After a couple of weeks of disappointing results, it was nice to go 5/6 and +3.99 units of profit in Round 14. This week's games once again begin on Thursday as we are set for the last bye round which we preview in our 2016 AFL Round 15 betting tips.
West Coast Eagles vs Essendon Bombers (Thursday, June 30 at 6:10pm AWST)
Could there be a less interesting game for what should be a blockbuster Thursday night to kick off Round 15? I suppose it could be worse, but I get the feeling there might be a bloodbath at Domain.
Both the Bombers and the Eagles come into this game on the back of a bye, so both are rested and won't have any excuses to not give 100% effort. Unfortunately for the Bombers, their 100% is inferior to every team in the league and especially when it comes to a game at Domain Stadium. The last time these two teams met was in this year's NAB Challenge where the Eagles got the job done by 103 points. Essendon fans might think this time around will be different after their gallant effort against GWS before the bye, but let's not forget that Essendon struggle to score at the best of times and their opponent puts huge points on the board at their home ground. In fact, the Eagles have kicked 18 or more goals in five of their seven home games this season. West Coast simply dominate in their forward 50 at any ground, but especially at Domain. They are ranked 3rd in the league for marks inside 50 and this is where the Bombers are going to struggle. Who can stop JJ Kennedy from taking a grab and kicking a bag? That's not to mention the plethora of talented support Kennedy has down forward.
I'm not overly excited by a 75-point line, but I don't mind the look of the total game score. The Bombers showed signs of playing a more attacking style of footy before the byes, having 30 scoring plays and putting 90 points on the board. While I don't think they will likely manage such a big score against the Eagles at Domain, I think this shows the Bombers are trying to open their game up a bit. It's safe to assume the Eagles should score 120 points at a minimum, so if the Bombers can manage somewhere a little above the usual 60 or so points they put up this season, then we should easily cover the total game score.
Tip: Total Game Score OVER 189.5 - $1.90 at CrownBet (1.5 units)
Note: Line moved to 183 by Thursday afternoon, still like overs as above, but get on at this line / aswell for another 0.5 units.
Port Adelaide Power vs Richmond Tigers (Friday, July 1 at 7:20pm AEST)
The Tigers head to Adelaide Oval on Friday night and despite both teams being on six wins for the season, I'm not sure they would be too confident against the Power.
After showing promising signs a few weeks, Port Adelaide put in a very disappointing performance against Freo before the byes. They will be hoping the break has freshened them up and they can get back in the winner's circle at home in Round 15. These two teams played at the MCG back in Round 6 and the Power got the win by 35 points without Chad Wingard and Robbie Gray in the side. Unfortunately for the Tigers, both these players will be on the pitch this time.
I think there are plenty of reasons to get on the Power here, one of the keys being tackling pressure. Anyone who saw the heat the Power brought to their game against the Bulldogs a few weeks ago will know how damaging they can be. Port are second for total tackles in the competition, while the Tigers are ranked last. Unless the Tigers can somehow play an extremely free-flowing game, they are going to struggle as the Power strangle them with tackles. I'm not sure Richmond can match it in this department, especially at Adelaide Oval and this will ultimately be their demise. Happy to back Port in a convincing win.
Tip: Port Adelaide at the line (-15.5) - $1.92 at CrownBet (2 units)
Gold Coast Suns vs St Kilda Saints (Saturday, July 2 at 1:40pm AEST)
Despite losing the last ten games in a row, the Suns go into this game against the Saints in Round 15 as the favourites. Do the Suns deserve to be favourites? I don't think so, but the danger here is getting overexcited by St Kilda's form and over-rating them on the back of their victory against the Cats last week. In saying that, however, we can't deny that defeating the Cats says something about where the Saints are at when they play their best footy.
The Saints won the last time these two played and that game was at Metricon, so hopefully the stadium won't intimidate them. The Suns have certainly been playing better footy of late, bolstered by the return of some important players and having Gary Ablett playing some really good footy. However, the Saints simply would have taken plenty of confidence from their victory last week. Their defensive pressure was immense in that game and if they can keep their heads this week, they should be able to shock the Suns. I'm happy to get behind the Saints in a competitive game on the road.
Tip: St Kilda by 1-39 points (under 39.5) - $2.65 at Sportsbet (1 unit)
Sydney Swans vs Western Bulldogs (Saturday, July 2 at 4:35pm AEST)
The 'game of the round' this week is no doubt when the Bulldogs head to the SCG on Saturday afternoon to take on the Swans. The Swans are paying $1.37 which is unders for mine, but I do think they deserve to be favourites.
In a sense the Bulldogs were 'found out' against Geelong before the byes. I do think the Dogs have the ability to match it with the best teams in the comp, but not with their current injury woes and not when playing on the road. You go the sense in the game against Geelong that the young Bulldogs are starting to struggle without their best players. There are talks Jason Johanissen could be back for this game and his run off half back would be integral to the Dogs' chances. Personally I don't think they will bring him back in so soon, but we will have to wait and see. Regardless, I think the Swans still win this game. Luke Dahlhaus is on the sidelines and players like him are very important against teams with the likes of Tom Mitchell, Dan Hannebery and Luke Parker. I don't think the Swans will blow it away, but ultimately this should be too tough for the Dogs.
Tip: Sydney by 1-39 points (under 39.5) - $2.10 at Sportsbet (1 unit)
Carlton Blues vs Collingwood Magpies (Saturday, July 1 at 7:25pm AEST)
It might not have the ladder implications of some other Round 15 games, but the Pies vs Carlton game on Saturday night will certainly draw a lot of interest as footy's biggest rivalry steals the attention of the MCG.
The last time these two teams met was in Round 7 of this season with the Blues winning by 15 points. Since that game, Carlton's fans have had more to be excited about, but ultimately both teams have only won two of the last five games. Carlton and Collingwood actually look very similar on paper and while the Pies are slight favourites, I think Carlton will win this game. They haven't played their best footy the last few weeks, but there is some value at this price considering the performance we know they are capable of. In saying that, I'm leaning towards betting on this game being a close one either way. Three of the last five contests between these two teams have been decided by 20 points or less and under the lights of a big Saturday night match you can see this one going to the wire. Considering neither side are in contention for the finals, there's a lot to play for here for two young sides.
Tip: Either Team by UNDER 24.5 points - $1.74 at Sportsbet (2 units)
Melbourne Demons vs Adelaide Crows (Sunday, July 2 at 3:20pm AEST)
Adelaide have put together an extremely solid couple of months of footy and after their win against the Kangaroos last week, look primed for a top four finish. And if that's going to happen it's games like this one against the Demons on Sunday that are the kind they just can't afford to lose.
The Demons looked desperate for the bye break after being torn apart by the Swans in the wet a fortnight ago. Adelaide, meanwhile, were clearly refreshed after their bye when they took to the field against the Roos. That game was on a Thursday too, so they should go into this Sunday game with plenty of legs. The only worry for Adelaide is their lack of experience at the MCG. They have only played this ground once this year and were actually pretty solid with only a small loss against the Hawks. I won't be having a big play on it, but liking the Crows to cover a 20-point line.
Tip: Adelaide at the line (-20.5) - $1.92 at CrownBet (1 unit)
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