Can you believe there are only seven more games for the remainder of the regular 2015 AFL season? Now is when it really starts getting interesting and we continue with our footy previews in our AFL Round 17 betting tips.
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Hawthorn Hawks Vs. Carlton Blues (Friday, July 24 at 7:50pm AEST)
Hawthorn are steadily making their way towards the pointy end of the ladder and another big win this Friday night at Etihad will certainly help. Luckily for the Hawks they are only playing the Blues.
There is no doubt Carlton have been more competitive under their new interim coach John Barker in the last few weeks. But to think they are any chance against the Hawks is madness. The Hawks have won the last five straight against the Blues and on two of those occasions by 50 points. It’s also fair to say the Hawks are playing some of the football in their recent history, winning seven on the trot by an average of 51 points. Amazingly they have scored an average of 116 points during that period. There is just no way the Blues can stop that kind of scoring power.
The question then becomes, how much will the Blues lose by?
Carlton only managed 41 points against the Tigers last week, kicking just five goals from 16 scoring shots. And a fortnight ago they managed just 53 against the Bulldogs. You would think against a team like the Hawks the Blues will only manage somewhere between 50-60 points. The Hawks should certainly win by 5-6 goals at a minimum, but the 11-goal line is tough to bet. They are coming off three tough games (big win against the Pies, then huge wins against Freo and Sydney) and might not be able to put up the big 20-goal plus performance, especially when they need to start thinking about pacing themselves into the finals series. I’m leaning towards the Blues to cover the massive line, but personally will just be taking advantage of the Ladbrokes $2 favourites.
GWS Giants Vs. Geelong Cats (Saturday, July 25 at 1:45pm AEST)
After a mid-season slump the Cats have started to turn it around, winning three of the last five games. The Giants have also started to find some form, winning the last two and maintaining their spot in the eight after a three-game losing streak.
The Giants need to win every game they can to make the finals for the first time in their history, while the Cats are a couple of games out of contention and even with a win here will start finding it hard as the season draws to an end.
This really looks like one of those spots where the Cats are overvalued. They were certainly better last week (and without Selwood who returns here), but ultimately it was the poor performance of the Bulldogs that got them over the line. Even with Selwood back in the side, the Cats will have trouble with the fast running Giants on their home turf, just as they have had trouble with many similar sides this year.
Tip: GWS Giants Hd-Hd - $1.89 at CrownBet
Adelaide Crows Vs. Gold Coast Suns (Saturday, July 25 at 1:40pm ACST)
The Crows were back to their best last week in their emotional win over the Power. That effort got them back in the eight, so they will be desperate to keep that spot with a win against the Suns at home this Saturday.
The Suns do seem to be getting better each week that Gary Ablett has been back in the side. They did struggle a little at times against the Giants last week, but they were competitive enough. We must also remember that prior to last week the Crows weren’t playing their best footy. I do think the Crows will win this game, but I’m not sure they deserve to be such heavy favourites. The Suns scoring power will be their biggest roadblock, but with Bennell and Dixon named, I think they can cover the almost five-goal line.
Tip: Gold Coast at the line (+28.5) - $1.92 at Sportsbet
Richmond Tigers Vs. Fremantle Dockers (Saturday, July 25 at 4:35pm AEST)
Are the Tigers really good enough to be favourites against the Dockers? Yes the game is at the MCG, yes the Tigers are playing good footy, yes Hayden Ballantyne is out and yes there have been reports Fyfe has a pretty bad corky. But favourites, really? There were parts of the Tigers game last week against the Saints that showed us they aren’t the powerhouse some might think. There is no doubt they are one of the better sides in the comp, but I just don’t know how you could back them at $1.70 in this game. But that just means we can find some value in the Dockers.
We have to remember that even though the Dockers were embarrassed by the Hawks, they have only lost two games this year. The MCG shouldn’t pose as a huge threat to the Dockers, though they do have a poor record against the Tigers on that ground. The Dockers are the second best clearance side in the league, while the Tigers struggle in this stat, ranked just 15th.
