It might be now or never for the likes of the Bombers, Demons and Suns this week.
All three face crucial games as they scramble for a spot in the eight, while Saturday’s clash between the Lions and the Crows could help determine which club is a contender or a pretender moving forward.
Upsets are a given, but we’ve done our best to try and tip some winners. Be sure to read on for our entire 2019 AFL Round 9 Preview.
West Coast Eagles Vs Melbourne
Friday May 17, 6:10pm, Optus Stadium
Sometimes an entire season can come down to a game, but a point? That might mean the difference between finals or an early holiday for the Demons this year.
Melbourne trailed by six points late in the fourth quarter against the Suns last week, right before Marty Hore levelled the scores with less than two minutes remaining. The Dees won the ensuing center clearance to give themselves one last chance – an opportunity Tom McDonald didn’t pass up by bouncing one into the post for the game-winning behind.
Things weren’t quite so nerve-wracking for the Eagles last week as they escaped Marvel with an 18-point win over the Saints. Jamie Cripps and Josh Kennedy combined for a four-goal bag lifting West Coast from 10th to seventh on the ladder.
Suddenly this game looks intriguing for both parties with plenty of implications on the line.
The Eagles will hold fond memories of their 66-point defeat over the Demons in last year’s Prelim Final, but keep in mind, Melbourne walked away with a 17-point defeat of their own in Perth only three weeks’ prior.
Unfortunately, injuries to Michael Hibberd, Jordan Lewis and Jake Melksham make this year’s trip West even more difficult.
For the Eagles to win, they simply need to stick with what works. Kennedy booted four goals during last year’s Prelim, which spells bad news for a club like Melbourne that has allowed the sixth-most inside 50’s and the most goals scored defensively.
There’s a big line set for this game, and with a 6-6 record as the home favourite over the last 12 months, you can’t back West Coast to cover it. Instead, stick with the margin – in their three home wins this year, the Eagles have won by an average of 29 points.
Tip: Back West Coast 1-39 @ $2.00
Collingwood Vs St Kilda
Saturday May 18, 1:45pm, MCG
Good teams know how to win close games, and even if it was against Carlton, Collingwood’s class was on full display last week during their 19-point victory over the Blues.
Collingwood found themselves on the ropes at three-quarter time trailing by a goal but exploded with five unanswered goals of their own in the final six minutes to leave with a win.
St. Kilda’s comeback attempts fell short against the Eagles at home, losing by 18-points in another lackluster effort. The Saints have now lost three straight games to slump to 12th on the ladder, and as the odds suggest, they are in for a tough time this week against the premiership favourites.
Nathan Buckley’s side has won three of their last five meetings against the Saints, and with a 9-3 record as the home favourite, Collingwood should win this one easily. The Saints are allowing an average of nine goals a game, and considering the Pies will likely look to make a statement for last week’s ho-hum performance, you can expect this one to get out of hand.
Tip: Back Over 162.5 Total Points @ $1.84
Brisbane Lions Vs Adelaide
Saturday May 18, 2:10pm, The Gabba
This looks to be the highlight game between two massive finals sleepers.
Brisbane’s rollercoaster season hit a low point last week falling by 16-points to the Dogs in Ballarat. Chris Fagan’s side was dominated in the cold and rainy conditions, particularly in the backline as Aaron Naughton walked away with a handy three-goal bag.
Adelaide crept up to ninth on the ladder after securing their fourth straight win last week – a blowout 20-point victory over Port in Showdown 46. Suddenly Adelaide looks a serious premiership threat, and if Tom Lynch and Taylor Walker can continue to find form in front of the posts, there’s no telling just how far the Crows might soar.
Don Pyke’s side has won seven straight over the Lions dating back to 2012, which calls the market into question this week. The Crows left The Gabba with a thrilling five-point win last year, and if Brisbane fails to turn up in the third quarter like they did last week, the Lions could be in some trouble.
Brisbane are 3-1 as the home favourite over the last 12 months, and while The Gabba has become a fortress for the Lions this season, they’ll need to be at their best this week against a Crows side that ranks fourth in effective disposals.
Adelaide has shown tremendous grit over the last month, and if they can win the hardball and keep it in inside 50, they should have no problems evading Brisbane’s pressure through the midfield.
