Four points separate 10th from second on the ladder – just in case you forgot how crazy this season is.
Round 8 kicks off with a bang this week between two desperate clubs looking to get their season back on track, while one of the AFL’s most bitter rivalries gets underway on Saturday night from the Adelaide Oval.
Backing upsets is a must this season if you wish to tip successfully, and after analysing all nine games, we’re confident we’ve found some winners in our complete 2019 AFL Round 8 Preview below.
Friday May 10, 7:50pm, SCG
It’s a clash between two of the league’s bottom eight clubs, although it certainly feels as though the Bombers and the Swans are at complete opposite ends of the spectrum.
Essendon occupy 11th on the ladder following last week’s 32-point loss to the Cats. At times the Bombers looked up for the challenge, but Geelong’s class through the midfield and the Dons’ inaccuracy in front of goal ultimately cost John Worsfold’s side a chance.
For Sydney, this is just about it. With one win from their seven games so far, the Swans must win on Friday if they hold any hope of playing finals and elevating from the bottom of the ladder. Last week’s trip to The Gabba ended in a 22-point defeat, but the good news is Buddy Franklin looks likely to return from a hamstring injury.
The Swans have won four of their last five games against Essendon, but they’ll be eager to make up for last year’s 109-66 loss. Defensively Sydney showed strong signs in the first half against Brisbane, but after allowing six combined goals to Eric Hipwood, Charlie Cameron and Daniel McStay, it’s tough to trust the Swans against Essendon’s potent forward line.
Still, the Bombers continue to do most things right on the ground, like winning the clearances and the inside 50’s last week against the Cats. As we’ve come to learn though, it means nothing when you can’t kick accurately in front of goal.
The Bombers last won at the SCG back in 2009, but you have to rewind a long way back to find the last time the Swans were the underdog at home to the Dons. If Buddy plays, Sydney look a good bet to keep this close.
Tip: Back the Swans to Cover the Line (+11 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday May 11, 1:45pm, Mars Stadium (Ballarat)
Two straight wins have propelled the Lions back inside the Top 4, but is it enough to make them favourites this week on the road?
Chris Fagan’s side looks a little over the odds at this price considering just how gallantly the Lions usually perform in this fixture. Brisbane have lost four straight games to the Dogs, but keep in mind this is a new-look Lions side that ranks third in goals scored.
You certainly can’t knock the Bulldogs, though. Luke Beveridge coached a brilliant game last week en route to a 47-point win over the Tigers. Aaron Naughton was the surprise standout with a five-goal bag, but really, the entire side deserves credit after dominating the disposals, clearances and contested possessions by a wide margin.
Considering their dominance in this fixture, it’s no surprise to learn the Dogs hold a strong 7-2 record as the home favourite against the Lions. Still, given how up and down the Bulldogs have looked this year, it’s tough to know exactly what to expect on Saturday.
For punters, you can rest easy knowing the Lions are 3-2 as the line underdog in away games against the Dogs. Brisbane can win this game easily if they take the game on – something they’ll need to do against a Bulldogs side that ranks 15th in clearances this year.
Tip: Back the Lions to Cover the Line (+6.5 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday May 11, 2:10pm, MCG
For the last five years, it’s been two steps forward and one step back for the Blues. But last week’s loss? That was something else.
A week after taking Hawthorn to the brink, Carlton completely overlooked a down and out North Melbourne side going on to lose by 58-points in front of a very hopeful crowd.
This week things don’t get any easier against the premiership favourites, and if Collingwood’s complete annihilation of Port Adelaide is anything to go by, head coach Brendon Bolton could be in for another long day.
Collingwood look the team to beat this year for several reasons, but the biggest has to be Jordan deGoey. The star forward continues to pull off the unthinkable in front of goal, and when the ball isn’t in his hands, opposing teams also have to factor in the likes of Jamie Elliott and Jaidyn Stephenson – both of which combined for seven goals last week.
The Pies have won two straight against the Blues, both of which came in blowout fashion. Fans will be looking for a response from Carlton this week, and while there’s every chance they keep this game within 30-points, Collingwood’s prowess – particularly in the opening term – should see them over the line.
Tip: Back Collingwood 1-39 @ $2.55
Gold Coast Suns
Saturday May 11, 4:35pm, The Gabba
Are Melbourne back on track, or this just one big hoax?
Last week’s win over the Hawks certainly has Melbourne fans in good spirits heading into what should be their third win of the season.