The Tigers managed to give the Dockers one of their two losses this year in Round 10 at Subiaco, bursting out the gate and kicking 12 goals to five in the first half. The Dockers won the game from there, but ultimately lost by 27 points. I don’t think they will let that happen again and think there is value here on the Dockers at these odds.
Tip: Fremantle Hd-Hd - $2.15
Essendon Bombers Vs. Port Adelaide Power (Saturday, July 25 at 7:20pm AEST)
Port Adelaide continue to struggle this season. They have only claimed one victory over the last five games – the same as their Round 17 opponent Essendon. The Power are also only one game ahead of the Bombers on the ladder also, which is somewhat surprising considering the fact we rate Port Adelaide the far better team.
Essendon have a fantastic record against Port Adelaide, winning the last five in a row. This game is at Etihad which will also suit the Bombers. However, that streak should come to an end this weekend. Despite losing, Port were very solid against the Crows last round. If they can recreate their running prowess from that game they will cause the Bombers trouble this week. That problem will simply be compounded for the Bombers who are also the worst centre clearance side in the league.
Tip: Port Adelaide by 1-39 points - $2.10 at Sportsbet
Brisbane Lions Vs. Nth Melbourne Kangaroos (Saturday, July 25 at 7:20pm AEST)
North Melbourne are starting to play better football after really struggling a few times throughout the season. They are currently 10th on the ladder and need every win they can get if they want to make the finals. Luckily for them they play Brisbane this week, so should get another victory. That’s also lucky for Brent Harvey as the little fellow should be celebrating a win for his historic 400th game.
The Roos don’t have a great record at the Gabba, winning just four of 17 games. The Lions, however, are probably in the worst form they have ever been in over the last decade. They are in the bottom percentile for almost all stats this season and will find this one too tough, even at home.
Tip: North Melbourne by 1-39 points (under 39.5) - $2.10 at Sportsbet
Western Bulldogs Vs. Collingwood Magpies (Sunday, July 26 at 1:10pm AEST)
This is one of those ‘must win’ games for both teams –the Bulldogs need to win to keep their spot in the eight and the Pies have to win to regain their spot back in the finals.
There is no doubt the Bulldogs have been quite inconsistent of late, but they have still managed to win five of the last seven. The Pies, meanwhile, have lost four of the last five – yet somehow are still favourites heading into this game. It is true that the Magpies have been very good in their losses against the best sides in the comp, but a loss is still a loss.
The Bulldogs will have to play better than they did against Geelong last week, but with the Pies having Travis Cloke out to a calf industry, we are very happy to get on the red, white and blue as the underdogs.
Tip: Western Bulldogs by 1-39 points (under 39.5) - $2.70 at CrownBet
Melbourne Demons Vs. St Kilda Saints (Sunday, July 26 at 3:20pm AEST)
This one looks like being the most even matchup of Round 17. The betting sees the Saints as the slight favourites and we think that sounds about right. They were really good for parts of their loss to the Tigers last week and if they put up that sort of performance they will be tough for the Demons this weekend.
Melbourne did win last week, but it was only against a woeful Lions and they still only managed to score 60 points – which wont be enough to beat the Saints who have managed plenty of big scores this season with the help of Josh Bruce and Nick Reiwoldt. It is in this department that I think Melbourne will struggle. They average just 71.8 points per game which is the 16th best in the comp.
Tip: St Kilda Hd-Hd - $1.89 at CrownBet
West Coast Eagles Vs. Sydney Swans (Sunday, July 26 at 2:40pm AWST)
The Eagles are heavy favourites to beat the Swans this Sunday. This is partly due to the game being at Subiaco, partly because the Swans were so awful last week and also because everyone is starting to realise the Eagles are the real deal.
The Swans have a good record against the Eagles at Subiaco, winning the last four straight. Of course, if the Swans play like they did last week they will lose, but they are still one of the better teams and you have to think they will bounce back with a better performance. Not having Craig Bird, Kurt Tippett, and Ted Richards is certainly a big disadvantage, however. The Eagles will be missing Jeremy McGovern though and that will free up Lance Franklin a little. It’s not too often you will find the Swans with more than a three goal head start and we think that looks like the value play here.
Tip: Sydney Swans at the line (+21.5) - $1.917 at Pinnacle Sports
Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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