Tip: Back the Crows To Win @ $2.10
Geelong Vs Western Bulldogs
Saturday May 18, 4:35pm, GMHBA Stadium
The Bulldogs looked dead and buried a fortnight ago, but two straight wins have propelled them up to 10th on the ladder with a chance of rejoining the eight this week.
Ahead of them is a Geelong side in red hot form. The Cats survived a scare last week against North Melbourne to win by 24-points, but as the market suggests, it’s tough to back against Geelong at The Cattery.
Chris Scott’s side has won four of their last five meetings against the Dogs, but they’ll have revenge on their mind this week. The Doggies pulled off a thrilling two-point win during Round 15 last year, largely due to Marcus Bontempelli’s 23 disposal, two-goal game.
While you could argue the Cats might be due for a poor performance, the fact the Dogs haven’t won in Geelong since 2003 cancels out any hopes of an upset.
All eyes will be on Luke Dahlhaus as he squares off against his former teammates for the first time, but if Geelong can double team Aaron Naughton and match the Dogs’ rag-tag play through the midfield, Saturday’s game should be no trouble for the ladder leaders.
Tip: Back Geelong 1-39 @ $2.10
Essendon Vs Fremantle
Saturday May 18, 7:25pm, Marvel Stadium
It’s been a long week for the Bombers following last week’s Dane Rampe controversy.
A five-point loss to the Swans has sent the Dons all the way down to 13th on the ladder, and despite the AFL’s lack of consistency in regard to the rules, it’s now up to Essendon to prepare for this game with a chip on their shoulder.
Fremantle also found themselves with the tribunal in mind following Nat Fyfe’s collision with Tom Lynch last week. The superstar midfielder has avoided suspension – good news for the club as they desperately hope to hang on to their spot in the eight.
The Bombers have been hard done by over the last few weeks, and there’s no doubting they are due a win. Essendon made short work of the Dockers last year winning by 29-points at Marvel, a game that saw Orazio Fantasia snag a five-goal bag.
John Worsfold’s side has nothing to show for their efforts on the ladder, but they still rank Top 10 in clearances, goals and inside 50’s this year. Better yet, the Bombers are 6-4 at the line as the home favourite, so back the Dons to make a statement.
Tip: Back Essendon to Cover the Line (-17.5 Points) @ $1.90
North Melbourne Vs Sydney Swans
Saturday May 18, 7:25pm, Blundstone Arena (Hobart)
Carlton occupies the wooden spoon spot for now, but this game could go a long way to determining who finishes second last on the ladder.
The Swans and North Melbourne are both tied on eight points. Sydney snapped their four-game losing streak with a narrow (and controversial) win over the Bombers last week at home, while the Roos put up a gallant fight in their 24-point loss to Geelong.
This mightn’t look the most exciting game on paper, but recent history suggests there’s no love lost between these two sides. The Swans lost by two points at home to North in Round 7 last year before they went on to win by a goal at Marvel in Round 17.
With home-field advantage, the bookies are all over North this week, but the Total might be the safest play. Both sides rank bottom four in goal differential this year, and with their last meeting resulting in 202-points, make sure you back the Over.
Tip: Over 166.5 Total Points @ $1.87
Port Adelaide Vs Gold Coast Suns
Sunday May 19, 12:40pm, Adelaide Oval
The Suns have had a week to stew on last week’s heartache after losing by a point to the Dees at home.
Port Adelaide also had some time to reflect on their disappointment in Showdown 46 after failing to boot a single goal in the entire first quarter against the Crows.
This is a big game as far as the ladder is concerned. The Suns find themselves 14th but only four points away from a spot in the eight. The Power, meanwhile, sit 11th tied on points with Fremantle, Hawthorn, the Bulldogs and St. Kilda.
It’s been exactly eight years since the Suns last won at Adelaide Oval. Gold Coast secured a nail-biting three-point win against the Power during their inaugural season but have since lost nine straight games to Port Adelaide.
The bookies are giving the Gold Coast no chance this week with a whopping 32.5-point line set. Gold Coast are 6-4 over the last 12 months as the line underdog, however, and considering Stuart Dew continues to come up with new strategies to stifle opponents, the Suns can easily keep this game close against a very questionable looking Power side.