After weeks of winning the disposals and contested possession battles on the stat sheet only to come up short on the scoreboard, Melbourne kicked away in the final term to upset Hawthorn by five-points at the G.
Things weren’t quite so peachy for the Suns however, as Stuart Dew’s side fell to the Eagles by 33-points in Perth. Gold Coast trailed at the end of all four quarters, and really, it’s no surprise when you factor in the Suns managed only 17 shots at goal. Still, Gold Coast kept things interesting over the course of the game to take plenty of pride away from the trip.
This probably won’t be the most exciting game of football, but it is an important one as far as both sides are concerned. Finals are still a realistic possibility for either club, and considering both still occupy the bottom four, a win could go a long way towards turning the season around.
The Dees have won six straight over the Suns dating back to 2014. They’ve split their two games at Metricon one win apiece, but as we’ve seen already this year, Gold Coast are a force to be reckoned with at home.
The Suns lost convincingly when these sides met last year, but keep in mind Alex Sexton enjoyed a five-goal game in the Round 20 loss. Unfortunately, Gold Coast aren’t a one man show, and considering they rank dead last in points this year, the lack of scoring will likely cost them another close game.
Tip: Back the Demons 1-39 @ $2.05
West Coast Eagles
Saturday May 11, 7:25pm, Marvel Stadium
St. Kilda’s fast start to the season has come to a screeching halt thanks to a pair of blowout losses.
The Saints were on the wrong end of a 44-point thumping last week, this time at the hands of the Giants. Alan Richardson’s side failed to show up in Canberra as they found themselves in a six-goal hole at quarter time, leaving St. Kilda with four wins, three losses and plenty of questions to answer.
Things aren’t going any better for West Coast, mind you. Last week’s scare against the Suns has the reigning premiers still searching for a spot in the eight, and considering they’ve won only once on the road this year, who knows what to expect from the Eagles on Saturday night.
The good news is West Coast do tend to save their best performances for Melbourne, and more importantly, St. Kilda. The Eagles have won four of their last five games over the Saints, including last year’s 19-point victory at home.
The odds favour Adam Simpson’s side this week, but it’s St. Kilda who warrant your money. The Saints rank fifth in clearances so far this year, compared to West Coast, who rank dead last in inside 50’s.
Win the ball in the middle and St. Kilda should go a long way towards earning the points. The Saints are 2-1 as the line underdog against West Coast, so take full advantage of some generous odds.
Tip: Back St. Kilda to Cover the Line (+8.5 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday May 11, 7:10pm, Adelaide Oval
If Showdown 46 is anything like last year’s two epic blockbusters, footy fans should be in for another classic.
Both games were decided by no more than five-points in 2018, and while everyone remembers Eddie Betts and Stephen Motlop’s goals, picking a winner on Saturday night looks to be a bit of a coin flip.
Port Adelaide looked overwhelmed last week against Collingwood losing by 39-points. The Power were a popular upset pick all week long, but Ken Hinkley’s side failed to turn up for the contest trailing by seven goals at quarter time.
The Crows? Well let’s just say the lid is off. Adelaide are a sleeper no longer, and although last week’s dull, low-scoring game was tough to watch at times, the Crows walked away with the points to find themselves sitting sixth on the ladder.
Speaking of the ladder, the winner of this game could go a long way towards playing finals. The Power sit just one spot below the Crows with both sides sitting 4-3.
So who should you back?
Port Adelaide were outmuscled last week by Collingwood’s explosive forward line, but the Power are still doing a lot right this season. Port lead the league in clearances and inside 50’s, and also rank top five in marks inside 50 and points.
Port have won only one of the last seven Showdown’s, but with a 4-3 record as the home underdog against the Crows, expect Hinkley’s side to respond to last week’s shortcomings.
Tip: Back Port Adelaide To Win @ $2.15
Sunday May 12, 1:10pm, Marvel Stadium
First plays 15th to kick off Sunday’s slate of games, and as the odds suggest, nobody is giving North Melbourne a chance.
The Roos do deserve some credit for last week’s win, even if it came against Carlton. Brad Scott’s side entered as the favourites, but nobody expected the Shinboners to walk away with a convincing 58-point victory.
Ben Brown was inspiring kicking four goals, and the Roos will need more of that this week if they wish to tackle the ladder leading Cats.
It’s been a tumultuous week for Geelong superstar Gary Ablett, but fortunately the two-time Brownlow Medalist has been cleared of a striking charge ahead of this week’s game.
