2021 AFL Round 8 Preview

Another jam-packed round of footy is right around the corner as we set out sights on a Friday night Grand Final rematch between Richmond and Geelong at the MCG.

Saturday sees the Suns and the Saints square off in an evenly-matched affair at Metricon, followed by a juicy double-header between Melbourne and Sydney, and of course, the 49th Showdown between Port Adelaide and the Crows.

For our best bets ahead of all nine games, be sure to scroll through our 2021 AFL Round 8 Preview here!

Richmond Vs Geelong Cats

Friday ,May 7, 7:50pm, MCG

A monster game between fifth and sixth kicks off the round on Friday night as the Tigers and Geelong meet in a rematch of last year’s Grand Final.

No Dusty proved no problem last week for the Tigers in their 22-point come-from-behind win over the Bulldogs, while things didn’t quite go to plan for the Cats in a controversial loss to the Swans in Sydney.

Richmond has held Geelong’s number recently winning four of their last five meetings, the most important of which came last time out at the Gabba.

The Tigers and Cats jostled for the better part of four quarters in the Grand Final, only for Richmond to draw clear in the final term thanks to the class of Dustin Martin.

Geelong will be eager to get some revenge on their rivals, but they will have to deal with the might of Dusty again in his return from a concussion.

The Tigers will be without Trent Cotchin and Dylan Grimes, but this still shapes as a winnable game for Richmond with Geelong missing Patrick Dangerfield and Shaun Higgins.

It wouldn’t be surprising if less than a goal separates these two sides, but the Tigers still get the benefit of the doubt after winning four of their last five against the Cats.

Richmond’s pressure last week in the second half was impressive after trailing the Dogs by a big margin, and if they can pick up where they left off, they should be tough to beat.

Tip: Back Richmond 1-39 @ $2.15

GWS Giants Vs Essendon

Saturday ,May 8, 1:45pm, GIANTS Stadium

The Giants will have their sights set on the top eight this week having now won three of their last five.

GWS made short work of the Crows last Saturday in their 67-point victory as they now return home to Sydney for a timely clash against the Bombers.

After claiming a dominant ANZAC Day win, the Bombers fell short in the fourth quarter to Carlton last week in a game Ben Rutten would probably like to have back.

The Dons were their own worst enemy in the final term as some ill-discipline got in the way, but they should fancy themselves this week after only losing by four points to the Giants last time they met.

As far as betting goes, it’s difficult to know what you’re going to get from these two sides each week, but when you consider the Bombers are 2-2 at Spotless Stadium, an upset wouldn’t surprise.

That said, the Giants seem to have found their stride over the last month and they should sense the importance of this game with a chance to level up their record to 4-4.

The last two games between these sides have been decided by no more than a goal, so with all that in mind, a Tribet looks to be in order.

Tip: Either Team to Win By Less Than 15.5 Points @ $2.75

Gold Coast Suns Vs St Kilda

Saturday ,May 8, 2:10pm, Metricon Stadium

The stage is set for a very intriguing clash between the Gold Coast and St Kilda on Saturday.

The Suns shocked the footy landscape last week by defeating Collingwood by 24 points at the MCG, while the Saints also went big with a whopping 69-point win over the hapless Hawks.

To make things even more interesting, the winner of this game could potentially venture inside the top eight if results go their way.

The Suns and the Saints are both tied on 12 points at 3-4, but as far as betting goes, it appears the bookies are giving the slight edge to St Kilda based on last week’s efforts.

Recent history also suggests the Saints are the team to beat with five straight wins to their name over the Suns dating back to 2017, but that isn’t to say the Gold Coast don’t stand a chance.

As far as recent results go, the Suns look to be the more polished side after belting two top eight contenders (Sydney and Collingwood) in recent weeks.

Taking nothing away from St Kilda, it’s difficult to read too much into a big result over a rebuilding Hawthorn side that has struggled to string together four quarters all year.

When you consider four of the last five games between these two sides have been decided by no more than four points, don’t be surprised if this one turns into another nail-biter.

Tip: Either Side to Win By Less Than 15.5 Points @ $2.50

North Melbourne Vs Collingwood

Saturday ,May 8, 4:35pm, Marvel Stadium

This is far from the most exciting game on paper, but the importance of it cannot be overstated.

Another loss this week would only add further fuel to Collingwood’s burning fire following last Saturday’s blowout loss to the Suns at home.

North, meanwhile, will be looking to build on last week’s strong performance against the Demons that saw them lead by 19 points at half time.