Tip: Back the Suns to Cover the Line (+32.5 Points) @ $1.90
Richmond Vs Hawthorn
Sunday May 19, 3:20pm, MCG
The Tigers army was in full voice last week as Richmond held on for a brave 25-point win over the Dockers.
Richmond now finds themselves back in the eight sitting sixth on the ladder, but they’ll need to regather the troops this week with the loss of Toby Nankervis to a groin injury.
Hawthorn were labelled “boring” during the week by Wayne Carey after their impressive 33-point win over the Giants. Alastair Clarkson out-coached Leon Cameron across all four quarters, but the three-time premiership winner will need to come up with a new strategy this week if he hopes to snap his club’s three-game losing streak to the Tigers.
These two sides met twice last year, both of which resulted in blowout Richmond victories. Hawthorn simply haven’t had the class through the midfield to keep up with the Tigers’ pressure in recent years, but there’s no denying Hawthorn’s chances this week with Nankervis out.
The Hawks can easily win this game if they control the ruck battle, and Ben McEvoy is the man for the job. Hawthorn also have to be encouraged by the work of Ricky Henderson last week – the youngster finished with 36 disposals against the Giants.
Richmond will rely heavily on Dustin Martin and Tom Lynch in this game, but if Hawthorn can temper the pressure early and force Martin to come forward from the midfield, they should keep this close.
The Hawks are 6-4 against the line as the underdog over the last 12 months, so back Clarkson’s side to turn up for a fight.
Tip: Back the Hawks to Cover the Line (+8.5 Points) @ $1.90
GWS Giants Vs Carlton
Sunday May 19, 4:40pm, Sydney Showground
Patrick Cripps promised the Blues would play better last week, and that’s exactly what they did.
Carlton led the Pies by a goal at three-quarter time, right before Collingwood went on a five-goal surge to win by 29-points.
It was a disappointing ending to another game Carlton should have won, but it was still encouraging from a side that many gave zero chance.
It was quite the opposite for GWS last Sunday as the Giants extended their losing record at the G’ to 2-16. Leon Cameron’s side were flat and lethargic in their 33-point loss to the Hawks, and with both sides looking to turn their form around, we should be in for a fascinating battle.
The Giants are 8-3 against the Blues since they entered the competition, and a more impressive 7-3 as the home favourite.
Carlton, meanwhile, have provided tremendous value against the line over the last 12 months with a strong 8-3 record as the underdog.
Still, Carlton will need more than just a monster effort from Cripps to win this game, and with many doubting the Giants’ credibility as a top four side, expect GWS to open this game with plenty of energy and storm ahead early.
Tip: Back the Giants 1-39 @ $2.32
There were a host of upsets in the AFL in round eight and that makes for another intriguing weekend of action.
We have to wait until the final match of the weekend for the highlight of round 9 as the West Coast Eagles host Richmond in a top-of-the-table clash.
Before that there are a host of other interesting games and we have analysed all the action to bring you the complete 2018 AFL Round 9 tips.
Adelaide Vs Western Bulldogs
Friday 18 May, 7:50pm, Adelaide Oval
Adelaide may have gone down to Port Adelaide in Showdown 44 last weekend, but they will still go into this clash with the Western Bulldogs as dominant favourites.
The Crows looked in control of Showdown early and at one stage led by 27 points, but a disastrous third quarter cost them the game and that is the type of loss that can leave mental scars.
Adelaide have won ten of their past 14 games as home favourites and more impressive than that is the fact that they have covered the line in each of those wins.
The Western Bulldogs heads into this clash on the back of wins over Carlton, Gold Coast and Brisbane and it is fair to say that Adelaide represent a much tougher assignment..
The Bulldogs have struggled against the best teams in the competition this season and they have lost their past four games as away underdogs, while failing to cover the line in any of these defeats.
Adelaide recorded a dominant win over the Bulldogs when they met at the Adelaide Oval last season and a repeat could be on the cards on Friday night.
Back Adelaide To Cover The Line (-36.5 Points)
North Melbourne Vs GWS Giants
Saturday 19 May, 1:45pm, Blundstone Arena
Are North Melbourne the real deal?
That question could be answered this weekend and they will start this clash with Greater Western Sydney as narrow favourites.
North Melbourne may not have beaten Richmond on Sunday, but their was still plenty to like about their performance and their attitude to their football so far this season has been nothing short of outstanding.