The Cats were outstanding last week against the Bombers, and you certainly can’t back against a team that leads the league in goals scored. Geelong are 7-4 as the favourite against North Melbourne, and with three straight wins over the Roos, this one isn’t worth overcomplicating.
Tip: Back Geelong 1-39 @ $2.08
Sunday May 12, 3:20pm, MCG
For the first time in a long time, Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson finds himself at a crossroads.
The Hawks were always a question mark entering the 2019 season, and with just three wins from seven games, suddenly Hawthorn look to be facing a serious rebuild as they head towards the bottom four.
Last week’s loss to the Demons summed up the current state of the club. Hawthorn fell by an agonizing five points, but after losing the contested possession and disposal battles by a wide margin, it’s no wonder why.
For the Giants, it’s all smooth sailing. GWS manhandled St. Kilda in Canberra last week, while the age of Jeremy Cameron finally looks to be upon us.
The Hawks haven’t defeated the Giants since 2014, while GWS also hold an impressive 4-0 record as the away favourite over the last 12 months. Unfortunately, they do need to shake the Melbourne monkey off their back, with Hawthorn’s back line in disarray, a fast start for the Giants could put the game out of reach early.
Tip: Back the Giants to Cover the Line (-11.5 Points) @ $1.90
Sunday May 12, 3:20pm, Optus Stadium
To illustrate just how crazy this season has been, consider this: the Dockers are in the Top 8 and the Tigers aren’t.
Richmond’s list of casualties finally caught up with them last week as they lost by 47-points to the Bulldogs. It was a lackluster effort from Damien Hardwick’s side, especially after allowing six goals in the third quarter.
Fremantle are also licking their wounds following a narrow 17-point loss to the Crows in Adelaide. The Dockers had plenty of chances to capitalize in a low-scoring game, but Eddie Betts had other ideas as he ravished Freo’s back line for a crucial late goal.
These two sides met only once last year in a whopping 77-point Tigers win. This time around it’s Richmond’s turn to head West as the yellow and black army hope to replicate 2017’s 104-point win at Domain Stadium.
Of course, given who the Tigers are missing, as well as Fremantle’s much-improved midfield, this game should be close. Richmond find themselves as the underdog this week, a scenario they are 1-3 in away from home against the Dockers.
This game will come down to who can win the forward battle, and on paper it favours the Dockers. Richmond allowed Aaron Naughton to boot five goals last week, and with Michael Walters already owning 14 to his name this year, the Tigers backline could be in for a long afternoon.
Tip: Back Fremantle to Win @ $1.70
What a way to start another big round of the action in the AFL.
The rivalry between Hawthorn and Sydney Swans has been one of the most heated in the AFL over the past decade and this is an important game for both sides.
The other highlight of the weekend is the 44th edition of Showdown between Port Adelaide and the Adelaide Crows on Saturday night before the in-form North Melbourne take on the high-flying Richmond in the pick of Sunday’s fixtures.
We have analysed every single game this weekend and our complete 2018 AFL Round 8 tips can be found below.
Friday 11 May, 7:50pm, MCG
Hawks 71 - Swans 79
These two sides have played some absolute classics over the past decade and the market suggests that there will be very little between them this weekend.
Hawthorn famously beat Sydney twice last weekend and they will go into this clash as narrow favourites.
The Hawks did enough to see-off Essendon last weekend and they have now won their past four games as home favourites, while they are 3-1 against the line in this scenario.
Sydney suffered a surprise loss at the hands of North Melbourne last weekend and they have not suffered back-to-back losses for over 12 months.
The Swans have won their past three games as away underdogs for a big profit and winning away from home has not been an issue for this side.
This shapes as another very close affair between these two sides and it would not surprise if it was a fairly low-scoring affair.
The Under has saluted in 16 of the past 22 games played by Hawthorn and has also been a profitable betting play in Swans’ games over the past 12 months.
Back Under 142.5 Points
West Coast Eagles
Saturday 12 May, 1:45pm, Spotless Stadium
Giants 61 - Eagles 86
This is a big test for both these sides.
The GWS Giants served up a fairly putrid performance against Geelong last weekend, but they will still go into this clash as clear favourites.
Greater Western Sydney have won ten of their past 11 games as home favourites, but they are only 3-8 against the line in this scenario.
West Coast made it six wins on the trot with a comfortable victory over Port Adelaide and they only trail premiership favourites Richmond on percentage.
The Eagles have won three of their past seven games as away underdogs for a profit and they are 4-3 against the line in this scenario.
There really isn’t a great deal between these two sides and I am keen to back the Eagles with the insurance of a 10.5 points start.
