The Line (+41.5 Points)
Sunday 14 August, 2:40pm, Domain Stadium
Fremantle 70 - Adelaide 142
Adelaide are the shortest-priced favourites of the weekend and they are expected to have no problems accounting for a struggling Fremantle this weekend.
Adelaide put up a very big score against the Brisbane Lions last weekend and they have flown under the radar in recent weeks, but have still managed to win seven of their past eight games.
The Crows don’t have the best record away from home this season, but they have still won four of their six games as home favourites.
Fremantle suffered their sixth straight loss at the hands of the West Coast Eagles last weekend and they are clearly a team that can’t wait for the end of the AFL season.
The Dockers have won just one of their past 18 games as underdogs and they are an extremely poor 5-13 against the line in this situation.
The line of 42.5 points does seem a touch excessive, but Adelaide have had no problems putting up big scores this season and I expect them to do the same this weekend.
Recommended Bet: Back Adelaide To Beat The Line (-42.5 Points)