The Kangaroos already hold wins over Hawthorn and Sydney this season and they have won 12 of their previous 16 games at Blundstone Arena, but they have won only one of their three games as favourites this season.
GWS were wasteful with the football once again against West Coast last weekend and their inability to turn scoring opportunities into points has been a big issue for them this season.
The Giants have won only one of their past five games as away underdogs and their record against the line in this scenario is no better.
This is a game that the market does look to have just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting standpoint.
Gold Coast Suns Vs Port Adelaide
Saturday 19 May, 3:15pm, Jiangwan Stadium
This will be the second ever AFL game in China after Port Adelaide comfortably won the corresponding fixture 12 months ago.
It is the Power that will once again go into this clash as favourites following their memorable Showdown win over the Adelaide Crows last weekend.
Port Adelaide have won their past eight games against the Gold Coast Suns – in fact they have never lost to them outside of the Suns’ first ever win back in 2011 – but their record as favourites has been unconvincing this season.
The Power have won ten of their past 16 games as favourites for a clear loss and they are 7-9 against the line when giving away a start.
Gold Coast showed some promise at the start of the season, but they head into this clash on the back of a heavy defeat at the hands of Melbourne.
The Suns have won only four of their past 18 games as underdogs and their record against the line isn’t much better.
It would not surprise if the travel and poor conditions for Australian Rules football hurt both the Suns and the Power and I am expecting this to be a low-scoring affair.
Back Under 154.5 Points
Essendon Vs Geelong
Saturday 19 May, 4:35pm, MCG
Essendon’s season hit a new low when they went down to Carlton last weekend and it is Geelong that will start this clash as favourites.
They weren’t overly impressive, but Geelong were able to grind out a win over Collingwood last weekend and they have now won four of their past five games.
The Cats have now won nine of their past 13 games as favourites, but they are only 5-8 against the line in this scenario.
Essendon slumped to their fourth loss on the trot when they went down to Carlton last weekend and they are now officially a side in crisis.
The Bombers poor kicking at goal did cost them, but that is far from their only problem and their chances of finishing inside the top eight are quickly evaporating.
Essendon have won five of their past 13 games as underdogs and they are 7-6 against the line in this scenario.
The Bombers are a tough side to trust from a betting perspective, but they generally do save their best positions for the better teams in the competition and I would not be surprised if they gave the Cats a scare.
Back Essendon To Cover The Line (+27.5 Points)
Sydney Swans Vs Fremantle
Saturday 19 May, 7:25pm, SCG
Ben Ronke led Sydney to a thrilling win over Hawthorn last weekend and they will go into this clash with Fremantle as clear favourites.
Consistency has been something of an issue for the Swans this season and they have recorded back-to-back wins only once, but they have not lost to Fremantle in Sydney since 2011.
The Swans have won eight of their past 12 games as home favourites and they have covered the line in seven of these victories.
Fremantle have been one of the big improvers in the AFL this season and they produced a professional performance to beat St Kilda in the ‘Ross Lyon Cup’ last week.
Winning away from home does continue to be an issue for the Dockers and they have won only one of their past nine games as away underdogs, but they are 5-4 against the line in this scenario.
Games between these two teams have traditionally been low-scoring affairs and a repeat of that does look likely this weekend.
Back Under 159.5 Points
St Kilda Vs Collingwood
Saturday 19 May, 7:25pm, Etihad Stadium
St Kilda have not won a game since the opening round of the season and it is Collingwood that will go into this clash as clear favourites.
Collingwood produced one of their worst performances of the season to date against Geelong last Sunday afternoon and they are definitely a better side than that type of effort suggests.
The Magpies have won eight of their past ten games as favourites for a clear profit and they have covered the line in six of these wins.
St Kilda were expected to be a team heading in the right direction this season, but they have been one of the biggest disappointments of the season and coach Alan Richardson doesn’t appear to have any answers.
The Saints have won only one of their past 14 games as underdogs and their record against the line when being given a start is a shocking 3-11.
Collingwood should be able to return to winning form and they can cover the line of 20.5 points in the process.
Back Collingwood To Cover The Line (-20.5 Points)
Carlton Vs Melbourne
Sunday 20 May, 1:10pm, MCG
Carlton were finally able to record their first win of the season last weekend, but it is Melbourne that will still start this game as favourites.