Back West Coast To Cover The Line (+10.5 Points)
Saturday 12 May, 2:10pm, MCG
Blues 91 - Dons 78
These are two sides that are under plenty of pressure.
Essendon have won only one of their past six matches and they would officially become a club in crisis if they failed to beat Carlton this weekend.
The Bombers have won only five of their past nine games as favourites and they are a very poor 2-7 against the line in this scenario.
Carlton are still chasing their first win of the season and they were no match for Adelaide last weekend.
The Navy Blues have now won only three of their past 20 matches as underdogs, but they are 11-9 against the line in this situation for a small profit.
Betting against Essendon has been a profitable play in the AFL this season and Carlton can cover the line with a healthy start.
Back Carlton To Cover The Line (+21.5 Points)
Gold Coast Suns
Saturday 12 May, 4:35pm, The Gabba
Suns 77-Dees 146
Melbourne will go into this clash with the Gold Coast Suns as clear favourites.
The Demons have gotten their season somewhat back on track with back-to-back wins over Essendon and St Kilda and they have won their past four games against the Suns.
Melbourne have won four of their past seven games as away favourites and they are only 3-4 against the line in this scenario.
The Suns went down to the Western Bulldogs last weekend and they have now won only one of their past five games.
They have won two of their past six games as home underdogs for a clear loss and their record against the line isn’t much better.
This is a game that the market looks to have just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting standpoint.
Saturday 12 May, 5:10pm, Adelaide Oval
Power 95-Crows 90
The Adelaide Crows have won the past five editions of Showdown and they will go into this clash as clear favourites.
Adelaide made it three wins on the trot with a very comfortable victory over Carlton and they have recovered well from their shock loss at the hands of Collingwood a month ago.
The Crows have won 15 of their past 22 games as favourites and they are 14-8 against the line in this scenario.
Port Adelaide went down to the West Coast Eagles last weekend and they have now won only one of their past four games.
The most recent edition of Showdown was very ugly for Port Adelaide – they went down by almost 100 points – and a repeat of that is unlikely, but they would still need to improve on their recent form to have any chance of beating the Crows.
The Crows can continue their Showdown dominance and they can cover the line of 11.5 points in the process.
Back Adelaide To Cover The Line (-11.5 Points)
Saturday 12 May, 7:25pm, Etihad Stadium
Dogs 107 - Lions 93
The Brisbane Lions may be the best 0-7 team in history, but that really doesn’t mean a great deal and they are still chasing their first win of the season.
They played some outstanding football against Collingwood last week and they weren’t disgraced, but they are a side that has forgotten how to finish off games.
The Lions have won only one of their past 11 games as away underdogs, but they are an impressive 8-3 against the line in this scenario.
The Western Bulldogs made it back-to-back wins with a fighting performance against the Gold Coast Suns, but they are still a long way off the level they will need to perform at to get themselves back into the finals mix.
They have won five of their past eight games as home favourites, but they are only a middling 3-5 against the line in this scenario.
It would not surprise to see the Brisbane Lions give the Western Bulldogs a genuine scare and they can cover the line with a start of 17.5 points.
Back Brisbane To Cover The Line (+17.5 Points)
Saturday 12 May, 8:10pm, Optus Stadium
Freo 89-Saints 59
2018 continues to go from bad to worse for St Kilda and they will go into the Ross Lyon Cup as heavy underdogs.
St Kilda have not won a game since they beat the Brisbane Lions in the opening round of the season and they produced another uninspiring performance against Melbourne last weekend.
They have lost their past eight games as away underdogs and they have covered the line in only one of these losses.
Fremantle were no match for a rampant Richmond last weekend, but this is obviously a genuine drop in opposition quality and the metrics suggest they can return to winning form.
The Dockers have won their past three games as home favourites and they have covered the line in each of those wins.
Taking on St Kilda has been a profitable betting play all season long and Fremantle should prove far too strong for their rivals.
Back Fremantle To Cover The Line (-24.5 Points)
Sunday 13 May, 1:10pm, Etihad Stadium
North 72-Tigers 82
Richmond just keep on recorded impressive wins and there is no doubt that they are the best team in the AFL at this stage of the season.
The Tigers dismantled Fremantle last weekend and they have scored over 100 points in all but one of their game this season.
Richmond have won 14 of their past 17 games as favourites and they have covered the line in 12 of these wins.
North Melbourne produced their best performance of the season to date to beat the Sydney Swans last weekend and there has been plenty to like about the way that they have played this season to date.