It will be interesting to see what Nathan Buckley does from a list perspective, but either way, Collingwood is still being massively overvalued as the -22.5 point favourites.

Despite remaining winless, North has played some inspired football of late against two flag contenders in Geelong and Melbourne over the last three weeks, while it’s become blatantly obvious that Collingwood’s issues stretch far beyond their injury concerns.

With the locker room in chaos and distractions happening off the field, North keeping this close seems incredibly likely.

Tip: Back North Melbourne to Cover the Line (+22.5 Points) @ $1.90

Melbourne Vs Sydney Swans

Saturday ,May 8, 7:25pm, MCG

Melbourne put a scare into its supporter base last week after trailing North at half-time, but like all good sides do, the Dees still found a way to turn up the pressure in the final quarter to win quite comfortably.

Now the only undefeated side left in the league, Simon Goodwin will be calling for a much more thorough performance from his men against a Sydney side that has typically dominated this fixture in recent years.

The Swans have won four of their last five over Melbourne by comfortable margins, while they’ll also be riding the momentum of last week’s narrow two-point win over Geelong.

Also working in Sydney’s favour this week is the potential return of Buddy Franklin and Dean Rampe from injury.

Sydney’s forward line has looked a little flat without Buddy in the mix, and his inclusion couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Dees with key defender Adam Tomlinson suffering an ACL injury.

The Roos were dominant around the clearances last week against Melbourne and that has certainly been one of Sydney’s strong suits this year.

The jury is still out on whether they are a serious finals contender, but after pounding Richmond at the MCG just over a month ago and Melbourne coming off a less-than-convincing win, the Swans aren’t as bad as the line suggests.

Tip: Back the Swans to Cover the Line (+24.5 Points) @ $1.90

Port Adelaide Vs Adelaide Crows

Saturday ,May 8, 7:40pm, Adelaide Oval

The 49th Showdown between Port and the Crows gets underway on Saturday under lights at the Adelaide Oval.

Both sides are looking to atone for blowout losses last week at the hands of the Lions and GWS respectively, but it appears the bookies are firmly in Port’s corner to win by a big margin.

In case you’ve lost count, the Power have won the last two showdowns by more than 50 points, while they’ve also been an outstanding bet on the back of a loss over the last 12 months playing to a 5-0 record.

The Crows are definitely a much tougher outfit than they were this time last year, but after last week’s complete no-show against the Lions at the Gabba, you have to believe Ken Hinkley will have his side fired up to make a statement this week.

Adelaide can feel a little better if Rory Sloane plays, but the absence of Tom Lynch still leaves them short up forward.

After a fast start to the season, you can sense the Crows are starting to come back to the pack a bit, so it’s likely this one gets ugly in a hurry.

Tip: Back Port Adelaide to Cover the Line (-29.5 Points) @ $1.90

Hawthorn Vs West Coast Eagles

Sunday, May 9, 1:10pm, MCG

The Hawks have shown plenty of promise at times this season, but it was tough to draw any positives from last week’s 69-point loss to St Kilda.

Hawthorn fell behind early in the opening term as the Saints piled on the pressure to hold the Hawks to a scoreless first quarter.

Two goals from promising young forward Jacob Koschitzke was the only bright spot, but Alastair Clarkson’s side will need much more than that this week against a rejuvenated West Coast side looking to maintain its spot in the eight.

The Eagles won the Derby last week by 59-point against Fremantle thanks to a combined nine-goal performance from Jack Darling, Josh Kennedy and Jake Waterman.

Winning away from home has proven a challenge this year for West Coast, but they should feel good about their chances knowing Hawthorn has allowed the fourth-most goals in the league.

The Hawks should look a little different this week with Shaun Burgoyne returning and Daniel Howe a chance to play after a big performance in the VFL, so it wouldn’t be surprising if they keep this game close in the early stages.

That said, Hawthorn has struggled to play four quarters all year, so West Coast should win this comfortably in the end.

Tip: Back West Coast to Cover the Line (-16.5 Points) @ $1.90

Western Bulldogs Vs Carlton

Sunday, May 9, 3:20pm, Marvel Stadium

The Dogs will be looking to get back to business this week after suffering their first loss of the season last Friday night against Richmond.

Luke Beveridge’s side looked home and hosed at one point before the Tigers flexed their muscle in the second half to win by 22 points.

Speaking of flexing, Carlton did just that in their 16-point win over the Bombers – a result that leaves the Blues within striking distance of the eight.