Melbourne made it three wins on the trot with a big victory over the Gold Coast Suns and they are now starting to produce the sort of football that was expected from them at the start of the season.
The Demons have won ten of their past 15 games as favourites for a small loss and they are 7-8 against the line when being given a start over the past 12 months.
Carlton got their first win of the season on the board with a polished performance against Essendon and they were able to give Melbourne a scare in their two meetings last season.
The Navy Blues have won only four of their past 20 games as underdogs, but they are 11-9 against the line in this scenario.
This should be a closer game than the current betting market suggests and Carlton are a great bet to cover the line with the big start of 34.5 points.
Back Carlton To Cover The Line (+34.5 Points)
Brisbane Lions Vs Hawthorn
Sunday 20 May, 3:20pm, The Gabba
The Brisbane Lions are the only winless side in the AFL this season, but there has been some early support for them to beat Hawthorn this weekend.
Brisbane were not disgraced once again against the Western Bulldogs last weekend and there is an argument to be made that they are the best 0-8 side in history.
It has been a a long time since the Lions beat Hawthorn – they have won only one of their past 12 meetings – and they have won two of their past seven games as home underdogs, while they are 4-3 against the line in this scenario.
Hawthorn suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of Sydney last weekend and they are yet to suffer back-too-back defeats this season.
The Hawks have not lost a game at The Gabba since 2007, but their record away from home over the past 12 months hasn’t been great and they have won only two of their past four games as away favourites.
An upset win is just around the corner for Brisbane and it would not surprise if they gave Hawthorn a genuine scare in this Sunday afternoon clash.
Back Brisbane To Cover The Line (+15.5 Points)
West Coast Eagles Vs Richmond
Sunday 20 May, 4:40pm, Optus Stadium
This is the biggest game of the AFL season to date as the West Coast Eagles and Richmond do battle for the outright competition lead.
North Melbourne threw everything at Richmond last weekend, but the Tigers were still able to come up trumps when it mattered and they have now won six games on the trot.
The Tigers have won two of their past three games against West Coast in Perth, so this trip does not scare them and the Tigers have won five of their past seven games as away favourites for a clear profit.
West Coast extended their winning streak to seven with a tough victory over Greater Western Sydney last weekend and a win over Richmond will truly stamp them as genuine premiership contenders.
Backing the Eagles as underdogs has been a very profitable betting play over the past 12 months and they have won five of their past ten games as outsiders.
The real value in this clash lies in the Total Points betting market and backing the Under in Richmond games continues to be a winning play.
Less than 150 points have been scored in three of the past four games played between these two sides and the Under is the value again.
Back Under 164.5 Points
The 2017 AFL season continues to produce the goods and we were treated to a number of thrillers last weekend.
Once again it was the underdogs that had the ascendancy and punters taking the big AFL odds on offer continue to profit.
We have analysed another tricky weekend of fixtures and our complete 2017 AFL Round 9 tips can be found below.
Geelong Cats Vs Western Bulldogs
Friday 19 May, 7:50pm, Simonds Stadium
Geelong have won their past ten games against the Western Bulldogs, but it is the Bulldogs that will start this clash as clear favourites.
The Western Bulldogs played out another thriller with the West Coast Eagles last Friday night and were unable to come away with the four points.
They have won four of their past six games as away favourites for a loss and they are a particularly poor 1-5 against the line in this scenario.
Geelong’s season hit crisis point with a poor loss to Essendon last weekend and they have now suffered three defeats on the trot – all against sides that aren’t expected to finish in the top eight.
This will be just the second time in the past 12 months that the Cats have started a game as underdogs and they were able to win that fixture.
Geelong’s excellent record against the Western Bulldogs really can’t be ignored and I am keen to take the punt that they can return to their best form this weekend.
Back Geelong To Win @ $2.10
St Kilda Vs Sydney Swans
Saturday 20 May, 1:45pm, Etihad Stadium
The Sydney Swans have won the past six games played between these sides, but it is St Kilda that will start this clash as clear favourites.
St Kilda made it three wins on the trot with a comfortable victory over Carlton and they have climbed into the top eight with their most recent victory.
The Saints have won five of their past six games as home favourites for a clear profit, but they are only a middling 3-3 against the line in this scenario.