The Kangaroos have won six of their past 16 games as underdogs for a profit, but they are only a middling 8-8 against the line in this scenario.
The Richmond juggernaut continues to roll along and it is tough to see it slowing down this weekend.
Back Richmond To Cover The Line (-26.5 Points)
Sunday 13 May, 3:20pm, MCG
Pies 45-Cats 66
This is an excellent test for Collingwood at this stage of the season.
Collingwood have won four of their past five games and they showed that they are capable of competing with the best sides in the competition when they beat Adelaide a month ago.
The Magpies have won three of their past 11 games as underdogs for a profit and they are a profitable 7-4 against the line in this scenario.
Geelong bounced back to their best with a very comfortable win over the GWS Giants, but consistency has been something of an issue for them this season.
The Cats have won eight of their past 12 games as favourites, but they have covered the line in only four of these wins.
I have been impressed by what I have seen from Collingwood this season and this should be a tight game, so I’m keen to back the Magpies with a start of 9.5 points.
Back Collingwood To Cover The Line (+9.5 Points)
It was an incredible round of upsets in the AFL last weekend and we were delighted that we were able to tip a couple of these upsets at very juicy odds.
The uncertainty in the AFL this season does make tipping a very tricky endeavor, but there is still plenty of value to be found as the market tends to overreact to results each and every week.
There are plenty of massive games in the AFL this weekend and you can find our complete 2017 AFL Round 8 tips below!
West Coast Eagles
Friday 12 May, 8:10pm, Domain Stadium
West Coast Eagles 69 - Western Bulldogs 61
The West Coast Eagles recorded an upset win over Port Adelaide last weekend and they will go into this clash with the Western Bulldogs as narrow favourites.
West Coast have struggled for consistency in 2017 to date, but they may have turned a corner last weekend and their record at home remains outstanding – they have won nine of their past 11 games as home favourites and they are 7-4 against the line in this scenario.
The Western Bulldogs came from behind to beat Richmond last weekend, but their slow starts are sure to catch up with them at some point.
The Bulldogs have won six of their past nine games as away underdogs and their record against the line in this scenario is nothing short of superb.
West Coast are tough to beat in front of their home fans, but the Western Bulldogs did just that in the finals last year and really do look like excellent value at their current price.
Back Western Bulldogs To Win @ $2.50
Saturday 13 May, 1:45pm, University Of Tasmania Stadium
Hawthorn 113 - Brisbane Lions 75
Hawthorn recorded their second win of the season when they beat Melbourne last weekend and they will go into this clash with the Brisbane Lions as clear favourites.
The Hawks have absolutely dominated the Lions in recent seasons and they have won the past eight games played between the two sides by 48 points or more.
Hawthorn have won seven of their past ten games as home favourites, but they are an extremely poor 2-8 against the line in this scenario.
Brisbane suffered another heavy defeat at the hands of Sydney last weekend and they have now lost six games on the trot.
The Lions have won just two of their past 11 games as away underdogs, but they are 6-5 against the line in this scenario.
Hawthorn should be able to get the job done, but the line is fairly sizeable and it would not surprise to see Brisbane produce an improved performance.
Back Brisbane To Beat The Line (+42.5 Points)
Saturday 13 May, 2:10pm, Etihad Stadium
St Kilda 85 - Carlton 66
Both St Kilda and Carlton come into this clash off upset victories in round seven.
St Kilda produced their best performance of the season to account for Greater Western Sydney and it is no surprise that they will go into this clash as clear favourites.
The Saints have won seven of their past eight games as favourites and they are 5-3 against the line in this scenario – they are a side that generally get the job done as the punter’s elect.
Carlton made it two wins on the trot with an excellent victory over Collingwood and it will be interesting to see how long they can maintain that sort of form.
The Blues have won two of their past six games as underdogs at Etihad Stadium for a clear profit and they are an even 3-3 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 from a betting perspective.
Saturday 13 May, 4:35pm, Spotless Stadium
GWS Giants 102 - Collingwood 99
Greater Western Sydney were upset by St Kilda last weekend, but they are clear favourites to return to winning form against Collingwood.
There is no doubt that the Giants were sluggish against St Kilda and coach Leon Cameron will be desperate to see his side produce an improved performance in front of their home fans at Spotless Stadium.
The Giants have won eight of their past 11 games as home favourites for a loss, but they are 7-4 against the line in this scenario and when they do win it is generally by a big margin.
Collingwood took nothing away from their excellent win over Geelong and they could not have been more disappointing against Carlton last weekend.
