Round 16 of the AFL season gets underway this Thursday night with a massive clash between the Sydney Swans and Geelong Cats from the SCG. PuntingInDanger and fans hit on four of nine bets in Round 15 and we’ll be looking to improve on that as I take a look at every game over the weekend and give my betting tips for the Round 16 action below.
The Grand Final replay has added spice after Adelaide have bounced back from their mid-season slump, beating West Coast on the weekend in a great game. Injuries are still a massive issue for the Crows, as Eddie Betts, Brad Crouch, Riley Knight, Tom Lynch, David Mckay, Mitch McGovern, Andy Otten and Brodie Smith all remain on the sidelines. The Crows did look a lot better on the weekend, however, with the additions of key players in Rory Sloane and Rory Laird.
The Tigers continued on their winning ways on the weekend, defeating the Swans by 26 points on Thursday night at Etihad Stadium. They’ll be pleased to be back at the MCG this weekend, where they haven’t lost a game since Round 13 of last season. A few key players will be out for the Tigers this weekend in Reece Conca, Bachar Houli and Nick Vlaustin. Trent Cotchin had a minor injury concern in the Swans game but should be right to go on Friday night.
Richmond start as heavy favourites here and it’s hard to side against them given their form at the MCG. The Crows were victorious over the Tigers at Adelaide Oval back in Round 2 but that was a completely different Adelaide outfit to the one that will run out on Friday night. Interestingly, the last two Tiger home games against Adelaide have both come at Etihad Stadium. I think the Crows will be pumped up for this game and it’s almost a must win if they want to stamp themselves a serious top eight contender. Richmond have only won one of their last six games by over 39 points so I like the 1-39 margin here.
Both Brisbane and Carlton will fancy their chances to get a win on Saturday afternoon when they face off from the Gabba. They currently sit 17th and 18th on the ladder respectively, but both have looked impressive by their standards lately. Carlton have lost to Collingwood and Port Adelaide by an average margin of 19.5 points over the past two weeks and led both games for large portions. Charlie Curnow is announcing himself as one of the most exciting players in the game with two great performances against the Pies and Power while Patrick Cripps has looked unstoppable in the middle of the ground.
The Lions claimed their 2nd win of the season on the weekend, beating the Dockers by 55 points as Dayne Beams and Dayne Zorko were once again fantastic. Brisbane’s forward line was really clicking as well as Daniel McStay, Eric Hipwood and Lewis Taylor combined for eight goals. Although they only have two wins on the season, the Lions have been super competitive in a heap of their games and probably deserve to have more than just eight points. They have lost just four games by over 30 points this season and just two by over 50.
Tough match to call here, Brisbane start as $1.38 favourites and at the Gabba you have to side with them. Not super confident on the 18.5-point line so we’ll look to the total point margin for some value. Early forecasts suggest a bit of rain in Brisbane on Saturday so this 173-point line seems a little high, especially considering both teams have the potential to score 60 or less if its not their day.
If the Tigers lose to the Crows on Friday night, there’s potential for four different teams to join them on 44 points at the top of the ladder. Port Adelaide is one of those teams, although their current percentage of just 115.0 is the lowest of all the top five teams. They’ll definitely fancy their chances of a top four finish, but will need to get past St Kilda on Saturday afternoon, who have their tails up and gave the Power a massive scare in Adelaide last season.
St Kilda have won their last two games and now sit 15th on the ladder with three wins and one draw throughout their 14 games played. Everything seemed to click for the Saints on the weekend as they defeated the Demons at the MCG and their accuracy problems in front of goal were absent, kicking 18.11 in the two-point win.
The Saints were victorious over Port Adelaide at Etihad Stadium in Round 2 last season before leading the entire game at Adelaide Oval in Round 19 only for a Robbie Gray last minute goal snatched the win for the Power. 39.5 point line seems a little high to me given a few great performances by the Saints and the fact that the two teams last two games have finished with a combined margin of just 3 points.
The Western Bulldogs finally broke their hoodoo against the Cats on Friday night, winning by two points after a Harry Taylor shot after the siren sailed wide. It was a good bounce back for the Dogs after losing five games in a row prior to the Geelong game. It’ll be another tough test this weekend as the Hawks come into the game desperate for a win to stay relevant with the top eight.