Sydney made it two wins on the trot with a comfortable victory over North Melbourne and they have shown the type of football that they are capable of in recent weeks.
The Swans have won three of their past five games as away underdogs for a clear profit and they are also 3-2 against the line in this situation.
Sydney have been absolutely dominant against St Kilda in recent seasons and there is no reason that they can’t beat them again this weekend.
Back Sydney To Win @ $2.15
GWS Giants Vs Richmond
Saturday 20 May, 4:35pm, Spotless Stadium
Richmond suffered a heart-breaking defeat at the hands of Fremantle last weekend and it does not get any easier for them against the GWS Giants.
Greater Western Sydney came from behind to beat Collingwood thanks to a late Steve Johnson goal and they will start this clash with Richmond as clear favourites.
The Giants have won eight of their past 11 games as home favourites for a loss, but they have been a profitable play against the line in this scenario.
Richmond’s promising start to the season has blown up in front of their face and they let slip four crucial points with their defeat at the hands of Fremantle last weekend.
The Tigers have failed to win any of their past eight games as away underdogs and they are an extremely poor 2-6 against the line in this situation.
This will be a tough game mentally for Richmond and it would not surprise if they suffered another heavy defeat at the hands of Greater Western Sydney.
Back Greater Western Sydney To Beat The Line (-28.5 Points)
Brisbane Lions Vs Adelaide Crows
Saturday 20 May, 7:25pm, The Gabba
The Adelaide Crows have suffered back-to-back defeats, but they are still the shortest-priced favourites of the weekend.
It is tough to know what to make of the recent performances of Adelaide, as they have been nothing short of disgraceful after making such a strong start to the season.
The Crows have won eight of their past ten games as away favourites and they are 6-4 against the line in this scenario and it is very easy to see them putting up a massive score against the Lions.
Brisbane slumped to their seventh straight defeat against Hawthorn last weekend and it does not get any easier for them against Adelaide.
The Lions have won only one of their past ten games as home underdogs and their record against the line in this scenario is a very poor 2-8.
Adelaide have the scoring fire-power to cover this big line comfortably.
Back Adelaide To Beat The Line (-46.5 Points)
Collingwood Vs Hawthorn
Saturday 20 May, 7:25pm, MCG
This is one of the most interesting games of the weekend and it is Collingwood that will go into this clash as clear favourites.
The Magpies were unable to get the job done against Greater Western Sydney, but they were still able to produce one of their best performances of the season.
Collingwood have had significant problems winning as favourites over the past 12 months and they have won only three of their past eight games as the punter’s elect for a clear loss.
Hawthorn made it two wins on the trot with a comfortable victory over the Brisbane Lions and this is a big opportunity to show that they really are back.
The Hawks have proven to be a profitable betting play as underdogs over the past 12 months and they have won their past eight games against Collingwood.
Hawthorn really should go into this clash as favourites and they are excellent value at their current price.
Back Hawthorn To Win @ $2.10
Essendon Vs West Coast Eagles
Sunday 21 May, 1:10pm, Etihad Stadium
The West Coast Eagles have won three games on the trot and they will go into this clash with Essendon as clear favourites.
West Coast showed a fair bit of grit to beat the Western Bulldogs last Friday night and there has been a fair bit of merit in their past three wins.
In saying that, West Coast can often be tough to trust away from home and they have won four of their past seven games as away favourites for a clear loss.
Essendon produced one of their best efforts of the season to beat Geelong last weekend and they have played some quality football at times this season.
The Bombers have actually won five of their past 11 games as home underdogs for a clear profit and they are a most impressive 8-3 against the line in this scenario.
Essendon are more than capable of pushing this West Coast outfit and they are a good bet to beat the line with a start of 11.5 points.
Back Essendon To Beat The Line (+11.5 Points)
Melbourne Vs North Melbourne
Sunday 21 May, 3:20pm, MCG
Melbourne are now within a win of the top eight and they will start this clash with North Melbourne as clear favourites.
The Demons could hardly have been more impressive against Adelaide and they may never have a better opportunity to end their 15-game losing streak when facing North Melbourne.
Melbourne have won six of their past ten games as favourites, but they are only 4-6 against the line in this scenario.
North Melbourne had their winning run ended by Sydney last weekend and it will be interesting to see how they bounce back this weekend.