The Magpies have won four of their past eight games as away underdogs for a profit and they are a most impressive 7-1 against the line in this scenario.
Collingwood have never lost to the Giants – they beat them comfortably last season – and this is the type of game that the Magpies are likely get up for.
The Giants really should win, but Collingwood are worth a gamble at their current price of $4.50.
Back Collingwood To Win @ $4.50
Saturday 13 May, 7:25pm, MCG
Essendon 110 - Geelong 93
The pressure is on Geelong after suffering back-to-back defeats, but they will still start this clash with Essendon as clear favourites.
Geelong made a strong start to the season without looking particularly impressive and their past two performances against Collingwood and the Gold Coast have been very poor.
The Cats have won 14 of their past 21 games as favourites for a clear loss and they are an extremely poor 8-13 against the line in this scenario.
Essendon were in the hunt for a long way against Fremantle, but they fell apart badly in the final quarter to suffer what ended up being a fairly large defeat.
The Bombers have won just four of their past 19 games as away underdogs for a clear loss, but they are 10-9 against the line when giving away a start and they generally produce their best football at the MCG.
Essendon can return to a semblance of their best form this weekend and they are a good bet to beat the line with a start of 21.5 points.
Back Essendon To Beat The Line (+21.5 Points)
Saturday 13 May, 7:40pm, Adelaide Oval
Adelaide Crows 66 - Melbourne 107
The Adelaide Crows suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of North Melbourne last weekend, but they are clear favourites to return to winning form against Melbourne.
Adelaide simply did not show up against North Melbourne and that might be the wake-up call that they need heading in the middle third of the season.
The Crows have won eight of their past nine games as home favourites for a clear profit and they are a particularly impressive 7-2 against the line in this scenario.
Melbourne have made a very lacklustre start to the season – although injuries have played their part – and they are going to have to improve to have any chance of playing finals football.
The Demons have won only two of their past eight games as away underdogs and they are a mediocre 4-4 against the line in this scenario.
I expect Adelaide to return to winning form in impressive fashion and they are more than capable of covering the lengthy line.
Back Adelaide To Beat The Line (-38.5 Points)
Sunday 14 May, 1:10pm, MCG
Richmond 70 - Fremantle 72
Richmond let slip a golden opportunity to beat the Western Bulldogs last weekend and they have the chance to return to winning form against Fremantle.
While the Tigers would have been disappointed not to come away with the four points, they showed that they are capable of competing with the best teams in the competition and they will go into this clash as favourites.
Richmond have won their past four games as home favourites for a profit, but they are only 1-3 against the line in this scenario.
Fremantle made it four wins from their past five games with their victory over Essendon and this is a solid test for them at this stage of the season.
The Dockers have won only one of their past eight games as away underdogs and their record against the line in this scenario is just as bad.
Richmond really should be able to return to winning form this weekend and they can cover the line of 17.5 points in the process.
Back Richmond To Beat The Line (-17.5 Points)
Sunday 14 May, 4:40pm, Etihad Stadium
North Melbourne 78 - Sydney Swans 120
Both North Melbourne and the Sydney Swans are coming off big wins, but it is the Kangaroos that will go into this clash as clear favourites.
North Melbourne produced easily their best performance of the season to date to stun the Adelaide Crows and a repeat of that performance would almost certainly be enough to beat the Sydney Swans.
The Kangaroos have won four of their past five games as home favourites for a clear profit and they are 3-2 against the line in this scenario.
Sydney finally recorded their first win of the season when they beat the Brisbane Lions last weekend, but this is a much tougher assignment for the Swans.
They have won three of their past five games as away underdogs and their record against the line in this scenario is identical.
This is a tricky game to analyse and it is one that the market looks to have got just about right.
Gold Coast Suns
Sunday 14 May, 5:20pm, Jiangwan Stadium
Gold Coast Suns 38 - Port Adelaide 110
This will be the first ever AFL game played in China and for a number of reasons it is one of the most interesting games of the weekend.
Port Adelaide suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of the West Coast Eagles last weekend, but they will still go into this clash as clear favourites.
The Power have won eight of their past 13 games as away favourites for a loss, but they do have an identical record against the line in this scenario.
Gold Coast produced their best performance of the season to date to beat Geelong last weekend and it will be interesting to see whether they can build on that momentum.
The Suns have won only two of their past 15 games as underdogs and they have been a losing betting play against the line when being given a start.
This is a big moment for Port Adelaide and this is a chance to get their season back on track.