Unfortunately, the win was overshadowed though by Mitch McGovern’s hamstring injury that has ruled the half-forward out for the next few weeks.

The Dogs did a lot wrong in the final term last week against Richmond, largely due to the pressure the Tigers applied.

That said, the loss may be a blessing in disguise as the added pressure of an unbeaten start to the season is now over.

The Blues were impressive themselves in the fourth quarter last week, but this is a much different test against a serious flag contender.

With a key player missing the Dogs sporting a pretty convincing 5-3 record at the line on the back of a loss, it’s tough to fade the favourites.

Tip: Back the Bulldogs to Cover the Line (-21.5 Points) @ $1.90

Brisbane Lions Vs Fremantle

Sunday, May 9, 4:40pm, Gabba

The AFL announced on Tuesday that Sunday’s game between the Lions and Dockers will be played at the Gabba instead of Optus Stadium due to Perth’s ongoing COVID situation.

From a Lions perspective, this is good news on the back of a 49-point thumping at home over Port Adelaide last week, while the Dockers have to be feeling a little frustrated coming off a blowout loss in the Derby to West Coast.

Brisbane looked very suspect at the beginning of the season, but they seem to have found their feet even without Lachie Neale on the field.

The Lions were dominant from start to finish last week against a classy Power outfit in what turned into a bit of a masterclass from Charlie Cameron up forward and Harris Andrews down back.

With Freo winless in their last two trips to Brisbane and Jarrod Berry likely returning to the side, the Lions could win this one by another impressive margin.

Tip: Back the Lions to Cover the Line (-25.5 Points) @ $1.90

2020

Three Grand Final rematches headline another massive five days of footy!

Round 8 gets off to a bang with two of the competition’s most exciting young teams, the Suns and the Dogs, meeting at Metricon on Thursday night, right before GWS and Richmond do battle for the first time since their September encounter.

The Swans and the Hawks turn back the clock to 2014 when they meet on Saturday, followed by a top-eight battle between Port Adelaide and St Kilda.

On Sunday, it’s all about West Coast and Collingwood from Perth as both sides look to build on their impressive winning streaks, followed by Monday’s bounce-back clash between Fremantle and Geelong.

With byes right around the corner, now is the perfect time to build a bank, so be sure to check out all of our 2020 AFL Round 8 tips below!

Gold Coast Suns Vs Western Bulldogs

Thursday, July 23, 7:40pm, Metricon

The Suns return to Metricon for the first time in over a month on Thursday night as they hope to prove to everyone that they are indeed a genuine top eight team.

Stuart Dew’s side recorded another impressive victory last week over the Swans at the SCG and they remain in firm control of their own destiny from here on out with a spot back inside the eight.

Meanwhile, on the fringes, the Dogs are hoping to move a step closer to playing finals by building on last week’s impressive victory over the Bombers.

While the Suns should receive their fair share of support at home, Luke Beveridge’s men looked more than comfortable at Metricon in their resounding 42-point win.

Purely from a fan perspective though, the battle between two of the competitions most exciting forward lines should prove fascinating with Izak Rankine, Ben King and Ben Ainsworth down one end and Josh Bruce, Mitch Wallis and Cody Weightman down the other.

The Suns walked away five-point winners when they last met the Bulldogs, and it’s also worth noting the Dogs have never beaten the Suns on the Gold Coast.

Trends mean very little in this strange season, but considering less than 10-points have separated these two sides in their previous two encounters, there’s lots to like about the Suns at the line.

Tip: Back the Suns to Cover the Line (+7.5 Points) @ $2.00

GWS Giants Vs Richmond

Friday, July 24, 7:50pm, GIANTS Stadium

The Giants have surprisingly opened as the favourites ahead of this year’s Grand Final rematch largely due to the fact they hold home-field advantage.

If you caught a glimpse of GWS last week though, you’ll know things are far from okay in the land of the Giants.

Leon Cameron’s side put up a brave fight for three quarters against the Lions, but they were eventually outmuscled by Brisbane’s potent forward line in the closing stages.

Richmond remain far from full strength, but they’ve shown plenty in the last three weeks to suggest they are worthy of the fourth spot on the ladder.

Aside from a forgettable performance against the Swans in Round 6, the Tigers’ depth has helped tremendously with names like Mabior Chol and Jake Aarts stepping in to fill the void.

There’s plenty of footy left to play, but this does feel like a must-win game for GWS if they hold any hopes of playing finals.

There’s also the mental factor to consider this week after the Giants were decimated by 89-points against Richmond in last year’s Grand Final.