The Kangaroos have won only one of their past 14 games as underdogs and they are 6-8 against the line in this situation.
Melbourne really should be able to beat North Melbourne for the first time in over a decade, but there is no value at their current price and I am keen to stay out of this clash from a betting standpoint.
Fremantle Vs Carlton
Sunday 21 May, 4:40pm, Domain Stadium
Fremantle were written off by the majority of AFL experts at the start of the 2017 AFL season, but they now find themselves just one win outside the top eight.
The Dockers have now won five of their past six games – following their remarkable victory over Richmond – and they will start this clash with Carlton as clear favourites.
Fremantle have won their past three games as home favourites and they are 2-1 against the line in this scenario.
Carlton continue to struggle to score points and are yet to crack a century this season, but they have impressed with their defensive toughness at times.
The Blues have won only one of their past seven games as away underdogs, but they have been a profitable 5-2 against the line in this scenario.
This really should be a fairly dour low-scoring game and with a start of 22.5 points Carlton should be able to cover the line – even if they fail to come away with the victory.
Back Carlton To Beat The Line (+22.5 Points)
Round 9 of the 2016 AFL season begins with an absolute Friday night blockbuster between Hawthorn and the Sydney Swans – a rematch of both the 2012 and 2014 AFL Grand Finals.
There is another grand final rematch on Saturday afternoon when Collingwood host Geelong before Fremantle host Richmond in the pick of Saturday’s night games.
There are three games on Sunday afternoon and the round concludes when St Kilda take on Essendon in the Sunday twilight fixture.
Hawthorn Vs Sydney Swans
Friday 20 May, 7:50pm, MCG
This is one of the best modern day rivalries in the AFL and they did battle in the AFL Grand Final in both 2012 and 2014.
The Hawks have had the edge in recent seasons and have won six of the last eight games played between the two sides, with the triple premiers favourites to extend their excellent record against their rivals.
Hawthorn have won nine of their past 12 games as home favourites, but they actually have not been a profitable betting play as the punter’s elect and their record against the line in this scenario is a very poor 3-9.
Sydney had their winning streak ended by Richmond after the siren last weekend and it was clear by the Swan’s reactions after the game that they realized they had thrown away four points.
The Swans are a reliable betting side as favourites, but no so much as underdogs and they have won just one of their past five games as outsiders, while they are 2-3 against the line in this situation.
This should be a very interesting game to watch, but the market appears to have got it just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Collingwood Vs Geelong
Saturday 21 May, 1:45pm, MCG
Geelong are now outright favourites to win the 2016 AFL Premiership following their comfortable victory over the Adelaide Crows and they have a great opportunity to record their seventh straight win this weekend.
The Cats don’t have the most reliable record as away favourites and they have won just three of their last six games in this situation, while their record against the line is a poor 2-4.
Collingwood produced a much improved performance to return to winning form against the Brisbane Lions last Saturday night, but they obviously face a much stiffer challenge against Geelong.
The Magpies have won only one of their past four games as home underdogs, but they do have a decent record against the Cats in this scenario and they have beaten the line in seven of their past 11 games as underdogs.
Geelong have covered the line in just nine of their past 26 games when giving away a start of 33 points and Collingwood are good enough to ensure that this game does not end in a blowout.
Recommended Bet: Back Collingwood To Beat The Line (+33.5 Points)
Gold Coast Suns Vs Adelaide Crows
Saturday 21 May, 2:10pm, Metricon Stadium
The Gold Coast Suns have been very poor against the Adelaide Crows since they entered the competition in 2011 and they have lost all eight games that they have played against their rivals.
The Suns produced another dismal display of football against the Greater Western Sydney Giants last weekend and it is no surprise that they will go into this game as clear underdogs.
Gold Coast have won just two of their past 17 games as underdogs and they are a horrid 6-11 against the line in this scenario.
Adelaide go into this game on the back of back-to-back losses against the Western Bulldogs and Geelong, but it is very tough to see them losing again.
They have won six of their past eight games as favourites, but they have not been convincing against the line as the punter’s elect.
In saying that, Adelaide have covered the line in five of their past six games when giving away a start of over 50 points and if they play anywhere near their best they should be able to register a big score against the Suns.