The Hawks went down to an in form GWS side on the weekend as Tom Mitchell was once again fantastic. The midfielder racked up 50 touches in the loss while Isaac Smith continued to have a big impact, racking up 26 touches and kicking a goal. The Hawks will be desperate to get Jack Gunston back from injury this weekend, as the dynamic forward should give the Dogs real trouble in defence.
I think as long as Gunston plays, the Hawks should be too strong for the Dogs at Etihad on Saturday night. The Dogs are still marred by a long injury list which isn’t expected to provide much relief this weekend. The list includes Redpath, Macrae, Smith, Suckling, Williams, Wood, Webb, Dale, Daniel, Jong, Liveratore, Picken and Dickson, which is just too much for any club to handle, regardless of a solid performance last week.
After many were arguing that the Demons could be the best team in the league in the middle of the year, they have now lost their last three games in a row and will now be fearful of finishing in ninth place yet again. A heart-breaking end to the 2017 season saw them miss out on finals by percentage alone and after their recent form, they now sit locked with four other teams fighting for three spots in the top eight.
Fremantle were dismal on the weekend, losing at home to the Lions by 55 points. They have now lost six of their last 10 games and now have to travel to Melbourne where they have just won win this season from three games. Games at the MCG against Richmond and Collingwood both ended in losing margins of over 60 points and Melbourne will be on the war path after a bitterly disappointing loss to the Saints.
Note: Original tip was Fremantle +37.5 but since the news that both Fyfe and Sandilands will miss through injury broke, we have opted to stay away from this game.
TIP: No Bet
North Melbourne vs Gold Coast (Sunday 1.10pm AEST)
North Melbourne and the Gold Coast will meet for the second time this year, this time in much better conditions after their round one contest was an absolute slugfest in torrential rain. This match will be played under the roof, which should bring the Roos big forwards into the game after having absolutely no impact in the loss to the Suns in Round 1.
The Gold Coast have lost their last nine games in a row, the longest active losing streak in the AFL and can slip lower on the ladder with another loss this weekend. There’s not much to be hopeful about for Suns fans, as their young core hasn’t shown much promise this year and they look likely to lose star forward Tom Lynch at the end of the year.
A 46-point line is a lot for the Roos to cover here, but the Gold Coast have been absolutely abysmal lately. They lost to the Saints by just 2 points a few weeks ago but apart from that have lost their last six games by margins of 69, 40, 85, 108, 53 and 39. The big Roos forward line should run rampant in good conditions and I expect them to cover the big line.
One of the games of the round in my opinion sees two in form teams squaring off at the MCG in Essendon and Collingwood. The Pies have won their last 6 games in a row and currently sit 2nd on the ladder just four points behind the Tigers. They have, however, only beaten one team ranked inside the top 8 at the time of the match and their other nine wins so far this season have come against 18th, 11th, 17th, 15th, 14th, 13th, 18th and 16th ranked teams. They have also only had to travel outside of Vitoria on three occasions so far this year and will only have to another two times for the 2018 season.
Essendon on the other hand have won their last three games in a row and five of their last six games and taken some major scalps along the way in West Coast, North Melbourne, GWS and Geelong. They are one of the in-form teams in the competition at the moment and while their free flowing game style can be inconsistent at times, at it’s best, it’s deadly.
At the best of times it’s usually a 50-50 between these two massive clubs and given they are both in good form at the moment this one is just as hard to pick. The Pies have been involved in some high scoring games of late, scoring over 90 points in six of their last eight games. The two teams combined for 153 points in the Anzac Day clash so the 148 point line seems low here.
Another great game to finish off Round 16 sees the Eagles hosting the Giants from Optus Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Eagles have lost their last three games in a row after winning 10 on the trot and will once again be without their star forward duo in Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling. The Eagles have really struggled to kick a winning score without the duo, scoring just 57, 52 and 78 in their three losses.
The Giants have bounced back after some lacklustre mid-season form to win their last four games in a row and now sit sixth on the ladder just above a flock of teams on eight wins due to their Round 5 draw with the Saints. Jeremy Cameron will remain on the sidelines through injury but the Giants injury list is slowly improving and they not only miss Toby Greene, Brett Deledio and Tom Scully from their best 22.
The Eagles will welcome the return to Optus Stadium here where they have lost just two games so far this season, but I can’t find another reason to be confident in them without their two big forwards. Not sure if the Eagles deserve to be favourites here, I’m siding against them even at home.
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