It wouldn’t come as a shock to watch either of these teams respond in a big way on Friday night, but considering the Tigers have the wood over the Giants, Richmond at this kind of value is too good to ignore.

Tip: Back Richmond to Cover the Line (+5.5 Points) @ $2.00

North Melbourne Vs Carlton

Saturday, July 25, 1:05pm, Gabba

The Blues have opened as the short-priced favourites against North this week and it really isn’t hard to understand why.

Carlton’s brave performance against Port Adelaide last week was a very encouraging sign for such a young club, and although losing on the siren was cruel, it should be a performance the Blues can build on for years to come.

North Melbourne, on the other hand, have some serious issues to address.

After starting the year 2-0, the Roos have now slipped all the way down to 17th on the ladder after losing five of their six games since the restart.

To rub further salt in the wound, North now prepares for life without Jack Ziebell again after the club chose to ignore his hamstring issues last week.

Carlton, meanwhile, remain fit and firing, and they should prove very tough to beat again after taking yet another top eight side to the wire last week.

The Blues have played to a very respectable 4-2 record at the line on the back of a previous loss, so take Carlton to really make a statement on Saturday.

Tip: Back Carlton to Cover the Line (-9.5) @ $2.00

Sydney Swans Vs Hawthorn

Saturday, July 25, 3:35pm, SCG

The Hawks venture across the bridge to the SCG on Saturday hoping to put a nightmarish three weeks behind them.

Hawthorn has suffered at the hands of GWS, Collingwood and Melbourne since moving to the Sydney hub, but they should feel good about their chances this week against an injury riddled Swans side riding a four-game losing streak.

John Longmire’s men put up a fight against the Suns last week but eventually fell by 32-points with several stars missing.

Injuries are also starting to catch up to the Hawks after Tim O’Brien suffered an ankle injury in Sunday’s loss to the Dees.

Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett called for a 2022 d-day on Alastair Clarkson’s coaching career during the week, so it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see the Hawks respond in a big way.

The Hawks have also won four of their last five games against the Swans at the SCG, so the current money on offer looks good value.

Tip: Back the Hawks to Win @ $1.70

Port Adelaide Vs St Kilda

Saturday, July 25, 7:40pm, Adelaide Oval

The Saints will be hoping for a clean sweep over South Australia on Saturday just five days on from their Monday night win over the Crows.

A win here for St Kilda could potentially vault them as high as the top four, but they’ll need to bring their best on the road against a Port Adelaide side playing with a point to prove following last week’s scare against Carlton.

The Power haven’t played at the Adelaide Oval since the Showdown back in Round 2 and they now have a massive opportunity to improve on their position atop the ladder.

St Kilda have proven a handful at times this year, but they’ve typically struggled against Port over the last decade.

The Power have won each of their last eight games over the Saints dating back to 2011, a trend that doesn’t bode well for a St Kilda side playing on very short rest.

Tip: Back Port Adelaide 1-39 @ $1.88

Adelaide Crows Vs Essendon

Sunday, July 26, 1:05pm, Adelaide Oval

The Bombers have the perfect opportunity to bounce back on Sunday afternoon following their 42-point defeat at the hands of the Bulldogs last week.

After spending the last two weeks on the Gold Coast, Essendon now hits the road to face the Crows in Adelaide with a chance to not only rejoin the eight, but also boost their percentage.

The Crows are playing on short rest after suffering a 23-point loss against the Saints on Monday and things aren’t about to get any easier against a Bombers outfit hungry for a return to form.

John Worsfold’s side has won its last two meetings against the Crows, while the Dons have also been a steady betting play on the back of a loss playing to a 3-2 record over the last calendar year.

The Bombers must ensure they don’t take the Crows lightly, but everything suggests they should win this game comfortably.

Tip: Back Essendon to Cover the Line (-14.5 Points) @ $2.00

West Coast Eagles Vs Collingwood

Sunday, July 26, 3:35pm, Optus Stadium

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley will be hoping his side can pick up where they left off last week in their impressive 22-point win over Geelong in Perth.

The Collingwood army turned up in full force to support their team, but the Pies might find themselves with less support this week against an Eagles side playing in front of their home crowd for the second week in a row.

West Coast had their hands full against Fremantle in the first half last week before pulling away to a comfortably 30-point victory.

The Eagles have now won three in a row to sneak back into the eight, while a victory on Sunday could see them move as high as fifth if results go their way.