Recommended Bet: Back The Adelaide Crows To Beat The Line (-50.5 Points)
Port Adelaide Vs West Coast Eagles
Saturday 21 May, 4:05pm, Adelaide Oval
Port Adelaide’s season hit a new low when they were beaten by Carlton last weekend and they face a very tough challenge against the West Coast Eagles this weekend.
This will be just the second time that Port Adelaide have started a game at the Adelaide Oval as underdogs in the past 12 months, but they did lose that fixture and they are only a middling 3-3 against the line when being given a start.
West Coast returned to winning form with an absolutely brutal performance against St Kilda last weekend, but their record away from home is far less convincing than their record at Domain Stadium.
The Eagles have won just three of their past seven games as favourites and they are 3-4 against the line in this scenario.
It would not surprise to see Port Adelaide return to a semblance of their best form this weekend and they are a good bet to cover the line with a start of 23.5 points.
Recommended Bet: Back Port Adelaide To Beat The Line (+23.5 Points)
North Melbourne Vs Carlton
Saturday 21 May, 7:25pm, Etihad Stadium
North Melbourne continued their unbeaten start to the season with their fighting win over Essendon last weekend and they are clear favourites to continue their winning run against Carlton.
The Kangaroos have won 15 of their past 17 games as favourites for a sizeable profit and they are 10-7 against the line in this scenario.
Brendon Bolton is surely one of the leading contenders for coach of the year and he has instilled a passion that has been missing from Carlton for a number of seasons.
The Navy Blues have now won four games on the trot, but the data suggests that they won’t make it five in a row this weekend as they have won just two of their past 13 games as away underdogs.
In saying that, their recent record against the line can’t be ignored and they are 12-9 against the line in this situation.
I think that North Melbourne will win, but there is no edge in their current price and the line of 30.5 points seems just about right.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Fremantle Vs Richmond
Saturday 21 May, 5:40pm, Domain Stadium
This is one of the most interesting games of the weekend and at this stage the market can’t split the two teams.
Fremantle are still yet to record their first win of the AFL season after going down to Hawthorn last weekend and they face a Tigers side that will have taken plenty of confidence from their dramatic victory over Sydney last weekend.
The Dockers have struggled in front of their home fans at Domain Stadium over the past 12 months – having won just seven of their 13 games – and their record against the line at home is a putrid 4-9.
The Tigers kept fighting to the finish against Sydney last weekend and that victory could prove to be the turning point of their season.
Richmond have actually played some of their best football on the road in the past 12 months and they beat Fremantle at Domain Stadium last season, so this road trip will hold no fears for them.
The Tigers have won seven of their past 11 games on the road and they are great value to improve that record with a win over the Dockers on Saturday.
Recommended Bet: Back Richmond To Win @ $1.91
Melbourne Vs Brisbane Lions
Sunday 22 May, 1:10pm, MCG
Melbourne received a reality check when they were beaten the Western Bulldogs, but they will still start this weekend’s clash with the Brisbane Lions as dominant favourites.
The Demons have only started five games as favourites in the past 12 months but, in very worrying signs for their supporters, they have won just one of these fixtures for a big loss.
The problem for punters is that the recent record of the Brisbane Lions has been just as poor and they produced another uninspired performance against Collingwood last weekend.
The Lions have lost their past 12 games as away underdogs and their record against the line in this situation is a horrific 2-10.
I have no interest in backing either of these two teams, but there is still a betting market that stands out and that is the total points.
The over has saluted in 11 of the 16 games played by these sides and it would not surprise if neither side bothered defending in this contest.
Recommended Bet: Back The Over (198.5 Points)
”GWS Vs ”Western
St Kilda Vs Essendon
Sunday 22 May, 4:40pm, Etihad Stadium
St Kilda could not have played more poorly against the West Coast Eagles last weekend, but they are short-priced favourites to return to winning form against Essendon.
Despite claims about their improvement this season, St Kilda have still only won one of their past five games and this will be just the second game that they have started as favourites in the past 12 months.
The under strength Bombers continue to be a challenge for punters as they bounced back from their flogging against Sydney to go close to beating North Melbourne last weekend.
They are still a losing proposition against the line this season, but they have been given a big start of 30.5 points against a side like St Kilda.
This looks like an absolute trap game from a betting standpoint and I am keen to stay out of it.
Recommended Bet: No Bet