Back Port Adelaide To Beat The Line (-17.5 Points)
Round 8 of the 2016 AFL season gets underway with an exciting clash between the Adelaide Crows and Geelong Cats and there are a plenty of big games this weekend.
Hawthorn and Fremantle have been perennial premiership contenders in recent years and they will face off at Aurora Stadium on Saturday afternoon before the two newest teams in the AFL do battle at Aurora Stadium and the Richmond Tigers host the Sydney Swans on Saturday night.
Sunday’s fixtures are highlighted by what is set to be an interesting clash between the West Coast Eagles and St Kilda Saints, while just about every game has some element of excitement.
Friday 13 May, 7:20pm, Adelaide Oval
Adelaide 72 - Geelong 98
This is a genuine Friday Night Blockbuster and the majority of interest will be centered around Patrick Dangerfield, who will take on the Crows for the first time since making the jump from Adelaide to Geelong at the end of last season.
Geelong made it four wins on the trot with an outstanding performance against West Coast last weekend and they are set to start this game as narrow favourites.
The Cats have won five out of their six games as favourites this season – including two wins from three games on the road – but their record against the line in the past 12 months is a disappointing 2-4.
Adelaide went down to the Western Bulldogs in a typically exciting fixture last weekend and they will likely have to improve on that performance to beat Geelong.
A clear factor in their favor is that they are playing at the Adelaide Oval and they have an impressive 4-2 record as underdogs in front of their home fans, while they are 5-1 against the line in this scenario.
Another factor that points in the Crows direction is the fact that they are 7-2 on the back of a loss in the past 12 months and I am happy to throw my support behind them at their current quote of $1.95.
Recommended Bet: Back Adelaide To Win @ $1.95
Saturday 14 May, 1:45pm, Etihad Stadium
Essendon 60 - North Melbourne 74
North Melbourne have made a flawless start to the 2016 AFL season and that is expected to continue against Essendon this weekend.
North Melbourne have won 15 of their past 17 games as favourites and there is very little doubt they will improve that record on Saturday and the only betting interest in this game will be at the line.
The Kangaroos are 10-7 against the line as favourites in the past 12 months and they have a positive record when giving away a start of over 50 points.
Essendon received a reality check against Sydney last weekend and they have now beaten the line in just two of their seven games this weekend.
North Melbourne should prove far too strong for the Bombers this weekend and they are a good bet to beat the line.
Recommended Bet: Back North Melbourne To Beat The Line (-54.5 Points)
Saturday 14 May, 2:10pm, Aurora Stadium
Hawthorn 116 - Fremantle 75
At the start of the season, this fixture would have been considered one of the matches of the round, but it is now a genuine mismatch.
Fremantle remain winless this season after going down to Greater Western Sydney Giants last weekend and it is very tough to see that changing this weekend.
The Dockers have won just 1 of their past ten games as underdogs and their record against the line as home underdogs is a very poor 2-6.
Hawthorn were far from convincing against Richmond last Friday night, but they were excellent in the final quarter and it is clear that they still have another gear to go to when required.
In saying that, they have been a very poor 4-8 against the line as home favourites in the past 12 months and really haven’t been a particularly reliable betting team.
The Hawks will win this fixture, but the line of 45.5 points seems just about right and I am happy to stay out of this game from a betting perspective.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Gold Coast Suns
Saturday 14 May, 4:35pm, Spotless Stadium
GWS Giants 149 - Gold Coast Suns 58
The two newest franchises in the AFL are set to do battle this weekend and the contrast between their recent form could not be any greater.
The Giants head into this game on the back of a four game winning streak – which includes wins over both Port Adelaide and Hawthorn – and they are dominant favourites.
Greater Western Sydney have won six out of their past seven games as home favourites and they are an impressive 5-2 against the line in this scenario.
The Gold Coast Suns are a franchise at a crossroads and they were nothing short of disgraceful against the Melbourne Demons last weekend.
Data does not suggest that their losing streak is going to come to an end this weekend – they have won just one of their past nine games as away underdogs and they are 2-7 against the line in this scenario.
If the Giants turn up to play this could end up being ugly and I expect the Giants to record another big win.
Recommended Bet: Back Greater Western Sydney To Beat The Line (-57.5 Points)
Saturday 14 May, 7:25pm, The Gabba
Brisbane Lions 65 - Collingwood 143
Collingwood are a club in crisis and a loss to the Brisbane Lions this weekend could spell the end of Nathan Buckley’s coaching career.
The Magpies were flogged by the West Coast Eagles and they produce another inept performance against Carlton last weekend.
