There are no second chances in the AFL Finals anymore and every game from this point forward is sudden death.
Sydney may have finished outside the top four, but they still look like genuine premiership contenders and they are clear favourites to account for a Geelong side that were left shell-shocked by Richmond last Friday night.
The West Coast Eagles beat Port Adelaide with an after-the-siren goal in an extra-time thriller, but they face another difficult road trip against Greater Western Sydney at Spotless Stadium.
We have closely analysed both games set to take place this weekend and our 2017 AFL Semi-Finals tips can be found below!
Geelong Vs Sydney Swans
Friday 15 September, 7.50pm, MCG
Geelong finished in the top four, but the market is confident they will go out in straight sets and Sydney will start this clash as dominant favourites.
Sydney remain the x-factor in the 2017 AFL Finals and they tuned up for this test with a very comfortable victory over Essendon last Saturday afternoon.
Hawthorn remain the only team to have beaten Sydney since they lost to Carlton in round six and they have won five of their past six games against Geelong, which included a comfortable win in round 20 of the regular season.
Sydney have won five of their past seven games as away favourites for a clear profit and they have covered the line in each of those victories.
Geelong walked into a Richmond onslaught last Friday night and they were completely decimated in the final quarter.
The Cats simply did not handle the defensive pressure of Richmond and if it were not for some magic from Patrick Dangerfield they probably would have found themselves out of the contest sooner.
Joel Selwood may have been on the field on Friday night, but it is clear that he is not anywhere near peak fitness and he needs to fire if Geelong are any chance against Sydney this weekend.
Geelong have won four of their games as home underdogs this season for a serious profit, but their poor recent record against Sydney is a genuine concern.
Sydney are the team with all of the momentum heading into this clash and they can set-up a preliminary final clash with Adelaide, while covering the line in the process.
Back Sydney To Beat The Line (-17.5 Points)
GWS Giants Vs West Coast Eagles
Saturday 16 September, 7.25pm, Spotless Stadium
Greater Western Sydney produced a lacklustre effort against Adelaide last Friday night, but they will still go into this clash with the West Coast Eagles as clear favourites.
The Giants were incredibly slow out of the blocks against Adelaide and they lacked the intensity that you would like to see from a team that is still considered a premiership contender.
They simply had no answers for the Crows and they will need to improve on that effort to be any chance of beating West Coast on Saturday night.
GWS beat West Coast in their two meetings this season and they are 9-1-1 as home favourites, but they are a very poor 3-8 against the line in this scenario.
West Coast showed plenty of character to score their thrilling victory over Port Adelaide and they really go into this clash with nothing to lose.
Coach Adam Simpson has a big selection decision on his hands and he may be forced to bring in some fresh legs to bolster a side that did a great deal of running over basically five quarters in Adelaide.
West Coast’s form interstate this season has actually been fairly good and they have won three of their six games as away underdogs, while they are 4-2 against the line in this scenario.
Greater Western Sydney are no certainties to book themselves a preliminary final clash and West Coast have a genuine chance of recording yet another upset win.
Back West Coast To Beat The Line (+16.5 Points)
This is the second week of the AFL Finals and there are only six teams that remain in contention for the 2016 Premiership.
Hawthorn lost to Geelong in an absolute thriller in week 1 of the finals, but they can still keep alive their hopes of a fourth straight premiership with a victory over a brave Western Bulldogs.
Sydney will have the home ground advantage against Adelaide, but still face stiff competition against one of the most exciting outfits in the competition.
There are a wide range of betting markets available in each of these games and you can find our best betting plays below.
Hawthorn Vs Western Bulldogs
Friday 16 September, 7.25pm, MCG
Hawthorn now have to do it the hard way to keep alive their hopes of winning a fourth straight AFL Premiership.
They may not have been able to get the job done against Geelong – with Isaac Smith missing a kick to win it after the siren – but there were still plenty of positives to take from that performance and they will start this clash with the Western Bulldogs as clear favourites.
It is no secret that it has been an eternity since Hawthorn lost back-to-back games and they have been absolutely dominant against the Western Bulldogs in recent seasons.
Hawthorn have lost only four of their past 22 games as favourites, with their record particularly strong at the MCG, and there is plenty to suggest that they will be able to progress to the penultimate round of the season.
From a betting perspective, Hawthorn have struggled against the line somewhat this season – they are just 3-8 against the line as home favourites in the past 12 months.
The majority of AFL experts – myself included – were quick to write off the Bulldogs as they made the trip west for a clash with the Eagles, but they got the job done in extremely impressive fashion.
The character that the Bulldogs have shown this season has been immense and they will need to find another huge effort to keep alive their hopes of a breakthrough premiership.
While the Bulldogs have struggled against Hawthorn in recent seasons, their record as underdogs this season has been excellent from a betting standpoint and they have won four of their past nine games in this scenario for a tidy profit.
Their record against the line in this situation is only slightly better and the line has currently been set at 13.5 points.
It pains me to write off the Western Bulldogs again, but I don’t think that they are capable of beating this Hawthorn side in such an important game and the Hawks should progress to yet another preliminary final.
Back Hawthorn To Beat The Line (-13.5 Points)
Sydney Swans Vs Adelaide
Saturday 17 September, 7.50pm, SCG
This game is set to be an absolute ripper.
The Sydney Swans were stunned by their cross-town rivals in the opening weekend of the AFL, but they still still start this game as favourites.
It is tough to pinpoint exactly what went wrong for Sydney against the Giants – poor kicking did not help – and they face an entirely different challenge against the enterprising Crows.
Sydney have won nine of their past 13 games as home favourites for a narrow loss, but they have been excellent against the line in this scenario and when they win they generally win well.
It came as no shock that Adelaide were able to record a convincing victory over North Melbourne, but it was the manner of the victory that was particularly impressive.
Adelaide have now made a habit of raking up some extremely big scores against the best teams in the competition and they did just that when they beat the Swans earlier this season.
The Crows have won only two of their six games as away underdogs this season, but they have been a profitable betting play against the line in this scenario.
Like Hawthorn, Sydney are another team that very rarely lose back-to-back games and I am confident that they will be able to bounce back and set-up a preliminary final clash with Geelong.
Back Sydney To Beat The Line (-12.5 Points)