West Coast played it smart last week with Luke Shuey’s hamstring injury, so he looks a good chance at playing this week. Brandon Ah Chee is the only big name the Eagles are sweating on after last week’s big fall.

The Pies also have some minor concerns themselves with Jordan de Goey set to miss a handful of games due to finger surgery, but there is good news on the Matthew Scharenberg front with the key defender a chance at returning from a rib injury this week.

There certainly won’t be any love lost between the two 2018 Grand Finalists, and judging by their last four encounters, there might only be a goal or two in this.

The Eagles are rightful favourites at home, but there’s been plenty to like about the way Collingwood has handled business with so many of their big names missing.

They Pies passed the litmus test last week against Geelong, and considering the underdog has won six of the last seven games between these two sides, it’s worth taking Collingwood to at least keep things close.

Tip: Back Collingwood to Cover the Line (+5.5) @ $2.00

Melbourne Vs Brisbane Lions

Sunday, July 26, 6:10pm, Metricon

The Lions have a tremendous opportunity to further cement their top-four position this week at Metricon, but they’ll need to be wary of a Demons side that has relished playing the underdog role of late.

After a back and forth battle against the Suns in Round 6, the Dees exploded from the gates last week to belt Hawthorn by 43-points.

Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver were enormous across all four quarters, which sets up a very interesting mid-field battle on Sunday against the likes of Lachie Neale and Dayne Zorko.

For the first time in a while, the Lions head into this contest injury-free at time of publish, while Melbourne are likely to welcome Tom McDonald back into the side – a big boost for Simon Goodwin’s side up forward.

Melbourne should sense the importance of this game with a chance to move one step closer to the eight, but after the way the Lions handled business last week against the Giants, it’s almost impossible to back against one of the competition’s strongest lists.

If you are looking for some value though, it’s worth noting Brisbane has won the first quarter in eight of their last nine games.

With what should be a pro-Lions crowd at Metricon, it’s worth throwing a little multi down.

Tip: Back the Lions to Win & the Lions to Lead at Quarter Time @ $2.08

Fremantle Vs Geelong Cats

Monday, July 27, 8:10pm, Optus Stadium

One of the best betting plays is in action on Monday night as the Cats look to bounce-back from their no-show against Collingwood last week.

Geelong could potentially move back inside the top four if results go their way, and head coach Chris Scott should fancy his chances against an injury riddled Fremantle side.

Nat Fyfe missed last week’s Derby loss, and it appears he won’t be back in action until Round 9.

To their credit, the Dockers did put up a fight in the first half against West Coast, but it’s still difficult to back the Dockers here, even with home advantage.

Losing Joel Selwood for the next three weeks is a massive blow, but there is good news with Tom Stewart likely to return from a shoulder injury.

The Cats have also played to a 6-1 record on the back of a loss and a 5-2 record at the line over the last 12 months, so the chances of Geelong making amends appear quite high.

Tip: Back Geelong to Cover the Line (-11.5 Points) @ $2.00


2019

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.

Sydney Swans Vs Essendon

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

Western Bulldogs Vs Brisbane Lions

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

Carlton Vs Collingwood

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 Vs Melbourne

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

St Kilda Vs 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

Port Adelaide Vs Adelaide

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

North Melbourne Vs Geelong

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

Hawthorn Vs GWS Giants

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

Fremantle Vs Richmond

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


2018

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.

Hawthorn Vs Sydney Swans

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

GWS Giants Vs 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)

Carlton Vs Essendon

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 Vs Melbourne

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.

No Bet

Port Adelaide Vs Adelaide Crows

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)

Western Bulldogs Vs Brisbane Lions

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)

Fremantle Vs St Kilda

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)

North Melbourne Vs Richmond

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)

Collingwood Vs Geelong

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)


2017

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 Vs Western Bulldogs

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

Hawthorn Vs Brisbane Lions

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)

St Kilda Vs Carlton

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.

No Bet

GWS Giants Vs Collingwood

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

Essendon Vs Geelong

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)

Adelaide Crows Vs Melbourne

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)

Richmond Vs Fremantle

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)

North Melbourne Vs Sydney Swans

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.

No Bet

Gold Coast Suns Vs Port Adelaide

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)


2016

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.

Adelaide Vs Geelong

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

Essendon Vs North Melbourne

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)

Hawthorn Vs Fremantle

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

GWS Giants Vs 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)

Brisbane Lions Vs Collingwood

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

Richmond Vs Sydney Swans

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)

Carlton Vs Port Adelaide

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

Melbourne Vs Western Bulldogs

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 Vs St Kilda

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)