Collingwood are set to go into this game as underdogs and they have won just two of their past eight games in this scenario, while they are 1-5 as away underdogs.
The Lions produced an improved performance against the Sydney Swans, but they were no match for Port Adelaide last weekend and they are set to go into this clash without Tom Rockliff.
This will be just the third time that the Lions have started a game as favourites in the past 12 months and – although the sample size is small – they have been a losing betting proposition in this position.
Collingwood have been very bad in recent weeks, but it it tough to have any real faith in the Lions and the $1.95 on offer for a Magpies victory looks like a good bet.
Recommended Bet: Back Collingwood To Win @ $1.95
Saturday 14 May, 7:25pm, MCG
Richmond 101 - Sydney 100
Richmond scored upset wins over the Sydney Swans in both 2014 and 2015, but they go into this clash on the back of six straight losses.
The Tigers were in it for a long way against Hawthorn last weekend, but they gave up the fight very quickly in the final quarter and there is clearly something not going right at Tigerland.
Richmond still have a strong record as underdogs in the past 12 months and they have beaten the line in five out of their past seven games when being given a start.
Sydney have flown under the radar in recent weeks, but they still go into this clash on the back of three straight victories and will prove very tough to beat.
The Swans have won seven out of their past eight games as away favourites, but they are only 4-4 against the line in this scenario and they have beaten the line in just one of their past three games against Richmond.
This will be the first time this season that Richmond have played with close to a full strength team and I am not sure that they are good enough to win, but they are a good bet to cover the line with what is a generous start.
Recommended Bet: Back Richmond To Beat The Line (+28.5 Points)
Sunday 15 May, 1:10pm, Etihad Stadium
Carlton 93 - Port Adelaide 91
Carlton have won three games on the trot, but they face a tough challenge against Port Adelaide this weekend and they will go into this game as underdogs.
There is no doubt that Carlton have played much better football under the care of Brendon Bolton and they have showed a toughness that has been missing from their game in recent seasons.
In saying that, the Blues remain a losing betting proposition as underdogs in head to head betting and they are 4-4 against the line as home underdogs.
Port Adelaide have finally shown some signs of life with big wins over Richmond and Brisbane in the past fortnight and they have an excellent chance to make it three wins on the trot.
The Power are another club that have been far from reliable as a betting proposition and they are only a middling 3-3 as away favourites and they are 2-4 against the line in this scenario.
I expect Port Adelaide to get the job done, but there is no value at their current price and I am happy to stay out of this fixture from a betting perspective.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Sunday 15 May, 3:20pm, MCG
Melbourne 82 - Western Bulldogs 114
The Western Bulldogs defied their growing injury list to record an impressive victory over the Adelaide Crows last weekend and they are clear favourites to beat Melbourne this weekend.
The Bulldogs have proven to be a very reliable team as the punter’s elect in the past 12 months and they have won 12 out of their past 15 games as favourites, while they are 9-6 against the line in this situation.
Melbourne recorded their third win in their past four games with a big victory against the Gold Coast Suns last weekend and this is the most consistent run of football that the Demons have produced for the better part of a decade.
The Demons have won eight of their past 18 games as underdogs for a sizeable profit for punters, while they are 11-7 against the line when being given a start.
In saying that, the Demons have won two out of their past eight games on the back of a win and they have an identical record against the line.
I think that the market has overreacted to the strong recent form of the Demons and the line of 13.5 points does not look like it will be enough.
Recommended Bet: Back The Western Bulldogs To Beat The Line (-13.5 Points)
West Coast Eagles
Sunday 15 May, 2:40pm, Domain Stadium
West Coast Eagles 132 - St Kilda 29
The West Coast Eagles have hit somewhat of a form slump in recent weeks after proving no match for Geelong last Saturday after being beaten by the Sydney Swans a fortnight earlier.
Those defeats sandwiched a comfortable victory over West Coast and the Eagles remain a team that is just about a lock to beat teams that they are expected.
They remain undefeated as home favourites in the past 12 months and they are an incredible 11-1 against the line in this scenario.
St Kilda have won just one of their past four games, but they played very well against both Hawthorn and North Melbourne.
Their problem continues to be stringing together consistent performances of this quality and they are a losing betting proposition in just about every metric.
Backing the West Coast Eagles at home has been a very profitable play in the past 12 months and there is no reason to jump off the bandwagon this weekend.
Recommended Bet: Back The West Coast Eagles To Beat The Line (-39.5 Points)